Essay on The Republic, Plato, By Socrates

1068 Words Oct 31st, 2015 null Page
In The Republic, Plato, through Socrates, argues for the necessity of philosophy and ideals as a means of guiding the practical application of politics - the two are completely dependent upon each other. While human nature and the erotic impulse make these philosophical ideals and theories impossible to attain, striving for the perfect regime results in a more just city than that regime which is focused wholly on the practical and possible. The argument set forth in The Republic relates to an ideal, and the validity of ideals – from the beginning, Socrates clarifies that this is in no way a practical city, nor is their discussion concerned with that which falls in the realm of possible; rather, they are discussing a regime of perfection. While this whole discussion may seem to be useless according to those concerned with practice, Socrates makes it clear that this discussion, while impractical, is worthwhile, “Do you suppose that what we say is any less good on account of our not being able to prove that it is possible to found a city the same as the one in speech?” (472e). Socrates acknowledges that his theory will never be put into practice, nor could it, yet he decides to think about it and discuss it anyway, because there is something worthwhile in the creation of an ideal. There is no dichotomy between the goodness of theory and practice of politics – one is not “less good” because of its inability to be applied, nor is the other “less good” because of its forsaking…

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