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Plato Republic - Book Report/Review Example

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In his book The Republic, Plato pulls together many of the ideas of his mentor, Socrates, to present his idea of the realities of life and civilization. According to Plato, reality is not the world of material things that we can see in everyday life, but consists of something…
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Plato’s Republic In his book The Republic, Plato pulls together many of the ideas of his mentor, Socrates, to present his idea of the realities of life and civilization. According to Plato, reality is not the world of material things that we can see in everyday life, but consists of something more abstract that can only be understood through intellectual thought. Although Socrates says that the path to the greatest good is in right action, Plato insists that it is instead in right thought (Strathern, 1996, p. 25). When one is full of right thought, the perfect form can be found within the human soul rather than the body and thus can only be harmed by the type of wrong actions outlined by Socrates (Magee, 1998, p. 29). Plato also shares the idea that only the unjust are unhappy, so to be happy (to achieve the greatest good), one must first be just. He defines the term “justice” with an elaborate description of utopia in which society operates on a purely just system of perfection. Through the imaginary city of utopia, Plato provides an example of a just society in which there are no possessions to be jealous over or to compete for, children are removed from their parents soon after birth in order to be given equal upbringing and education and all of them, boys and girls alike, are given equal opportunity to achieve the philosopher-king status based on their own unique talents, abilities and aptitude for higher thought. Plato points out rulers raised in this way would “be above bribery; and their only ambition would be to ensure justice in the state” (Strathern, 1996, p. 38) because they would have no possessions to protect and would have no individual living spaces that would be used to inspire awe among others. Out of this imaginary society, Plato also demonstrates his idea of a three-part soul that is ruled by intellect, action and appetites, all three of which must perform its proper function for the individual to reach his highest state of greatest good.
Works Cited
Magee, B. The Story of Philosophy. New York: DK Publishing, 1998.
Strathern, P. Plato in 90 Minutes. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1996. Read More
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