The dialogue is set on the Greek island of Crete in the 4th century B.C.E. THE MYTH OF THE CAVERN, COMPENDIUM OF PLATO’S PHILOSOPHY. Plato was the first organized political theorist and a study of the western philosophy of tradition begins with his masterwork, the Republic. You want those who practice to be qualified. Most people look to Republic and Laws to begin to see Plato’s political thoughts. To combat corruption, Plato's Socrates suggests that the rulers would live simply and communally. But I do know what Mr. Hart means. [We might also consider some minimal qualifications for voting too, as so many are low information voters.]. Three elderly men are walking from Cnossos to the sacred cave and sanctuary of Zeus located on Mount Ida. Suppose your philosophy professor says he had never had a philosophy class, but that he got the job because he knows the dean. I. The children's biological parents will never be known to them, so that no Guardian will prefer his or her own offspring over the common good. Plato thinks the same way about politics. Plato was a great philosopher as well as a teacher whose most renowned student, Aristotle, holds differing views. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. They could start at any level they choose: local, state, or federal. Platos strategy in The Republic is to first explicate the primary notion of societal, or political, justice, and then to derive an analogous concept of individual justice. In metaphysics Plato envisioned a systematic, rational treatment of the forms and their interrelations, starting with the most fundamental among them (the Good, or the One); in ethics and moral psychology he developed the view that the good life requires not just a certain kind of knowledge (as Socrates had suggested) but also habituation to healthy emotional responses and therefore harmony between the … It was a great drawback on the part of the Sophists. I want a physician to treat me, not someone who plays one on TV. Learn how your comment data is processed. Now if you were trying to determine whether you needed heart surgery you would consult a cardiologist, not take a vote or ask the cashier in the checkout lane. As these men trace Minos’ steps, they seek to discover what the best political system and laws are. They manipulate and trick the owner into giving over the helm. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. The second argument was that there would always be so many competing factions in a democracy that they would cancel out their worst elements and only the best policies would survive. These conversations often ascend to lofty, theoretical questions, but they typically involve commonplace subjects, such as cooking, horse t… I. He also claims that democracies have leaders without proper skills or morals and that it is quite unlikely that the best equipped to rule will come to power. Plato’s political theory will be our best focal point. The sailors don't even know that there is such a thing as the craft of navigation. Until his mid-twenties, Athens was involved in a long and disastrous military conflict with Sparta, known as the Peloponnesian War. The true captain represents a philosopher-king, who knows the forms of justice and goodness.. Although I would prefer that the faculty consist of faculty from accredited universities, perhaps we could make it more palatable by using retired members of Congress for faculty. To understand why we need intelligent and knowledgeable individuals occupying the most important positions in society, Plato invites us to consider the following: if we want good health care we consult physicians and nurses; if we desire legal advice we consult attorneys; if we want to construct buildings or bridges we consult engineers and architects; etc. Before we start harumphing at you. 427-347 B.C.E.) Really didn’t mean anything by using balderdash. These three men are walking the path that Minos (a legendary lawgiver of Crete) and his father followed every nine years to receive the guidance of Zeus. , In the Republic, Plato's Socrates raises a number of objections to democracy. Gray, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”, Dickinson, “Because I could not stop for Death “, Noonan: “An Almost Absolute Value in History”, Warren: “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion”, Williams: “The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia”, Steinbock: “The Morality of Killing Human Embryos”, Kass: “Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology & …”, Lauritzen: “Stem Cells, Biotech & Human Rights …”, Mappes: “Sexual Morality and the Concept of Using …”, Dwyer: “Illegal Immigrants, Health Care, & Social …”, Dickinson: “The Brain is wider than the Sky”, Frost, “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”, Summary of Michael Shermer’s, The Science of Good and Evil, A Philosopher’s Lifelong Search for Meaning, Summary of Bill Joy's, "Why the future doesn't need us,”, Summary of Plato's Theory of Human Nature, Election Recounts and the Backfire Effect. Plato's political philosophy has been the subject of much criticism. Each group must perform its appro… Plato had also attended courses of philosophy; before meeting Socrates, he first became acquainted with Cratylus (a disciple of Heraclitus, a prominent pre-Socratic Greek philosopher) and the Heraclitean doctrines. , Plato: Political philosophy - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Philosopher king - Encyclopedia Britannica, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plato%27s_political_philosophy&oldid=969581778, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. And what not. Yet, Plato said, in a democracy when we choose our political leaders we consult all the people—even the most ignorant among us. Plato’s arguments in favour of the Theory of the Ideas. It just popped into my mind as a funny word. Plato was the innovator of the written dialogue and dialectic forms in philosophy. How can an ignorant person even identify knowledgeable ones? The true captain, the one with the knowledge of navigation is seen as a useless stargazer and never becomes the helmsman. PLATO (428-348 b.C.) The more experienced graduates could also be candidates for appointed offices. This page was last edited on 26 July 2020, at 09:14. Socrates proposes that the Guardians should mate and reproduce, and that the children will be raised communally rather than by their biological parents. The philosopher came from one of the wealthiest and most politically active families in Athens. In either case, you would not feel good about the situation. Producers or Workers: The laborers who make the goods and services in the society. Not only are they the most wise, but they are also virtuous and selfless. Plato was born in Athens in c. 427 B.C.E. Plato and Aristotle (Introduction to Greek Philosophy) TIP: Despite the useful truths on this page and its videos, the Greeks need to be understood in their own time.Both Plato and Aristotle are idealists compared to empirically minded figures like Hobbes or Hume.So while the idealist / realist dichotomy works as a comparison of the Greeks, it doesn’t hold up as a timeless truth. This justice was referred to everyone had the proper job in accordance to their … Plato describes the nature of justice in this influential work of political philosophy, the Republic. I don’t think I’ve ever used it in print before. Plato was a Greek philosopher known and recognized for having allowed such a considerable philosophical work. A Summary of Plato’s Political Theory and American Politics 2016. II. The sensible world, according to Plato is the world of contingent, contrary to the intelligible world, which contains essences or ideas, intelligible forms, models of all things, saving the phenomena and give them meaning. The central problem of political philosophy is how to deploy or limit public power so as to maintain the survival and enhance the quality of human life. IV. 301 certified writers online. This setting is crucially linked to the theme of the Laws. Plato’s Republic can be said to center on a single concept which he tries to expand throughout the entirety of the book, namely, the concept of justice. Eventually they could become candidates for office, using their school transcripts and evaluations as evidence of their competence. In Ms. Clinton we have a candidate who closely approximates that ideal — and the fact that she will almost surely win the election does provide some comfort regarding the wisdom of “the people”. Now I do realize that intellectual excellence is merely a necessary and not a sufficient condition for good governing, but necessary it is. Plato argued that we can’t have a good life without good government, and he also believed that we can’t have good governments without intellectually and morally excellent leaders. While Republic can be read, as a whole, as a work of formal political philosophy, Plato’s specific thoughts concerning the nature of the supposed ideal city (his political philosophy) come out in Books… The first was that, however bad democracy was, it was always superior to the alternatives considered viable at the time: monarchy or aristocracy or some combination thereof. I. Guardians/Soldiers: Those who keep order in the society and protect it from invaders. Summary: Plato (ca. But I can imagine one scheme that might help. An ideal society consists of three main classes of peopleproducers (craftsmen, farmers, artisans, etc. By contrast, suppose your physician told you that she knows nothing of medicine, but the free market lets anyone practice so she thought she would give it a go. Mr. Hart, if you don’t like “balderdash”, perhaps you could approve of “stultiloquence” or “blatherskite”. Subscribe to ReasonandMeaning and receive notifications of new posts by email. If you want to know about the merits of a lawsuit you would consult an attorney, not a pharmacist or plumber. He then asks us to imagine the sailors, all of which are arguing about who should have control of the helm while none of them have studied navigation. Plato’s political philosophy is much discussed and debated. I very much like Plato’s idea of the professionally trained politician. The fatal flaw of the two-party system is illustrated by the current election: a dangerous candidate who gets a plurality of the votes in primaries can end up winning the nomination, and party loyalty then gives him a real shot at winning the election. Platos Contribution In Political Science Philosophy Essay. In Plato's Republic, Socrates is highly critical of democracy and proposes an aristocracy ruled by philosopher-kings. Surely all of this is insane! Plato is also considered the founder of Western political philosophy. He had given it a direction, a basis and a vision. But, as readers of this blog know, the best solution I know of to change our world is to use technology to change the human genome and the brain itself. Seems relevant to this post. , Karl Popper blamed Plato for the rise of totalitarianism in the 20th century, seeing Plato's philosopher kings, with their dreams of 'social engineering' and 'idealism', as leading directly to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin (via Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx respectively). Learn More . That is to say, happiness or well-being (eudaimonia) is the highest aim of moral thought and conduct, and the virtues (aretê : ‘excellence’) … Political philosophy, branch of philosophy that is concerned, at the most abstract level, with the concepts and arguments involved in political opinion. Graduates of the college would then go through apprenticeships in low-level positions attached to various politicians. One of the greatest thinkers in the history of philosophy, Plato was born in Athens as the son of a noble family. Given the obvious fact that a President Trump would be catastrophic for our republic, this system is far too dangerous. ), auxiliaries (warriors), and guardians (rulers); a society is just when relations between these three classes are right. Vs Plato, Aristotle has nurtured his political power while coasting in attending as Plato and his political theories. Even so, current developments in European parliamentary systems demonstrate that even parliamentary systems are vulnerable to popular frenzies. To identify moral individuals we might use Plato’s model of observing people for many years to assess their moral virtue, or we may prefer the one used for centuries in ancient China—the Imperial Exams. Like Minos, they too wil… The ontological dualism. He concludes that democracy risks bringing dictators, tyrants, and demagogues to power. His execution for the supporters of democracy led Plato to give up his political career and become an enemy of decisive democracy. Contrary to societal values at the time, Socrates suggests that sex should not be a factor in deciding who should rule, so women as well as men can rule. 8. The presidential system we now use is clearly inferior to the parliamentary system used almost everywhere else. This identification is the first and fundamental principle of Plato’s political philosophy.” Sophists admitted the political value of justice, but they denied its human value, that is, it is a moral goodness. Suppose that Congress created, funded, and selected staff for a “College of American Politics”. [Plato] was a disgruntled old man, full of political rancor, fearing and hating the crowd and above all their demagogues; his prejudices had crystallized and he had become an old doctrinaire, unable to see anything but the reflections of his own personality and to hear anything but the echoes of … D. A. Uriarte. Plato's political philosophy has thus often been considered totalitarian. Good Lord, man, what next? Required fields are marked *. Jowet rightly pronounced that Plato as father of philosophy, politics and literary idealism. However, I am astonished that you (of all people) have come off your own well laid rails: i.e., “balderdash”?!? Yet the popularity of Mr. Trump provides compelling evidence that “the people” are idiots. A parliamentary system permits the weirdo candidates to have their parties without disturbing the mainstream. Philosopher Kings: are the most intelligent, rational, self-controlled, in love with wisdom, and well suited to make decisions for the community, and who promote the interests of the society as a whole. Jefferson was a strong advocate for trusting the people, and he offered two key arguments. B.C. His relationship with Aristotle was also realized … But the most astounding aspect of Plato (written in the Republic and that has erupted the world) was his “political philosophy”. Reason served the end of the political and was not conceived of as an independent high good in-and-of-itself. III. Plato's ideal rulers are philosopher-kings. Plato was a political philosopher first and foremost, in large part, because the birth of philosophy was contingent to morality—and morality to the political because the highest good of the Greek world was the polis. We will write a custom Essay on Philosophy: Plato’s Republic versus Aristotle’s Politics specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page. And if you want to understand the science of climate change, you would consult a climate scientist, not a scientifically illiterate politician. And thoughtful men need to thank them in diverse and and profound ways over the next decade or two (though we’ll surely forget, but perhaps they’ll remind us). Take a second to support Dr John Messerly on Patreon! Now none of this guarantees that will we get good politicians, nor that society will flourish as a result because even after long periods of training there are incompetent and immoral politicians, physicians and philosophy professors. Plato lists three classes in his ideal society. He also argues that in a system in which everyone has a right to rule all sorts of selfish people who care nothing for the people but are only motivated by their own personal desires are able to attain power. Since individuals, dominated by their own desires and lusts, would vie for power and become embroiled in political conflict, democracy would tend toward entropy. , Plato, through the character of Socrates, gives an analogy related to democracy: he asks us to imagine a ship whose owner surpasses all those on the ship in height and strength, but is slightly deaf; his vision is similarly impaired and his knowledge of navigation is just as bad. 1. Politics, his work on political philosophy major result of these experiences, which sit the legitimacy of this work. The Theory of the Ideas and plato’S ontology. Most of the changes necessary to reform our republic are politically impossible. Plato’s dialogues are not just great works of philosophy; they are also recognized as great literary works as well. Based on ancient sources, most modern scholars believe that he was born in Athens or Aegina between 429 and 423 BC. The Socrates seen in Plato’s dialogues converses with extraordinarily diverse interlocutors, including, inter alia, aristocrats, slaves, soldiers, rhetoricians, playwrights, sophists, pre-Socratic philosophers, and, in the Apology, a large assembly of jurors. A Summary of Plato’s Political Theory and American Politics 2016 October 24, 2016 Plato, Politics - General Plato argued that we can’t have a good life without good government, and he also believed that we can’t have good governments without intellectually and morally excellent leaders. Like most other ancient philosophers, Plato maintains a virtue-based eudaemonistic conception of ethics. 1st Jan 1970 Philosophy Reference this Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a university student. Have you mounted some sort of high-horse? In his dialogue The Republic, Plato lays out an educational plan to help ensure, as far as possible, that politicians—like physicians, attorneys, nurses, physicists, and philosophy professors—are educated in areas relevant to making important decisions for the society. From his forties to his trip to Southern Italy, his work was largely influenced by his teacher. As we say in the suburbs, “tut, tut, indeed.” That is, get a grip, sir. This is a radical solution, but the best one I know of. What does PLATO'S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY mean? “Should”, of course, assumes that “the people” aren’t as idiotic as many have shown themselves to be this year. While Plato wrote in dialogue form—in large part because he … But surely the fact that physicians, nurses, attorneys, physicists, and philosophers endure long periods of training and must pass multiple examinations makes them more likely to be qualified to do their jobs than if they were chosen randomly or by a vote of the ignorant. Unlike most philosophers, Aristotles political experience is undeniable as he was tutor of Alexander the Great, King of Macedonias.