Hobbes and Plato on the motivtion [sic] to be just
McBrayer, Gregory Alan
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This thesis will treat Plato’s and Hobbes’ views on justice, paying particular attention to the reasons that each thinker gives for choosing the just life. For Hobbes, fear is the ultimate motivation for our desire to act justly. Plato, by contrast, anchors our quest for justice in the desire for excellence in the city and in the human soul. Hobbes, in the Leviathan, answers an attack on justice made by the “fool,” and Plato, in the Republic, has Glaucon make the case against the just life. I intend to judge Plato and Hobbes partly by how successfully they respond to their respective challengers. This will require that we give attention to the deeper question of how the two philosophers define justice and what differences may be present in their respective definitions. I will ultimately argue that Plato provides a better argument as to why we should choose the just life.