Plato 's View Of The Tripartite Soul

2030 Words Nov 5th, 2014 9 Pages
The Republic is unquestionably a work that is deeply influenced by its time; Plato lived in a period of war and tyranny. Hence the Republic should be read as a reaction against this time of instability, and a plea for order and justice. However this essay is going to present that view that Plato’s city in reality would neither have been ordered or just. In theory Plato’s state or Kallipolis would be ordered, with a strictly regimented, though not hereditary class system. This is based on Plato’s ideas of the tripartite soul, which consists of appetite, spirit and reason. But in reality such a totalitarian system completely devoid of freedoms would have breed discontent and much like totalitarian regimes in recent history it is unlikely that harmony though between the classes could ever be kept. However, it is more complicated enquiry to judge if such a state would be just. Plato’s idea of justice is informed by his understanding that everything is part of a hierarchy; he sees nature in its truest form as a harmony, where every individual serves a purpose. Though there are some superficial similarities in his understanding of justice, he would see our dynamic, free, at times chaotic society, with lax attitudes towards hierarchies as unjust. It’s impossible to conceptualise a whole city willing to accept such restrictive proto fascist principles. Instead it’s more reasonable to believe that disharmony would be rife, and the city would soon fall into anarchy. Therefore…
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