Plato's Ideal City

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The Ideal City
In Plato’s book “Republic” he describes what he thinks would be an ideal city, for this city to be ideal it would have to be just. In his just city there are three classes of people; gold, silver, and bronze/iron; known as the National Division of Labor. The guardians of the city are placed in the gold category, the auxiliaries in the silver, and the farmers and craftsmen are in the bronze/iron category. Plato argues that the National Division of Labor reflects the requirements of nature and produces a harmonious whole. Wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice are the four virtues that this ideal city must have to be just.

The guardians, also known as philosopher kings, being in the gold class of the city, are wise, knowledgeable, and most importantly they are philosophers. They enjoy learning about forms and think that anything else won’t bring somebody happiness. They believe that forms are the highest level of happiness and that by learning about and understanding forms brings knowledge. To be a guardian they must be ruled by their reason and not let spirit or appetites take over. They are responsible for ruling the city. Guardians are not allowed to make any money or have a job outside of guardianship nor are they able to own anything. At childhood they start an extensive amount of study in music, poetry, and physical training. The study of these subjects develops harmony between them and is said to be good for the soul. Plato argues that “a good soul by its own virtue makes the body as good as possible” (403d).

In the silver class of the city are the auxiliaries, or in other words the warriors. These people have to be courageous; they are responsible for protecting the city and keeping everything at peace. They love victory and honor and go through massive physical training to be strong for battle and enforce the laws of the guardians. Instead of focusing on forms, like the guardians, auxiliaries put their focus towards...
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