Plato 's Republic, An Analogy Essay

2077 Words Dec 12th, 2016 9 Pages
n Plato 's Republic, an analogy is struck between the state of the city and the state of the soul. While, in the latter case, a well balanced, or just, soul is one that is commanded by reason, and in which the spirited and appetitive parts of the soul play subordinate roles, a well balanced, or just, city is one in which the rulers are commanded by reason, the soldiers by spirit, and the laymen by appetites. The difficulty implicit in this state of affairs is that it does not appear, on reflection, that the so-called just city is truly just, since it would make better sense to say that a just city is one in which everyone has a just soul, rather than to anatomize the city in precisely the manner that the soul is, and on that basis call the city just.
Plato believes that the truth of this analogy consists in the uniformity of the structure of the soul with that of the city, insofar as the soul 's constituent parts are of the same likeness as those of the city. Plato believes that this analogy is sound because the division of responsibility throughout the structure of the city, according to which the rulers, being led by reason, command the rest of the population, which is run by emotions and desires, is conducive to the city 's prosperity. It is only natural that many will be born with a propensity to be led by appetites, while others will be born with a propensity to be compelled by spirit, and still others to act from reason; in other words, everyone is not born equal,…

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