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The Ajax DilemmaJustice, Fairness, and Rewards$
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Paul Woodruff

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199768615

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199768615.001.0001

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Justice in the Soul

(p.162) Anger
The Ajax Dilemma

Paul Woodruff

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how justice is not good enough if it is merely mind-deep. Justice must permeate the whole soul, into the depths where anger lives, and into the dark recesses where desires are fermenting. It suggests that even if Ajax was rational and was persuaded that the most reasonable outcome was for the armor to go to Odysseus, if this persuasion did not go deeper than his intellect, then his spirit remains in rebellion. He is furious, but he tries to control his fury, in order to live with the outcome that his reason has accepted. This rational Ajax may continue as a good soldier for a time, but at some point he may no longer be able to tamp down his anger. The chapter also considers Plato's account of psychological justice in the Republic.

Keywords:   justice, mind, soul, Ajax, Plato, anger

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