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The Republic

Uploaded by abstractspace on May 03, 2004

Republic by Plato:

Plato wrote Republic in 360 BC somewhere in Greece. The Latin title is "Res Publica", which I think, when translated, fits much better: "Public Matters" or "The State". It is set in a discussion style format, with Socrates and various other characters talking to each other about multiple subjects. On subject that is discussed throughout the book is justice. Thrasymachus, a character in the story who is normally the antithesis of Socrates/Plato, tries to argue that justice is the interest of the stronger. He supports this by saying that when a ruler does injustice, he profits, but when a lower man does injustice, he has losses. Thrasymachus thinks that the evil tyrannical ruler is happy because he commits so much evil, because he is so unjust, and because he breaks the rules. Plato rejects Thrasymachus by saying, basically, that if the "weak" can stop the tyrannical rulers from doing unjust things, or they can keep someone from becoming tyrannical in the first place, then they really are stronger. You might even say that everyone has the same amount of strength. Socrates' friends (Plato's real life brothers), think that he finished Thrasymachus off too fast and that he should prove that the just man is happy and the unjust man is not. Through analogy and metaphor Plato/Socrates goes on to prove it throughout the rest of the book. Because Socrates knows you cannot actually examine a man's soul, but the effects of it, he goes on to support his beliefs by using the state as a model for the soul of humans. That is to say, he thinks that the average soul is represented in the workings of a state. Plato makes many comparisons here, and forms an ideal state. He decides that humans have three parts that make us "us", and that certain parts are more active in others. These parts are desire, spirit, and reason or logic. Desire is the gut instincts we feel to do things pleasurable. Stoics only followed their desire. The counterpart of desire manifested at a larger scale within an entire state is represented as commoners. Perhaps that is why stoicism was popular. Next, there is the spirit, which strives towards recognition and honor. There is an eastern frame of mind that can be referred to as Imperialism, and it is basically deciding to give your all for honor and your state. That...

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Uploaded by:   abstractspace

Date:   05/03/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (744 words)

Views:   5947

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