The Guardians in Plato’s Republic

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By amalihr
Words 3041
Pages 13
Plato defines justice as "each social class doing what it has to do". Plato believed in natural division of individuals where each person is suitable for a specific task. He thought that for a society to succeed, its members have to work together for its general well being. Here, Plato defines three social classes that constitute a society: the guardians that have the wisdom; the auxiliaries that have the courage, and the workers that have the temperance. These three social classes are compared to the components of the soul that are the reason, the spirit, and the desire. Guardians are believed to represent the reason in the soul since they are supposed to use their minds in order to make the right decisions that will promote the well being of the society. Auxiliaries represent the courage of an individual because they are supposed to protect the society from outside dangers. Finally, workers are compared to the desire that pushes individuals to commit or pursue irrational acts. For Plato, a successful just society is one in which the guardians control or rule using reason, the auxiliaries protect the society’s wealth and territory from outside attacks though their courage; while workers will moderate their desires. Therefore, guardians are considered to be as moral experts that have a philosophical thinking, which means that they have the necessary knowledge to ask the right questions about human life and assess what is best for the society as a whole. They are compared to dogs for their intelligence, loyalty, courage and strength; and they are supposed to educate in Plato’s Society in order to establish justice. They need to establish a good educational system that fulfills the needs of every social class according to its function and abilities, through telling myths and making censorship. They also can not have private families or property, and can be from both…...

Similar Documents

Plato's Philosophy

...Gradiene S. Tandoc Mariah Janey Vicente PLATO’S WORKS and WRITINGS Plato wrote extensively and most of his writings survived. His works are in the form of dialogues, where several characters argue a topic by asking questions of each other. Why do you think Plato choose this form of writing (dialogue)? These may be the possible reasons: 1. This form allows Plato to raise various points of view and let the reader decide which is valid. 2. The use of character and conversation allowed Plato to awaken the interest of his readers and therefore to reach a wider audience. 3. The dialogue form allows Plato's evident interest in pedagogical questions (how is it possible to learn? what is the best way to learn? from what sort of person can we learn? what sort of person is in a position to learn?) to be pursued not only in the content of his compositions but also in their form. 4. Plato evidently enjoys creating a sense of puzzlement among his readers, and the dialogue form is uniquely suited to this goal. CHRONOLOGY The exact order in which Plato's dialogues were written is not known, nor is the extent to which some might have been later revised and rewritten. However, there is enough information internal to the dialogues to form a rough chronology. The dialogues are normally grouped into three fairly distinct periods, with a few of them considered transitional works. The generally agreed upon modern ordering is as follows: early, middle, and late......

Words: 880 - Pages: 4

Plato Republic

...Written by Plato, The Republic strives to answer the question ‘What is Justice?’ Unlike other dialogues starring Socrates, The Republic provides an answer for the question being posed, instead of leaving readers puzzled. Using Socrates as a mouth piece, Plato creates a formula to define justice using an ideal society, the soul of an individual in an ideal society, and the greek social virtues. By using a mathematical argument to link the tasks in society, with the parts of the soul, and matching them to social virtues, Plato is able to provide an acceptable definition of justice that embodies both the ideals of a society and of an individual. In order to locate justice, Plato performs a though experiment where he creates an ideal society. In the ideal society everyone has a merit-based assignment. Plato states that in the perfect society there are three categories of people. There are the rulers, the auxiliaries, and the craftsmen. The rulers are in charge of ruling the ideal society, the auxiliaries are in charge of policing the ideal society, and the craftsmen are in charge of creating the basic tools to fulfill society’s needs. In Greece many accept that in an ideal society there are four standard virtues: wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice. Plato argues that since his society is ideal the standard virtues must be within the society. He also argues that if we are able to locate the standard values in society we will be able to locate justice. Plato uses an......

Words: 1441 - Pages: 6

Plato's Cave and the Matrix

...1. Reflect upon Plato’s account of the experience of the prisoner who is freed from his chains in The Republic. Do you agree with Morpheus in the Matrix that most people prefer to remain in the prisons of their minds? Please show evidence that you have carefully read the primary text(s) and viewed the film clip(s). The intent of this paper is to display the scope of the question “what is reality?” in relation to Plato’s arguments in ‘The Republic’ and the theories and inferences put forth in the film ‘The Matrix’. I will discuss the extent to which reality may be more than what appears ‘real’ to us, and I will also address the logic behind the human desire for security through examination my own thought processes. In the Plato’s Cave scenario in The Republic, the prisoner who is freed from his shackles is taken from his own world, the world as he has always known it and lead to enlightenment through the discovery of a new, better world. He is coming from a place where he is happy in his knowledge of his surroundings. When he is shown the world as it really is, he is leaving what he once believed was the only version of reality. He is shown that what he has experienced in the Cave was governed by other forces. As people, we are both enlightened and unenlightened on this matter. What is to say that we are not the prisoner? We are perfectly happy to live in the state in which we find ourselves right now, so thoughts of leaving our secure reality can be daunting. Could we not......

Words: 875 - Pages: 4

The Guardians in Plato's Republic

...Just individuals : In his book ‘The Republic’, Plato searches for justice within the individual and what makes a person ‘just’. By comparing his sense of what is just at a political level and what is just at a psychological level he suggests three virtues of the individual which will make that particular person just. The virtues of wisdom, courage and moderation are common to both a just and the fictional just city of Kallipolis. This artificial city has the pre-determined virtue of being just – he does this in order to understand what justice is for the individual because Plato thinks that ‘a just man won’t differ at all from a just city in respect to the form of justice; rather he’ll be like the city.’ (Republic 435b) In the just city Plato creates three classes: the producers, the guardians and the rulers. Each of these three classes has a certain virtue it has to display to fulfill the ‘just city’ pre-requisite that Plato has placed upon Kallipolis. The rulers are required to exhibit wisdom so that ‘a whole city established according to nature would be wise because of the smallest class and part in it, namely the governing or ruling one. And to this class, belongs a share of the knowledge that alone among all the other kinds of knowledge is to be called wisdom.’ (428e-429a) The wisdom enjoyed by the rulers would be used to ensure that the city has ‘good judgement and [be] really wise.’ (428d) The guardians (soldiers) of Kallipolis would be educated in order to absorb...

Words: 6303 - Pages: 26

Plato's Cave

...ts 4. What is your understanding of Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Cave’? Plato’s Allegory of the Cave illustrates the long and arduous journey that is undertaken on the road to true enlightenment. The influence of Socrates is prevalent throughout the text. Socrates, who was Plato’s mentor, was ‘committed to a life that cultivated wisdom’. (Lecture Notes) The pursuit of Truth (The Allegory of the Cave) is one way in which we become wise. I agree with the Allegory to a certain extent. I do believe that people can have a fear of the unknown and can therefore remain static or ignorant as it were. However, I also believe that many people, and in particular children, are naturally inclined to explore and question and therefore further their knowledge, which is at odds with the prisoner as presented to us in the Cave. The first thing that must be done when discussing Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is to ask ourselves what it represents. Firstly, it’s important to point out that it is told by Plato in the context of education. The Allegory is a metaphor for the journey people must take on the road to true enlightenment or in order to gain true knowledge. He utilises the Allegory as a way to explain his theory of forms and his differing views of illusion and reality. The prisoners are living in a world in which they ‘can only look straight ahead of them and can’t turn their heads’. (Plato, 1955, p.256) In this sense, we see what we are told to see and we believe/accept it without ever......

Words: 833 - Pages: 4

Plato's Unjust Society

...In this essay, I will argue that Plato’s suggestion of diminishing families by having the Guardians take away and raise the children of the city is in fact, unjust. The point that Plato is addressing seems unfair to the citizens that reside in the city. It also seems a little unnecessary. First Aristotle critiques Plato’s argument by stating that when children are raised by the community, they will not be taken care of because “what is common to many is taken least care of.”1 Plato’s reasoning behind the Guardians raising children is that it helps the society remain Just. However, Plato does not realize the downfalls of this decision. Such downfalls include citizens wondering whom their ancestors and relatives are as well as a lost sense of family ties and ownership. These types of relationships can help the city grow more than Plato anticipates. Family relationships also help strengthen relationships with friends. Having a family creates a sense of pride and ownership for those in the family. Without a family to look out for, one’s sense of self-worth diminishes. If the city wants to flourish, they must start at the family level. Plato does not realize this. Therefore, he removes the sense of family and property ownership and as a result, the idea of creating a Utopia is nearly impossible. In an egalitarian society, having a family and fellowship promotes gains in society. Self-worth is promoted when individuals have these bonds and a family to provide for. ......

Words: 693 - Pages: 3

Plato’s Cave

...Simon Blackbum on Plato’s cave Plato was one of the followers of Socrates. The most famous dialogue called “The republic” describes his perfect world that is utopia. He believes that the physical world is illusion and knowledge is directed towards the good thing around the world. “Allegory of the cave ” found in the republic and appearances the theory of forms, that is explains life as composed of two worlds. The physical world is known thorough our experience or sense, and mental world is know though your imagination or mind. According to Plato’s cave theory, the story was written about 2400 years ago. There are groups of prisoner living in a black cave, who cannot move or leave the cave, because they were locked in that cave. Therefore, these people do not have any opportunity to feel the real world and all they see was just the image of the shadow. Accidentally, one of them escaped the chains and had a chance to get out of the cave. He realize that the real world contain lots of unknown things such as sun, moon etc. Finally, he went back to cave and tell the prisoner what was the real world look like, but everyone was unexpected and totally think that people was stupid than before. They are trying to kill that people who leave the cave. By reading this story, I would like to talk about some point of views about this article. I think all human beings should not always believe what they see, because seeing is not always true. For example, prisoners were living in the......

Words: 516 - Pages: 3

Reflection Paper on Plato’s Republic

...Reflection Paper on Plato’s Republic According to Plato, a perfect society is a society that is organized in a superlatively efficient way, a society, which some scholars consider as an aristocratic government (Phylosophypages, 2001). Plato had it that such a society is made up of the rulers, the soldiers, and the people. In this perfect society, Plato claimed that the guardians of the state are supposed to be people with skills to lead. He was however, incredulous by the fact that this may not be achieved in the future of the perfect society. To this fact he gives an ingenious riposte, such societies will be under the guardianship of the offspring of the current guardians. That means what the future society will be under the guardianship of a not skill but the benefits of inheritance. In such a society, dissatisfaction is possibly the way of the day. Plato maintained that for dissatisfaction an understanding of the nature of the human being is the answer. That is, people are naturally different and they have where they fit in the society (Philosophyprofessor). In such a situation, they will be able to rule the society. A perfect society, I believe, is one that is distinctive by leaders who have the interests of the society at hand. That is, a society under the reign of guardians who are in favor of the members of the society and their needs. A society that is simply having rulers who have inherited power is liable to doom. This is because, in most cases, such kinds of......

Words: 767 - Pages: 4

Republic

...The Republic By Plato Translated by Benjamin Jowett ---------------------------------------------------------------------- THE INTRODUCTION The Republic of Plato is the longest of his works with the exception of the Laws, and is certainly the greatest of them. There are nearer approaches to modern metaphysics in the Philebus and in the Sophist; the Politicus or Statesman is more ideal; the form and institutions of the State are more clearly drawn out in the Laws; as works of art, the Symposium and the Protagoras are of higher excellence. But no other Dialogue of Plato has the same largeness of view and the same perfection of style; no other shows an equal knowledge of the world, or contains more of those thoughts which are new as well as old, and not of one age only but of all. Nowhere in Plato is there a deeper irony or a greater wealth of humor or imagery, or more dramatic power. Nor in any other of his writings is the attempt made to interweave life and speculation, or to connect politics with philosophy. The Republic is the centre around which the other Dialogues may be grouped; here philosophy reaches the highest point to which ancient thinkers ever attained. Plato among the Greeks, like Bacon among the moderns, was the first who conceived a method of knowledge, although neither of them always distinguished the bare outline or form from the substance of truth; and both of them had to be content with an abstraction of science which was not......

Words: 125068 - Pages: 501

Plato's Republic: Metals Metaphor

...Plato’s Republic: Metals Metaphor Interpretation In Plato’s The Republic, there are many arguments to what may build a perfect city. Plato offers the reader an in-depth presentation of Socrates’ personal thoughts and philosophical ideas. One concept I thoroughly examined was the Metals Metaphor. This metaphor states, citizens are born with innate metals within them whether it be gold, silver, or iron/bronze. This would be utilized to ensure people would understand which of the classes they are placed within the city. The Metals Metaphor has been interpreted in many different ways. Some believe this would be told to the city to ensure the auxiliaries, or working class, would be pleased with their place in society, while other have interpreted it was a means to maintain the rulers’ happiness considering they lived a life without wealth and possessions. I do not believe this tale would be told to preserve the rulers’ contentment. I disagree with this specific interpretation for a few different reasons. First and foremost, Socrates speaks on how highly valued education is. Socrates presents “The Allegory of the Cave”, and how a leader would need to metaphorically “be dragged out of a cave as far as possible” to rule efficiently. I believe a ruler, with all of the education provided, would understand the importance of their leadership and would place that above possessions and/or wealth. They are born into thinking a “philosopher-king” position is the outmost highest......

Words: 505 - Pages: 3

The Republic

...is one of his best qualifications for ruling. The only good ruler rules out of a sense of duty and obligation, rather than out of a desire for power and personal gain. The philosopher is the only type of person who could ever be in this position, because only he has subordinated lower drives toward honor and wealth to reason and the desire for truth. Summary: Book VII, 521e–end Now we know what distinguishes the philosopher-king from everyone else: he knows the Form of the Good, and so he has an understanding of everything. But it is left for Socrates to tell us how to produce this sort of man. He must explain what sort of supplementary education is added to the general education we read about in Books II and III, in order to make the guardians turn their souls toward ultimate truth and seek out the Form of the Good. The answer, it turns out, is simple: they must study mathematics and philosophical dialectic. These are the two subjects that draw the soul from the realm of becoming—the visible realm—to the realm of what is—the intelligible realm. Of these two, mathematics is the preparation and dialectic the ultimate form of study. Dialectic leaves behind sense perceptions and uses only pure abstract reasoning to reach the Good itself. Dialectic eventually does away with hypotheses and proceeds to the first principle, which illuminates all knowledge. Though he is enamored of dialectic, Socrates recognizes that there is a great danger in it. Dialectic should never be taught......

Words: 3699 - Pages: 15

Plato's Republic

...warriors.. or "guardians" Members of this class must be gentle.. and tough. Guardians should be spirited, etc..Nature isnt sufficient to produce guardians... needs education. - You tell stories to guardians to taech them.. but under two conditions... - 1. gods must always represented as good and responsible for good in teh world.. if not.. children will beleive that it is permissible to be bad.. (role model) - 2. Gods cannot be represented as sorcerrers who change themselves into different forms or liars.. children would grow up without trutha nd honesty Book III Socrates - most important function of these stories is to immunize young guardians against fear of death. Heroes in these stories must never fear death or perferring slavery to death. Heroes shoul never engage in violent emotions, like gods, they must be portrayed as honest. - Should these stories be dramatic or lyrical? - All characteristics besides those the guardians should emulate are excluded. - Socrates talks about correct love between boy and man - it is vital to boy's education. - do not allow sexual intercourse. - physical training of teh guardians - resemble training for war, and not athletic engagement. Balance music and poetry with training... so they wont be savage. - Medical traininging should be provided in just city - only cure curable ailments - and let teh chornoic ills die, as well as the incurable mental diseases. Third and final class : Rulers - the best of the guardians are......

Words: 3760 - Pages: 16

Plato's Cave

...Explain the analogy of the cave in Plato’s republic (25 marks) Plato, 428-347 B.C., was an Athenian philosopher who lived in Ancient Greece. In 407 B.C. he became a pupil and friend of Socrates. After living for a time at the Syracuse court, Plato founded (c.387 B.C.) near Athens the most influential school of the ancient world, the Academy, where he taught until his death. The “Republic” is one of Plato’s greatest books that he has written. Plato’s presents one of the most famous analogies in philosophy: the cave. This analogy illustrates the effects of true knowledge. True knowledge moves the philosopher through life without any distractions, which in due course brings him to the Form of the Good. He tells the Allegory of the Cave as a conversation between his teacher Socrates who inspired many of Plato's philosophical theories and Glaucon. In the dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon, Socrates asks Glaucon to imagine a cave, in which prisoners have been kept since their childhood, and each of them is held where they are all chained so that their legs and necks are unable to turn or allow them to move. This leaves them in a predicament where they’re forced to look at a wall in front of them. Behind the prisoners is a fire and between the fire and the prisoners is a raised walkway (bridge), on which people can walk. These people are shadow play, and they are carrying objects, in the shape of human and animal figures, as well as everyday items. The prisoners could only......

Words: 1315 - Pages: 6

Plato's Republic

...Analyzing Locke’s Empirical View Student’s Name Institutional Affiliation Analyzing Locke’s Empirical View Introduction In his theory, Locke tries to explain the source and the limits of human knowledge. According to Locke, knowledge is gained from sensation and reflection, it is very different from opinion and belief, and its certainty can only be achieved through intuition, sensation and reason. His essay on human understanding is divided into four books. Book I explain that there are no innate ideas in the mind of a person. Book two explains the origin of all ideas and states that they originate from sensation and reflection (Locke 1948). Book III explains how words signify idea and that they are essential for communication. Finally, Book IV describes how the ideas are the source of human knowledge, determines the nature, extent, and certainty of human knowledge. Locke argues that it is not possible to claim we have knowledge that we are unaware (Locke 1948). My View On Locke’s Argument I do not agree with Locke’s position that we do not possess knowledge that we are unaware. Foremost, in his argument, Locke failed to differentiate between psychological and justificatory thesis. When he claims that when we are born the mind is a blank tablet which is filled with ideas through experience, Locke failed to distinguish the doctrine of psychology and the epistemological thesis that explains experience is the test for truth (Cummins 1975). His conclusion of a plain...

Words: 735 - Pages: 3

The Republic

...The Republic Plato (Translator: Benjamin Jowett) Published: -380 Categorie(s): Non-Fiction, Human Science, Philosophy Source: Gutenberg.org 1 About Plato: Plato (Greek: Plátōn, "wide, broad-shouldered") (428/427 BC – 348/347 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher, the second of the great trio of ancient Greeks –Socrates, Plato, originally named Aristocles, and Aristotle– who between them laid the philosophical foundations of Western culture. Plato was also a mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the western world. Plato is widely believed to have been a student of Socrates and to have been deeply influenced by his teacher's unjust death. Plato's brilliance as a writer and thinker can be witnessed by reading his Socratic dialogues. Some of the dialogues, letters, and other works that are ascribed to him are considered spurious. Plato is thought to have lectured at the Academy, although the pedagogical function of his dialogues, if any, is not known with certainty. They have historically been used to teach philosophy, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, and other subjects about which he wrote. Source: Wikipedia Also • • • • • • • • • • available on Feedbooks for Plato: The Complete Plato (-347) Apology (-400) Symposium (-400) Charmides (-400) Protagoras (-400) Statesman (-400) Ion (-400) Meno (-400) Crito (-400) Laches (-400) Note: This......

Words: 218302 - Pages: 874