Questions On Plato 's Political Philosophy

1918 Words Dec 17th, 2014 8 Pages
Sarah Freihon
Professor Richardson
Philosophy 151A
17 December 2014
Final: Plato’s Political Philosophy
Prompt #1: In The Republic, Plato offers a psychologically and historically informed examination of five types of government -- Aristocracy, Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy, and Tyranny -- in an effort to show how the degeneration of the soul directly corresponds to the degeneration of the State. I will begin, by describing each of the five basic types of government and the types of soul to which they correspond. Then, I will briefly explain what characteristics make each kind of city and soul more unjust than its predecessor.
The first form of government, Aristocracy, is characterized by the harmonious rule of wisdom and reason. The function of the city is to meet the unmet needs of its citizens. The ideal aristocratic state meets these unmet needs by introducing a tripartite division of labor consisting of rulers, guardians, and merchants. The rulers ensure that each class performs their respective functions well by enforcing a rigorous system of education and habituation aimed at cultivating a love of wisdom and the good. The aristocratic state directly corresponds with the soul of the Philosopher King, who is ruled by the rational attitude. Insofar as the philosopher king is ruled by reason, he understands the good and endeavors to apply this understanding to all aspects of social and political life in the polis. However, the Philosopher King is fallible.…
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