Plato the Philosopher Argumentative Essay by Metallicat

Plato the Philosopher
An analysis of the text of "The Republic" and the evidence in it that Plato was more a philosopher than a politician.
# 99703 | 1,451 words | 0 sources | 2007 | US
Published on Nov 24, 2007 in Philosophy (Ancient Greek) , English (Analysis)


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Description:

This essay argues that by carefully deconstructing Plato's language in "The Republic" it can be proven that he was more concerned with philosophical questions than political answers. The paper describes Plato's lack of understanding and passion for politics as his greatest weakness. It provides examples from the text of "The Republic" to support the author's view.

From the Paper:

"Plato's tendency to move more towards philosophy and ignore the practicalities of politics can also be found in his eventual definition of justice. He actually provides two, "wisdom and virtue"(Republic, 351b, p. 49) and simply "doing one's own business"(Republic, 433b, p. 74). This definition works well for a philosopher who holds most interest in knowledge and logic, but it does not lend itself well to the world of politics as it is vague and open to interpretation. Thrasymachus' definition is closer to that of a political scientist. He defines justice as "the interest of the stronger".(Republic, 339a, p. 40) In our own justice system the ultimate questions before the Supreme Court often come back to this question in that they ask, "What is most in the interest of the state?" The state can easily be read as, "the stronger party" because it represents the government itself. Even in their defenses of each definition Thrasymachus can be seen as the political thinker and Socrates as the philosopher. Thrasymachus tries to interupt Socrates logical flow by presenting the case of the shepherd who protects his sheep not for their own good, but to fatten them for feasting."

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