Life - from Politics to Philosophy Plato was born in Athens in c. Until his mid-twenties, Athens was involved in a long and disastrous military conflict with Sparta, known as the Peloponnesian War. But this never happened. Although cherishing the hope of assuming a significant place in his political community, he found himself continually thwarted.
Notes on Political Philosophy I I. The kinds of questions raised in political philosophy: Are we naturally political? Is civil society artificial? What distinguishes legitimate and illegitimate authority? Are political bodies necessarily unjust because they restrict freedom?
What is the role of government? Plato Due to our natural weaknesses, we are naturally inclined to form social relations that enhance our chances at surviving well. However, without a social and political structure that controls greed and envy, social relations cannot be maintained.
According to Plato, the average person lacks the knowledge and mastery of emotions necessary to make informed and rational decisions about governmental policies and laws. People generally pursue their own irrational self-interests. Because they are guided by emotion especially greed and ignorance, they cannot be trusted to act in a politically responsible way.
So asking them to participate in the running of the State as in a democracy is asking for trouble. Instead, only those who are well-trained and committed to doing what is good for the whole community should rule.
That means that those who understand what is in the best interests of the whole and who can control their emotions that is, the philosophers should rule: The task of rulers is to harmonize the various forces at work in a society. Since the vast majority of a society consists of ordinary working people who are primarily interested in improving their own lives instead of being concerned with the greater social goodthey spend most of their time accumulating property and wealth.
This is not all that bad, considering that it is through their efforts that everyone else in society obtains the means to live. The other two classes in society--the rulers and those who enforce the rulers' laws that is, the police or military --must not be tempted to accumulate wealth and think of their own self-interests, so they share all their property; they even share wives and children in communal families.
People in a society should accept their roles either as rulers, enforcers, or producers of goods. To prevent the guardians from envying the workers for all of the fun they experience, and to prevent the workers from envying the power and intelligence of the guardians, it is necessary to persuade everyone of a "noble lie," a myth that justifies why there are class distinctions, why individuals belong to their respective classes, and why that must be the way things are.
Each society must have such a lie to hold it together, to prevent social unrest, and to give its citizens a sense of distinction, meaning, and direction, and thus avoid aimlessness anomie. As long as everyone in society fulfills his or her function, the society prospers.
Ideally, Plato's Republic sounds good; but as is indicated by the failure of almost every utopian scheme of government, human beings simply cannot live in the ways required by his model. Plato's opinion of the intellectual abilities of people in a democracy seems to be excessively low.
Of course people make mistakes and can be swayed by emotion. That is why it is important for democracies to have checks and balances to prevent a dictatorship of the majority.
Thomas Hobbes Because people are naturally motivated by self-interest and a desire for power, they are constantly in a state of war, all against all.
This "state of nature" is that state prior to any rule by law. In the absence of law, there is no industry, security, or freedom from fear; and notions of right and wrong, property, justice and injustice make no sense. Such distinctions exist only in society and are established through law by those in power.Plato Plato’s Just State Chris Wright ponders Plato’s masterplan..
One of the purposes of Plato’s Republic is to put forth a conception of the ‘just state’. Plato describes how such a state would be organized, who would govern it, what sort of education the children would have, and so on.
Start studying Plato's Republic. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Search. state-philosophers. Courage. knowing what is good and evil soul-spirited state-auxilaries.
In a just state, philosophers must rule. distinction between knowledge and opinion/belief. A ruler in Platos' society as described in his dialogue The Republic would be incorruptible, an absolute model of sensible world perfection and justice. If one was to look no further into Platos‘ utopian society you could be forgiven for thinking that the philosopher rulers would be the ultimate answer for political duties and government.
Philosophers will rule not only because they will be best prepared for this, but also because if they do not, the city will no longer be well governed and may fall prey to economic decline, factionalism, and civil war. Are you convinced by his claim that Philosophers should rule.
A good starting point will be to consider what Plato means by these two assumptions. The first assumption states that .
The View That Philosophers Should Rule in the Plato's Model for a State.