What Are the Wages of Justice? Rethinking the Republic’s Division of Goods

In: Phronesis

Abstract

A growing number of scholars have seen that the Republic’s division of goods includes goods which possess value δι᾽ αὑτό in virtue of some of their causal effects. Building on this, I argue that goods, including justice, which are valuable διὰ τὰ γιγνόµενα ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ (and whose effects can contribute to the value a good has δι᾽ αὑτό) are so in virtue of a limited class of beneficial effects: those that depend on the recognition of other agents. This way of dividing goods explains why Socrates legitimately invokes some effects of justice in his demonstration that justice is valuable δι᾽ αὑτό.

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