The Noble Lie: Plato's Republic Essay

The Noble Lie: Plato's Republic Essay

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The concept of the noble lie begins with Plato in the Republic, where in search of an ideal state he told of a magnificent myth^1.The society that Plato imagined was separated into a three tier class structure- the Rulers, Auxiliaries, and the labor or working class. The Rulers, he said, would be selected from the military elite (called Guardians).The rulers would be those Guardians that showed the most promise, natural skill, and had proven that they cared only about the community’s best interests. The Auxiliaries were the guardians in training, and were subject to years of methodical preparation for rule. The lower class would be comprised of the workers and tradesmen, who being the most governed by their appetites, were best fit for labor. The introduction of the "noble lie" comes near the end of book three (414b-c)* Where Plato writes "we want one single, grand lie," he says, "which will be believed by everybody- including the rulers, ideally, but failing that the rest of the city".* The hypothical myth, or "grand lie" that Plato suggests is one in which, the Gods created the people of the city from the land beneath their feet, and that when the Gods made their spirit the precious metals from the ground got mixed into their souls. As a result some people were born with gold in their souls others with silver, and others with bronze, copper,or more even common metals like iron and brass. It was from this falsehood that the first phylosophical society’s social hierarchy was established. The myth goes as follows: Those the Gods made with gold in the souls were the most governed by reason, and who had a predisposition to contemplation which made them most suitable for rule. Those with silver in their souls where the most governed b...


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...social norms, centuries old philosophies that have contested each other through time will be forgotten, new lies will be told by an ever evolving interior structure of social elite to promote or retain their position, It is our job as free men and women to strive to obtain truth and to insure that there is justice and liberties for all individuals.

Works Cited

<"Noble Lie." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Mar. 2012. Web. 12 Dec. 2012.


<"Twilight of the Idols." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 June 2012. Web. 12
Dec. 2012.>
< “Aristotle. Politics. Ed. Peter L. Phillips Simpson. Chapel hill: UNC Publishing, 1997. >

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