Today, we continue discussing the spirited and testy exchange between Socrates and Thrasymachus (342a – 350d). If you haven’t looked at the previous days of slow reading, catch up and come back. Same rules apply as before. Be sure to read the comments, since that is where the conversation is.
By the way, if you a little behind and are still thinking about the Polemarchus dialogue that we discussed on Day 2 for instance, then go ahead and comment there on that. I will be sure to respond. You can slow your own reading down as slow as you want thereby!
An remember, we can only become virtuous by attempting to be virtuous, so dare to be be courageous and post a comment — participate in the conversation!
1. At 345b, Socrates urges Thrasymachus to “stick to what you said, or if you change what you set down, make it clear that you are doing so.” (345b) Thrasymachus starting out saying that justice is the advantage of the stronger, but is now defending a version that says that the unjust person is stronger . Pay attention to how he is led to change his position from one of redefining justice to defending injustice.
2. Socrates and Thrasymachus disagree as to whether a ruler looks to the advantage of the ruled. Who’s argument is more cogent?
3. Every so often, Thrasymachus turns to ad hominem arguments against Socrates (as in 343a). Why does he do this, do you think?
4. One argument of Socrates is that “the man who is both good and wise will not want to get the better of the like, but of the unlike and its opposite…But the bad and unlearned will want to get the better of both the like and its opposite…” (350a-b) What is he talking about by “getting the better of”? Do you understand what this means?
I will stop there for now. Please see comments for more later in the day.