How well do these philosophers arguments apply to today’s democracies? For the purpose of this essay we will be looking at the United States of America as an example. In Plato’s view democracy creates men who believe “insolence is good breeding, anarchy freedom, extravagance munificence, and shamelessness courage is found to be somewhat true in democracy today. In many counter cultures such as Punk/gothic it is evident that many American believe insolence to be good breeding. Anarchy on the other had is the most free a person could ever get. If we take a close look at the current economic system in the U.S in which a free market economic system is preferred. In a free market economy the government tends to stay out of regulating the markets. When the governments does not agree with the way business is operating and tries to step in and regulate it, people of influence such as big businessman or commentators that have a big say and control in the public opinion step in to ease the governments grip. Even the general public dislikes it when the government is interfering with their affairs and would like more autonomy, while they do not necessarily harbor drams of anarchy these are anarchist tendencies. When it comes to extravagant within America are very commonly seen as munificent individuals. This is based on the trickledown effect which
Now let us take a look into the background of the story. Plato gives his ideals on a perfect society and everything it should include. He basically implies that justice is rightness, and rightness is whatever he feels it should be. He breaks society down into guardians, wage earners, and auxiliaries. Wage earners are people such as surgeons or shoemakers.
This paper will argue that money is problematic to Plato largely because his ideal city Kallipolis is filled with virtuous leaders and citizens living in harmony and unity. When money is involved, Plato believes that it is human nature for even the most virtuous leader to lack the will to resist the temptation. Plato discusses the five different types of regimes and constitutions people can live under, Aristocracy, Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy and Tyranny. As regimes shift into the next, virtue decreases and corruption in the state arises. When obtaining wealth and acquiring private property is a motivating factor for humans, people start making self-interested decisions; choosing to take part in politics and fighting in wars for personal gains, and not for the benefit of the whole. When education and training is not the priority from an early age, citizens become lazy and there is a divide in the city between the rich and the poor. Plato goes to great lengths to ensure that the city is just by abolishing private property and creating the noble lie.
Wren writes that the idea of the appropriate leaders "was an initial fiction that was "created or invented in response to the challenges of societal governance"¦" (p.13) Wren states that Plato was particularly astute in regards to "implications for leaders in a democracy." (p.14) In a democracy, according to Wren "the people do not recognize what is best for them, particularly with respect to who should lead them." (2007, p.14) Plato utilized allegorical methods to describe the problems of leading a democracy stating that the people "honor as a good and profoundly wise person any obsequious flatterer who"¦can minister agreeable to their humors, which he is clever enough to anticipate." (Wren, 2007, p.14)
In The Republic of Plato, Plato, in addition to sharing his views on justice, shares his views on democracy using a fictionalized Socrates to outline the most pressing issues. Plato’s views on democracy are negative; he believes democracy to be bred from a response to inequality of wealth and to heighten all of humanities worst traits. Plato believes democracy leads to unequipped leaders who hold offices and power without the necessary traits and preparation.
The rulers are the most important and must be brought up with a good moral upbringing. Plato believes that it is necessary to tell the rulers falsehoods in their childhood to have them be gentile to their own people and harmful to their enemies. In order to give them a good moral upbringing Plato states that you need to read them stories about the Gods. But because the ruler can only be subjected to good moral ideas, the evil stories will be overlooked. " Aren't there two kinds of story, one true and the other false?" Socrates states," Yes. And mustn't our men be educated in both, but first in false ones?" Plato thinks that children not be confronted with anything evil until its character is already formed, making the children respect honesty and virtue." The young cant distinguish what is allegorical from what isn't, and the opinions they absorb at that age are hard to erase and apt to become unalternatable. For these reasons, then, we should take the utmost care to insure that the first stories they hear about virtue are the best ones for them to hear."
Socrates believes that democracy is the second worst type of government. Democracy is having “…complete freedom and dignity.”(p.261 C5) and “…no notice of the law.” (p.261 D5) It is the avoidance of anyone’s control. Those in democracy are motivated simply by pleasure that accompanied freedom and dignity. There is an analogy in the
In book VI of The Republic, Plato uses Socrates as his mouthpiece to reveal the ideal city. Plato points out that the idea city is based on the foundations of three basic forms. Consequently, these three forms are manifested in the individuals that make up the city. The functioning of the city will thus depend on the analogy of the structures within the city and within the souls of the people. The main purpose of this paper is to analyze the argument by Socrates with respect to the three forms in the city and in the soul. Additionally, the paper seeks to analyze the rationale behind Socrates’ comparison and subsequent establishment of analogy between the forms in the city and the forms in the city in the context of justice. The paper also
To this end, the State, like the individual, has three parts that correspond to the parts of the individual soul. The "lowest" of the parts is the appetite, which is comprised of the common people. These would be craftsmen, laborers, and farmers who perform the menial tasks essential to the functioning of the State. Those who make up this part of the State are best left to their own devices, to enjoy and pursue physical and material pleasures, because they are not capable of grasping the Forms. The second tier, the spirit, would be comprised of soldiers. It is the soldiers who have a slight understanding of the Forms, but not enough of one to allow reason to dictate their actions. Soldiers fight to the death to defend the State because of their emotional ties to it. In fact, Plato proposes that the government raise children,
As one of the most significant works in philosophy, The Republic has been one of the most historically and intellectually influential basis of many political theories and philosophical approaches since its first appearance. It is also crucial to mention that the book contains both Plato’s and Socrates’ arguments of life and the view of the Athenian Democracy in the ancient Greek world. Therefore, it can be confusing and complicated to decide to which philosopher the arguments belong. The main focus of the book is to find the definition and the whereabouts of order, justice and to establish a just state, as well as to prove that a just man is happier than the unjust man by providing examples. The true importance of The Republic lies in the fact that everything has meaning in it, not only the arguments, but also the people who act as metaphors for the different kind of roles, which they fulfill in the Athenian society, furthermore the way they speak symbolizes those roles and every one of them embodies a part of the soul and the city-state. Even though it is not obvious, Plato / Socrates criticizes the Athenian society and tries to establish a new, ideal one with the different people he meets and talks to in the book.
In the era of the contemporary United States, a country that has had the longest standing democracy, we are used to thinking very highly of its system. However, throughout our history, there have been a couple of critics to the system of democracy. It comes as no surprise that democracy does have its issues. One of the first pieces of literature where democracy was mentioned and analyzed at a deeper level was The Republic by Plato. This ancient Greek philosopher did not completely agree with democracy, regardless of the fact that ancient Athens was the first civilization that gave rise to it. In fact, in a numerical list that he composes on which are the best ways of ruling, Plato puts democracy at one of the lowest levels. In order, Plato’s list of types of government from most desirable to least desirable looks like this: 1.) Republic (The ideal city) 2.) Timocracy 3.) Oligarchy 4.) Democracy 5.) Tyranny. Additionally, In The Republic, Plato tells us his beliefs and values on certain aspects of life through the eyes of Socrates. So, even though Plato himself does not appear in The Republic and instead Socrates does, nonetheless, Plato and Socrates shared the same ideology when it came to democracy. As we know, Plato did not agree with democracy. As a result, in this paper, I will explore the greatest intellectual strengths and weaknesses of Plato’s view on democracy.
Plato in the Republic writes about a new form of society which would be based upon the good of everyone, whereby those who are most able should rule. Plato states that "Unless, said I,
Democracy is often referred to as the rule of the many, but Aristotle called this definition incomplete. In his book “Politics”, he explained that in a city if the majorities are aristocrats and if they have political authority, then it is an aristocracy not a democracy. He therefore defined democracy as when “free people have authority and Oligarchy as when the wealthy have it” (1290b). Plato viewed Democracy as a flawed system with too much inefficiency that would make any implementation of a true democracy not worth it. While Aristotle viewed democracy as a system that could work if it is limited to certain restrictions and if it is the regime that best fits the culture of the people to be governed. In this essay it will be argued that Plato’s view on democracy as a flawed system is more prevalent or more compelling if the current political arena around the world is observed.
In the Republic, Plato places Socrates as the main ‘character’ to express his philosophical views on the world. Plato lived in Athens and as such his criticism of democracy can mainly be applied to Athenian democracy and is fundamentally different from the democratic systems we have nowadays. In order to understand Plato’s position on democracy, the essay will use the Republic as main source to point the wrongs of democracy according to Plato. This essay will detail in four parts the elements that support Plato’s points against democracy. These points will be given in context to Plato’s time and will be both based on the historical context of his life. The first part will explore Plato’s sense of justice and what justice should be. Using his perspective on virtue and justice, this part will explain how Plato perceived a just world and as such this part will demonstrate how democracy is not compatible with his views on justice. The second part will explain how Plato defends the idea that philosophers should rule as an alternative, not only to democracy, but most ruling systems. This part aims to provide information on what Plato thought was wrong with democracy by
Plato recognizes that knowledge and understanding of the Forms is of momentous value, because they are pre-eminent and transcendent goods. Possession of the Forms, in a sense that does not imply ownership, is the product of reason — visualised as the most worthwhile attribute of the human soul — and it is this possession which leads to human happiness. A happiness shared by all of those who arrive at a true realisation of the Forms, through the supremacy and superiority of human reason . For Plato, an action is approved of not simply because it is preferred by reason, but because reason will prefer it when reason has succeeded in apprehending the Good, and applying that apprehension to the task of choosing actions .