Ideal State Paper
Eren ErkanFinal Draft 20801260 IR Phil 243/ 15 Tugce Ar? kan Essay Question: Explain Plato’s ideal state by referring to the Republic, book IV and VII. To what extent do you agree with Plato’s idea that the kings should be philosophers? Why? Why not? Concept of create an ideal state really need to long effort and time. This concept and long standing debate that how should be an ideal state is explains in Plato’s Republic book IV and VII. In Republic, Plato explains the features of an ideal state and he claims that the kings should be philosophers.
He thinks to govern a state and make social harmony properly philosophers should govern the state. At this point, I will try to clarify Plato’s ideal state and why kings should be philosophers and why they are the only ones to spread justice & wisdom. Main aim of ideal state should be to create a state which everybody is happy and equal. According to Plato, ‘’in establishing their city, they don’t aiming to make any one group outstandingly happy but to make the whole city so, as far as possible. They thought that we’d find justice most easily in such a city and injustice. ’(Plato, Republic, 420b) In that part Plato explains the state a big piece and he thinks there should be no differences in this piece, because if there is an unhappy or privileged groups that affects all state harmony. Then while he explains that idea Plato says everybody must do their own jobs. He means everybody should do their own duties. Plato gives an example that shows why all people should make their duties: ‘’ to be creating the happy city not picking out a few happy people and putting them in it, but making whole city happy.
You must look to see whether by dealing with each part appropriately, we are making the whole part beautiful. Similarly, you mustn’t force us to give our guardians. We know how to clothe the farmers in purple robes, festoon them with gold jewelry, and tell them to work the land whenever they please. ’’(Plato, Republic, 420e) This quotation explains how to create social order because everybody should their own job properly. Thus, no one obstruct other ones duties and excellent social harmony and justice will be provided. As for what is necessary to create an ideal state, for Plato’s ideal state all part of society should work better.
Society should be divided in to three classes namely the philosophers, the guardians and the producers. This exact division of society, needless to say, is basic foundation of the concept division of labor and in both system, to function in a healthy way, everyone should does his or her own duty. These three classes have different duties and different symbolic implications. Philosophers constitute higher class and they are law maker. Their duty is administrate the state by their knowledge. The guardians are warrior and protector of city, and they constitute middle class.
Third class is producers; they are consisting of farmer and artisans. Their function is provide societies basic needs(Plato, Republic, 421b- 433a). Plato’s ideal state is that 3 classes of people made the harmony. I mean, when these classes worked like a machine, state will have peace. However, to protect these harmony Plato suggest that ‘’ city gets a good start; it will go on growing in a cycle. Good education and upbringing, when they are preserved, produce good natures, and useful natures who are turn well educated, grow up even better than their predecessors, both in their offspring and in other respect, just like other animals. ’ (Plato, Republic, 424b) He actually claims that, to protect these 3 classes harmony, we should have well educated people. If we teach and convince people to protect their status, we can reach excellent social system. In addition, according Plato, to being an ideal state, before individual should be just person, because he believes to manage a state well, people should be wisdom, courage, and moderate but apart from these people should be just. In ‘’Republic’’, Plato explains his idea that way ‘’ it is necessarily follows that the individual is wise in the same way and in the same part of himself as the city.
Isn’t individual courageous in the same way and in the same part of himself as the city? Moreover, he supposes that a man is just in the same way as a city. He also remembers that each one of us in whom each part is doing its own work will himself be just and do his own. ’’ (Plato, Republic, 441c) He means they are able to achieve found an ideal state if each one do its own work justly. Plato somehow considers society as a human body and he specifies each class as an organ, philosophers symbolize the brain, guardians are heart and producers symbolize the down of the body.
To keep this body healthy, each part should make their duties. Therefore, justice and injustice compared with health and illness. According to Plato, ‘’ just and unjust actions are no different for the soul than healthy and unhealthy things are for the body. Healthy things produce health, unhealthy ones disease. Produce justice establish the parts of the soul in a natural relation of control, one by another. ’’(Plato, Republic, 444c) Thus, in ideal state every person should be just because, for staying healthy our city needs to just people.
Thanks to just people state will become ‘’ideal’’. In ideal state, Plato has an idea that philosophers should be king because he thinks only philosophers are just and wise. In Republic book VII, wisdom and being just is explains with a metaphor that called ‘allegory of cave’. This metaphor is meant to illustrate the effects of education on the human soul. Education moves the philosopher through the stages on the divided line, and ultimately brings him to the Form of the Good.
In this allegory ‘’ the effect of education and of the lack of it on our nature to an experience like human beings living in an underground, cave like dwelling which is both open to light and as wide as the cave itself. They have been there since childhood, fixed in the same place, with their necks and legs fettered’’ (Plato, Republic, 514a) It is explains that differences between wise and others because wisdom means seeing truth directly and it is not possible behind the shadows. As I am said before wisdom and justice are related concepts.
To acknowledge as a wise person, s/he should be just personality. According to Plato ‘’ education isn’t what some people declare it to be, namely, putting knowledge into souls that lack it, like putting sight into blind eyes. The power to learn is present in everyone’s soul and that the instrument with which each learns is like an eye that cannot be turned around from darkness to light without turning the whole body. ’’ (Plato, Republic, 518c) this example shows that each soul has power to learn, but ducation cannot close the gap that wisdom and justice produced. Therefore, I agree with Plato’s idea that philosophers should be king because in this way state will ruled by just and wise person. In conclusion, main aim of Plato’s ideal state is create a city which everybody is happy and equal. To provide this aim Plato specifies different roles for different classes and he thinks justice is the harmony between classes namely everyone does his or her own job, which is a necessity for society and for people to live in an appropriate way.
Only by this way the society could function like a human body but the most important part the body is govern by ‘wise’ and ‘just’ people. Additionally, I think the idea of Plato that philosophers should be king is really reasonable because they are the only people who can govern the ideal state properly. They are wise than other people and they have ability to govern. Therefore, in order to have an ideal state, social harmony must be provide and philosophers should be king. Word Count: 1403