Plato: the Tripartite Soul Book Iv 435c-441c

Topics: Soul, Mind, Spirit Pages: 11 (4148 words) Published: May 11, 2011
Plato: The Tripartite Soul
Book IV

The soul and justice within the soul are issues that Plato endears much time and effort into explaining. The existence of ones soul and its influence upon society is a definite argument by Plato, yet viewed very differently by various scholars of the time and centuries to come. Through this essay I intend to address Plato's interest in the just soul in relation to his tripartite vision of its existence. As Plato lays out in his work The Republic, the soul is a multi-level entity consisting of three main valid points of interest and justification. I will disclose these three main entities concerning the soul and compare and why each portion may be more effective in argument than the other and why two of his beliefs may strategically work simultaneously while being controlled by the third. I will also approach the intense discussion between the members of the conversation and detail their opinions or arguments for or against this view of the soul. Overall, the paper should outline the three points regarding the tripartite just soul of man and based upon my understanding of the material I will deliver my ideology on the topic in concern to the soul and the justice that lies within it.

As the plot of The Republic has developed Plato leads into a discussion about the two parts of man, the body and the soul. In his explanation Plato explains that the body is an inanimate object that basically serves as a capsule to lead us through life. The soul however is the actual performing part of a person in that it controls the body through its desires. While he felt confident in his claim, Plato realized it was flawed because in order to desire something one must also be able to desire the opposite. With this analogy or aspect of thinking Plato realizes it is impossible for this to be true unless the soul was composed of more than one being. Socrates has enticed his cohorts with an intense discussion which has led to the topic about the soul of man and it's relationship with the city's construction. Within this discussion Socrates makes many valid points of interest and delivers analogies concerning the issues at hand, but his main argument is the correlation between the city's and the soul of man. 2

Socrates feels that people and cities exhibit the same functions and embody the same features and attributes. Socrates explains how in a city the King rules all and is followed by the soldiers who are under direct control of the king and the finally the commoners who have desires and needs, but are bound by the rules of those above them. Thus, we are all complex beings made up of complex parts that all serve a particular purpose in our lives and society. The evidence of this can be seen through various arguments, but the tripartite soul is one phenomenon that must be acknowledged and explored due to its enticing and argumentative nature. While Plato did deliver his opinion on the soul in a somewhat “on the fly” method, nonetheless it was effective in that it drew the attention of his colleagues and there beliefs regarding it. In turn, Plato sets forth the three parts of the tripartite soul in a way in which they directly relate to the different beings within each state, all of which contribute in some way to the overall function of the individual and state as a whole being.

As Plato discusses the virtues within the tripartition soul he has developed he focuses much of his attention on several key issues. These issues are in direst relation to his argument surrounding the make-up of a city. Plato realizes that just like the city of classes of man, the soul is very similar in nature. As he continues to drink with Socrates, Plato introduces the appetitive aspect of the soul, which he feels is responsible for the desires and individual quests of man. Socrates delivers a convincing argument about the inner appetite of a person as well. His insight delivers idealism that...
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