Table of Contents Overview Why do men behave justly?
This does not seem like a familiar sort of definition for justice, but the result, Plato says, is that each interest is satisfied to the proper extent, or, in society, everyone has what is theirs.
The philosophers have the knowledge they want; the warriors have the honors they want; and the commoners have the goods and pleasures they want, in the proper moderation maintained by the philosophers and warriors.
The root of all trouble, as far as Plato is concerned, is always unlimited desire [ note ]. Acton, or Lord Acton famously said, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thus Plato proposes a set of rules for his Guardians that would render their position undesirable to the commoners: The Guardians must live in poverty, with any possessions they do have held in common.
The very things, then, that mean the most to the commoners will be denied to the rulers. This does seems to be the first serious proposal in political history for something like complete communism, though it does only apply to the Guardians. When I used to live in Honolulu, occasionally I liked to visit the State Legislature when it was in session.
The Hawaii State Capitol is unique, with an open central courtyard instead of the traditional dome and rotunda. On each side of the courtyard, you can look through windows down into sunken chambers for the two houses of the legislature.
When the legislature is in session, you can enter a visitors balcony through doors in the windows. You sit in the balcony, however, on hard wooden benches, like church pews, while the legislators below sit on huge, stuffed, reclining, leather chairs that look good enough to sleep in -- and you will often see the lawmakers, indeed, sleeping in them.
This has always struck me as just the opposite of what Plato would have required. It is the visitors, the commoners, who should have the comfort and the "servants of the people," the politicians who should have the Spartan conditions.
The Guardians will even have their families in common. Children will be raised in common and will not know who their real parents are. These children will also not be randomly conceived. They will be bred deliberately to produce the best offspring, as though the Guardians were a pack of hunting dogs.
Even Plato realizes that such cold blooded match making might be too much for the Guardians, so he proposes that the process be kept secret from most of them. Every year, after the breeding committee, or whatever, secretly makes its choices, there is to be a kind of fertility festival.
Everyone chooses names by lot, and the name they draw, or no name, is the choice of the gods for them. This is the kind of thing that Plato calls a "some one noble lie," [Republic c]; for the lottery is to be rigged by the breeding committee.
Everyone will actually draw the name designated for them; and those who draw a blank were simply thought undesirable for offspring. The idea that people should be bred just like animals is usually called "eugenics"eu, "well," andgignomai, "come into being" or "born" and was popular early in this century; but the only regime that has tried to formally implement eugenics was Nazi Germany.
So it is not surprising that Plato thought this should all be kept secret. After two fairly disturbing proposals, Plato gets to one that is more congenial.
Socrates says that he hesitated to make an issue out of it, but that, yes, there will be women Guardians. Women have all the same parts of the soul and so all the same interests, virtues, and personality types as men. Since children will be raised in common, individual women will not be burdened with the task of child rearing and will be free to take their places in their proper occupations along with the men.
If the warrior women are not as strong as the men, then they may not be at the forefront of the battle, but they should be at the battle. This equality even extends to athletics, which is somewhat shocking, since Greek athletes went naked.
Words like "gymnasium" and "gymnastics" both derive fromgymnos "naked. But Socrates says that nothing is ridiculous except what is wrong, and that in time people would get used to naked women athletes just as at one time they got used to naked men.
This all, of course, has not come entirely true, since no athletes go naked today. But the male and female nude torso statues that were installed in front of the L. With these views about nudity, the Greeks were all the more impressed with India when Alexander the Great arrived there and found naked holy men.
These were Jain monks, and others, who had renounced the world even to the extent of renouncing clothing also. Pyrrho, at least, seems to have actually picked up some ideas from Indian philosophy thereby.The Republic study guide contains a biography of Plato, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Jun 04, · Plato’s ethics could be best described as Virtue Ethics, a philosophical school of thought that is most often associated with Plato’s student Aristotle.
What Virtue Ethics states is that the reasoning of what is moral is determined by the person (moral Reviews: 6.
The Republic Analysis Literary Devices in The Republic. Piraeus was a place to mee Narrator Point of View. Even though the Republic is technically a "dialogue," we hear all about this dialogue from Plato himself.
philosophical literature. A super important quality of Plato's take on philosophical literature is the fact that it's. Plato's allegory of the cave is one of the best-known, most insightful attempts to explain the nature of reality.
The cave represents the state of . Contemporary Metaphilosophy. What is philosophy?
What is philosophy for? How should philosophy be done? These are metaphilosophical questions, metaphilosophy being the study of the nature of philosophy. Plato sets out to answer these questions in The Republic. He wants to define justice, and to define it in such a way as to show that justice is worthwhile in and of itself.
He wants to define justice, and to define it in such a way as to show that justice is worthwhile in and of itself.