On Plato’s Republic:
-427 to 347
-386 returned to Athens to form Academy
- Socratic dialogue in 370’s included:
- rejecting conventional wisdom (use soul to judge worthiness of others)
- Rulers need to use the
3 functions of their
(minds): (a) to reason; (b) to
will or desire; (c) to govern or make decisions
- analyze how a city-state should function rationally, justly and see how can apply
to individual souls
- division of labor according to people’s
. Non democratic, prevents
3 classes of citizens
: (a) "craftsmen" (farmers, manufacturers, traders)
"auxiliaries" (soldiers), and "guardians" (rulers).
- “guardians”: nature includes: good breeding, physical strength, bravery,
energetic personality, and love of wisdom.
first principle of just society
: each citizen and class should do the work his/her
nature best suits them for and
in the work of others
- Autonomia: justice can be defined as the ability to
govern one’s own soul
not permitting one part or function to interfere with another: this is how a person
becomes “his/her own master and law
- Democracy is anti-philosophical: The assembly, lawcourt, theater and military
in citizens’ souls and
- The Cave.
For Socrates, Athenians are like
chained deep in a cave,
staring ahead at a wall watching project shadows onto the wall of cut-out shapes
of everyday objects and actions made by puppeteers (government, teachers.
, the prisoners believe, is reality. Only the unique prisoner who
is a philosopher can tear off the blinders, see the puppeteers, and climb out of the
cave to see the
outside. If he returns to the cave to inform the
prisoners, they’ll think he’s insane
Storytelling, poetry and theatre
deceive us with their
emotional turmoil and debased cut-out shapes: they
must be banned
ideal society--only dialectical argument enlightens us to the otherworldly,
spiritual reality of the Forms or Ideas.
Sophocles (441 BC)
1.) Antigone tests the power of nomos because she undermines Creon’s law by
burying her dead brother whom he forbade to be buried. This act represents an act
against nomos and shows that normal citizens have more power than they think.
Creons ethos, commenting that he will never “lose” to a girl, shows that nomos
can sometimes demand too much: Antigone was just showing respect for he dead
family member; this is an act almost anyone would want to do for their family,
but Creon is going to punish her with death.
. Although Antigone’s intentions were
good, she was punished by the law and seen as bad because she didn’t follow the
rules. Ode to the Human Being (22-23 lines 332-375) in Antigone, states that
“Good comes and Bad comes” showing that there is potential for both good and