Plato's Ideal Society

Topics: Soul, Virtue, Justice Pages: 2 (673 words) Published: November 12, 2012
plato's utopia had several features, but he basically tried to make a perfectly just society. in the republic, he examines a few concepts of justice, including justice being telling the truth and repaying your debts, doing good to friends and harm to enemies, and justice being what is in the interest of the stronger. he rejects all these ideas eventually and says that justice is based on a society's natural division of labor. for example, workers perform optimally when they are specialized- a construction worker can't possibly have expertise in medicine, likewise a doctor cant possibly have expertise in trade. also, each person is naturally suited for a certain task. for example, if you're really smart, you're better off being a lawyer than a landscaper (of course, these aren't the examples he gives, i'm just trying to simplify). so, to plato, each person has their own area of expertise that they must focus on. this is a prerequisite for justice, and justice results when everybody does only their designated role and doesn't interfere with the designated roles of others. the way in which he hopes to establish this is through education.

he designates different types of educations for three different levels of society - producers, soldiers, and rulers, and says that each class must be kept strictly distinct. education will begin from early childhood, and each level of education will end in an examination to see if the person is qualified to proceed further in his education. for plato, the ruler is a philsopher who know about Forms rather than their images, and is thus the only one who is qualified to rule. his education and testing would last until he is about 50. the soldiers are both gentle and harsh (like a dog- gentle to friends and harsh to enemies) and respect and uphold the authority of the ruler. they are to be educated in both physical training and culture. also, they are to have all wives and children in common so as they do not exhibit loyalty towards...
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