PHILO-120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Noble Lie, Luxurious, Heredity
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Intro to Philosophy
The Ideal State; Justice in the City and the Soul
● Notes on Construction of Ideal City
● Nature of the Guardians
● Education of the Guardians
● Noble Lie
● Justice in the City and in the Individual
● Founding Principle of Plato’s Utopia
○ “We aren’t al born alike, but each one of us differs somewhat in nature from the
others, one being suited to one task, another to another” (370a8-b1)
○ “.. more plentiful and better-quality goods are more easily produced if each
person does one thing for which he is naturally suited” (370c3-5)
○ “Surely we agreed, if you remember, that it’s impossible for a single person to
practice many crafts or professions well” (374a5-7)
○ Basic ideal of Plato’s Ideal City:
■ Given the nature of each individual, that individual is suited to do one
■ Each citizen should do the work for which s/he is naturally suited.
● Ex: shopkeeper, gardener, lawmaker
■ Individuals have particular natures or essence to fit one particular task or
■ Each individual will do he or she will naturally will do.
■ Perhaps, Plato might be thinking too narrowly of humans’ capacity.
● Crucial to his argument for Justice in the individual.
■ Dogs are philosophical animals, according to Plato, because they respond
differently to people that they know and people that they don’t know
● The Ideal City
○ “Luxurious” City
○ Guardians (soldiers) needed to protect city
■ What makes someone suited to become an guardian?
○ Nature of Guardians
■ Nature of Guardians similar to that of dogs
■ “.. gentle as can be to those he’s used to and knows, but the opposite to
those he doesn’t know” (375e1-2)
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