The Ideal City

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Information about The Ideal City

Published on February 5, 2008

Author: Desiderio


The Ideal City:  The Ideal City Slide2:  Three classes: Guardians Auxiliaries Producers The noble lie:  The noble lie Everybody in the city will be taught that their soul’s are made of a metal depending on the class they belong to . Gold for rulers, silver for auxiliaries, and bronze and iron for the producers. Each is to stay in its own class. Slide4:  Each class is determined by merit. Those best suited to soldiers will be soldiers, those best suited to guardians (rulers) will be guardians The prospective rulers will be tested to determine their ability to rule and loyalty to the city. How do the guardians and the auxiliaries live?:  How do the guardians and the auxiliaries live? There will be no wealth allowed for the upper classes They will live communally, allowed only food, shelter, basic clothes and weapons. Adeimantus: But Socrates, won’t these best citizens of the city be unhappy? Two responses: :  Two responses: We are trying to make the city as good as possible, not focus on what makes an individual as happy as possible. To do this each part must have what is appropriate to it—as in a painting It will turn out in fact that these rulers and auxiliaries will be the happiest people in the Republic. The four virtues:  The four virtues Wisdom Courage Moderation Justice The city has each of these. Slide8:  The city is wise because the guardians are wise The city is courageous because of the courage of the Auxilliaries It is moderate because each of the classes are in harmony and agree as to who should rule and who should be ruled Slide9:  The justice of the city consists in the principle of specialization. Each part of the city performs that task that it is naturally suited to perform. It is this principle that explains why the city has all the other virtues, what makes it an ideal (and differentiates it from other, less just cities) Justice in the city and Justice in the individual:  Justice in the city and Justice in the individual Slide11:  Justice in the city: each part of the city performing the function it is naturally suited for. Guardians ruling, Auxiliaries aiding the rulers, the producers obeying the rulers. The other virtues of the city, wisdom, courage, and moderation follow directly from justice. The argument for the tripartite soul:  The argument for the tripartite soul No one thing can have opposite characteristics. If one thing seems to have opposite characteristics this is because it has different parts Example: Socrates is moving and not moving. This is only possible if one part is moving and another is not moving (his arms might be moving, and his legs not moving) Slide13:  If the soul has opposite characteristics, then it can be shown that the soul has parts. Socrates claims the soul does sometimes have opposite characteristics (at the same time) therefore the soul is divided into parts. What are the opposite characteristics? The soul has opposite desires:  The soul has opposite desires I desire ice cream and desire not to eat ice cream. This example shows that there are at least two parts of the soul . The part that wants ice cream (appetite) and the part that desires not to eat ice cream (reason) But what of the third part of the soul, spirit? Leontius and the dead bodies:  Leontius and the dead bodies Leontious was walking along one day and saw some dead bodies and was overcome with a strong desire to look at them. He gave into his desire and at the same time felt anger at himself. This shows that spirit, the seat of anger, is separate from appetite. But what of reason and spirit? What reason is there to think that these are distinct? Slide16:  Animals and small children are highly spirited and are irrational Therefore spirit cannot be the same part of the soul as reason. Also Reason and Spirit conflict when one is about to lose one’s temper. Reason holds back the desire to get into a fight. The just individual:  The just individual The individual is just if each part of the soul performs its natural function. Reason will be in control, spirit will aid reason, and the appetites will be kept under control There is an analogy between justice in the city and justice in the soul. It’s the same property applied to different things The just citizen and the Just individual:  The just citizen and the Just individual In the just city, each person performs their natural function A just citizen, is one who does their proper role Are the just citizens also just people? The citizens of the just city are like just people:  The citizens of the just city are like just people They are not themselves just (except for the rulers) But they are like just people in that they obey reason– the reason of the guardians. The citizens in the city obey reason, but unless they are the rulers the reason they obey is external to them. What about conventional morality?:  What about conventional morality? Socrates claims that a person who is just in his sense will also act “justly”—that is not steal, lie, murder. But why? The definition of justice says nothing about how a just person will act. Possible solutions:  Possible solutions Unjust acts are usually motivated by physical desires—the sorts of desires that do not dominate a just person. Perhaps a rational person would also possess moral knowledge, knowledge of the GOOD. More on this in Book VI and VII.

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