Plato the republic essay

Grube rev. It was ridiculous, because women were considered to be weaker than men; and scandalous because war remained the privilege that defined men, and more precisely citizens. It is thus no longer the body endowed with a female sex that makes a difference, but excellence of the soul.

Essays on the republic by plato with how to write docotors appreviated to help

For Plato, the fact of being of the male or female sex has no more relevance for the attribution of such-and-such a task than does the fact of having lots of hair or of being bald:. V, d-e, transl. V, a, transl.

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But if the goal is to dissolve the family group, how can the reproduction of the members of the ruling class be ensured? By separating the procreation of children from traditional marriage, and by replacing marriage by temporary unions that depend on drawing lots:.

» Sample Essay: Plato's Republic – The Soul

And this must all be brought about without being noticed by anyone except the rulers, so that our herd of guardians remains as free from dissension as possible. In short, on the sexual level, women are considered as instruments of reproduction, not as objects of desire or pleasure. As far as the sharing of women and children is concerned, two remarks must be made: 1 it concerns only the ruling class; and 2 Herodotus speaks of peoples among whom group marriages were practiced IV, and , 2.

Plato considers, moreover, that the community of women and children should reinforce the bonds between the members of the ruling class, all of whom would, at least in theory, belong to the same family. We shall see what Aristotle thought of this. This was an absolute revelation for the time.

No passage stressing the necessity of the consequences is to be found in the Republic , but they follow from everything that has just been said. The leader s are chosen amongst the guardians as a function of the ability of their soul to devote itself to higher studies. It therefore follows that women will have access to the course of studies described in book VI of the Republic , and, by understanding mathematics and dialectic, may become philosopher-leaders.

Once again, we find nothing precise on this subject, but throughout the subsequent tradition concerning the history of Platonism, we find the names of women who attended the Academy:. Diogenes Laertius III, We find nothing on this subject in the Republic , but in the Laws , the legislation concerning education is perfectly clear. The entire program of public studies of the city of the Laws is therefore open both to men and to women, as we can observe by reading a lengthy exposition VII, a-VIII a.

The Third Wave in The Republic by Plato

Here, the mixed nature of compulsory teaching is forcefully affirmed VII, dc. In order to contribute to the greatest possible efficacy, each citizen must develop his or her abilities and civic virtues as far as possible, and the most competent must be chosen. Women must therefore participate fully and equally in life and in the government of the city, on pain of depriving them of half of their potential. This position, which was shocking or laughable in Antiquity, has become the rule in our societies. On the other hand, our societies cannot accept sharing women and children, which reduces sexual union to its reproductive function, and therefore has nothing to do with pleasure or desire.

The first argument concerns the ideal of unity that such a community should establish. Aristotle reverses perspectives:.

If it is manifest that if the city advances too far on the path of unity, it will no longer be a city, for a city is by nature a certain kind of multiplicity, and if it becomes too united, it will become transformed from a city to a family, and from a family to an individual; for one might say that the family is more united than the city, and the individual more than the family. Politics II 2, a, my transl. People care most for their private possessions, and less for what is in common, or only so far as it profits each individual; for in addition to the other reasons, they think less of it on the ground that someone else is taking care of it, just as in household service a large number of domestics sometimes give worse service than a smaller.

Politics II 3, b For there are two things that most cause men to care for and to love each other: what is their own and what is beloved to them. As the translators helpfully explain in a footnote "the lowest and most irrational kinds of daemones accept the performance of ancient verses such as Homer as a kind of ritual sacrifice. Proclus' daemonology might easily be dismissed as implausible or even superstitious. However, when it appears in the Commentary as an element in the rational defense of morally pernicious myths, its relevance is easily felt.

The daemones' obtrusive presence in the Commentary shows that Proclus' interpretation is not simply supposed to vindicate that the myths are divine and thus that all problematic passages can be explained away. Rather, Proclus thinks that "Each myth is daemonic on the surface level, but divine according to its secret meaning. For Proclus, the protection of the truth from profane eyes is "the special good" belonging to myths as such. This results in a defense of myth and rite that can resist any number of criticisms according to which religion cannot be divine because it fosters vice, for instance, the now common claim that religion encourages trust in authority and the imagination instead of critical thinking.

After all, according to Proclus, myths, rites and even the abundant goodness of the world itself are but instruments of the gods, who engineer the pervasiveness of vice for the perfection of the world. Many theists believe that religion must make people morally better, but Proclus is a very interesting case of an apologist of myths and rituals who does not share that belief. This does not mean, however, that Proclus neglects to defend the goodness of the gods. Far from it. In his fourth essay laying out and defending Plato's three standards for representation of the gods they are cause of no evils, but rather of goods; they do not change; they do not deceive , he points out that daemones, which we have seen are responsible for the necessary "temptations towards vice", are entirely lacking in falsehood, for the reason that what is irrational in them is receptive neither of truth nor of falsehood This becomes clearer in the sixth essay, when he states that daemones typically express themselves through images Thus they never communicate an outright vicious intent in a human mind, but rather merely suggest images that the soul, of its own accord, interprets in a vicious way.

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The suggestion of Athena to Pandaros to break the truce is explained accordingly: she did not cause him to commit his evil deed, rather she put before him a choice, and he chose badly. Thus, although vice is necessary for the completion of the world and the existence of irrational beings, there is no compulsion to vice from the gods. Rather the responsibility lies always squarely on human souls. Perhaps a businessman might concede that the vices of the majority of his consumers are essential to his business model, but in every case the responsibility is theirs since they continue to buy his product.

In this way, Proclus maintains the gods' goodness because "The Good is more powerful than the true" This presentation of the theodicy contained in the Commentary stands for the whole: for its relevance, difficulty and richness. The translators are to be commended for their labors. Lamberton, Robert tr. Society of Biblical Literature, Steel, Carlos. But the inclusion in this volume of the first, third and fourth essays, and in coming volumes of the rest mean indeed that now a great deal of material is being made available for the first time.

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For a review of the volume focusing on its merits as a translation instead of as a work of philosophy, see Lamberton's review for Bryn Mawr Classical Review. Steel , pp. It is beyond the scope of this review to present my own reading of this text, but I will point out that the argument that every beast needs a separate soul to be self-moved is repeated in it. On transmigration, the translators are misleading in a footnote when they explain the schesis of a human soul to an animal body as "a very intimate relation". Topics in Paper. On ExampleEssays. The Role of Education in Plato's Republic. Continue reading this essay Continue reading Page 1 of 5. Next Page.