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 lust for knowledge, the desire for truth over opinions and things that are tangible. The philosopher is best able to fulfill the four essential virtues of the state and thus must be the king. He evokes the idea of a cave, a parallel to the effects of education on the soul and a metaphor for human perceptions, to describe how humans will act and show distinctions between groups of people. This conception of the ideal state has been heavily criticized by his successors, but when applied according to how Plato perceived the state and human capacity, in theory the idea of the philosopher-king is extremely convincing. According to Socrates the soul is made up of three parts, and each person is governed primarily by a different one. Which aspect of the soul occupies a person affects their access to the four virtues deemed ultimate. The appetitive part of the soul is at the bottom of the divided line; it controls the unnecessary desires and is undesirable to be governed by. The spirited element of the s...
Why do men behave justly? Is it because they fear societal punishment? Are they trembling before notions of divine retribution? Do the stronger elements of society scare the weak into submission in the name of law? Or do men behave justly because it is good for them to do so? Is justice, regardless of its rewards and punishments, a good thing in and of itself? How do we define justice? Plato sets out to answer these questions in the Republic. He wants to define justice, and to define it in such a way as to show that justice is worthwhile in and of itself. He meets these two challenges with a single solution: a definition of justice that appeals to human psychology, rather than to perceived behavior.
Philosophy is a Greek word meaning "love of wisdom." Throughout Plato's Republic, wisdom plays an important role. According to Plato, education is wisdom. In the passage, 518d, Plato discusses the true meaning of education vicariously through Socrates. Some literary mechanisms can be found in the passage and I will show how they fit in the text and how they contribute to the main themes of Plato's Republic.
...ion, it is clear that while Machiavelli and Plato had different holistic views on what virtuous traits were, the foundation of all the traits they considered to be virtuous was knowledge. In Machiavelli’s The Prince, a prince with virtuous traits had to know how to execute a plan, know when to commit vices and appear liberal but truly be frugal. While all these traits were different the prerequisite for a prince to possess or develop these traits was knowledge. Similarly, in Plato’s The Republic, Socrates states that a perfect city’s four virtues would be wisdom, courage, moderation and justice. While these traits are all different from what Machiavelli considered virtuous and are all different from one another, they all require a certain level of knowledge to be put in practice. As a result, it becomes clear that virtue, at its most fundamental pillar is knowledge.
According to Socrates the virtues that they were looking for were wisdom and knowledge, courage, and moderation. For him, “[The] city we described is really wise”. The city they had imagined had wisdom because of its “good council”. He said that wisdom could also be knowledge. The men could counsel well because of what they have learned. They used their knowledge accordingly to create a good city for its people. Socrates admitted that “[There’s] much knowledge of all sorts” but what they were looking for was for the city as a whole and not individual’s knowledge like carpentry. They found it “in those rulers … named perfect guardians” The city would be wise because of the supervising and ruling of the small group of rulers. With their knowledge,
Joseph Conlans “State of War; The Violent Order of Fourteenth Century Japan” is an depth look at Japans emerging warrior class during a time period of constant warfare in Medieval Japan. His work however doesn’t revolve around the re-fabrication and in-depth analysis of battles sieged like many contemporary examinations of wars and battles won and lost. Instead the author vies to navigate the reader on journey into the warrior class’s lives and how they evolved through a statistical analysis of records. This illustrates how warfare changed and transformed with the constant evolving of the Samurai, but it also includes how their actions affected their Political environment as well as the society in which they dwelled from the bottom up. Through his survey of records and documents, Conlan is able to give readers a compelling look into the Warrior class and at times shatters in the process many of the pre-conceived general notions that one may hold about this ancient class of professional warriors. Many of the notions & common misconceptions debunked in this scholarly piece include the idea that the Samurai was a male only fraternity, reserved for those of impeccable candor and loyalty. When truth be known, woman and young men (boys) were also trained in the art of war and thus were as likely to be found on the battle fields as men when times were tough and solider numbers were depleted. Further, another misconception (Generally thought to be caused by the popular and well known; “The Bushido Code: The Eight Virtues of the Samurai”) of the warrior class is that all of these men were truly Samurai which translated to “one who serves” when really, loyalty for the warrior class as Conlan points out only went as far as ones right to ...
Loyalty and honor are of the highest value in the eyes of the samurai. This is a statement that many scholars and young educated persons believe to be true on the basis of assumption. Thomas Conlan challenges this preconceived notion of loyalty and honor in his book State of War by piecing together a much more difficult and situationally based definition of loyalty which differed depending on the samurai and by observing how times of war and hardship truly challenged an individual’s sense of honor.
Musui’s Story is the exciting tale of a low class samurai’s life towards the end of the Tokugawa era. Although one would normally imagine a samurai to be a noble illustrious figure, Musui’s Story portrays the rather ignominious life of an unemployed samurai. Nonetheless, this primary account demonstrates the tenacity of samurai values and privileges present at the end of the Tokugawa shogunate. The social status of samurai had been elevated to such a state that even someone like Musui was easily able to gain influence in everyday affairs with his privileges. Not only that, but he had retained his values as a warrior and still kept great pride for his arts in weaponry.
Republic, perhaps Plato’s most famous work focusing on justice and its values, is also home to Socrates’ unique ideas and the challenges that he faces throughout his dialogues with other philosophers. Nevertheless, justice is not the only topic that Plato examines in his work. In the Republic, a simple discussion of the justice and the different characteristics of cities, escalates into a discussion about the souls of individuals. Socrates starts out by offering an agreement to the fact that since cities are made of individuals, their characteristics can also be found in individuals. From his writings, Plato exemplifies most of Socrates’ arguments towards the development of his own arguments. One very famous theory developed by Plato from the Republic is the Tripartite Theory of the Soul, which explains the argument that the soul a distinction of three different parts. In this famous theory, Plato divides the soul into three parts which he names: logical, appetitive, and spirited. According to Plato, all parts either have some form of desire or are influenced by desire. Socrates’ argument of the distinction is not very strong, consequently, at times fails to persuade his audience. Plato, in exchange, presents a wider enlightenment of the idea. He later attempts to uncover how the different parts of the soul work and their effects on each other.
In the Republic by Plato, Socrates creates an elaborate depiction of the individual as a utopian city. The city is strategically fabricated with character and content and populated by a group of artisans, philosophers and warriors. However, the primary residents of the city are children, who are provided simply with the opportunity to grow and learn in the best possible environment. This city is supposed to be an example by which Socrates can prove what justice is, and it does so soundly.