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plato's political philosophy summary

In the Republic, the character of Socrates outlines an ideal city-state which he calls 'Kallipolis'. [We might also consider some minimal qualifications for voting too, as so many are low information voters.]. While Republic can be read, as a whole, as a work of formal political philosophy, Plato’s specific thoughts concerning the nature of the supposed ideal city (his political philosophy) come out in Books… Much of the conversation in the dialogues does not deal with abstract speculation but with ordinary, everyday matters. Based on ancient sources, most modern scholars believe that he was born in Athens or Aegina between 429 and 423 BC. We have all had the notion driven into our heads that democracy is the highest and best form of political structure. Political philosophy, branch of philosophy that is concerned, at the most abstract level, with the concepts and arguments involved in political opinion. Plato and Aristotle (Introduction to Greek Philosophy) TIP: Despite the useful truths on this page and its videos, the Greeks need to be understood in their own time.Both Plato and Aristotle are idealists compared to empirically minded figures like Hobbes or Hume.So while the idealist / realist dichotomy works as a comparison of the Greeks, it doesn’t hold up as a timeless truth. The philosopher came from one of the wealthiest and most politically active families in Athens. • Plato may have traveled in Italy, Egypt to realize his aristocratic political dream. Plato's political philosophy has thus often been considered totalitarian. The ontological dualism. Plato’s Republic: Key Political Concepts in a Brief Summary . The true captain, the one with the knowledge of navigation is seen as a useless stargazer and never becomes the helmsman. I. It is an identical quality which makes man good and which makes him social. The traditional date of Plato's birth (428/427) is based on a dubious interpretation of Diogenes Laertius, who says, "When [Socrates] was gone, [Plato] joined Cratylus the Heracleitean and Hermogenes, who philoso… Summary of his thought School of Athens (detail: Plato) Rafael - 1509-1510 . They cannot. I. [1], Plato, through the character of Socrates, gives an analogy related to democracy: he asks us to imagine a ship whose owner surpasses all those on the ship in height and strength, but is slightly deaf; his vision is similarly impaired and his knowledge of navigation is just as bad. 2. I want a physician to treat me, not someone who plays one on TV. Given the obvious fact that a President Trump would be catastrophic for our republic, this system is far too dangerous. In his dialogue The Republic, Plato lays out an educational plan to help ensure, as far as possible, that politicians—like physicians, attorneys, nurses, physicists, and philosophy professors—are educated in areas relevant to making important decisions for the society. One is frequently amazed at just how dramatic many of these dialogues are, considering their lofty topics. Surely all of this is insane! The more experienced graduates could also be candidates for appointed offices. Plato's ideal rulers are philosopher-kings. B.C. Your email address will not be published. The dialogue is set on the Greek island of Crete in the 4th century B.C.E. From his forties to his trip to Southern Italy, his work was largely influenced by his teacher. Plato's involvement to the western political thought is immense. Plato finds the origin of the state in the various needs of people.Noboby is self-sufficient.So,to meet the various needs men created the political institution.To Plato,in the beginning there was only one class namely the producing class.Then emerged the guardian … In other important positions, I want someone who understands health care, the economy, the environment, and technology, not someone who only pretends to understand them. His execution for the supporters of democracy led Plato to give up his political career and become an enemy of decisive democracy. Plato describes the nature of justice in this influential work of political philosophy, the Republic. In either case, you would not feel good about the situation. One of the greatest thinkers in the history of philosophy, Plato was born in Athens as the son of a noble family. This raises the vexing issue of the value of democracy in an increasingly complex society. [4], Plato: Political philosophy - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Philosopher king - Encyclopedia Britannica, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plato%27s_political_philosophy&oldid=969581778, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plato was a Greek philosopher known and recognized for having allowed such a considerable philosophical work. It just popped into my mind as a funny word. Subscribe to ReasonandMeaning and receive notifications of new posts by email. I very much like Plato’s idea of the professionally trained politician. An ideal society consists of three main classes of peopleproducers (craftsmen, farmers, artisans, etc. Platos strategy in The Republic is to first explicate the primary notion of societal, or political, justice, and then to derive an analogous concept of individual justice. He had given it a direction, a basis and a vision. Not only are they the most wise, but they are also virtuous and selfless. This setting is crucially linked to the theme of the Laws. Coming from a distinguished family - on his father’s side descending from Codrus, one of the early kings of Athens, and on his mother’s side from Solon, the prominent reformer of the Athenian constitution - he was naturally destined to take an active role in political life… They could start at any level they choose: local, state, or federal. Socrates proposes that the Guardians should mate and reproduce, and that the children will be raised communally rather than by their biological parents. He concludes that democracy risks bringing dictators, tyrants, and demagogues to power. D. A. Uriarte. His relationship with Aristotle was also realized … Plato lists three classes in his ideal society. Plato's political philosophy has been the subject of much criticism. The first was that, however bad democracy was, it was always superior to the alternatives considered viable at the time: monarchy or aristocracy or some combination thereof. They manipulate and trick the owner into giving over the helm. ), auxiliaries (warriors), and guardians (rulers); a society is just when relations between these three classes are right. This is a radical solution, but the best one I know of. By coincidence, CGP Grey just released a video on his YouTube channel summarizing the thesis of a modern day revisiting of “The Prince,” called “The Dictator’s Handbook,” by Alastair Smith. But surely the fact that physicians, nurses, attorneys, physicists, and philosophers endure long periods of training and must pass multiple examinations makes them more likely to be qualified to do their jobs than if they were chosen randomly or by a vote of the ignorant. This second argument was nullified by the two-party system. All the sailors try to convince the owner to give control of the ship over to them, and whoever convinces him becomes the navigator or captain. It was a great drawback on the part of the Sophists. IV. Take a second to support Dr John Messerly on Patreon! Learn More . Jowet rightly pronounced that Plato as father of philosophy, politics and literary idealism. Since running the society is of the utmost importance, Plato believed it imperative that those holding political positions be at least minimally knowledgeable of politics, history, economics, science and more. “Should”, of course, assumes that “the people” aren’t as idiotic as many have shown themselves to be this year. [3], Karl Popper blamed Plato for the rise of totalitarianism in the 20th century, seeing Plato's philosopher kings, with their dreams of 'social engineering' and 'idealism', as leading directly to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin (via Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx respectively). The central problem of political philosophy is how to deploy or limit public power so as to maintain the survival and enhance the quality of human life. Plato thinks the same way about politics. Like Minos, they too wil… Due to a lack of surviving accounts, little is known about Plato's early life and education. In addition, Plato thought that the ruling class should be morally excellent, and in The Republic, he lays out a plan to ensure, as far as humanly possible, that virtuous individuals compose the ruling class. Plato was born in Athens in c. 427 B.C.E. Producers or Workers: The laborers who make the goods and services in the society. But I do know what Mr. Hart means. Plato was a political philosopher first and foremost, in large part, because the birth of philosophy was contingent to morality—and morality to the political because the highest good of the Greek world was the polis. The idea here is that somebody who has gone through this educational process would earn a bipartisan seal of approval that should provide an advantage in electoral campaigns. Since individuals, dominated by their own desires and lusts, would vie for power and become embroiled in political conflict, democracy would tend toward entropy. Plato had also attended courses of philosophy; before meeting Socrates, he first became acquainted with Cratylus (a disciple of Heraclitus, a prominent pre-Socratic Greek philosopher) and the Heraclitean doctrines. As for the argument that leaders don’t have to know anything, just choose good experts to advise them, I say balderdash. Seems relevant to this post. Suppose that Congress created, funded, and selected staff for a “College of American Politics”. Yet the popularity of Mr. Trump provides compelling evidence that “the people” are idiots. He also argues that in a system in which everyone has a right to rule all sorts of selfish people who care nothing for the people but are only motivated by their own personal desires are able to attain power. THE MYTH OF THE CAVERN, COMPENDIUM OF PLATO’S PHILOSOPHY. Most people look to Republic and Laws to begin to see Plato’s political thoughts. He then asks us to imagine the sailors, all of which are arguing about who should have control of the helm while none of them have studied navigation. [Plato] was a disgruntled old man, full of political rancor, fearing and hating the crowd and above all their demagogues; his prejudices had crystallized and he had become an old doctrinaire, unable to see anything but the reflections of his own personality and to hear anything but the echoes of … The Socrates seen in Plato’s dialogues converses with extraordinarily diverse interlocutors, including, inter alia, aristocrats, slaves, soldiers, rhetoricians, playwrights, sophists, pre-Socratic philosophers, and, in the Apology, a large assembly of jurors. You can view samples of our professional work here. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. Required fields are marked *. Really didn’t mean anything by using balderdash. 988 words (4 pages) Essay. If you want to know about the merits of a lawsuit you would consult an attorney, not a pharmacist or plumber. He claims that democracy is a danger due to excessive freedom. Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”, Dickinson, “Because I could not stop for Death “, Noonan: “An Almost Absolute Value in History”, Warren: “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion”, Williams: “The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia”, Steinbock: “The Morality of Killing Human Embryos”, Kass: “Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology & …”, Lauritzen: “Stem Cells, Biotech & Human Rights …”, Mappes: “Sexual Morality and the Concept of Using …”, Dwyer: “Illegal Immigrants, Health Care, & Social …”, Dickinson: “The Brain is wider than the Sky”, Frost, “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”, Summary of Michael Shermer’s, The Science of Good and Evil, A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning, Summary of Bill Joy's, "Why the future doesn't need us,”, Summary of Plato's Theory of Human Nature, Election Recounts and the Backfire Effect. The children's biological parents will never be known to them, so that no Guardian will prefer his or her own offspring over the common good. The Theory of the Ideas and plato’S ontology. To understand why we need intelligent and knowledgeable individuals occupying the most important positions in society, Plato invites us to consider the following: if we want good health care we consult physicians and nurses; if we desire legal advice we consult attorneys; if we want to construct buildings or bridges we consult engineers and architects; etc. The children of the guardian class will be tested, and only the most wise and virtuous will become rulers. 1st Jan 1970 Philosophy Reference this Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a university student. Plato argued that we can’t have a good life without good government, and he also believed that we can’t have good governments without intellectually and morally excellent leaders. You want those who practice to be qualified. Plato’s dialogues are not just great works of philosophy; they are also recognized as great literary works as well. The second argument was that there would always be so many competing factions in a democracy that they would cancel out their worst elements and only the best policies would survive. But the most astounding aspect of Plato (written in the Republic and that has erupted the world) was his “political philosophy”. As these men trace Minos’ steps, they seek to discover what the best political system and laws are. As we say in the suburbs, “tut, tut, indeed.” That is, get a grip, sir. Mr. Hart, if you don’t like “balderdash”, perhaps you could approve of “stultiloquence” or “blatherskite”. Sometimes they are even chosen because they are actors, athletes, or ignorant celebrities. Your email address will not be published. A parliamentary system permits the weirdo candidates to have their parties without disturbing the mainstream. A Summary of Plato’s Political Theory and American Politics 2016. This page was last edited on 26 July 2020, at 09:14. I have corresponded with a few professional philosophers who are always saying things like “I’m meant to reply but alas …” And I always thought that was a bit pompous. He became a student of Socrates and was deeply moved by his views. In Ms. Clinton we have a candidate who closely approximates that ideal — and the fact that she will almost surely win the election does provide some comfort regarding the wisdom of “the people”. Politics, his work on political philosophy major result of these experiences, which sit the legitimacy of this work. Now none of this guarantees that will we get good politicians, nor that society will flourish as a result because even after long periods of training there are incompetent and immoral politicians, physicians and philosophy professors. Until his mid-twenties, Athens was involved in a long and disastrous military conflict with Sparta, known as the Peloponnesian War. He also claims that democracies have leaders without proper skills or morals and that it is quite unlikely that the best equipped to rule will come to power. We will write a custom Essay on Philosophy: Plato’s Republic versus Aristotle’s Politics specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page. Before we start harumphing at you. Philosopher Kings: are the most intelligent, rational, self-controlled, in love with wisdom, and well suited to make decisions for the community, and who promote the interests of the society as a whole. In the Republic, discussion about justice was in the first hierarchy, because Plato thought this justice would lead to “ideal state (utopia)”. Guardians/Soldiers: Those who keep order in the society and protect it from invaders. What does PLATO'S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY mean? 1. Now all of this is relevant to the American political system where those who run for political office often have no relevant knowledge of the issues; often they are ignorant of economics, science, political theory, history, religion, nuclear weapons, and more. Platos Contribution In Political Science Philosophy Essay. In metaphysics Plato envisioned a systematic, rational treatment of the forms and their interrelations, starting with the most fundamental among them (the Good, or the One); in ethics and moral psychology he developed the view that the good life requires not just a certain kind of knowledge (as Socrates had suggested) but also habituation to healthy emotional responses and therefore harmony between the … Each group must perform its appro… Plato’s political philosophy is much discussed and debated. And if you want to understand the science of climate change, you would consult a climate scientist, not a scientifically illiterate politician. Plato was a great philosopher as well as a teacher whose most renowned student, Aristotle, holds differing views. Plato’s political philosophy is the first great theoretical examination of political life and is arguably the core of Plato’s philosophy generally: his most comprehensive and well-known work, the Republic, centers on the basic political question of justice. Like most other ancient philosophers, Plato maintains a virtue-based eudaemonistic conception of ethics. Now I do realize that intellectual excellence is merely a necessary and not a sufficient condition for good governing, but necessary it is. However, I am astonished that you (of all people) have come off your own well laid rails: i.e., “balderdash”?!? By contrast, suppose your physician told you that she knows nothing of medicine, but the free market lets anyone practice so she thought she would give it a go. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Plato's political philosophy has been the subject of much criticism. III. The presidential system we now use is clearly inferior to the parliamentary system used almost everywhere else. As for the moral component, this is a more difficult thing to recognize. Introduction. Liked it? Most of the changes necessary to reform our republic are politically impossible. Contrary to societal values at the time, Socrates suggests that sex should not be a factor in deciding who should rule, so women as well as men can rule. [1], In the Republic, Plato's Socrates raises a number of objections to democracy. Unlike most philosophers, Aristotles political experience is undeniable as he was tutor of Alexander the Great, King of Macedonias. These conversations often ascend to lofty, theoretical questions, but they typically involve commonplace subjects, such as cooking, horse t… His most famous contribution is the theory of Forms known by pure reason, in which Plato presents a solution to the problem of universals known as Platonism (also ambiguously called either Platonic realism or Platonic idealism). That is to say, happiness or well-being (eudaimonia) is the highest aim of moral thought and conduct, and the virtues (aretê : ‘excellence’) … http://www.theaudiopedia.com What is PLATO'S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY? This identification is the first and fundamental principle of Plato’s political philosophy.” Sophists admitted the political value of justice, but they denied its human value, that is, it is a moral goodness. 8. The fatal flaw of the two-party system is illustrated by the current election: a dangerous candidate who gets a plurality of the votes in primaries can end up winning the nomination, and party loyalty then gives him a real shot at winning the election. Although I would prefer that the faculty consist of faculty from accredited universities, perhaps we could make it more palatable by using retired members of Congress for faculty. Suppose your philosophy professor says he had never had a philosophy class, but that he got the job because he knows the dean. The THEORY OF The IDEAS And PLATO’S EPISTEMOLOGY. was an Athenian philosopher who is widely recognized among the most important philosophers of the Western world. How can an ignorant person even identify knowledgeable ones? Reason served the end of the political and was not conceived of as an independent high good in-and-of-itself. Plato’s political theory will be our best focal point. But, as readers of this blog know, the best solution I know of to change our world is to use technology to change the human genome and the brain itself. And like Plato, I believe that persons applying to hold a political office should have to pass some kind of exams to demonstrate knowledge of the relevant issues, in the same way, one must pass medical boards (physicians), or the bar (attorneys), or comprehensive examinations (PhD) in order to practice in those realms. Summary: Plato (ca. To identify moral individuals we might use Plato’s model of observing people for many years to assess their moral virtue, or we may prefer the one used for centuries in ancient China—the Imperial Exams. Vs Plato, Aristotle has nurtured his political power while coasting in attending as Plato and his political theories. I don’t think I’ve ever used it in print before. Three elderly men are walking from Cnossos to the sacred cave and sanctuary of Zeus located on Mount Ida. The sailors don't even know that there is such a thing as the craft of navigation. Learn how your comment data is processed. Plato's political philosophy has thus often been considered totalitarian. Doc, you are spot on, as usual, especially about women saving us, cause the data clearly suggests they will, thank Sagan. Graduates of the college would then go through apprenticeships in low-level positions attached to various politicians. Now if you were trying to determine whether you needed heart surgery you would consult a cardiologist, not take a vote or ask the cashier in the checkout lane. In 387/388 he set up a school called Akademia in Athens. He goes to much effort to carefully set the scene of each dia- logue and to develop the personalities of each of the characters in them. Because the faculty would be selected by Congress, it would not be tainted in the minds of right-wing voters as just another ivory tower of leftist fanatics. II. Plato's political philosophy, my aim is not to give a précis of the dialogues that could be read in their stead, but rather to concentrate on a few of what seem to me to be the most fundamental and persisting issues. Even so, current developments in European parliamentary systems demonstrate that even parliamentary systems are vulnerable to popular frenzies. This justice was referred to everyone had the proper job in accordance to their … Plato was the first organized political theorist and a study of the western philosophy of tradition begins with his masterwork, the Republic. I. To combat corruption, Plato's Socrates suggests that the rulers would live simply and communally. A Summary of Plato’s Political Theory and American Politics 2016 October 24, 2016 Plato, Politics - General Plato argued that we can’t have a good life without good government, and he also believed that we can’t have good governments without intellectually and morally excellent leaders. 427-347 B.C.E.) PLATO (428-348 b.C.) Eventually they could become candidates for office, using their school transcripts and evaluations as evidence of their competence. Yet, Plato said, in a democracy when we choose our political leaders we consult all the people—even the most ignorant among us. Plato’s Republic can be said to center on a single concept which he tries to expand throughout the entirety of the book, namely, the concept of justice. The sensible world, according to Plato is the world of contingent, contrary to the intelligible world, which contains essences or ideas, intelligible forms, models of all things, saving the phenomena and give them meaning. In Books II, III, and IV, Plato identifies political justice as harmony in a structured political body. The true captain represents a philosopher-king, who knows the forms of justice and goodness.[2]. While Plato wrote in dialogue form—in large part because he … And thoughtful men need to thank them in diverse and and profound ways over the next decade or two (though we’ll surely forget, but perhaps they’ll remind us). 301 certified writers online. In Plato's Republic, Socrates is highly critical of democracy and proposes an aristocracy ruled by philosopher-kings. Have you mounted some sort of high-horse? Plato’s arguments in favour of the Theory of the Ideas. These three men are walking the path that Minos (a legendary lawgiver of Crete) and his father followed every nine years to receive the guidance of Zeus. Plato is also considered the founder of Western political philosophy. And what not. Democracy, in Plato’s view, is the worst form of government and would have a tendency toward self-dissolution. Plato was the innovator of the written dialogue and dialectic forms in philosophy. Jefferson was a strong advocate for trusting the people, and he offered two key arguments. In Plato's Republic, Socrates is highly critical of democracy and proposes an aristocracy ruled by philosopher-kings. Good Lord, man, what next? But I can imagine one scheme that might help.

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