Platos Republic Essay

1892 Words 8 Pages
Plato's Republic

     Critics of The Republic, Plato's contribution to the history of political theory, have formed two distinct opinions on the reasoning behind the work. The first group believes that The Republic is truly a model for a political society, while the other strongly objects to that, stating it as being far too fantastic for any society to operate successfully by these suggested methods. In an exchange between Crito and Dionysius, this argument is first introduced, with Crito siding with those who agree that The Republic is a realistic political model, and Dionysius arguing on behalf of those who doubt it as being realistic, claiming it to be a criticism of politics in general.
…show more content…
     In his fifth chapter, entitled “The Problem Stated,” Plato introduces what he believes to be wrong with the current system of politics (Plato 41).
He starts by describing the Social Contract theory (Plato 53), the method used during his time, a method Plato rejected. It says:

     all the customary rules of religion and moral conduct imposed on the individual by      social sanctions have their origin in human intelligence and will and always rest on      tacit consent. They are neither laws of nature nor divine enactments, but conventions which man who made them can alter, as laws are changed or repealed by legislative bodies.
It is assumed that, if all these artificial restraints were removed, the natural man would be left only with purely egotistic instincts and desires, which he would indulge in all that Thrasymachus commended as injustice (Plato 41-42).

In response to this description, Plato wrote,

     First, I will state what is commonly held about the nature of justice and its origin; secondly, I shall maintain that it is always practiced with reluctance, not as good in itself, but as a thing one cannot do without; and thirdly, that this reluctance is reasonable, because the life of injustice is much the better life of the two--so people say. That is not what I

More about Platos Republic Essay

Open Document