In The Republic, Plato plays around with the argument that it is better to be just than unjust. His vessel for showing this is through the forming of an “ideal” city. In this hypothetical city he creates a censored educational system and abolishes the “typical” family structure in hopes that the society would be just. Taking in the context and the time period, Socrates’ ideas were radical but plausible, if executed correctly. Through that execution, though, I am not completely convinced that human emotions would not get in the way.
The main discussion of the book is on the topic of what is just and unjust and what lifestyle is beneficiary. After countless examinations and definitions, Socrates in book IV is able to convince his comrades that political justice is simple; virtue which in turn is the greatest good(444a-b). He then concludes that if justice can be found in a city, then ideally it can also be found within an individual. He believes that a just person would be one that is not distracted by their indulgences of appetites, which Plato classifies as drink, food, sex and money loving. Socrates believes that a person with a balanced soul will refrain from acts that we consider to be unjust, for example, murder, adultery and treason. But how do you achieve a person with a balanced soul? Socrates believes it comes from upbringing, through education and parenting.
When creating the ideal city Socrates states that “one must do his own work in accordance with his nature” and with the proper education in music and physical training the city as a whole will be just. The emphasis is on proper education, that the information given to its citizen especially to those defending the city must shape a character that is moral and accepts the beliefs that the city has put forth. Socrates believes that with censorship of certain poetry and stories the citizens will approve only of what is familiar and dislike whatever is new, causing the city to be efficient....
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