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*Image: Canto XIV, from MS. Holkham misc. 48, page 84, pre-1400 [Bodleian Library, Oxford]. One of four Dante manuscripts fully illustrated in the 14th century.

By Joseph R. Wood,  The Catholic Thing, Nov. 5, 2021

Dr. Joseph Wood teaches at the Institute of World Politics in Washington D.C. and is a Fellow at Cana Academy.


Joseph R. WoodOne of my favorite episodes in philosophy comes early in Plato’s dialogue, the Republic. The characters in the conversation are discussing what justice is, and why we should live a just life. Socrates, in the kind of display that eventually earned him execution by drinking hemlock, is poking holes in his friends’ understanding of justice.

“Ok, if you’re so smart, Socrates, what do you think justice is?” And now the dialogue is off and running.

Socrates makes an interesting move (“move” is a useful term in philosophical circles – philosophers are always making intellectual moves. It’s surprising more haven’t been jailed and executed.) …

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