Plato. Making sense of politics.
I. The Just Soul
a. Different parts of the soul and looking at it from the inside out
b. The spirited part of ourselves has to have an understanding of what it
stands for and the idea to have others recognize those aspects of ourselves
c. That aspects of ourselves that is attached to the material world
d. Doe it mean that it lacks reason? No even when we have appetite we have
logic—even in terms of our lesser goals, things that may nit gave a strong
attachments of ourselves, we think about how our desires are to be met
e. Why does this way of perceiving the soul help with the text? The classes
in the city does not have to rep. one aspect of the osul, but rather, these
classes represent ppl who’s goals and orientations that are focused on a set
f. We can reconceptulize the city as 3 different ppl who represent different
parts of life
g. The first provision is between appetite and reason
h. Our choices, in satisfying our appetite, are cut off by considerations of a
2nd and higher order
i. (439E) how is that deemed as a part of the soul?
j. Leonties –had a desire to look but a feeling that it wasn’t right to do so
k. According to Plato, the spirit must be considered as a 3rd part of the soul
l. (book4) 4 virtues of the soul are (wisdom, logic, moderation and
justice [the highest honor]):
m. Socrates declares the just city complete. Since this city has been created to
be the best city possible, we can be sure that it has all the virtues. In order
to define these virtues, all we need to do is look into our city and identify
them. So we will now look for each of the four virtues: wisdom, courage,
moderation, and justice.
n. the root to a healthy soul is not repression but 1st Education
o. there’s specific training that enable you to receive logic
p. in a just soul, reason rules, appetite is tamed through reason
q. 2nd Courage: spirit allied with reason (429 C)—to have an understanding
of what the threats are and act accordingly
r. 3rd Moderation: (432A)—an agreement among all the parts, that reason
s. 443B: Justice does not lie in a man’s external actions (the harmony of the
soul with the above parts that work together)
t. Inner harmony ruled by reason: (virtue ethics)
II. The Dual Dynamic- a city built and a city questioned
• The city is constructed after the model of the soul
• The just state, a viable model?
• Building and undermining the city
Since this city has been created to be the best city possible, we can be sure that it has all the virtues. In order to define these virtues, all we need to do is look into our city and identify them. On the one hand, the many details of the just city lead us to believe that plato is providing more than a mere model of the just soul. On the other hand, plato offers hints that the city is impossible, a chimera. There are various ways we could try to make sense of the tension. I argue that the tension is meant to be productive, playing on a human sense of honor and challenge to enhance our commitment to a rigorous idea of truth and to engage our imaginations. The same tension between a promise of justice and its apparent betrayal plays out in his treatment of women in the text.