Ideal Characteristics of Plato's Guardians

1393 WordsFeb 16, 20126 Pages
Ideal Characteristics of Plato’s Guardians The characterisitics of the ideal guardian is summarized in those words by Socrates in the second book of the Republic : “[H]e who is to be a really good and noble guardian of the State will require to unite in himself philosophy and spirit and swiftness and strength. . .” Swiftness and strength is deemed necessary as the guardian is to be like a well-bred watchdog, who ought to be “quick to see, and swift to overtake the enemy when they see him, and strong too, if when they have caught him, they have to fight with him.” The requirement of ‘spirit’ is then derived from this, because if he is to fight well he ought to be brave, and Socrates finds that he is not likely to be brave who has not…show more content…
Some of the characteristics are actually prescribed precisely because they achieve such ends, but most are just what are ideally what Socrates found to be characteristics of the best of men. The whole scheme, I must admit, did sound strange to me as I read it, and imagine that it is the same with most others. It would be very strange to most people because it is vastly different from what is actually done in the real world. In the context of the Philippines, the election of leaders is surely not based on who is the best or who is most fit to rule, not to mention they are not especially selected and trained from childhood to be the rulers when they grow older. In the Philippine constitution no strict requirements are mentioned regarding who shall be allowed to rule but that he or she “is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election. (Art. VII. Sec. 2)” In a charitable account of how this country selects its leaders, we could say it is rather based on the number and greatness of achievements, their educational backgrounds, and experience. But more meanly put, we might still
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