Essay about Analysis Of Plato 's ' The Republic '

1245 Words Dec 10th, 2015 null Page
In The Republic, Plato lays out several virtues that reside in his imagined city, Kallipolis, and therefore upon comparison, make up our souls. Wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice each have a certain place where they thrive. These virtues are rigid, applying only to the certain social groups Socrates dictates and therefore strictly relate to certain parts of the soul. Although through most of The Republic, Socrates deals with building his city of speech; this thought exercises exists to answer the fundamental question of the work, namely what is justice? Each virtue adds a piece to the equation of what justice is.

Socrates out rightly describes courage as being the key virtue of the auxiliary, or military, class. These people must possess courage if they are to protect the city against enemies. In the human soul, courage corresponds to spiritedness which must be presided over by reason if a person is to function correctly, just as “small children are full of spirit right from birth, but as for rational calculation, some of them seem to me never to possess it, while the masses do so quite late” (Book 4, 129). However, Socrates claims that courage as the prevailing virtue can lead to problems he expresses in his discussion of timocracy. A city ruled by courage would be one constantly declaring war, Socrates believes, while a person ruled by courage would always be volatile and ready to spring into action. This is why he suggests that the auxiliaries participate in both,…

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