Essay On Plato's Analogy Of The State

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Explain and assess the analogy of the soul and the state.

The analogy of the soul and the state is a key method that Plato used in the Republic. According to Plato, studying the structure of a state is like studying a enlarged version of individual soul, as if they are small and large prints . This essay will outline how the analogy works in the context of the Republic. Restricted to length, the tripartite nature of the soul is assumed valid, despite there were opposite voices from scholars such as N. D. Smith. Instead, the essay argues the analogy is not a strong one as it has flawed consistency throughout the book. It does not show evident answer to the question of justice.
Barker described it as a 'psychological analogy ' . The key element in the analogy is that both a soul and a state should contain three parts, and they function differently. Plato believed that state behaviours are completely a reflection of individual behaviours .
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Whereas in a state, each class contains individuals, who are compounds of all three parts of the soul. This is to say, Plato simplified the concept of the soul when he discussed a state, giving individuals only one outstanding characteristic (rationality/courage/desire). However when he went back to analyse a soul he again unpacked the concept and discuss three compounds independently. Consequently when we study an individual in the context of Plato 's ideal state, the soul and the state are no longer analogous in terms of justice. The contradiction is created as soon as Plato made state supersede individuals.
The underlying text is that justice is not an absolute concept for individuals in from the soul. Although in both circumstances there is a higher good separated from the object , the actual concepts of this 'higher good ' are different for different classes in the

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