Book IV Justice and the Tripartite Psyche or Soul.
Justice in the city is the universal practice of the theory of specialization.
There are many virtues in the individual: Wisdom (Having knowledge and good judgment, being able to apply
this to anything), Courage (How one acts in the face of danger or fear. Determined enough to stay courageous.
Has absolute commitment and tenacity. Courage is not the virtue of standing in front of a tank and say it will
not hurt me, that is stupidity. Courage is the ability to apply what you have been taught: what is to be feared
and what is not to be feared. (Virtue of the spirit)), Self-control/temperance (Someone who has their spirit
and appetite conforming to the right moderate reaction. To be self-disciplined is somehow to order and control
the pleasures and desires. (reason distinguishes between the appetite for necessary desires, and
unnecessary desires) The spirit has to be regulated by reason.), Justice (Each part of the soul doing its part
excellently. (Reason, spirit and appetite)).
The soul is the collection of active principles within a human being.
There are 3 parts that make up the soul, which are characterized by different desires- truth, honor and
appetite. The desire of appetite is most commonly seen in the producing class of the city, honor loving and
spirited souls are most common among the auxiliaries, and the wisdom loving, reason part of the soul is found
in the guardians. (The guardians desire reason and truth). EX. An appetitive person craves a drink, the rational
person reasons that they should drink. Thus, reason always opposes appetite.
The balance of the three parts of the soul in a just individual parallels the just governing of a city. The just
person’s soul is ruled by the rational part of their soul, with the spirited (honor loving) part acting as an aid to
the reasoning part by keeping the appetitive section in its place. Just like in the kallipolis, the knowledgeable
guardians rule the city with the help of auxiliaries watching over the producers.
The knowledge loving, or reasoning part of an individual’s soul rules the just person, making the complete soul
(all three parts of it) pursue the desires of the reason, including the gain of knowledge and wisdom. Whichever
segment of the soul presides over the others dictates the main desires for that person. In other words, the
complete soul wants what the dominant desire wants.
Excellent functioning reason is wisdom. Therefore, a just person is a wise person. Spirit and appetite are
regulated by reason.
A Plato makes no comment or justification as to why there are only 3 parts that make
up the soul or psyche.
Justice then, is the result of a particular structuring of the soul. The structuring of the soul that produces a just
person guarantees that lust, greed and desire for honor will not affect the just person as greatly, because his
strong love for truth and knowledge weakens the submissive parts of the soul.
Justice is seen as the overall health of the soul, which must be correctly proportionate (reason ruling the soul).
An unjust soul in an unhealthy soul, therefore, it is preferable to have a healthy soul, because health is
The desire or notion of reason can oppose the desire of spirit, with such examples being young kids, or those
not educated to understand reason.
There are also 3 psychological forces within an individual. The forces of the appetite aim at obtaining
physicalities, the force whose aim is for non material, but worldly entities (like honor and victory) is that of the
spirit, and the force that strives for the insensible realm of the forms is the rational, reasoning aspect of the soul.
The soul of the philosopher seeks wisdom and truth, which means that the rational part of his soul rules,
which makes the philosophers soul just by default.
Plato’s theory of the forms
There is a higher form for everything that exists in the world. Each material thing is simply a representation of
the real thing, which is the form. According to Plato, most people cannot see the forms; they only see their
representation or their shadows, as in the simile of the cave. Only those who love knowledge and contemplate
on the reality of things will achieve understanding of the forms. Philosophers, who by definition are
knowledge lovers, are the only beings who can reach true knowledge.
Platos metaphysical theory of the forms states that there is a realm (world of forms) that is more real than the
world we live in. We live in the visual realm/ realm of sensible particulars (what we see and can sense) forms
reside in the intelligible realm. What we see are called sensible particulars and can only be assimilated with
opinion. Forms (otherwise known as absolute entities) are the reason for why we see things. (Apples are red
because they participate in the form of red and of apple).
The appearances of things are changeable, but the real essences of things are unchangeable
Forms are the only things that we can be absolutely sure exist. Only forms can be absolute knowledge.
Philosophers should be the rulers since they are the only ones who hold the form of the good, the highest and
most important form. Only after a philosopher grasps the form of the good can he become a philosopher king.
The Form of the Good is the ultimate object of knowledge; it is only once one grasps the Form of the Good
that they can reach the highest grade of cognitive activity, or understanding.
The Form of the Good “only explains the existence of goodness wherever goodness occurs”. The Form of the
Good is the principle of reality, since goodness and reality are interrelated, and is fundamental to any attempt
to making the world intelligible.
Without the Good other Forms would not be known.
Book VIII Types of desires and pleasures
Only philosophers have access to forms because they can apprehend them and therefore have the true
knowledge as opposed to the lovers of sights and sounds who only recognize things that inhabit forms. Lovers