Plato's Republic

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In Plato’s The Republic, he investigates the balance between justice within an individual and society as a whole, and attempts to pinpoint the meaning of the term. He classifies wisdom, courage, and moderation as the leading qualities a just person should possess. Using a multitude of hypothetical scenarios, Plato compares what should be just at a political level to the justness of one’s inner psyche. He provides many scenarios to support his statements, however his argument comes across as completely one-sided and biased. Plato’s ideal of a “perfect” society may be effective and keep the system orderly, but it deprives the majority of the population of their rights as human beings, and his idea of a just person does not match up with his idea of a just society.

If one closely analyzes Plato’s “perfect” society, it is clear that it may seem perfect to the outside world, but is run in a dictator-like fashion that does not lead to living an enjoyable life. No social/economic class, even the upper class, has the freedom to do as they wish. Plato believes that this society will only fulfill its capabilities if kings become philosophers or philosophers are molded into kings. But once these philosopher kings come into power, they are unable to have families or close relationships with other people. How effective can a ruler really be if he has little interaction with the general population, let alone no interaction at all? Furthermore, freedom of choice is taken away, as everyone must fulfill the roles this society has ordered for them. There is no changing of career paths like in present time; if your father is a farmer that is likely your destiny as well. Instead of playing up the strengths of the children, the state orders them to a task within their given social class. That is quite counterproductive, considering that people work harder and are more dedicated to completing tasks that they are passionate about. Creative abilities are discouraged, as writers,...
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