Plato – Republic
· Was the student of Socrates. The founder of the academy (the name comes from academia, a sanctuary of the goddess Athena), a school for philosophical
education and training of statesmen. Saw themselves as political educators and/or mentors
· Wrote many dialogues (26), in which Socrates was the main character. The dialogues are characterized by the use of the Socratic method, the so called
mid-wifing (elenchus). Socrates would midwife ideas, by helping others bring out thoughts by himself.
· The republic was written around 375BC, in the early years of the Academy
· The main topic of this book is the concept of justice in the state
· In previoius chapters plato stated that we need structure of the state (with the division of classes) for our survival and prosperity
· Now he’ll try to prove that harmony and balance are the premises for achieving justice.
· Three main ideas in this bok is
o Idea of unity
o Harmony and balance
· Unity is more important than individuality
· Unity is a wholeness, a composition (of ideas, people, whatever the object is) to achieve unity there needs to be meaning and have a purpose behind it, or
theres no point
· The polis (state) is a unity (but not uniformity) of individuals. Why? Remain your individuality, everyone needs to pitch in their talent or profession.
· Harmony and balance – the principles of the universe
· Excessiveness of anything, wealth or poverty leads to unhappiness and ultimately, to evil. Finding the ultimate state of existence. If the state has invested in
you to grow, then you shouldn’t be held back, but you cant give up halfway through; that's as good as a death sentence for Plato
· Three classes
o Auxiliary (military) – under the guardians but facilitating what they want to do
· The class of the guardian is the most important class
o The guardians are in love with the truth, beauty, justice ,ect all of the good things. They are the guardians of the good
o Guardians are important because they're not just knowledgeable but they're actually wise. You know exactly what to say, who to say it to, and how much of it
to share without withholding it. You have to be selfless, put the interest of other before yourself and know how the world works.
· Auxiliary class: aids the guardians, know enough to help them
· Workers have very specific role