POLS 2000 Lecture Notes October 3, 2013
Lecture 5: Republic Continued
• Find out about “The Principle of Specialization”.
• Thrasymachus (justice▯self interest).
• Kallipos (justice▯matter of human convention).
• The idea that those who blame injustice (as understood by Glaucon), if they do so
because they are too weak to assume the role of a bully themselves.
• Would say that a real man does not fear the consequences of injustice.
• His concept of justice centers on selfcontrol.
• At 367a, he says that each individual would be his own God.
• We should not care what others think about us.
• Instead, we should try to develop virtues like autonomy, etc.
• A “City in Speech” is the utopia, or blueprint they are developing.
• The fact that it is “in speech” does not denote actuality.
• Socrates says that you can look at justice in the individual or justice in the city.
• He begins “in the city” because there would be a greater amount of justice in the
• Socrates presupposes an analogy between justice in the city and justice in the soul
(individual) (VERY IMP!!!).
• The city is essentially analogous to the soul.
• He is saying that the education that we have within a particular polis produces
certain character traits.
• What you want is a “City in Speech” that will produce the desired effect; a just
• By suggesting a “city in Speech” or rule by the philosopher kings, it can be
inferred that Plato is undemocratic.
• The rule by the philosopher kings is not a democracy and Socrates is suggesting
that this would be more just; thus, a just society is not necessarily democratic.
• The interesting thing about The Republic is that they are not necessarily rational.
• Socrates says that he wants to reform poetry.
• Homeric poetry should be banned because it will not educate people.
• Education begins with “the auxiliaries”.
• You want to breed courageous, “warlike” souls.
• You want them to be fierce but not too fierce.
• The Gods as depicted in Homer are not virtuous.
• He proposes to reform music because you want a particular kind of music that is
plain and simple. 3
POLS 2000 Lecture Notes October 3, 2013
• Adaemantus says that a city should be simple and provide everything that people
need (food, clothing, etc).
• A city based on necessities.
• Glaucon doesn’t like the idea of a city based on necessities.
• Calls it a “city of pigs”.
• Asks would we really be content to eat from a common trough?
• Is there nothing more to politics than to provide the basic necessities?
• Would we want to glorify a nation as a “great society” because it is successful at
providing the basics?
• Asks where are the luxuries.
• Socrates calls it a “feverish city”.
• Spirited Soul:
• The part of you that craves prestige, esteem.
• Socrates would want to tame this part of the soul through the “just city”.
• Education of the Auxiliaries:
• The censorship that Socrates advocates is partly because poets rely on imitation.
• Education was based on reciting information and it should go beyond this.
• The special skills needed by each person will not develop with resuscitation.
• This will negatively effect the auxiliaries.
• Plato reasoned that if you imitate someone you will develop the character traits
that are present in what you are imitating.
• If a play is emotional, the person imitating it will become emotional (bad for
• Plato says that these imitations should be forbidden to avoid the undesirable
• Education in the arts prepares the soul for what Plato calls “correct opinions” or
“correct moral opinions”.
• Only the philosopher kings will possess knowledge. 4
• The education of the auxiliarties will give rise to the knowledge that only the
philosopher kings posess.
• The education of the auxiliaries seeks to reconcile their “gentle side” and their
• They should only be allowed to eat boiled roast.
• You do not want to entice them with extravagant food because they will develop a
love for savory dishes.
• You want the food to be as bland as possible so they will eat and be ready to fight.
• The question of education and reform is introduced within a certain context.
• He is introducing them to Glaucon and Adaemantus (two people who can be
• Plato’s “Noble Lie”:
• This means that it is important/necessary to deceive people not for nefarious
reasons, but for their own good.
• The telling of lies is admitted as a question of military necessity.
• Divides lies into “good lies” and “bad lies”.