Plato found democracy to be a loathsome entity. What democracy meant in Plato's time does not mean the same thing that democracy means for us moderns in today's era. So first, one must define what a democracy was, in Plato's time frame. In Athens at the time Plato lived, democracy meant that the people were solely responsible for the matters of the state…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Download file to see previous pages
Many people were wondering how the ideal state could come about. It was argued that it could be a democracy, and this 'idealized world,' could, in name exist. Plato doubted this however. Other people caught onto Plato's ideas about the Greek state quickly. They even adopted them for their own philosophies about the world. In fact, "Jews used Plato's myth [about the demiurge in Timaeus] to imagine how the world could have gotten so out of shape when it was God's wisdom that had planned it." (Mack, 1995) Plato was talking not only about democracy, but about the creation of a polis: "Well, then, said I, is not the city you are founding to be a Greek city" (Hamilton, 2005) Plato insisted that Greeks would run a democratic city in a better fashion than barbarians or non-Greeks, and insisted upon this point with some alacrity.
"They will not, being Greeks, ravage Greek territory nor burn habitations, and they will not admit that in any city all the population are their enemies, men, women, and children, but will say that only a few at any time are their foes, those, namely, who are to blame for the quarrel." (Hamilton, 2005)
Plato insisted that Greeks would not harm their own land if they were to fight for it and, would indeed not pillage the land. "And on all these considerations they will not be willing to lay waste the soil, since the majority are their friends, nor to destroy the houses, but will carry the conflict only to the point of compelling the guilty to do justice by the pressure of the suffering of the innocent." (Hamilton, 2005) Plato considered that it would be an injustice towards Greek countrymen if Greeks were to commit their own savage acts of war on their own country in pursuit of democracy, saying, "if either party...
The Plato's View on Democracy
The problems Plato had with democracy were that: there was a fake quality about this notion, and that in fact in Greece not all men were equipped to become faciliators of the state; men needed an oligarchic state because no man was an island capable of helping himself; and that a society in which there is a hierarchy avoids justice, and includes a state which would dissolve into a tyranny because people would not know what would be the right thing to do.
"While Plato and Aristotle founded their schools, the Academy and the Lyceum, before the beginning of the Hellenistic period, the Epicureans and the Stoics first appeared in the early decades of that period." (Koester, 1995) Plato does have a way of describing events, but he does so in a mentally rigorous process. "When Plato describes the universe [and how ordered a democracy should be], "he does so in almost entirely mythological terms; so too in his many discussions of the nature and destiny of the soul (Phaedo, Gorgias, Phaedrus, Republic, Laws)." (Tarnas, 1991)
In that period, not every man was deemed equal in Plato's eyes. "In the middle period dialogues (Phaedo, Symposium, Republic), Plato set out the character of the ideal society and speculated on the nature of true reality as such. Plato had a very narrow view on democracy, and he can’t be blamed for that seeing as how the people of his time were at times unreliable.
...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
(“Plato's View of Democracy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2500 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/philosophy/1519579-platos-view-of-democracy
(Plato'S View of Democracy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2500 Words)
“Plato'S View of Democracy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2500 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/philosophy/1519579-platos-view-of-democracy.
Plato’s criticism of democracy is of the direct and unchecked democracy of Ancient Athens (557a-564a). Plato fears that democracy leads to an excess of freedom, which refers to the carefree state of doing whatever one likes. This kind of conception undermines the authority and purpose of the state, which is to limit the freedom of individuals with respect to what they can and cannot do.
Plato viewed that some had a better capacity for reason than others, and thus, the more rational individuals ought to be at the top of the social hierarchy because they were 'best suited' for it. By contrast, Rawls viewed inequality not as a biologically determined variable, but as one that was the product of unequal distribution.
Social differentiation, stratification of society, the allocation of the aristocracy, as the basis of one-man rule, all these contributed to a gradual and natural development of monarchical power. The leader, despot, tyrant, king, having almost limitless possibilities in their own states, could conduct any policies and run the affairs according to their choice.
Plato argues in many works that there is 'apriori' knowledge, and in the Phaedo he argues in particular that it was 'reincarnation' that is the cause of it. The notion of prior knowledge is further inferred to have come from a time before this life. In other words, it is an argument which goes further than merely defending a tradition philosophical position concerning the nature of ‘rationalism’, but that there is a further inference that this prior knowledge must have come to us at a time before the present existence – hence, immortality.
Immortality can thus be said to be the continued survival of the human soul after death. Throughout time, different views and beliefs have emerged about the concept of death, immortality and the afterlife. The belief of life after death or an afterlife is universal.
On the other hand, the vital importance of Rousseau's concepts for his contemporaries must be acknowledged too. His works often written in the form of silent dialogue with his predecessors such as Plato and Hobbes gave a start to new way of critical thinking and stimulated development of political science.
One area of Plato's philosophy that has often been discussed is his views on politics and on the most suitable and best form of government. This may probably be considered as the most debatable and scandalizing area of his philosophy. In his work, Plato has explicitly stated his objection to democracy as a form of government.
Aristocracy is the chosen ideal form of government by Plato. According to him, it should be ruled by the best, the most wise, intelligent, non-corrupt individuals in the city. This elite group has the ability to have complete control of the state. Plato stratified his society for an ideal state into three classes: Guardians, Auxiliaries and Producers.
According to Soccio (126), this philosopher believed that he could identify and articulate the difference between opinion and genuine knowledge by developing a theory of knowledge. The theory of knowledge developed by Plato states that all knowledge is innate and could be
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
GOT A TRICKY QUESTION? RECEIVE AN ANSWER FROM STUDENTS LIKE YOU!
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Plato's View of Democracy"
with a personal 20% discount.