Plato

The Republic

Overview 
Ontology  Epistemology  Polity

opinion and illusion) and adequate means to achieve it  The Republic is his earliest work. followed by the Statesman and the Laws .Politics and philosophy  The need for the philosopher in politics is for intellectual training to identify truth (from appearance.

Virtue is knowledge  The Republic is a comprehensive philosophical work and cannot be classified merely as a literature on politics  All of Man¶s activities are related to his citizenship including religion. To be a good man is to be a good citizen in a good state ± so the Republic is inclusive of ethical and political considerations of societal life . arts etc.

Virtue is knowledge  Aristotle will later adopt a stand closer to Plato¶s later works as opposed to the idealism in the Republic  The Republic perceives that the inculcation of the spirit of true knowledge is the foundation of a philosophic statecraft where the objective good can be known ± by rational and logical investigation .

Virtue is knowledge  The good is a real objective and it is to be decided by the learned philosopher or scholar who has decisive power which he is entitled to with his knowledge in a cooperative society  Specialisation of tasks in this cooperative society whose members have innate abilities as well as abilities gained through education and experience .

Virtue is knowledge  The human capacity is achieved via its education system  The state depends on a knowledge based citizenry or exact knowledge of those governing  The incompetence of opinion ± where the public is the greatest sophist  The Republic criticised the existing citystate through his theory of an ideal city .

Virtue is knowledge  Plato criticised both democracy and its demagogue/rabble rouser politicians. which lacked knowledge and discipline  A fair degree of Plato¶s political ideas can be contextualised in the state relations and comparisons between Athens and Sparta .

g. aristocrats for oligarchy and commoners for democracy at the expense of the city¶s security by treason .Virtue is knowledge  Plato emphasised on training or skill with investigation and scientific knowledge which can lessen incompetence  The harmony of political life is an ideal ± loyalty to the city is an unstable virtue as opposed the reality of class-type loyalties e.

always in conflict with the other causing instability through factionalism .Virtue is knowledge  In one city there are two ± of the rich and of the poor.

The State  Knowledge that distinguishes the true statesman from the false  The right of rule by the philosopher is an ideal type in relation to the state and not an issue of practicality  Needs and division of labor: society is made of relationships of mutual needs  State arranges orderly interchange of services .

there is no mention of slavery by Plato .The State  Social relations and exchanges of services are based on nature rather than convention ± labor division and specialisation  The philosopher ruler and his knowledge of the good makes it so that he can administer these diverse needs and abilities for the state  The state therefore ensures the good for all of its citizens in their relations  Interestingly.

e.The State  Therefore. executive and wisdom in both the state or individual . appetitive. morality is both private and public in relation to the individual and state  Remember the 3 division of souls and labor? Wisdom as the excellence of the soul and courage of the active  Justice is the proper interrelation of the three functions i.

Justice  Justice is the harmonious element that binds society ± social justice is the principle of society ± give every man his due  There is no notion of authority or sovereign ruler in Plato¶s political theory  Human nature is innately social ± state advantage is also the advantage of its citizens .

Justice  Property and family ± good citizenship can be developed through communism and education  Communism is only applied to the guardian class in relation to wives and property (explanation on wives. the role of women and property and its adverse impact on the state) .

The State  The division is not caste nor hereditary  The access to education and training is equal and occupying a position is based on merit with the consideration of justice in society .

but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man. I tell you that virtue is not given by money. when he first appears he is a protector  The unexamined life is not worth living  I do nothing but go about persuading you all. but and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. public as well as private.This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs. because they have to say something .. old and young alike.. This is my teaching. and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth.Quotations  Only the dead have seen the end of war  The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. fools. not to take thought for your persons or your properties. I am a mischievous person  Wise men talk because they have something to say.

The cave .

Enlightenment .

Read chapter 3 .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful