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Plato - The Republic - Essay Example

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The question of this essay is that “it makes no difference, then, that Kallipolis does not exist and never will.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why? The answer to that question is yes Kallipolis was not a real city and only really existed in Plato’s mind…
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Plato - The Republic
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Download file to see previous pages as a real philosopher named Plato and was somewhat of a contemporary of Plato (Socrates died when Plato was but twenty-five), the ideas accredited to Socrates are generally thought to be Plato originals and Reeve acknowledges as much (Reeve 2004 P xi). So through his own observations of the Republic Reeve puts forth an interesting argument that Plato felt strongly in the goodness of Kallipolis (in Greek the beautiful or noble city) and was very eager to broadcast his ideas through the argument/debate process written in the Republic.
In the introduction, Reeve points out that Plato’s main theme in Kallipolis is not the bylaws which govern the city. Instead, the speaker talks of the value of a social structure based entirely on virtue, achieved in ways not the least of which is the education of all people (Reeve 2004 P xix). This includes females, which is not a very favourable idea among his conversationalists. So almost from the first Plato realizes this vision of utopia (a term coined by Sir Thomas Moore almost 1,900 years later) would never actually exist.
In the Republic, Book 1 finds Socrates and his companion Glaucon returning from a religious festival only to find themselves literally forced to spend at least the night with a man named Polemarchus, his brothers and his aged father Cephalus. Wiling away the time the men get into a deep philosophical discussion concerning politics and money. As happens with the elderly, Cephalus is happy with the money he has made and expounds that at his age, having virtues (i.e. not cheating or lying) is far more important than the wealth he has accumulated (Reeve 2004 P 5). So the conversation naturally turns to virtue and two subjects brought up are paying one’s debts and helping a friend with his enemy (your enemy is my enemy). Plato rejects these, not on the basis of not being just ideas, but rather that they are mostly hard to define, for each situation is different (in battle, at sea, etc.) and says he ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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