Three Parts of the Soul

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The Republic of Plato consists of a dialogue between many great philosophers that attempts to answer a couple of very important questions, one of which is what is justice? As the book moves from one argument to the next, there seems to be an ongoing debate of what exactly is meant by justice and the just man. In Book IV, we finally begin to see essential progress made in regards to the elements of a just city. They are able to determine that a just city consists of three social classes, the Guardians (Ruler’s of the City), Auxiliaries (Protectors of the City), and Producers (Working class of the City). The combination of these three societal classes working together can create a truly just city that looks to make all happy, not just one social class. With that said, Book IV goes on to determine the connection between the just city and the just man. As they have already determined that a just city consists of “parts” of a society, the just individual also consists of “parts;” “parts” of the soul. Socrates is able to identify the first part of the soul as the rational part that yearns for truth, the second part of the soul as the spirited part that lustsafter honor, and a desiring part of the soul that yearns for everything else, such as food, drink, money and sex. Socrates feels that the relationship between the parts of the soul and the parts of the city reflect how justice is had and how justice should be maintained. Socrates first aspect of the just manconsists of being rational. He feels that being rational is the essential part of an individual, and thus it rules over spirit and desire. One who is rational is able to reason to make proper decisions that are of the best interests tothemselves and the society as a whole. It is the “calculative” part of the soul that allows for individuals to weigh-out their options before making decisions. It requires a person to become aware of what is happening around them and use their awareness to make proper decisions...
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