Plato's Gaurdian Class

Topics: Philosophy, Plato, Logic Pages: 1 (354 words) Published: October 28, 2008
Plato’s Guardian Class

Guardians are put into place to defend morality and rule society because they know the truth and posses the knowledge and wisdom of true forms. In order for there to be a just state, there must be a balance between the different types of people, namely; reason dominated, spirit dominated and appetite dominated people. This balance is similar to that of the need for balance in a just individual between the tripartheid soul. Those dominant in reason become philosophers, those in spirit become soldiers and those in appetite become commoners. Balance in these traits is necessary in order to achieve a just state.

The state must be governed by reason (philosophers) and they should have complete control over the states affairs because to much liberty in appetitive people allows for self corruption without reason. From the ages 8-18 the chosen children for guardian education undergo general primary education, followed by two years of physical training. Ten years of training in mathematics then follows and if successfully completed there is 5 years dialectic training. After all of this has been completed the philosopher will serve 15 years apprentice in managing polis leaving the end product at age 55 the best at everything. This shows that Plato also does not believe that young people are capable of ruling.

Fiction is prohibited (poetry and lit) to aid in protection from untruth at early age until they are able to evaluate the truth for themselves. There is also a suggestion of a transcendent God and no possible forms of corruption should be overlooked. A noble lie is a myth or untruth told by an elite to maintain social harmony, it benefits all parties but is different from a white lie in the sense that it will cause discord if uncovered.

In Plato’s theory of the guardian class the state may end up serving the guardians and education may become the primary goal, instead of the well being of the population. The notion that all private...
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