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Thrasymachus (late 5th century BC)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-A116-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 11, 2021, from

Article Summary

Thrasymachus, a Greek Sophist and orator, is known principally for his role in book 1 of Plato’s Republic, in which he argues that justice is simply a social institution created by rulers to further their own interests. It is intended solely for the subjects; the rulers themselves need not practise it. Since justice thus consists in promoting another’s advantage rather than one’s own, injustice is far more profitable. Apart from issues of internal coherence, his claims raise many questions. What, for example, are our true interests? And what are the actual and ideal operations of power?

Citing this article:
Hobbs, Angela. Thrasymachus (late 5th century BC), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-A116-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.

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