Do you remember what I said Polemarchus's problem is last lesson? Quick review. He wants two things to line up. Friend, enemy. Good, bad. The problem here is not exactly moral rocket science. These things don't necessarily line up. What if your friends are bad? What if the enemy is good? The world is in a comic book in which the bad guys make it easy by wearing extremely obvious costumes, so that you can always be sure that your arch enemy, actually is an arch-villain. Polemarchus is slow to catch on, not because he's an idiot. He's human. He needs some sense of us and them. His moral compass, is like an us and them-ometer. If this is the only tool you've got for detecting good and bad. You might be hesitant to throw it away, even if it's obvious that situations could arise in which this isn't the tool for the job. What can we even imagine replacing it with? Suppose you've thrown away your us and them-ometer in favor of a brand new U R Just. Hey, that's an improvement isn't it. Remember last lesson, I was going to sell you an I M Good, now I'm selling you a U R Just. With these two simple gadgets, I've got us pretty much covered. Mm, but wait. What's the relationship, between good and justice? If I am good, does that mean I am just? If you are just, does that mean you're good? Good for what, for who? Socrates approaches these abstract puzzles, not by imagining silly variants on a Star Trek tricorder device, but by means of those annoying craft analogies. Remember, the word for craft is techne, same root as technology. So in a way, he's saying exactly what I'm saying. If you start by imagining goodness, and justice as technology, the picture starts to look, distinctly weird. Your devices, maybe they won't talk to each other, the problem emerges on the page through Socrates' probing of Pelimica's tendency to think of justice, as a form of fighting, as a martial art. That creates two problems, well maybe three. First, if you are a member of something called oh let's just say the justice league, as opposed to say the punching enemies in the face league. Your league ought to be of use, both in peace and war, right? Justice is harmony, but what good is the Justice League that you and I know without villains to fight. Super heroes who fight for justice, don't actually have the power of justice per se. They have various punching in the face powers. What does having the power, to punch people in the face, have to do with the power to be just? Remember way back in lesson one, I pointed out that argument is kind of a funny word. It can mean a thing in a geometry book. A pure justificatory structure. A proof or it can mean a fight. Justice is like that too. It can mean, well, pure abstract justificatory structure. But we humans, when we picture justice, we picture someone getting what's [SOUND] coming to them. Which brings us to problem two. It's hard to imagine a martial art so pure, that it can only be used for good. If you know how to punch someone in the face, you can punch a good person, in their good face. So, if justice is a fighting style, surely it's a fighting style that can be used for good or for evil. But that's absurd, justice can't be used for good or for evil, thus we get exchanges like the following. Polemarchus tries to suggest that at peacetime, the just man is useful for oh, say, money matters. You could trust him to hold onto your money. I guess if all the villains go away, the justice league can open a bank. The First Bank of Justice. I can just see Batman, as a bank teller. Your money will be safe with us, ma'am, because I am the night. No. That doesn't inspire confidence, does it? Because as Socrates says, if someone is good at holding on to money, he'd probably be good at stealing it, right? The person who knows best how to throw punches, is best at knowing how to block. The person who can build a good bank, would probably know how to rob one. So Socrates concludes that according to Polemarchus, the just man turns out to be a thief, like Odysseus's grandfather, of whom it was said, quote, "He exceeded all men in theft and lies." Unquote. That's a bit fast and loose. At worst, the just man's a potential thief, but frankly that's bad enough. Having the power to practice justice shouldn't be a moral hazard, that is to say, having the power to be just shouldn't make it especially easy, hence tempting, to go bad. But having power always tempts us to be bad, doesn't it. So, what kind of power can justice be, such that it is an inherently non-abusable power? In a sense, what Polemarchus ought to reply is obvious. What good is justice, Socrates? It's just, that's what it is. Just as practicing the craft of shoemaking makes shoes, blah blah blah, insert series of boring craft analogies. So practicing the craft of justice produces justice, and justice is good. So the practice of justice is automatically good, because the thing it produces is automatically good. Shoes may be worn, to tread the path of good or the path of evil, so shoemaking may serve good, or evil. But there are no evil uses for justice, QED. The fighting style of justice is the only martial art, that can only be used for good. Then again, can't evil effects come from practicing justice? Can't you, the practitioner suffer, for practicing it? No one says it's easy after all. What is this mystery style, crouching fairness, hidden rightness Okay. Let me tell you a story. This is from my book, page 316. But originally it's from Herodotus, the Histories. He's an ancient Greek. He wrote about a century before Plato, and Plato knew him. His histories are often a bit fanciful sounding. And this one will be no exception. But who am I to talk, because what I'm about to tell you is I managed to get it wrong in my book. Anyway, here's the right way to tell the story. Once upon a time, there was a man named Deioces. He was a Meady, that is he came from Madea. A kingdom in what is now Northern Iran. Near the Persian empire in Herodotus histories. As I was saying, there was a guy named Deioces, an old fashion translation that I like describes him like so. Deioces quote, was infatuated with sovereignty, unquote, and set out to get it why do people translate like that he craved power. Aha. Oh, I get it. So he became a super villain, right? Oh, no, no. Quite the opposite. He, quote, practiced justice, end quote. Quote, constantly and zealously. Though the country was lawless, and though injustice is ever the enemy of justice. Aha, so he put on a mask and cape and he jumped around on rooftops after dark. Not in the least. He was sort of a freelance judge. He really put the mediation back into media. This fellow countryman seeing his justice was just, brought their cases to them. He craving power, kept right on being honest and just. Thus he won praise. Word spread and market share increased steadily. Men learned Deioces alone always gave fair judgment. They appreciated the good customer service. More and more cases came to Deioces, since each turned out in accord with truth and fairness. I like my fast food franchise cartoon. I like to imagine a lot of little justice huts springing up all over Madea, offering a reliable product at a reasonable price. Why do people like McDonalds? In part because you know what you're getting. It's the same. It's standardized. Fast food for thought. The justice burger doesn't need to be the greatest burger you've ever eaten, as long as it's always the same. Back to Deioces. Finally, having cornered the market for justice by his bold, entrepreneurial business strategy, of just plain being just, Dioches raised prices. First he said he would judge no more. It was not to his advantage to neglect his private affairs. Then the crime rate shot up, the Metes gathered Conferred and a proposal was made. Here one suspects a strategic scattering of Dioches' friends and associates in the audience, amplifying the chorus. We can't go on living this way. Let us set up a king. Yes, a king. The land will then be justly governed and we will tend to our private affairs without being eaten up by injustice. And that's how Deioces got his crown. And here's, where I just get it wrong in the book. I say he lived tyranically ever after. That's just not right. It's not what Herodotus says. And he's my only source. But my memory of the story played tricks on me for an interesting reason. This isn't an excuse, mind you. I remember that Herodotus said, after he became king, Deioces built himself a lavish palace, separated himself from the people, built vast spy network. Sounds pretty tyrannical, but I forgot, I'm sorry about this, that Herodotus also said Deioces went right on being just, from inside his swanky new palace. The fact that he was separated from the people, and they were taught to regard him as a different and superior sort of being, maybe made him better at the job. He lacked the personal ties that interfere with judgment in cases of justice. People send in questions. He hands down answers. He's like an agony aunt for the whole kingdom of Medea. Why did I get this wrong? Well, frankly, additionally because one guy in a golden palace with ultimate power and a strongly reinforced sense of his own superiority. Sounds like a pretty shaky model for justice. To put it another way, even though I got the ending of the Deioces story wrong. For which I apologize. The moral of this story still comes out basically the same. Here's a puzzle for you. Is Dioches a just man? He practices the craft of justice, yes. But not out of a motive of justice, only for selfish reasons. He wants absolute power. He wants to take over the world. Classic villain motive, may I say. Some villains try to seize power with super strength. Some villains build giant robots. What was Dioches' super villain power, to fulfill his stock villain desire for absolute power? He had the superpower of justice. He practiced justice. So he could take over the world. A quiz. Is Deioces a just man? A, yes. B, no. I'll accept either answer. I just want you to notice how structurally odd this case is. On the one hand, it's hard to argue with results. He ruled justly, by hypothesis. What more do you want? On the other hand, we're bothered by his motive. A shoemaker doesn't need to love shoes, so long as the shoes he makes are good. But someone who practices justice, should do for for the sake of justice, right? Also, the whole thing just looks kind of unstable, as I said. I misremembered that as soon as he got power, he stopped being just. He had what he wanted. I'm not excusing my shaky Herodotus scholarship, but seriously, wasn't my version more psychologically shrewd and realistic? Why I am telling about Deioces, apart my noble desire to set the record straight about what Herodotus said. Because next, we're getting to Thrasymachus. He's going to get his butt kicked. And rightly so, the guy can't keep his story straight. But the real concern is that Thrasymachus, shouldn't lose. He should have been able to fight Socrates to a standstill, settling for something like the Deioces model. I'll explain, but basically it comes to this. Thrasymachus's cynical view isn't totally defensible, but it's mostly defensible. In particular, the really cynical bits are defensible. Socrates's arguments are far from being the naive nonsense they're Prosemicus thinks they are. But all the same, Socrates' conclusion could turn out to be very naive.