Republic, The 1st Book: To Act Justly

“May I ask whether by ‘friends’ you mean those who seem to be worthy [of friendship] or those who really are so, even if they do not seem to be — and the same goes for enemies?”
“It is likely,” Polemarchus said, “that men love those whom they suppose to be good and dislike those whom they deem bad.”
“Do not men make mistakes in this matter so that many people seem good to them who are not and vice versa?”
“They do.”
“For those men who make this error, good people are their enemies and bad people are their friends?”
“Certainly,” he said.
“But it is then wholly just for the men to benefit the bad and harm the good?”
“It would seem so.”
“Yet the good are just and incapable of injustice.”
“On your reasoning, then, it is just to wrong those who do no injustice.”
“No, no, Socrates, that reasoning cannot be right,” he said. (Rep. I, 334c-d)


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