The “Just” City Plato sets out in his work, The Republic, to identify and define the meaning of justice and what true justice would look like in practice. Plato does this through the voice of his great teacher Socrates and in developing a cohesive definition for justice; he sets out to formulate the completely just city. This ideally just city is then used to define how the concept of ideal justice would look and be administered practically within Plato’s ideally just city. An admirable and truly difficult feat, through this formulation of the ideally just city Plato creates a situation full of inherent flaws and in essence creates a communistic city with a rampantly unjust caste system void of any form of equality or self-determination. This paper aims to serve as a critique of some of Plato’s major flaws within the creation of this ideal just city addressing namely the falsified caste system he creates through his myth of the metals and also addressing the downfalls of depriving the citizens of this ideal city autonomy and equality which would ultimately lead to injustice. Considering this work is aimed at defining justice and just behavior, it does not take long for injustice to rears its head and present early on an injustice situation dictated through the rulers of Plato’s ‘just’ city. The myth of the metals is an elaborate falsehood constructed in order to separate the people in the city into different caste based on primarily on a lie about each individual’s soul. The myth is essentially a story which dictates that a particular metal is inherently blended into the soul of each citizen and depending on the value of the metal a person’s place within the society is established (Plato, 91). The system is built so that those deemed to have gold blended into their souls would be most adequate for ruling over the city since they inherently are of a higher caliber then others within the city (Plato, 91). The next tier are those whom possess silver within their souls and they are best suited to be of the warrior or auxiliary class commissioned to protect the city (Plato, 91). Finally there are those of the iron or bronze souls whom will serve as the farmers and craftsmen of the city (Plato, 92). The myth allows for some small percentage of people to move across these lines due to their parents having produced a higher or lower caliber child but essentially this myth is made to stop breeding between people of different parts of society in an attempt at a eugenic like system where the goal of breeding is to produce the best offspring through the highest people of society (Plato, 92). Having summarized the myth of the metals, this falsehood would inherently lead to a plethora of issues first of which would be getting the citizens to believe such an outlandish justification for the formulation of the caste system. Beyond this first and crucial problem arise the unjust nature of peddling such an idea. Though Plato feels that within his ideal city everyone is to do what they are best suited to do; i.e. a seamstress and a salesmen open up a haberdashery, this overtly fictitious lie would only produce a timed explosion type situation where eventually rampant breeding across the caste lines would occur while also producing a system which would feed off of corruption from the top in order to maintain the status quo. Also seeing as the Republic is a manifesto of sorts with the aim at universal justice it seems odd that this myth would go against an important part, the allegory of the cave. Within Plato’s allegory of the cave he speaks of the importance of those who achieve enlightenment through understanding would instead of trying to enlighten there brothers produce their own cave of lies and caste the majority of a society into a darker cave built upon deceit (Plato, 189). Having addressed the problems associated with creating a caste system through a…
enforce justice. Scholars have, however, been divided whether this claim is compatible with the position Plato attributes to Thrasymachus in the first book of the Republic. Plato’s account there is by far the most detailed, though perhaps historically suspect, evidence for Thrasymachus’ philosophical ideas.
In the first book of the Republic, Thrasymachus attacks Socrates’ position that justice is an important good. He claims that ‘injustice, if it is on a large enough scale, is stronger, freer, and…
Introduction to Philosophy john doe
PHI 100 Section 081 03/15/13
We as humans possess a very strong belief that moral righteousness and being just play a gigantic role in living a peaceful and harmonious life. It is in our best interest that we behave just. But we may ask ourselves the question why do we behave justly? Is it because we are afraid that we might become recipients of societal punishment? Or is it because we fear that we will…
Is just behaviour the fear of divine retribution or social punishment? Or is it regardless of its rewards and punishments? Greek philosopher Plato seeks to answer these compelling questions in his works The Republic. After criticizing the conventional theories of justice presented differently by intellectuals Cephalus, Plymarchus, Thrasymachus and Glaucon, Socrates gives his theory of justice according to which it is a sort of specialization (Plato, p.14). Individually, justice is a human virtue…
We have learned many articles in the Introduction to Philosophy class this semester. Plato’s Republic is one of them. The Republic is ancient Greece philosopher, thinker and educator Plato’s important dialogue body masterpiece. Belong to the middle works of Plato in his academic career. The book consists of ten volumes, in Plato's works all his life, not only is the longest length, but also content is very rich, the thought is profound, involving all aspects of the philosophy…
The Republic is an examination of the "Good Life"; the harmony reached by
applying pure reason and justice. The ideas and arguments of Plato center on the social settings of an ideal republic - those that lead each person to the most perfect possible life for him. Socrates was Plato's early mentor in real life. As a tribute to his teacher, Plato uses Socrates in several of his works and dialogues. Socrates moderates the discussion throughout, as Plato's mouthpiece. Through Socrates' powerful…
Plato’s allegory of the cave has meanings on many different levels, which expresses Plato’s understandings of the progress of the mind from its lowest stage to an enlightened stage of good. Through the allegory Plato shows clearly his beliefs about the relations of the world of appearances and the world of reality. The reasoning behind many of Plato’s beliefs is that he thought ‘the senses can be mistaken, but knowledge gained through philosophical reasoning was certain’
The allegory shows a contrast…
escaping his bonds of a lack of knowledge, has acquired intellect. This intelligence has allowed the prisoner to become a philosopher and understand that the shadows were a lie and can now see the beautiful truth of true reality.
In conclusion, Plato's analogy of the cave represents the struggle that society faces as we attempt to become able to understand that everything we believe to be real, may in fact have never been and that what is real is com pletely different to what we had been fooled…
Plato and the Republic
Plato was born into a wealthy
Athenian family around 429 BC.
So, he grew up during the
Peloponnesian War (431 – 404 BC).
Around the age of 20, Plato joined
the circle of Socrates.
Socrates did not conduct his
philosophical inquiries through
... but through engaging in
dialogues with prominent
Athenians, often in public
We can imagine Plato watching
on and sometimes participating
in these conversations.
In 404, when Athens was finally
Reflection on: the “Republic,” by Plato.
Greek philosopher, Plato, is considered to be one of the most influential people in Western Philosophy. The fact that he was a student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle leaves no questions about his competence. One of his fundamental works is the “Republic”. Even though it was written in 380 BC, Plato’s and Socrates’s thoughts are still relevant in twenty first century. This paper will evaluate the quote from the “Republic” and provide a summary…
Machiavelli's criticism of Plato's The Republic states that a ruler who possesses an inherent quality of that which is consistently good will never have the authority to rule his or her people successfully. If a ruler always treats his subjects in a manner, which can be qualified as good, then he will ultimately meet his demise, as his subjects will rise against him. Machiavelli claims that it is unrealistic to assume that all the people of a kingdom will conduct themselves in a manner that will…