“A Truly Just City?” Essay

“A Truly Just City?” Essay

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In the book “The Republic,” by Plato, Socrates constructs a utopia of a pure aristocracy to channel his visions of what he constitutes to be a just city. Socrates’ ideal of justice, is of a virtue that can be developed out of reason and knowledge, and when tuned correctly can be the justified way of governing a city. Fundamentally, the rulers are driven by specific appetites and virtues, that develop a cycle of ruling between the stages of aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy and eventually a tyranny. This structural chain, is significant in demonstrating the center of Plato’s argument, this it is always better to be just than unjust.
Socrates’ main backbone to this fictional city is the importance of education. In order too be truly just, you are to pursue what you are capable of doing. If you seek knowledge for ones self, you can distinct between good and evil. “One's nature is what is called the daimon- one's inner self that seeks to be fulfilled. Naturally the good is desired, because it fulfills one's nature, and Socrates states the pursuit of happiness is the ‘natural aim of life’(Davis).”
Socrates explains that the soul is broken into three elements: appetite, courage, and reason. What you love is where you will be placed in the organization of society. Appetite will breed the reproducers, courage the military, and justice the ‘Philosopher Kings’. Education would be open to all, including females, which was found to be quite radical at this time, for females status was that of a man’s ownership. In Socrates the ‘Philosopher Kings’ would rule, because they are only seeking knowledge, and ruling would not be to obsess power, but to balance good of all men.
Socrates lived during a democratic gove...


... middle of paper ...


...cted. There are many criticisms of Socrates‘ society, mainly on the totalitarian approach of leaving the power into the one group of people. Another criticism of his ideal society was his high standard for mathematics and order, that could also be confused with a communistic approach to society. But all and all, I believe Socrates was a very optimistic person in his conquest to argue the good nature of people, when given the correct tools or education.



Works Cited

-Davis, J. "Socrates: the Search of Justice." Rich East. Web. 13 Apr. 2011. .

-Dunkle, Roger. "Plato's Republic." AbleMedia LLC - A Knowledge Company. Web. 13 Apr. 2011. .

-Goldstein, Yael, Jesse Hawkes, and Lawrence Gaccon. Gladney. The Republic: Plato. New York: Spark Pub., 2002. Print.

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