October 29, 2013
Politics or Policing?
Themes and Concepts
• The Structure of the Kallipolis
• The Myth of the Metals
• The Common Good
• What is Justice?
• Philosopher Kings
• Ranciere on the Republic
The Structure of the Kallipolis
• Addresses the basic biological needs of the city, as well as the luxurious desires.
• Rigid, hierarchical class divisions
The Myth of the Metals
• Each person is born with a metal that inherently belongs to their natural self; a
part of their essence.
• This preserves the division between social classes so that the city can function as
a harmonious whole.
The Common Good
• The happiness of the whole is supposed to be preferred over the happiness of the
individual. This is very difficult for many people to accept – especially liberalists.
• What does policing do in a modern society – much different than Plato’s
experience with policing. He establishes the grounds for a policing function (says
• When everything does their natural task, is in order, and controlled, justice exists.
• Advocates for gender equality, stating that female philosopher kings in the
Kallipolis should exist. This belief became very controversial very quickly.
The Philosopher King