Plato's Republic Essay

Decent Essays

Plato's Republic

“the having and doing of one’s own and what belongs to one would be agreed to be justice.” (The Republic 434a) In other words the above statement means that justice, according to Plato, is doing only the tasks assigned to them by nature. This is the fundamental notion for his creation of an ideal city. It is both knowing what true justice is and where one belongs in the city that the ideal can be achieved. What this means to politics in the ideal city is that only a certain class of person has the ability to engage in politics, just as only a certain person has the ability to engage in carpentry. Those who engage in politics would be the philosophers because just as the ideal individual searches for …show more content…

A third class, auxiliaries, would be in charge of carrying out what the philosophers, guardians of the city, decided. However, Plato does admit that this system is a hierarchy with the philosophers at the top, but he allows this because they are the only ones who can find universal truths and pass it on to those who cannot see it. To Plato the above is his vision of a justice. Within his idea of justice, Plato also has three other virtues to help categorize those within the city and find justice in the city itself- wisdom, courage, and moderation, all ideals that would sustain the city and nurture it. Wisdom is found in the philosophers, courage in the auxiliaries, and moderation found in all classes.
Philosophers need wisdom and the need to know what justice is. The auxiliaries, say soldiers, need courage to protect the interests of the city. Finally, all classes need to demonstrate moderation so as not to develop injustices through excess luxury, the only luxury that a city can have is philosophizing. These virtues, if found in a city, can also help one to distinguish it as a just city. Therefore, within Plato’s definition of a division of labour making a city just, he also identifies other components of it. But, for the ideal city to be nurtured, all the divisions listed must be

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