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.
Socrates begins by asking t... ... middle of paper ... ...s are a paradigm case of those in control. The essence of ruling is, therefore, to be unjust and that is why a tyrant is a perfect ruler. He always knows what is to his advantage and how to acquire it. Thrasymachus’ view of justice is appealing but therein lies a moral danger and this is refuted by Socrates. Out of the confrontation with Cephalus, Polemarchus, and Thrasymachus, Socrates emerges as a reflective individual searching for the rational foundation of morality and human excellence.
This concept has to be taken a step further because in The Republic, Plato states that philosophers should be the rulers since they are the only ones who hold the form of the good. Plato seems to be saying that it is not enough to know the forms of tables or trees, one must know the greatest form--form of the good--in order to rule. The reasoning is: if you know the good, then you will do the good. Therefore, philosopher rulers are by far the most apt to rule. In The Republic, Plato builds around the idea of Philosopher Rulers.
Dante and Machiavelli were both writers who felt that society and leaders were greatly mislead in their approach of operating the state. Yet even they had very contrasting beliefs in their view of what was ideal for a society to function properly. Machiavelli judges religious or political leaders is based there’s ability to maintain order and unity, regardless of whether one or not need these leaders put there morality and ethics aside for this greater benefit of one’s state. This differs greatly from Dante because his evaluation of the leaders of his time is based solely on how true they stay to moral and ethical virtues. He judges the political.
Plato says, "to become a good guardian, a man must be by nature fast, strong, and a spirited philosopher" (Plato 376e). He believes the people he describes as best suited to rule would be philosophers; this is due to their ability to stop and rationally access a citation with a nonpartisan view. The philosopher guardians would be capable of counter balancing the greed of the citizens of the state. Plato s... ... middle of paper ... ...e “another doctrine repugnant to civil society, is that whatsoever a man does against his conscience, is sin; and it dependeth on the presumption of making himself judge of good and evil” (Hobbes pt. 2 Ch.
Likewise, Plato’s philosopher king also uses the same concept but calls it “Justice” or “Good.” Similarly, to Machiavelli, who needs his Prince to have virtù to lead the people, Plato necessitates that his king use philosophical knowledge and emphasize justice to guide the unenlightened masses towards a just and stable society as well. When Socrates discusses the allegory of the cave, he remarks how when rulers must descend “to the general underground abode” where the masses “reside,” the ruler “will see a thousand times better than [the inhabitants of the cave]…because [the ruler has] seen the truth about things admirable and just and good” (Plato 520c). Plato believes that by seeing beyond the cave, and understanding the situation he exists in, the leader will have the appropriate ability to bring foresight and intelligence when making difficult decisions. While Plato’s and Machiavelli’s means of educating, changing and legitimizing political communities differ, the two philosophers share the same goal of using the benevolent dictators’ attained knowledge to lead the masses and their governments to prosperity and good fortune. It’s
Second, by claiming that all craftsmen only consider the welfare of the recipients of expertise instead of their own interest, Socrates asserts that a ruler, having an expertise of ruling, also only cares about the interest of the ruled, and thus morality is the advantage of the weaker. In this paper, I will show that Thrasymachus only gives an argument about descriptive morality, and Socrates, by using a completely different definition of a ruler, fails to challenge the empirical facts behind the Thrasymachus’ argument. Finally, I will propose a new way that Socrates could have better refuted Thrasymachus. In order to clearly understand Thrasymachus’ initial argument, the basic logical structure of the argument is listed below. (1) The ruling party is the stronger party.
There is no ideal structure to the state; instead politics changes on what they best suit the state. Aristotle’s ideal doesn’t have one complete ruler or system. The ideal is ruling between people in a rotation so that every male gets a chance to rule. Aristotle and Plato both view the state as a basic necessity for humans; however the purpose of the state varies from Aristotle’s to Plato’s ideologies. Within Aristotle’s ideal state “the true purpose of government is to enable its citizen to live the full and happy life,” (“The Man” 32), the best government for Aristotle is one that allows individualism among its citizens, rather than rule in favor of the majority.
There is a diverse amount of themes that could be compared in Republic by Plato and Leviathan by Hobbes. Through these books the two authors each construct a system in which their ideal state can thrive. Both writers agree that government is necessary for the good of the people, however what that government entails drastically differs. Their images of a utopian society are largely based on their perception of human beings. Seeing as how their views on human nature are quite opposite from the other’s, it is understandable that their political theories have many dissimilarities.
Is this belief justified? For instance, we sometimes do things that we know are not good but we do them nonetheless and feel guilty after that. If, as such cases imply, knowledge of goodness is not a sufficient condition for being good, then Plato's dream of a utopia ruled by philosopher-kings could well be a nightmare. The philosophers who are supposed to have attained the "idea of good" (and are thus privileged to hold the citizens together "by persuasion and necessity" [519e]) might turn out to be dictators. What is this idea of good which Socrates is talking about?