The Republic by Plato

1202 Words5 Pages
Wisdom, courage, moderation and justice are four essential virtues the ideal state must be built upon, as explained by Socrates in Plato’s Republic. Throughout the eight books of Socratic dialogue the ideal state and ideas of justice are debated, on both individual and state levels. The guidelines for a perfect state and how it will come about are thoroughly described. Socrates covers every aspect of political life and how it should work stating that “until power and philosophy entirely coincide… cities will have no rest form evils” . In Plato’s Republic Socrates emphasizes the superiority of the philosopher and their abilities to rule as kings above others. He believes that they are best suited to rule as a result of their pure souls and…show more content…
The spirited part of the soul is a level above the appetitive; it is the middle part of the soul and is controlled by the love of honor. It is often the auxiliaries who are able to move past the appetitive part but become stuck by the spirited middle. They are able to escape the cave of darkness and see that what has been hidden from them, but prefer the comfort of the cave to the light. They do not possess the desire to comprehend the truths of the universe. These men and women would not make suitable rulers for they are distracted by comfort and honor and are not ruled by reason. The desire for honor has repeatedly proved to be a negative thing in terms of power, as seen clearly in the Melian Dialogue. Honor distracts those who desire it from the true and important things in the world. “Consider if there had been any honors, praises, or prizes among them for the one who was sharpest at identifying the shadows as they passed by and who remembered which usually came earlier, which later, and which simultaneously and who could thus best divine the future” , they prefer the comfort and superiority held in the cave. Once they are exposed to the light they may be tempted to return to the cave where they are the brightest and things are easy. Due to the negative impact honor has on rulers, blurring their vision of truth and priority they would not make good rulers. They, unlike the clear minded philosophers, are unable to see

More about The Republic by Plato

Get Access