Is Morality a Human Convention or a Man-Made Contrivance?


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Essay #: 070063
Total text length is 13,746 characters (approximately 9.5 pages).

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Is Morality a Human Convention or a Man-Made Contrivance?
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Plato’s The Republic: Is Morality a Human Convention or a Man-Made Contrivance?
The question of the values established and maintained by mankind are a matter of great debate since discourse began. How society, and the individuals who comprise it mete out justice, establish truth, and regulate morality are not just topics for philosophers, although these considerations are certainly part of the discipline. The more complicated the social structure, its parameters and flavor of the hegemony, and the politics of power, all contribute to what is accepted as a moral and just social order. Each culture equips itself with what it will tolerate as...
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..... we can do is surmise, speculate and debate. That is what Socrates intends to do throughout The Republic; as he so much as admits, arriving at some semblance of truth is his job. The discussion is as intriguing now as it was to the ancient philosophers, mainly because there are no right and wrong answers forthcoming, even centuries of debate later.
So, are moral and just acts done out of character or out of coercion? It is nature or artifice? The Republic does not attempt to answer these questions, just to ask them. As such, we are incapable of answering them either, just of pondering the possibilities.
Plato. (2004). The Republic. (Benjamin Jowett, Trans.) New York: Barnes & Noble. (Original work published c. 380-360 B.C.E.)