Views of Philosophers | Free Essay Examples

Socrates and Thrasymachus

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates and Thrasymachus argue over justice. Thrasymachus claims that justice is the interest of the stronger, meaning that the ruling class or the most powerful people decide what is right and unjust based on their self-interest. He believes this term accurately describes society and that justice only benefits the powerful. Socrates disagrees with Thrasymachus, arguing that fairness is a moral virtue that helps society. Socrates thinks justice serves both the weak and the powerful. Thrasymachus believes fairness is what benefits the stronger side. Socrates denies justice. Socrates describes justice as treating others decently and avoiding harm.

Socrates thinks this devotion is vital to maintain justice. He also believes that legitimate rulers serve their people rather than themselves and that justice must be equitable to all members of society, regardless of their status. This is his sole means to establish legitimate rulers (Weiss, 2021). Thrasymachus claims that justice should favor the stronger side, but I am afraid I must disagree. Thrasymachus’ extreme political and moral relativism lowers justice to power and self-interest. If justice is just what is good for the strongest, then there are no objective morality or justice standards, and society’s most powerful may do anything they want without consequence. This would create a disorganized, unstable society based on physical strength.

Socrates’ justice approach, though, is my favorite. A good society requires fairness and nonviolence. A fair society values justice. Justice is not about power or self-interest; it is about an objective norm that applies to everyone. Justice is an objective rule implemented consistently. Just societies respect the law and hold individuals responsible for their actions. Thus, justice is essential to a stable and fair society.

Mengzi and Xunzi

Mengzi and Xunzi were Warring States-era Chinese thinkers. Both were Confucian. Despite agreeing on many Confucian principles, they disagreed on human nature and the role of education and ritual in moral development. Mengzi believed all people are born with a “basic goodness” that may be developed with the appropriate upbringing. He felt meditation might develop this sense. He believed compassion, shame, and morality are innate and may be increased through practice and instruction (Ardoline, 2022). Metaphors may enhance these sentiments, he argued.

Moreover, these feelings are innate and cannot be taught. Mengzi felt moral education and training should aim to help everyone develop ethically. Mengzi felt everyone might improve ethically.

Xunzi believed that humans are naturally destructive and self-centered. He believed only rituals and education could instill the principles and qualities needed to live a decent life. Xunzi believed that people would be ruled by their egos without external supervision. Xunzi thought so. Mengzi’s argument is stronger. All living things, including humans, have an innate sense of good and wrong that may be refined via new experiences and knowledge. I believe this. Most people are self-absorbed and do things that injure others because of external factors like a lack of education, poor job prospects, or cultural constraints. Even if some individuals are self-absorbed and intentionally damage others, external circumstances drive most of this behavior.

Outside influences cause some people to behave selfishly and damage others. If supported, people may embrace morally good and community-beneficial activities. Self-beneficial conduct is possible. Xunzi’s idea that individuals can only act ethically when instructed by foreign authority is also restrictive. Individuals may build their moral compass by learning from their experiences and changing. Education and rituals may assist. This may be done regardless of usefulness. Individuals usually discover their views and values after some reflection. Because of this, Mengzi’s notion that humans are inherently nice and can grow morality is more positive and inspiring.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche’s controversial idea that reality is an illusion we have forgotten is thought-provoking. Nietzsche’s true views have been debated for years. Nietzsche’s “The Will to Believe” argues this. Nietzsche’s criticism of metaphysics and epistemology underpins his claim. Nietzsche claims that orthodox metaphysics and epistemology assume that rational reason and empirical research may produce an objective reality. Nietzsche denies this. Nietzsche believes there is no objective reality and that all knowledge is a human fabrication. He claims that humans have forced their values and beliefs on the universe.

Nietzsche also believes that our opinions and values come from our subjective readings and viewpoints on facts (Gori, 2021). He claims that our beliefs and ideals are not based on facts. He claims that truth is a function of social agreement and not objective. He claims truth is subjective. He believes this because there are no objective truth standards. Nietzsche maintains that our psychological wants and desires drive our views and ideals. He believes we create our realities to fulfill our needs and make sense of our world. This appeases our reality. Thus, Nietzsche believed that the truth is an illusion we created to help us cope with the world and have forgotten. He claims we have forgotten it is an illusion.

I find Nietzsche’s idea that reality is an illusion attractive and difficult. Nietzsche’s criticism of traditional metaphysics and epistemology raises important problems regarding truth and knowing. His focus on subjective and psychological dimensions of idea and value creation challenges objectivity and reason. However, a relativistic view of truth may have unexpected consequences. Scientific investigation and empirical observation may reveal objective truths which must be acknowledged. Despite our subjective perceptions and interpretations, there exist objective facts and realities. Thus, while Nietzsche’s argument that truth is an illusion is thought-provoking, it is important to balance the subjective aspects of belief and value formation with the importance of empirical evidence and objective facts. Thus, balancing these two notions is crucial. We need to find a compromise between these two views.

Cornel West

Modern philosopher Cornel West has written extensively on democratic principles and citizens’ duties to their democratic society. He is well-known for his democratic efforts. West states that democratic society, residents must do a variety of responsibilities to maintain system efficiency. West believes that citizens must first participate in their governments’ democratic processes. This involves political dialogue and issue advocacy, not simply voting. Political participation goes beyond voting. West believes that democracy cannot function without citizen involvement. Without public participation, democratic values and institutions may crumble (Mendieta, 2022). In other words, democracy cannot work when people do not participate.

West believes individuals must participate in democratic processes and uphold democratic principles, including freedom, equality, and justice. This commitment goes beyond democratic participation. To attain this aim, we must actively support policies and practices that promote these concepts and oppose those that undermine them. Western nations also value the importance of schools and universities in a democratic society. He believes that everyone should learn about democracy and their local issues. The country is obligated. This includes formal classroom learning and informal learning via news, media, and conversations with friends and family.

West emphasizes critical thinking and self-reflection in democratic societies. He believes individuals should challenge those in authority and critically evaluate their government’s programs and structures. He thinks people should challenge authority. He believes this should be a public and private standard. West believes these commitments must be met to maintain a functioning democracy. These tasks are needed to maintain a functioning democracy. He believes democracy is a process that requires citizens to engage actively. Democracy is a process, not an institution. He believes democracy is a process.

I agree with West that individuals have several responsibilities to the democratic system they participate in. I think democracy works best when its citizens actively participate in its procedures. Only then can a democracy operate fully. Democracy might collapse if people do not participate. I also believe that to maintain a democracy, its citizens must adhere to democratic ideas, continue their education, and think critically about the world.


Ardoline, M. (2022). Building a Way: Becoming Active in One’s subjectivation through Deleuze and Xunzi. Philosophies7(5), 98–98.

Gori, P. (2021). Ernst Mach and Friedrich Nietzsche. On the Prejudices of Scientists.

Mendieta, E. (2022). Cornel West and Prophetic Pragmatism. Routledge EBooks, pp. 81–88.

Weiss, R. (2021). Socrates and Thrasymachus on Perfect and Imperfect Injustice. Plato, pp. 22, 79–86.

Order Now! Order Now!