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“The Intellectualist Foundations of Plato’s Republic” by Rusty Jones (University of Oklahoma)

Date: 3:30pm PST February 7 Location: J.R. Howard Hall 202

  • Rusty Jones

J.R. Howard Hall 202

The thesis of Plato’s Republic is that justice is always good – indeed, that it is always good for the just person and not just good from some impersonal point of view.  In this talk I venture an account of why Socrates is concerned to establish exactly this point.  I argue that intellectualism about virtue – the view that virtue, and justice in particular, is or crucially involves a kind of knowledge – makes it particularly urgent to establish that justice is always good; denial of that thesis would threaten the coherence of intellectualism.  I then show how Socrates’ main line of argument neutralizes this threat.  Finally, I speculate on a resultant puzzle: If intellectualism motivates both the thesis and the main argumentative structure of the Republic, how are we to square that with the famous anti-intellectualism of Book 4?


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