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Antiphon the Sophist on Justice - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 309
Justice/obedience/Antiphon/Keyt/Miller: [in Plato’s Republic] on Glaucon's view of justice as a necessary evil and a shackle of natural desires, no one is just willingly: people practise justice 'as something necessary, not as something good' (Rep. II.358c16-17).
Gyges‘ ring: this is the point of the story of Gyges' ring, the ring that makes its possessor 'equal to a god among men' (Rep. II.360c3) by giving him the power of invisibility. Glaucon claims that the possessor of such a ring would exploit its power to satisfy his natural desires unrestrained by justice.
Antiphon: Antiphon in On Truth makes a similar point: if justice consists of obeying the laws of one's polis, 'a person would best use justice to his own advantage if he considered the laws [nomoi] important when witnesses are present, but the consequences of nature [physis] important in the absence of witnesses' (DK 44 col. l; see also Caizz, 1999)(1). >Gyges/Ancient philosophy.


1. Caizz, Fernanda Decleva (1999) 'Protagoras and Antiphon: Sophistic debates on justice'. In A. A. Long, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Keyt, David and Miller, Fred D. jr. 2004. „Ancient Greek Political Thought“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Antiphon the Sophist
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-05-12
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