Plato's 4 Virtues

Topics: Virtue, Justice, Plato Pages: 4 (1413 words) Published: November 29, 2012
The Four Virtues of the Republic
In the Republic, Plato sets up a framework to help us establish what the four virtues are, and their relationship between them to both the city and the soul. According to Plato, the four virtues are wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice. There are three classes within the city: guardians, auxiliaries, and artisans; and three parts within the soul include intellect, high-spirited, and appetitive. By understanding the different classes of the city or parts of the soul, one will be able to appreciate how the virtues attribute to each one specifically. Book II of the Republic opens with Plato’s two brothers, both who want to know which is the better life to live: the just or the unjust. First, Socrates wants to know, “what justice and injustice are and what power each itself has when it’s by itself in the soul” (Cahn 130). One needs to understand what the soul is before one can talk about virtue because the relationship between the soul and virtue is excellence. This sets up the foundation that the structure of the soul and the city are similar in relation to the four virtues. In order for Socrates to accomplish this, he needs to examine the larger one first, the city, representing the ontological. Then, he is going to examine the smaller one, the soul, representing the epistemological. The establishment of each of these will display how the two mirror off one another, allowing the relationship between the city and the soul to become visible. Plato sets out the depiction that the city comes into being because not everyone is self-sufficient, but rather everyone needs different things in order to survive. Each person in the city is going to have one specific function to perform, which establishes the proper order of a just city contains three different classes: the guardians, the auxiliaries, and the artisans. In having established this ideal city, one can determine that it is completely good, therefore, it should be seen as...
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