Plato:the Republic Assignment

Plato:the Republic Assignment Words: 1141

To exemplify why being just has more benefits than being unjust, Plato puts forward a couple of arguments. First, being unjust places strain the individual whereas the just individual is peaceful and calm, Plato uses the example of the tyrant, where the tyrant is motivated by lust, the greed for money and power (Plato, 1 993:57th-ICC). Plato illustrates why it is more beneficial to be just, Plato believes the philosopher is the only one who is able to live the good life because the philosopher is the truth and knowledge lover. The love for truth and knowledge gives the philosopher access to the Form of Good (Weenie, 2000:Lenten).

To conclude an individual should not be just because being just gives one pleasure but because being just gives one access to knowledge of the Forms where the soul is rational, harmonious and peaceful. Knowledge and understanding of the Forms leads to the good life, the philosopher kings are the ones who can access this world. Therefore it is important to understand the division of the soul and why the philosopher kings soul has access to the Forms. The soul has three separate parts; appetite (motivated by desire), spirit (motivated by honor), reason (motivated by truth and knowledge) (Plato, 1993:436c439d).

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The parts of the soul coincide with the structure of the just city. The tripartite soul is an important idea because it illustrates an individual whose soul is structured like the chariot in Plat’s analogy. The rational part of the soul must rule (chariot driver) which means the philosopher king must rule in the just state. Because the rational part must rule, the spirited part (white horse) should consequently enforce the principles set forth by reason o control the appetitive part (black horse), this means the auxiliaries will help the philosopher kings to protect and control the laborers.

In verifying that the philosopher king is a just person and the best rulers because of his/her love for truth and knowledge, Plato uses three interconnected analogies. The analogy of the sun highlights the Form of the Good. The sun is a source of light the sun allows for visibility in the visible realm. The sun is the Good, just like the sun brings things in the visible realm to life, the Good brings the Forms in the intelligible realm to life (Plato, 993:Bibb-ICC).

The analogy of the divided line explains the different forms of truth and knowledge. The division between the visible realm and intelligible realm is made. The visible realm is divided into two; the lowest form being imagination and above it the physical objects of the imagination. The intelligible realm consists of another division which consists of mathematical reasoning and lastly the highest form of knowledge, the Forms. To understand the metaphysical and epistemological theory, Plato uses the allegory of the cave (Plato, 1993:50th-ASS e).

The allegory of the cave is an imaginary scenario where a group of people are locked up in a cave facing a wall, at the top of the wall are shadows being presented to them by the real objects illuminated by fire. One of the prisoners escapes and is therefore able to see the fire and the real objects, the prisoner realizes that the shadows are just copies of the objects. The prisoner leaves the cave at first the sun is blinding to the eye so he cannot go out during the day until his eyes get used to the sun, as he is only going outside in the night he is exposed to reflections of objects.

These reflections add to the realization that the objects from the cave are a copy of the reflections in the real world. Eventually the prisoner is able to go out during the day and views the sun for the first time and he realizes the real world, where the reflections are a copy of the Forms illuminated by the sun (Plato, 1993:AAA-Bibb). As mentioned above justice requires structure; structure in the city and structure in the soul. The idea known as the principle of specialization is an important one as it places emphasis on why and how a just city should be structured in a particular way.

The principle of specialization plays a key role in the structure of the just city, the principle of specialization states that every member in society must take part in occupations which best suit the nature of the individual and not interfere in any other occupation. For example an individual whose is naturally good at teaching must be an educator and nothing else. This principle of specialization ensures that production is maximizes and each skill is done to the best standards.

Also this principle allows for the structuring of society into three classes; laborers, axillaries ND philosopher kings, which ensure every class does not interfere with the responsibilities of another class (Brown, 2009:Lenten). The nature of justice is the central theme of this book, an important argument to note is Socrates response to Trashcans’ notion that justice is the advantage of the stronger (Plato, argument is important because the challenge which Trashcans put forward allows Socrates to prove that justice is something which is good, this is the foundation of the Republic.

Socrates refutes Trashcans’ claim With various arguments. The tauter of craft argument and the wage earning argument stipulate that crafts should serve the interest of the people who make use of that particular craft and the craftsman should fulfill the nature of the craft which is to benefit the people not the craftsman. For example a doctor should fulfill the nature of a craft by healing people and not do the craft because of the acquisition of money (Barney, 2006: 49-52).

Socrates also uses the non-apoplectic argument; states that unjust people compete with unjust and just people to prove they are unjust however, a just person does not compete with a just arson but rather with an unjust person to show them how to be just (Barney, 2006:52-54). CONCLUSION The ideas and arguments discussed are very relevant in modern society because they promote morality thus leading a just life leads to the good life.

Socrates response to Trashcans and the principle of specialization demonstrate the role of the individual in society. The tripartite soul illustrates the importance of a structured soul and what is the perfect soul structure to lead instead of having unjust people lead and creating chaos in a society. Lastly the benefits of being just prove why being just is more advantageous Han being unjust and in modern society it is important to promote just behavior in that way justice can be achieved.

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