Republic Book V

Republic Book V - Greeks fight those in their city it is...

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Stephen Meehan Political Theory; Professor Roos Jeremy Rabideau April 20, 2007 Plato’s Republic: Book V The first thing Socrates attempts to do in his reform of war is create a better trained force of soldiers. He states that when the city is at war, the youth will also go to watch and to aid in the process, in the way an apprentice watches a craftsmen for years before he begins his craft. Socrates acknowledges the risk of such a strategy, but states that the youth shall be on “the swiftest and most easily reined (467e)” horses, therefore providing a way for them to escape in danger. He next goes on to say that Greeks should not enslave other Greeks; Glaucon acknowledges that this “is wholly and entirely superior. (469c)” This allows Socrates to address the ravaging of countryside and houses in Greece, stating that the soldiers of the city in speech shall do neither. These ideas of sparing Greeks show Socrates plan for avoiding what he calls faction, ultimately civil war among the Greeks. He states that when Greeks fight barbarians it is called war, but when
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Unformatted text preview: Greeks fight those in their city it is called faction, and then extends this to say that it is faction when Greeks fight any Greek. Socrates says, “faction is a wicked thing and that the members of neither side are lovers of the city. (470d)” All of the provisions Socrates sets up are aimed at stopping a civil war that would ravage Greece, implying Greek cities, like Athens, would have to change their policy as to only go to war with barbarians, and never take arms against a fellow Greek. In addition, if such faction does ever occur they should correct in a “kindly way” and act as “corrects not enemies,” never resorting to “slavery or destruction. (471a)” An aversion of civil war and this plan to avoid it at all costs is the focus of Socrates reform of war. Socrates contends that the way to ensure that this happens is through his third and greatest wave, employing “philosophers as kings.”...
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