Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Democracy in Platos the Republic Essay examples -- essays research pa
Democracy in the Republic In Plato's Republic democracy made a controversial issue in a critique by Socrates. The theory of the soul accounts for the controversy as it states that the soul is divided into three parts: the rational, the spirited, and the appetite which are ranked respectively. The idea of the soul's three parts and the soul being ruled by a dominant part is used as the basis for identifying justice and virtue. However, the theory of the soul is not only used to identify justice and virtue, but also used to show that the virtue within a city reflects that of its inhabitants. Socrates evaluates four city constitutions that evolve from aristocracy: timocracy, oligarchy, democracy and tyranny. As a result that these four types of cities exist, four additional types of individuals who inhabit them also exist. Although these city constitutions evolve from aristocracy, Socrates deems aristocracy to be the most efficient, therefore the most just, of the constitutions because the individuals within it are ruled by the rational part of the soul. Timocracy and oligarchy are valued more than democracy by Socrates. Individuals within a timocracy are ruled by the spirited part of the soul and as a result are constantly in search of honor. The spirited part of the soul aides the rational and therefore is valued as the second best part of the soul. The principle of specialization is still apparent among the individuals within the timocratic city but it is not governed as well as an aristocracy. Oligarchy is valued above a democracy although they are both ruled by the appetite of the soul. Those within an oligarchy pursue necessary appetites whereas democratic individuals pursue unnecessary appetites. Rulers are present... ...should either live the life of those that they rule, as an equal, or as a superior allow the necessary input of those whom they rule, to decide the best course of action, as is done in a democracy. Truth be told there is no real justice in Socrates? ?just city?. Servitude of those within his city is crucial to its function. His citizens are, in every aspect, slaves to the functionality of a city that is not truly their own. True justice can not be achieved through slavery and servitude, that which appears to be justice (and all for the sake of appearances) is all that is achieved. Within Socrates? city there is no room for identity, individuality, equality, or freedom, which are the foundations justice was built upon. These foundations are upheld within a proper democracy. In fact, the closest one can experience justice, on a political level, is through democracy.