Unformatted text preview: 1/25/2011 PLATO
Some General Lessons We Can Draw from the Republic • 1. Theory of the proper role of government: A legitimate government is one that serves for the betterment of the society, not of themselves.
• 2. Theory of why societies are formed: Because people are not self‐sufficient and need to live together in order to provide each other the goods and services they need. 1 1/25/2011 • 3. Theory of what makes a good political system: One in which the wise control government, and everyone else understands their place in the society
• 4. Organic theory of the state: We are all parts of the state, like the organs in a body—
the well‐being of the state is more important than the happiness of the individuals within it. • 5. Theory of Justice: Justice in a society consists of everyone playing their proper role and respecting the authority of the wise; justice in the individual consists of the different parts of the soul playing their proper roles, and respecting the authority of the rational part.
So: Justice is an internal harmony, which will cause a society to be well‐balanced and to generally do what is right. And doing what is right is innately good because it makes you feel contented. 2 1/25/2011 • 6. The theory of forms: The physical world is not the real world; the real world is the world of “forms” or “ideas.”
• 7. Stages of Cognition: the highest form of cognition is the study of ideas.
• 8. The proper system of government: Aristocracy. All other systems reflect imbalances and hostility among different classes, leading, ultimately, to resort to a tyrant. 3 ...
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