Socrates Ideal State Analysis

1911 Words 8 Pages
Throughout the course of human history, people have repeatedly tried to create states in which each citizen could be content with their life, and justice was the deciding factor on all things related to the common good. This quest gave rise to questions of forms of government, economic systems, and control of education. Several societies have formed what they believed to be their ideal state, but all have been found to be inherently flawed. In Plato’s Republic, Plato utilizes a dialogue structure to lay out what he believes to be the ideal state, and describes in detail all the features that he believes must be in place in order to have a just society, ranging from the institution of philosophers as kings and the specialization of labor, to …show more content…
Socrates argues, in an ideal state, a person who is highly educated, has passion for learning of all kinds, and has achieved the understanding of the form of the good should govern; this person is the philosopher king. Since the key to the success of the whole is the wisdom of the rulers who make decisions for the entire city, Socrates holds that the perfect society will occur only when kings become philosophers or philosophers are made kings. The philosopher king has been fully educated, has come to understand the difference between the visible world and the invisible world and between opinion and knowledge. The philosopher king is one whose education has led him up through the divided line until he has attained an understanding of the form of the …show more content…
Socrates describes the institution of equal gender roles in the ideal state and uses reasons to express its potential benefits at a time when Greek society was extremely patriarchal and women had few to no rights. Socrates begins his argument by exposing the inherent good qualities and talents of women, and points out that they have the same qualities as men that are fundamental to being a guardian. Since, then, the gender of a child cannot preselect the ruling class because they are equal in the basic characteristics needed, male and female children must be raised and educated equally and judged according to their ability and success in their education. The greatest benefit that comes from this institution is that it doubles the pool of potential rulers that can be chosen. At a time when women held different roles in society for their biological ability to produce children, Socrates chooses to not define a person by their gender, but rather by their soul and what is operating within it, like reason, appetites, and spirits. This is an incredibly progressive view given the historical context of the work, and it played a major role in the overall development of the ideal state and its legitimacy as an

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