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Thrasymachus defines justice as the advantage or what is beneficial to the stronger c. Justice is different under different political regimes according to the laws, which are made to serve the interests of the strong the ruling class in each regime, ea. Socrates requires clarification of the definition: Thrasymachus points out that the stronger are really only those who do not make mistakes as to what is to their advantage d. Socrates responds with a discussion of art or craft and points out that its aim is to do what is good for its subjects, not what is good for the practitioner c.

Thrasymachus suggests that some arts, such as that of shepherds, do not do this but rather aim at the advantage of the practitioner c. He also adds the claim that injustice is in every way better than justice and that the unjust person who commits injustice undetected is always happier than the just person ec. The paradigm of the happy unjust person is the tyrant who is able to satisfy all his desires a-b. Socrates claims that the best rulers are reluctant to rule but do so out of necessity: Socrates offers three argument in favor of the just life over the unjust life: Socrates is dissatisfied with the discussion since an adequate account of justice is necessary before they can address whether the just life is better than the unjust life b.

Glaucon is not persuaded by the arguments in the previous discussion a. He divides good things into three classes: Socrates places justice in the class of things good in themselves and for their consequences. Glaucon gives a speech defending injustice: Socrates is asked to defend justice for itself, not for the reputation it allows for b. He proposes to look for justice in the city first and then to proceed by analogy to find justice in the individual ca. This approach will allow for a clearer judgment on the question of whether the just person is happier than the unjust person.

Socrates begins by discussing the origins of political life and constructs a just city in speech that satisfies only basic human necessities bc. Socrates argues that humans enter political life since each is not self-sufficient by nature. Each human has certain natural abilities a and doing only the single job one is naturally suited for, is the most efficient way to satisfy the needs of all the citizens c.

Socrates points out that the luxurious city will require an army to guard the city e. The army will be composed of professional soldiers, the guardians, who, like dogs, must be gentle to fellow citizens and harsh to enemies c. Poetry and stories need to be censored to guarantee such an education b. Socrates continues the political measures of the censorship of poetry: Socrates moves on to discuss the manner in which stories should be told d. He divides such manners into simple narration in third person and imitative narration in first person, d.

To keep the guardians doing only their job, Socrates argues that the guardians may imitate only what is appropriate for this ed. The just city should allow only modes and rhythms that fit the content of poetry allowed in the just city bc. Socrates explains how good art can lead to the formation of good character and make people more likely to follow their reason ec. Socrates turns to the physical education of the guardians and says that it should include physical training that prepares them for war, a careful diet, and habits that contribute to the avoidance of doctors cb.

Physical education should be geared to benefit the soul rather than the body, since the body necessarily benefits when the soul is in a good condition, whereas the soul does not necessarily benefit when the body is in a good condition b-c. Socrates begins to describe how the rulers of the just city are to be selected from the class of the guardians: Socrates suggests that they need to tell the citizens a myth that should be believed by subsequent generations in order for everyone to accept his position in the city bd.

The myth of metals portrays each human as having a precious metal in them: Socrates proceeds to discuss the living and housing conditions of the guardians: Adeimantus complains that the guardians in the just city will not be very happy a. Socrates points out that the aim is to make the whole city, and not any particular class, as happy as possible b. Socrates discusses several other measures for the city as a whole in order to accomplish this.

There should be neither too much wealth nor too much poverty in the city since these cause social strife da. The just city should be only as large in size as would permit it to be unified and stable b. He suggests that they should only allow very limited ways by which innovations may be introduced to education or change in the laws be. The just city will follow traditional Greek religious customs b.

With the founding of the just city completed, Socrates proceeds to discuss justice d. He claims that the city they have founded is completely good and virtuous and thus it is wise, courageous, moderate, and just e. Justice will be what remains once they find the other three virtues in it, namely wisdom, courage, and moderation a.

The wisdom of the just city is found in its rulers and it is the type of knowledge that allows them to rule the city well b-d. The courage of the just city is found in its military and it is correct and lawful belief about what to fear and what not to fear ab. Socrates then proceeds to find the corresponding four virtues in the individual d. Socrates defends the analogy of the city and the individual a-b and proceeds to distinguish three analogous parts in the soul with their natural functions b.

By using instances of psychological conflict, he distinguishes the function of the rational part from that of the appetitive part of the soul a. Then he distinguishes the function of the spirited part from the functions of the two other parts ee. The function of the rational part is thinking, that of the spirited part the experience of emotions, and that of the appetitive part the pursuit of bodily desires. Socrates points out that one is just when each of the three parts of the soul performs its function d. Socrates is now ready to answer the question of whether justice is more profitable than injustice that goes unpunished ea.

To do so he will need to examine the various unjust political regimes and the corresponding unjust individuals in each c-e. Socrates is about to embark on a discussion of the unjust political regimes and the corresponding unjust individuals when he is interrupted by Adeimantus and Polemarchus a-b. They insist that he needs to address the comment he made earlier that the guardians will possess the women and the children of the city in common b-d.

Socrates reluctantly agrees ab and begins with the suggestion that the guardian women should perform the same job as the male guardians c-d. Some may follow convention and object that women should be given different jobs because they differ from men by nature a-c. Socrates responds by indicating that the natural differences between men and women are not relevant when it comes to the jobs of protecting and ruling the city.

Both sexes are naturally suited for these tasks d-e. Socrates goes on to argue that the measure of allowing the women to perform the same tasks as the men in this way is not only feasible but also best. This is the case since the most suited people for the job will be performing it c. Socrates also proposes that there should be no separate families among the members of the guardian class: Socrates proceeds to discuss how this measure is for the best and Glaucon allows him to skip discussing its feasibility a-c.

The best guardian men are to have sex with the best guardian women to produce offspring of a similar nature dd. Socrates describes the system of eugenics in more detail. In order to guarantee that the best guardian men have sex with the best guardian women, the city will have marriage festivals supported by a rigged lottery system ea. The best guardian men will also be allowed to have sex with as many women as they desire in order to increase the likelihood of giving birth to children with similar natures a-b. Once born, the children will be taken away to a rearing pen to be taken care of by nurses and the parents will not be allowed to know who their own children are c-d.

This is so that the parents think of all the children as their own. Socrates recognizes that this system will result in members of the same family having intercourse with each other c-e. Socrates proceeds to argue that these arrangements will ensure that unity spreads throughout the city ad. Thereafter, Socrates discusses how the guardians will conduct war e.

Glaucon interrupts him and demands an account explaining how such a just city can come into being c-e. Socrates admits that this is the most difficult criticism to address a. Then he explains that the theoretical model of the just city they constructed remains valid for discussing justice and injustice even if they cannot prove that such a city can come to exist bb.

Socrates claims that the model of the just city cannot come into being until philosophers rule as kings or kings become philosophers c-d. He also points out that this is the only possible route by which to reach complete happiness in both public and private life e. Socrates indicates that they to, discuss philosophy and philosophers to justify these claims b-c.

Philosophers love and pursue all of wisdom b-c and they especially love the sight of truth e. Philosophers are the only ones who recognize and find pleasure in what is behind the multiplicity of appearances, namely the single Form a-b. Socrates distinguishes between those who know the single Forms that are and those who have opinions d. Those who have opinions do not know, since opinions have becoming and changing appearances as their object, whereas knowledge implies that the objects thereof are stable ee.

Socrates goes on to explain why philosophers should rule the city. They should do so since they are better able to know the truth and since they have the relevant practical knowledge by which to rule. Adeimantus objects that actual philosophers are either useless or bad people a-d. Socrates responds with the analogy of the ship of state to show that philosophers are falsely blamed for their uselessness ea. Like a doctor who does not beg patients to heal them, the philosopher should not plead with people to rule them b-c.

Thus, someone can only be a philosopher in the true sense if he receives the proper kind of education. After a discussion of the sophists as bad teachers ac , Socrates warns against various people who falsely claim to be philosophers b-c. Since current political regimes lead to either the corruption or the destruction of the philosopher, he should avoid politics and lead a quiet private life c-d.

Socrates then addresses the question of how philosophy can come to play an important role in existing cities e. Those with philosophical natures need to practice philosophy all their lives, especially when they are older a-c. The only way to make sure that philosophy is properly appreciated and does not meet hostility is to wipe an existing city clean and begin it anew a. Socrates concludes that the just city and the measures proposed are both for the best and not impossible to bring about c. Socrates proceeds to discuss the education of philosopher kings c-d. The most important thing philosophers should study is the Form of the Good a.

Socrates considers several candidates for what the Good is, such as pleasure and knowledge and he rejects them b-d. He points out that we choose everything with a view to the good e. Socrates attempts to explain what the Form of the Good is through the analogy of the sun cd. As the sun illuminates objects so the eye can see them, the Form of the Good renders the objects of knowledge knowable to the human soul. As the sun provides things with their ability to be, to grow, and with nourishment, the Form of the Good provides the objects of knowledge with their being even though it itself is higher than being b.

Socrates offers the analogy of the divided line to explain the Form of the Good even further dd. He divides a line into two unequal sections once and then into two unequal sections again. The lowest two parts represent the visible realm and the top two parts the intelligible realm. Corresponding to each of these, there is a capacity of the human soul: The line also represents degrees of clarity and opacity as the lowest sections are more opaque and the higher sections clearer.

Socrates continues his discussion of the philosopher and the Forms with a third analogy, the analogy of the cave ac. True education is the turning around of the soul from shadows and visible objects to true understanding of the Forms c-d. Philosophers who accomplish this understanding will be reluctant to do anything other than contemplate the Forms but they must be forced to return to the cave the city and rule it. Those who eventually become philosopher kings will initially be educated like the other guardians in poetry, music, and physical education d-e.

Then they will receive education in mathematics: Following these, they will study astronomy e , and harmonics d. Then they will study dialectic which will lead them to understand the Forms and the Form of the Good a. Socrates gives a partial explanation of the nature of dialectic and leaves Glaucon with no clear explanation of its nature or how it may lead to understanding aa.

Then they discuss who will receive this course of education and how long they are to study these subjects ab. The ones receiving this type of education need to exhibit the natural abilities suited to a philosopher discussed earlier. After the training in dialectic the education system will include fifteen years of practical political training ec to prepare philosopher kings for ruling the city. Socrates concludes by suggesting that the easiest way to bring the just city into being would be to expel everyone over the age of ten out of an existing city eb.

Socrates picks up the argument that was interrupted in Book V. Glaucon remembers that Socrates was about to describe the four types of unjust regime along with their corresponding unjust individuals cb. Socrates announces that he will begin discussing the regimes and individual that deviate the least from the just city and individual and proceed to discuss the ones that deviate the most b-c. The cause of change in regime is lack of unity in the rulers d.

Assuming that the just city could come into being, Socrates indicates that it would eventually change since everything which comes into being must decay a-b. The rulers are bound to make mistakes in assigning people jobs suited to their natural capacities and each of the classes will begin to be mixed with people who are not naturally suited for the tasks relevant to each class e.

This will lead to class conflicts a. The first deviant regime from just kingship or aristocracy will be timocracy, that emphasizes the pursuit of honor rather than wisdom and justice d ff. The timocratic individual will have a strong spirited part in his soul and will pursue honor, power, and success a. This city will be militaristic. Socrates explains the process by which an individual becomes timocratic: Oligarchy arises out of timocracy and it emphasizes wealth rather than honor c-e. Socrates discusses how it arises out of timocracy and its characteristics ce: The oligarchic individual comes by seeing his father lose his possessions and feeling insecure he begins to greedily pursue wealth a-c.

Thus he allows his appetitive part to become a more dominant part of his soul c. Socrates proceeds penultimately, to discuss democracy. It comes about when the rich become too rich and the poor too poor c-d. Too much luxury makes the oligarchs soft and the poor revolt against them c-e. In democracy most of the political offices are distributed by lot a.

The primary goal of the democratic regime is freedom or license b-c. People will come to hold offices without having the necessary knowledge e and everyone is treated as an equal in ability equals and unequals alike, c. The democratic individual comes to pursue all sorts of bodily desires excessively dd and allows his appetitive part to rule his soul. He comes about when his bad education allows him to transition from desiring money to desiring bodily and material goods d-e.

The democratic individual has no shame and no self-discipline d. Tyranny arises out of democracy when the desire for freedom to do what one wants becomes extreme b-c. Socrates points out that when freedom is taken to such an extreme it produces its opposite, slavery ea. The tyrant comes about by presenting himself as a champion of the people against the class of the few people who are wealthy da.

The tyrant is forced to commit a number of acts to gain and retain power: The tyrant eliminates the rich, brave, and wise people in the city since he perceives them as threats to his power c. Socrates indicates that the tyrant faces the dilemma to either live with worthless people or with good people who may eventually depose him and chooses to live with worthless people d. The tyrant ends up using mercenaries as his guards since he cannot trust any of the citizens d-e.

Socrates is now ready to discuss the tyrannical individual a. He begins by discussing necessary and unnecessary pleasures and desires b-c. Those with balanced souls ruled by reason are able to keep their unnecessary desires from becoming lawless and extreme db. The tyrannical person is mad with lust c and this leads him to seek any means by which to satisfy his desires and to resist anyone who gets in his way dd.

Some tyrannical individuals eventually become actual tyrants b-d. Tyrants associate themselves with flatterers and are incapable of friendship ea. Applying the analogy of the city and the soul, Socrates proceeds to argue that the tyrannical individual is the most unhappy individual c ff. Like the tyrannical city, the tyrannical individual is enslaved c-d , least likely to do what he wants d-e , poor and unsatisfiable ea , fearful and full of wailing and lamenting a.

My spirit and my reason are in line, so there will be no overpowering of rational preferences about what is best by spirit. You might suppose that my appetite could overcome my sense of what is honorable, but in that case, it would seem that I am not, after all, perfectly ruled by my spirit. Things might seem different with people ruled by their appetite. Certainly, if I were perfectly ruled by appetite, then I would be susceptible to akrasia of the impetuous sort, acting on appetitive desires without reflectively endorsing them as good. If you think that competing appetitive attitudes could give rise to a strict case of standard akrasia, you should recall how Socrates would have to explain these cases of psychological conflict in order to avoid multiplying his divisions in the soul.

Moreover, the dialogue is filled with pointed observations and fascinating speculations about human psychology. Some of them pull us up short, as, for example, the Freudian recognition of Oedipal desires that come out only in dreams c—d. The full theory is complex, and there remain numerous questions about many of its details.

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Indeed, although his response builds closely on the psychological theory, some broad features of the response could be accepted even by those who reject the tripartite psychology. In Book Four, Socrates defines each of the cardinal virtues in terms of the complicated psychology he has just sketched. So the unwise person has a faulty conception of what is good for him.

A person is courageous just in case her spirited attitudes do not change in the face of pains and pleasures but stay in agreement with what is rationally recognized as fearsome and not bc. So the coward will, in the face of prospective pains, fail to bear up to what he rationally believes is not genuinely fearsome, and the rash person will, in the face of prospective pleasures, rush headlong into what he rationally believes to be fearsome.

A person is temperate or moderate just in case the different parts of her soul are in agreement. So the intemperate person has appetitive or spirited attitudes in competition with the rational attitudes, appetitive or spirited attitudes other than those the rational attitudes deem to be good. Finally, a person is just just in case all three parts of her soul are functioning as they should d12—e2; cf.

Justice, then, requires the other virtues. So the unjust person fails to be moderate, or fails to be wise, or fails to be courageous. Actually, the relation among the virtues seems tighter than that, for it seems that the unjust person necessarily fails to be wise, courageous, and temperate cf.

You might try to deny this. You might say that a person could be courageous—with spirited attitudes that track perfectly what the rational attitudes say is fearsome and not, in the face of any pleasures and pains—but still be unjust insofar has her rational attitudes are inadequately developed, failing to know what really is fearsome. But Socrates seems to balk at this possibility by contrasting the civically courageous whose spirit preserves law-inculcated beliefs about what is fearsome and not and the genuinely courageous in whom, presumably, spirit preserves knowledge about what is fearsome and not a—c.

So you might say instead that a person could be moderate—utterly without appetitive attitudes at odds with what his rational attitudes say is good for him—but still be unjust insofar as his rational attitudes are inadequately developed and fail to know what really is good.

But this picture of a meek, but moderate soul seems to sell short the requirements of moderation, which are not merely that there be no insurrections in the soul but also that there be agreement that the rational attitudes should rule. Moreover, it would seem to require that the rational attitudes which endorse ruling be ruling, which would in turn require that the rational attitudes are at least on the path toward determining what really is good for the person. If these considerations are correct, then the unjust are lacking in virtue tout court , whereas the just possess all of the virtues.

After sketching these four virtues in Book Four, Socrates is ready to move from considering what justice is in a person to why a person should be just e. But this is premature. Socrates is moving to show that it is always better to have a just soul, but he was asked to show that it is always better to be the person who does just actions. We might doubt that an answer concerning psychological justice is relevant to the question concerning practical justice Sachs It is easy to misstate this objection Demos , Dahl The problem is not that the question is about justice as it is ordinarily understood and Socrates is failing to address conventional justice.

Neither the question nor the answer is bound to how justice is ordinarily understood, given what happened in Book One. That would require Socrates to show that everyone who acts justly has a just soul, and Socrates quite reasonably shows no inclination for that thesis. Some people do what is right for the wrong reasons.

He may have to establish some connection between doing just actions and becoming psychologically just if he is to give reasons to those who are not yet psychologically just to do just actions, but an account of habituation would be enough to do this cf. The real problem raised by the objection is this: First, he must be able to show that the psychologically just refrain from injustice, and second, he must be able to show that the psychologically just do what is required by justice. The first point receives a gesture when Socrates is trying to secure the claim that harmonious functioning of the whole soul really deserves to be called justice e—a , but he offers no real argument.

Perhaps the best we can do on his behalf is to insist that the first point is not a thesis for argument but a bold empirical hypothesis. On this view, it is simply an empirical question whether all those who have the motivations to do unjust things happen to have souls that are out of balance, and an army of psychologists would be needed to answer the question.

That might seem bad enough, but the second point does not even receive a gesture. Socrates does not criticize the Book One suggestion that justice requires helping friends a ff. Otherwise, we cannot be sure that psychological harmony is justice.

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Unfortunately, Socrates does not give any explicit attention to this worry at the end of Book Four or in the argument of Books Eight and Nine. But there are other places to look for a solution to this worry. First, we might look to Books Five through Seven. Second, we might look to Books Two and Three. In Book Four Socrates says that the just person is wise and thus knows what is good for him, but he does not say anything about what knowledge or the good is. In Books Five through Seven he clearly addresses these issues and fills out his account of virtue.

His account also opens the possibility that knowledge of the good provides the crucial link between psychological justice and just actions. Socrates does not name any philosophers who can knowledgeably answer questions like that. In fact, his account of how philosophers would be educated in the ideal city suggests that the ability to give knowledgeable answers requires an enormous amount of largely mathematical learning in advance of the questions themselves b—a.

The form of the good is a shadowy presence in the Republic , lurking behind the images of the Sun, Line, and Cave. But it is clear enough that Socrates takes goodness to be unity Hitchcock He explicitly emphasizes that a virtuous person makes himself a unity c—e and insists that a city is made good by being made a unity a—b.

The assumption that goodness is unity also explains why mathematics is so important to the ascent to the good through mathematics an account of the one over the many is learned cf. Burnyeat , why the good is superior to other forms the good is the unity or coherence of them, and not another alongside them , why the other forms are good by being part of the unified or coherent order , and why goodness secures the intelligibility of the other forms they are fully known teleologically.

Aristotle Eudemian Ethics a20 and Metaphysics a8—16 and b10— So the philosophers, by grasping the form of the good, will recognize goodness in themselves as the unity in their souls. They will see that the harmony or coherence of their psychological attitudes makes them good, that each of their attitudes is good insofar as it is part of a coherent set, and that their actions are good insofar as they sustain the unity in their souls cf.

Socrates suggests one way when he says that a philosopher will aspire to imitate the harmony among the forms b—d. Some scholars have understood Socrates to be saying that philosophers will desire to reproduce this order by cultivating more order and virtue in the world, as Diotima suggests in the Symposium Irwin , —; cf. Waterlow —, Cooper , Kraut On this reading, knowledge of the forms motivates just actions that help other people, which helps to solve the standing worry about the relation between psychological justice and practical justice.

Unfortunately, it is far from obvious that this is what Socrates means. He does not actually say in the Republic that knowledge of the forms freely motivates beneficence. In fact, he says eight times that the philosophers in the ideal city will have to be compelled to rule and do their part in sustaining the perfectly just city d4, d4, e4, a8, e2, b7, e3, b5. It is possible to understand this compulsion as the constraint of justice: But Socrates himself suggests a different way of characterizing the compulsion.

He suggests that the compulsion comes from a law that requires those who are educated to be philosophers to rule. There is another reason to worry about explaining just actions by the motivating power of knowledge. If the philosophers are motivated to do what is just by their knowledge of the forms, then there would seem to be an enormous gap between philosophers and non-philosophers. In addition to the epistemic gap—the philosophers have knowledge and the non-philosophers do not—we have a motivational gap: Brown , Singpurwalla ; cf. Gill , Kamtekar , and Scott Less often noted is how optimistic Socrates is about the results of a sufficiently careful education.

Note that Socrates has the young guardians not only responding to good things as honorable with spirited attitudes , but also becoming fine and good. Moreover, Socrates is confident that the spirited guardians are stably good: This optimism suggests that the motivations to do what is right are acquired early in moral education, built into a soul that might become, eventually, perfectly just. And this in turn suggests one reason why Socrates might have skipped the question of why the psychologically just can be relied upon to do what is right. Socrates might assume that anyone who is psychologically just must have been raised well, and that anyone who has been raised well will do what is right.

So understood, early childhood education, and not knowledge of the forms, links psychological justice and just action. Of course, there are questions about how far Socrates could extend this optimism about imperfect virtue among non-philosophers. Perhaps honor-loving members of the auxiliary class have psychological harmony secured by their consistent attachment to what they have learned is honorable, but what about the members of the producing class?

Can their attachment to the satisfaction of bodily desires be educated in such a way that they enjoy, in optimal social circumstances, a well-ordered soul? Do they even receive a primary education in the ideal city? These questions will be considered more fully below and see Wilberding and Wilburn Open questions aside, it should be clear that there are two general ways of linking psychological justice to just action: If one of these ways works, then Socrates is entitled to argue that it is always better to be just than unjust by showing why it is always better to have a harmonious soul.

It is possible to find in the Republic as many as five separate arguments for the claim that it is better to be just than unjust, without regard to how other people and gods perceive us. The first appeals to an analogy between psychological health and physical health in Book Four a—b. And the fifth is the image of the human soul consisting of a little human being reason , a lion spirit , and a many-headed beast appetite b ff. Already in Book Four, Glaucon is ready to declare that unjust souls are ruined and in turmoil. But Socrates presses for a fuller reckoning.

When he finally resumes in Book Eight where he had left off in Book Four, Socrates offers a long account of four defective psychological types. The list is not exhaustive cd, cf. At the end of this long discussion, Socrates will again ask which sort of person lives the best life: We might expect Socrates and Glaucon to argue carefully by elimination, showing the just life to be better than every sort of unjust life.

But they do not. Instead, they quickly contrast the tyrannical soul with the aristocratic soul, the most unjust with the most just. But it does not even do that, since Socrates is very far from portraying the best soul in the least favorable circumstances and the worst soul in the most favorable circumstances.

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Socrates and Glaucon characterize the person ruled by his lawless attitudes as enslaved, as least able to do what it wants, as full of disorder and regret, as poor and unsatisfiable, and as fearful c—a. These characterizations fit in a logical order. The tyrant is enslaved because he is ruled by an utterly unlimited appetite, which prompts in him appetitive desire whenever any chance object of appetite presents itself to his consideration.

Given this condition, he experiences appetitive desires that he cannot satisfy, either because they are too difficult for him to satisfy or because satisfying them would prevent satisfying other of his desires. His experience of unsatisfied desires must make him wish that he could satisfy them and feel poor and unsatisfiable because he cannot.

Worse, because his unsatisfied appetitive desires continue to press for satisfaction over time, they make him aware of his past inability to to do what he wants, which prompts regret, and of his likely future inability to do what he wants, which makes him fearful.

The result is a miserable existence, and the misery is rooted in unlimited attitudes that demand more satisfaction than a person can achieve. In a nutshell, the tyrant lacks the capacity to do what he wants to do. The philosopher, by contrast, is most able to do what she wants to do, for she wants to do what is best, and as long as one has agency, there would seem to be a doable best. Should circumstances make a certain apparent best undoable, then it would no longer appear to be best. But this is not to say that the philosopher is guaranteed to be able to do what she wants.

First, Socrates is quite clear that some appetitive attitudes are necessary, and one can well imagine circumstances of extreme deprivation in which the necessary appetitive attitudes for food or drink, say are unsatisfiable. Second, the capacity to do what is best might require engaging in certain kinds of activities in order to maintain itself. So even if the philosopher can satisfy her necessary appetitive attitudes, she might be prevented by unfortunate circumstances from the sorts of regular thought and action that are required to hold onto the capacity to do what is best.

Thus, even if a philosophical soul is most able to do what it wants, and the closest thing to a sure bet for this capacity, it does not retain this ability in every circumstance. Socrates does not need happiness to be the capacity to do what one wants, or the absence of regret, frustration, and fear. He could continue to think, as he thought in Book One, that happiness is virtuous activity a.

But if his argument here works, happiness, whatever it is, must require the capacity to do what one wants and be inconsistent with regret, frustration, and fear. How does the argument apply to unjust people who are not psychologically tyrannical? Anyone who is not a philosopher either has a divided soul or is ruled by spirit or appetite. Division in the soul plainly undercuts the ability to do what one wants.

Can one seek honor or money above all and do what one wants? Although the ability to do what is honorable or make money is not as flexible as the ability to do what is best, it is surely possible, in favorable circumstances, for someone to be consistently able to do what is honorable or money-making. This will not work if the agent is conflicted about what is honorable or makes money.

So he needs to be carefully educated, and he needs limited options.

2. Ethics, Part One: What Justice Is

But if he does enjoy adequate education and an orderly social environment, there is no reason to suppose that he could not escape being racked by regret, frustration, or fear. But we should be hesitant about applying these frequently confused and possibly anachronistic concepts to the Republic. This contrast must not be undersold, for it is plausible to think that the self-sufficiency of the philosopher makes him better off.

Appropriately ruled non-philosophers can enjoy the capacity to do what they want only so long as their circumstances are appropriately ruled, and this makes their success far less stable than what the philosophers enjoy. Things in the world tend to change, and the philosopher is in a much better position to flourish through these changes.

Those of us living in imperfect cities, looking to the Republic for a model of how to live cf. Nevertheless, so far as this argument shows, the success or happiness of appropriately ruled non-philosophers is just as real as that of philosophers. Judged exclusively by the capacity to do what one wants and the presence or absence of regret, frustration, and fear, philosophers are not better off than very fortunate non-philosophers.

The non-philosophers have to be so fortunate that they do not even recognize any risk to their good fortune. Otherwise, they would fear a change in their luck. See also Kenny and Kraut Socrates needs further argument in any case if he wants to convince those of us in imperfect circumstances like Glaucon and Adeimantus to pursue the philosophical life of perfect justice.

The first argument tries to show that anyone who wants to satisfy her desires perfectly should cultivate certain kinds of desires rather than others. We can reject this argument in either of two ways, by taking issue with his analysis of which desires are regularly satisfiable and which are not, or by explaining why a person should not want to satisfy her desires perfectly. The first response calls for a quasi-empirical investigation of a difficult sort, but the second seems easy.

We can just argue that a good human life must be subject to regret and loss. Of course, it is not enough to say that the human condition is in fact marked by regret and loss. There is no inconsistency in maintaining that one should aim at a secure life in order to live the best possible human life while also realizing that the best possible human life will be marked by insecurity. In this way, we move beyond a discussion of which desires are satisfiable, and we tackle the question about the value of what is desired and the value of the desiring itself.

To address this possible objection, Socrates needs to give us a different argument. After all, the geometer does not need to offer multiple proofs of his theorem. What might seem worse, the additional proofs concern pleasure, and thereby introduce—seemingly at the eleventh hour—a heap of new considerations for the ethics of the Republic. But as the considerations at the end of the previous section show, these pleasure proofs are crucial.

Plato merely dramatizes these considerations. Socrates has offered not merely to demonstrate that it is always better to be just than unjust but to persuade Glaucon and Adeimantus but especially Glaucon: Insofar as Glaucon shows sympathy for spirited attitudes d with the discussion in section 4. The additional proofs serve a second purpose, as well.

At the end of Book Five, Socrates says that faculties at least psychological faculties are distinguished by their results their rate of success and by their objects what they concern c—d. So far, he has discussed only the success-rates of various kinds of psychological attitudes. He needs to discuss the objects of various kinds of psychological attitudes in order to complete his account.

The two arguments that Socrates proceeds to make are frustratingly difficult see Gosling and Taylor , Nussbaum , Russell , Moss , Warren , Shaw The first is an appeal to authority, in four easy steps. First, Socrates suggests that just as each part of the soul has its own characteristic desires and pleasures, so persons have characteristic desires and pleasures depending upon which part of their soul rules them.

The characteristic pleasure of philosophers is learning. The characteristic pleasure of honor-lovers is being honored. The characteristic pleasure of money-lovers is making money. Next, Socrates suggests that each of these three different kinds of person would say that her own pleasure is best. Finally, Socrates argues that the philosopher is better than the honor-lover and the money-lover in reason, experience, and argument. It is sometimes thought that the philosopher cannot be better off in experience, for the philosopher has never lived as an adult who is fully committed to the pleasures of the money-lover.

The first establishes that pleasure and pain are not exhaustive contradictories but opposites, separated by a calm middle that is neither pain nor pleasure. This may sometimes seem false. The removal of pain can seem to be pleasant, and the removal of a pleasure can seem to be painful. But Socrates argues that these appearances are deceptive.

He distinguishes between pleasures that fill a lack and thereby replace a pain these are not genuine pleasures and those that do not fill a lack and thereby replace a pain these are genuine pleasures. The second step in the argument is to establish that most bodily pleasures—and the most intense of these—fill a painful lack and are not genuine pleasures.

The pleasure proofs tempt some readers to suppose that Socrates must have a hedonistic conception of happiness. After all, he claims to have shown that the just person is happier than the unjust a—c , and he says that his pleasure arguments are proofs of the same claim c—d, b. But these arguments can work just as the first proof works: Socrates can suppose that happiness, whatever it is, is marked by pleasure just as it is marked by the absence of regret, frustration, and fear.

Pleasure is a misleading guide see c—d and c , and there are many false, self-undermining routes to pleasure and fearlessness. Anyone inclined to doubt that one should always be just would be inclined to doubt that justice is happiness. So Socrates has to appeal to characteristics of happiness that do not, in his view, capture what happiness is, in the hope that the skeptics might agree that happiness correlates with the absence of regret, frustration, and fear and the presence of pleasure. That would be enough for the proofs. Their beliefs and desires have been stained too deeply by a world filled with mistakes, especially by the misleading tales of the poets.

To turn Glaucon and Adeimantus more fully toward virtue, Socrates needs to undercut their respect for the poets, and he needs to begin to stain their souls anew. The work that remains to be done—especially the sketch of a soul at the end of Book Nine and the myth of an afterlife in Book Ten—should deepen without transforming our appreciation for the psychological ethics of the Republic.

Just as Socrates develops an account of a virtuous, successful human being and contrasts it with several defective characters, he also develops an account of a virtuous, successful city and contrasts it with several defective constitutions. So the Republic contributes to political philosophy in two main ways. To sketch a good city, Socrates does not take a currently or previously extant city as his model and offer adjustments see e, and cf. He insists on starting from scratch, reasoning from the causes that would bring a city into being a—b.

This makes his picture of a good city an ideal, a utopia. The ideal city is conceivable, but humans are psychologically unable to create and sustain such a city. To consider the objection, we first need to distinguish two apparently ideal cities that Socrates describes. It contains no provision for war, and no distinction among classes.

At c—d, Glaucon suggests that one might find a third city, as well, by distinguishing between the three-class city whose rulers are not explicitly philosophers and the three-class city whose rulers are, but a three-class city whose rulers are not philosophers cannot be an ideal city, according to Socrates b—e.

It is better to see Books Five through Seven as clarifications of the same three-class city first developed without full explicitness in Books Two through Four cf. This city resembles a basic economic model since Socrates uses it in theorizing how a set of people could efficiently satisfy their necessary appetitive desires Schofield At the center of his model is a principle of specialization: It is a nowhere-utopia, and thus not an ideal-utopia.

This is not to say that the first city is a mistake. Socrates introduces the first city not as a free-standing ideal but as the beginning of his account of the ideal, and his way of starting highlights two features that make the eventual ideal an ideal. One is the principle of specialization. With it Socrates sketches how people might harmoniously satisfy their appetitive attitudes. If reason could secure a society of such people, then they would be happy, and reason does secure a society of such people in the third class of the ideal city.

So the model turns out to be a picture of the producers in Kallipolis. But the principle can also explain how a single person could flourish, for a version of it explains the optimal satisfaction of all psychological attitudes d—a with b—c. He objects that it lacks couches, tables, relishes, and the other things required for a symposium, which is the cornerstone of civilized human life as he understands it Burnyeat Glaucon is not calling for satisfaction of unnecessary appetitive attitudes, for the relishes he insists on are later recognized to be among the objects of necessary appetitive attitudes b.

Rather, he is expressing spirited indignation, motivated by a sense of what is honorable and fitting for a human being. He insists that there is more to a good human life than the satisfaction of appetitive attitudes. This begins to turn Glaucon away from appetitive considerations against being just. Some readers would have Plato welcome the charge. As they understand the Republic , Socrates sketches the second city not as an ideal for us to strive for but as a warning against political utopianism or as an unimportant analogue to the good person.

There are a couple of passages to support this approach. At b—b, Socrates says that the point of his ideal is to allow us to judge actual cities and persons based on how well they approximate it. And at a—b, he says that the ideal city can serve as a model paradeigma were it ever to come into existence or not.

But these passages have to be squared with the many in which Socrates insists that the ideal city could in fact come into existence just a few: His considered view is that although the ideal city is meaningful to us even if it does not exist, it could exist. Of course, realizing the ideal city is highly unlikely. The widespread disrepute of philosophy and the corruptibility of the philosophical nature conspire to make it extremely difficult for philosophers to gain power and for rulers to become philosophers a—c.

Nevertheless, according to what Socrates explicitly says, the ideal city is supposed to be realizable. The Laws imagines an impossible ideal, in which all the citizens are fully virtuous and share everything a— with Plato: Griswold and Marshall I consider this possibility in section 6 below. This is not clear. It is difficult to show that the ideal city is inconsistent with human nature as the Republic understands it. Socrates supposes that almost all of its citizens—not quite all d—e —have to reach their fullest psychological potential, but it is not clear that anyone has to do more than this.

This version of the criticism is sometimes advanced in very sweeping terms: In these general terms, the criticism is false. Socrates builds his theory on acute awareness of how dangerous and selfish appetitive attitudes are, and indeed of how self-centered the pursuit of wisdom is, as well. A hard-nosed political scientist might have this sort of response. But this sounds like nothing more than opposition to political theory proposing ideals that are difficult to achieve, and it is not clear what supports this opposition.

It is not as though political theorizing must propose ideas ready for implementation in order to propose ideas relevant to implementation. But it can also work in more specific terms: Of course, even if it is not nowhere-utopian, it might fail to be attractively ideal-utopian. We need to turn to other features of the second city that have led readers to praise and blame it.

One of the most striking features of the ideal city is its abolition of private families and sharp limitation on private property in the two guardian classes. On the one hand, Aristotle at Politics a11—22 and others have expressed uncertainty about the extent of communism in the ideal city. On the other, they have argued that communism of any extent has no place in an ideal political community. There should be no confusion about private property.

When Socrates describes the living situation of the guardian classes in the ideal city d—b , he is clear that private property will be sharply limited, and when he discusses the kinds of regulations the rulers need to have in place for the whole city c ff. But confusion about the scope of communal living arrangements is possible, due to the casual way in which Socrates introduces this controversial proposal.

The abolition of private families enters as an afterthought. It is not immediately clear whether this governance should extend over the whole city or just the guardian classes.

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Still, when he is pressed to defend the communal arrangements c ff. To what extent the communism of the ideal city is problematic is a more complicated question. The critics claim that communism is either undesirable or impossible. This criticism fails if there is clear evidence of people who live communally.

But the critic can fall back on the charge of undesirability. Here the critic needs to identify what is lost by giving up on private property and private families, and the critic needs to show that this is more valuable than any unity and extended sense of family the communal arrangements offer. It is not clear how this debate should go. Socrates ties the abolition of private families among the guardian classes to another radical proposal, that in the ideal city the education for and job of ruling should be open to girls and women.

The exact relation between the proposals is contestable Okin Is Socrates proposing the abolition of families in order to free up women to do the work of ruling? Or is Socrates putting the women to work since they will not have the job of family-caregiver anymore? But perhaps neither is prior to the other.

Each of the proposals can be supported independently, and their dovetailing effects can be claimed as a happy convergence. Other readers disagree Annas , Buchan First, Socrates suggests that the distinction between male and female is as relevant as the distinction between having long hair and having short hair for the purposes of deciding who should be active guardians: The second plausibly feminist commitment in the Republic involves the abolition of private families. But as Socrates clarifies what he means, both free love and male possessiveness turn out to be beside the point.

Plato is clearly aware that an account of how the polis should be arranged must give special attention to how families are arranged. Relatedly, he is clearly aware that an account of the ideal citizens must explain how sexual desire, a paradigmatic appetitive attitude, should fit into the good human life.

All the more might this awareness seem feminist when we relate it back to the first plausibly feminist commitment, for Plato wants the economy of desire and reproduction to be organized in such a way that women are free for education and employment alongside men, in the guardian classes, at any rate. Second, some have said that feminism requires attention to what actual women want. Since Plato shows no interest in what actual women want, he would seem on this view of feminism to be anti-feminist. But the limitations of this criticism are apparent as soon as we realize that Plato shows no interest in what actual men want.

Plato focuses instead on what women and men should want, what they would want if they were in the best possible psychological condition. Third, some have insisted that feminism requires attention to and concern for the particular interests and needs of women as distinct from the particular interests and needs of men. There should be no doubt that there are conceptions of feminism according to which the Republic is anti-feminist.

But this does not undercut the point that the Republic advances a couple of plausibly feminist concerns. Socrates consistently emphasizes concern for the welfare of the whole city, but not for women themselves esp. After all, what greater concern could Socrates show for the women than to insist that they be fully educated and allowed to hold the highest offices? Socrates goes on to argue that the philosopher-rulers of the city, including the female philosopher-rulers, are as happy as human beings can be. But it is not clear that these distinctions will remove all of the tension, especially when Socrates and Glaucon are saying that men are stronger or better than women in just about every endeavor c.

Final judgment on this question is difficult see also Saxonhouse , Levin , E. The disparaging remarks have to be taken one-by-one, as it is doubtful that all can be understood in exactly the same way. Moreover, it is of the utmost importance to determine whether each remark says something about the way all women are by nature or essentially. But if the disparagements do not express any considered views about the nature of women, then we might be able to conclude that Plato is deeply prejudiced against women and yet committed to some plausibly feminist principles.

But it is worth thinking through the various ways in which this charge might be made, to clarify the way the philosopher-rulers wield political authority over the rest of the city see Bambrough , Taylor , L. Brown , and Ackrill Socrates is quite explicit that the good at which the rulers aim is the unity of the city a—b. Is this an inherently totalitarian and objectionable aim? The problem, Popper and others have charged, is that the rulers aim at the organic unity of the city as a whole, regardless of the individual interests of the citizens.

But this would be surprising, if true. So how could the rulers of Kallipolis utterly disregard the good of the citizens? Some readers answer Popper by staking out a diametrically opposed position Vlastos Any totalitarian control of the citizens is paternalistic. Yet this view, too, seems at odds with much of the Republic. So a mixed interpretation seems to be called for Morrison ; cf.

Kamtekar , Meyer , and Brennan On this view, if the citizens do not see themselves as parts of the city serving the city, neither the city nor they will be maximally happy. But it is not obvious that the rulers of Kallipolis have inherently totalitarian and objectionable aims cf. Kallipolis has more clearly totalitarian features. First, totalitarian regimes concentrate political power in one bloc and offer the ruled no alternative. But the concentration of political power in Kallipolis differs in at least two ways from the concentration in actual totalitarian states.

First, Socrates insists that in the ideal city, all the citizens will agree about who should rule. Socrates also suggests some ways of explaining how the non-philosophers will agree that the philosophers should rule. First, he offers a way of persuading those who lack knowledge that only the philosophers have knowledge d—a , which in effect offers a way of explaining to the non-philosophers that only the philosophers have the knowledge required to rule.

Their virtue would be especially striking to the producers, since the philosophers do without private property, which the producers love so much. Finally, he suggests that in Kallipolis, the producers will be grateful to the guardian classes for keeping the city safe and orderly, wherein they can achieve their good, as they see it, by optimally satisfying their necessary appetitive attitudes a—b.

Socrates is clear that the philosophers despise political power c, a , and they rule not to reap rewards but for the sake of the ruled cf. In fact, the rulers of Kallipolis benefit the ruled as best they can, helping them realize the best life they are capable of. These benefits must include some primary education for the producer class see d , to make good on the commitment to promote especially talented children born among the producers c, d and to enable the producers to recognize the virtue in the philosophers.

But the benefits extend to peace and order: A second totalitarian feature of Kallipolis is the control that the rulers exert over daily life. There is nothing especially totalitarian about the rule of law pervasive in Kallipolis see esp. This propagandistic control plainly represents a totalitarian concern, and it should make us skeptical about the value of the consent given to the rulers of Kallipolis.

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It is one thing to identify totalitarian features of Kallipolis and another thing to say why they are wrong. Three very different objections suggest themselves. First, we might reject the idea of an objectively knowable human good, and thus reject the idea that political power should be in the hands of those who know the human good. At least, it does not seem implausible to suppose that some general psychological capacities are objectively good for their possessors while others are objectively bad , and at that point, we can ask whether political power should be used to foster the good capacities and to restrain or prevent the bad ones.

Given that state-sponsored education cannot but address the psychological capacities of the pupils, only very austere political systems could be supported by a thorough-going skepticism about the human good. Second, we might accept the idea of an objectively knowable human good, but be wary of concentrating extensive political power in the hands of a few knowers.

If this is our objection, then we might wonder what checks are optimal. This sort of response is perhaps the most interesting, but it is by no means easy.