Plato's Republic Book 2 Questions and Answers

Plato

Book 2 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What kind of good does Socrates say justice is?

2. Does Glaucon believe men are at heart good or evil? How does he illustrate his point?

3. Why does Socrates look at the community first?

4. Why does Socrates say people decide to live together, rather than atomistically?

5. Why does Socrates believe people should focus their energies on one activity exclusively?

6. Why must the fevered city have soldiers?

7. Why does Glaucon consider Socrates’ healthy city a city of pigs?

8. Why will Socrates not allow tales of battle among the gods?

9. What practical service does a philosophic nature provide in a Guardian?

10. Why does Glaucon say people agree to live under law?

Answers
1. Socrates says justice is a good that is valued for its own sake, not for what it can provide.

2. Glaucon believes men are inherently evil. The story of Gyges’ ring illustrates his belief.

3. Socrates looks at the comunity first in order to see justice more clearly by looking at it on the large scale.

4. Socrates says people live together because they are not self-sufficient.

5. Socrates says people should focus their energies on one activity exclusively because usually people have an aptitude for only one activity, they will produce better goods by specializing, and to not engage in that activity could result in missing the right moment for action.

6. Because the fevered city must expand its territory, it must go to war with its neighbors, and therefore it needs soldiers.

7. Glaucon considers the first city a city of pigs because they have no trappings of civilization, such as furniture.

8. According to Socrates, the gods are by nature good. Furthermore, the citizens must learn that quarreling is sinful.

9. A philosophic nature makes a Guardian gentle to those whom he knows.

10. Glaucon says that people agree to live under law because it keeps them from being the victim of injustice at another’s hand.