In Book 2 of the Republic, Glaucon is passionate about finding the true meaning of what justice is. To do this he decides to praise injustice in the purest way so that Socrates will refute it and give him the meaning of justice in its purest form. Glaucon approaches the situation by discussing the following three points: the “kind of thing people consider justice to be and what its origins are”, “that all who practice it do so unwillingly, as something necessary, not as something good”, and that “they have good reason to act as they do, for the life of an unjust person is, they say, much better than that of a just one”. Glaucon provides excellent evidence and reasoning for his argument and by looking at it from the view of the natural man, one who doesn’t have a spirit or conscience to refute injustice, his argument holds truth.
Glaucon’s first point of his argument in praising injustice basically states that justice is formed out of injustice. He argues that the natural way of man, or humanity, is that each person wants to do better and be more successful in their life than everyone else and that they do not want any tragedy or ill will to befall them. However, because the consequences greatly outnumber the rewards an agreement is made to neither reap the rewards nor suffer the consequences of injustice. The agreement is formed between those that were successful and unsuccessful because of the consequences of injustice and the people that experienced both. Laws and rules are made and by enforcing those laws justice is created. Glaucon explains that justice is the happy medium between the two extremes of injustice and then he leads into the second point of his argument by ending his first in saying that people only follow justice because they have to, not because of their own free will.
Moving on to Glaucon’s second part of his argument, he explains how nobody chooses to do the right thing of their own free will...