The Kind Of Knowledge Plato Has In Mind In His Theory Of Forms Is Not The Kind Of Knowledge Needed To Rule A City.

1963 words - 8 pages

The good city is Plato's view of the perfect state and its relation to the human soul and its four virtues. The human soul is a larger version of Plato's community (Lee ). Therefore, each of the virtues as Plato relates them to the city, apply on a larger scale to the human soul. The following paper discusses these various aspects of the soul and how they are interrelated. It discusses how Plato applies his theory of the individual soul to his theory of the proper political order of the state. It ends with a personal assessment of the theory.According to Plato, the four virtues of the human soul are prudence, courage, temperance and justice. Plato relates the virtues to a community, which is made up of the rulers, army and workers (Lee 428). At the base line are the workers because they do not try to blend with the army as the army does not blend with the rulers. When they individually perform their responsibilities, the community becomes one.Prudence, also known as wisdom, is found in the rulers. In order to have wisdom, one must be resourceful and have obtained knowledge (Lee 428d).The second virtue is courage, which is found in the military section of the community. Courage is the ability to apply what you have been taught: what is to be feared and what is not to be feared. Plato relates retention to courage and believes that the ability for one to retain what one has learned is courage. The ability to retain under all circumstances a true and lawful notion about what is feared and what is not to be feared is what he calls courage (Lee 430b).The third virtue, temperance, is found in the workers of Plato's community. Temperance, also known as self-discipline, is needed by the workers to insure that they do not desire to be in the ruler's position. It is seen that each position has its own importance in the community and for the community to function correctly, each one must agree on their position in life. Plato relates that in a community, the rulers and their subjects agree on who the rulers should be (Lee 431e). Temperance is also used to control the desire to go against one's free will. To be self-disciplined is somehow to order and control the pleasures and desires (Lee 430e).The last virtue Plato discusses is justice, otherwise known as morality. Justice in the city is achieved when all three groups function cohesively as a whole, resulting in a society that is free of crime. If one steps outside the normative roles defined by society, his/her actions are considered to be immoral. When each of the three classes perform its own function and does its own job in the community, then this is morality (Lee 434c).The human soul, comprised of three parts, is a larger version of Plato's community and therefore each of the virtues relate to it. The first part is reason, which is the capacity to think rationally. Next is passion, which is fighting for what is right. Plato describes the unified relationship between these two parts by declaring that...

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