- Posted by: essay
- Category: Free essays
“Plato – is one of the personalities of world history, his philosophy – it is one of the pages of world history, had a profound influence on spiritual development and formation of man from its very inception and at all subsequent times” (Hegel).
The prominent thinkers of the ancient period, have devoted much attention to politics, power, state, law, forms of government and others, in search of answers to fundamental questions of the universe in general and self-organization of human communities in particular. One of the most beautiful gift that fate has kept us from ancient times – is, without doubt, the works of Plato.
Plato’s idea about the state became one of the greatest ideas of European intellectual life, a philosophy which appeared in the first chapter of its history. On the one hand, this idea reflects the practical legal point of view of a Greek aristocrat who did not recognize any other private interests and the society in question, subordinate to his rule as a functional unit that exists to multiply his wealth and divisible according to the need for this services.
Plato is perhaps the first philosopher, setting out the philosophical context of policy issues and state of society. In “The Republic”, he gives a wide panorama of the social structure, forms of government and moral relations existing between people in their life together.
Central political-philosophical problem of this work is the question of fairness. Plato reflects on what is justice, as it is describe. “…True ruler has in mind is not something that suited him, but what is suitable and subordination, so that everyone understands that people, instead of worry about the benefit of others, would prefer that others cared about its usefulness.”
The position of Plato is called: The Idea of The Philosopher King: “philosophers [must] become kings…or those now called kings must…genuinely and adequately philosophize” . Let’s take a closer look at this philosophical idea.
According to Plato, aristocrats should exercise political power, but not in their interests, but for the sake of philosophical ideas. To this end, he wanted to make of them philosophers, to educate their music and mathematics.
He said: “…there are some who are naturally fitted for philosophy and political leadership, while the rest should follow their lead and let philosophy alone”.
Justice, due to the conviction of the ancient philosopher, is not just an individual but a whole state, the origin of which he connects with the needs, when every man, being unable to meet his needs, is dealing with another person doing what the rest people need: “Let brother help brother”.
Plato advocates the division of labor, linking it with the natural inclinations of man. The division of labor is the cause of the division of society into three classes: philosophy, liberty and the workers, or, as expressed by Plato, the three principles – a consultative, safety and business. “All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else” .
Plato proceeds from the existing inequalities mental abilities of people, and this inequality, in turn – a logical consequence of the concept of knowledge as recollection.
In the political philosophy of Plato, its principal place takes an ideal republic. This model can be called an aristocratic theocracy with a noticeable tinge, it traced the features and attributes that form of government, which at that time prevailed in Sparta .
At the head of the Republic should be philosophers and rulers, as bearers of immutable, eternal, absolute truths. In this state all people feel happy in it a just, whereas in poor injustice prevails. Plato believed that the ideal state should be four virtues: wisdom, courage, temperance and justice. Wisdom – is the adoption of the rulers of sound decision-making, courage – is the persistence of certain views in all situations. Judgement – the power “over certain pleasures and desires” .
All three classes must be fair: they are free, equal and happy. Dismissed because internally realized the necessity of his position, are equal, because each person the ideal state has the right place in society, for which he was born. The rights of all citizens in the state are limited to the real possibilities, and in this sense they are all equal.
“ We admit it – the individual is just in the same way that justice is carried out in the state…- It is also absolutely necessary…- But we do not forget that our state has been recognized as valid in that case, if each of its three estates does it work “ .
The ideal state is not created for the benefit of an individual or a single class, but for the sake of the whole, that is, for the sake of the state, outside of which the individual can not exist. Everyone does their job and not interfere in the affairs of another – this is justice, as it was understood by Plato.
Can I assume that all the teachings of Plato about the the ideal state and philosopher kings was a pure delusion? He argued that true knowledge and understanding could be obtained only through the intellect, not emotions: “Reason must withdraw from the world of experience, if you want to reach the truth” .
If Plato is seriously believed in it, it is difficult to understand why he first tried to create their utopian state? After all these philosophical ideas utterly incompatible with political practice.
And yet, according to Plato: “If the philosopher does not become the ruler or leader is not studying philosophy to be no end to the suffering people” .
Allen, R.E. “Plato: The Republic”. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.
Cross, R.C. “Plato’s Republic: A Philosophical Commentary”. London: Macmillan. 1964.
Reeve, C.D.C. “Philosopher-Kings: The Argument of Plato’s Republic”. Princeton University Press, 1988.