• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Society originates because the individual is not self sufficient and no two of us are born exactly alike". How does Plato get from that claim to the view that philosophers should rule? Are you convinced by his claims that philosophers should rule?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Society originates because the individual is not self sufficient and no two of us are born exactly alike". How does Plato get from that claim to the view that philosophers should rule? Are you convinced by his claims that philosophers should rule? It is in Plato's Republic that we first get a discussion of his ideal state and the components needed for its proper function. Plato's model, known as Kallipolis, is introduced by Socrates during his dialogues with his friends and it is throughout Books I-VIII that this state is built up through three distinct stages until Plato concludes that only philosopher kings should rule. Socrates starts with what Plato labels the "first principals of social organization"1, namely the basics which are needed for an "economically self sufficient city"2; in the second stage he goes on to develop this idea. He adds luxury to the state necessitating the presence of armed forces which in turn become the governing class from which come the philosopher kings, selected by the process of the education system that Plato set up to discern those best qualified to rule. The first stage is primitive at best and simply contains the key elements needed to fulfil the "underlying principles of any society"3. ...read more.

Middle

So the city now consists not of economic equals but of people pursuing their economic function. They co-operate with each other to make life pleasant for others preparing each to subordinate his own interests to those of others. Kallipolis now has three classes, the producers, the Guardians and the Philosopher-Kings and "each member will perform that function, and only that function, for which he is destined by nature"30. To distinguish between these classes and discover to which class each person belongs Plato brings in education and also his theory of a tripartite soul. Through this education process which is a "concern of the state"31 , all people reach their full potential and thereby acknowledge their social position. To understand the nature of the philosopher kings we examine Plato's theory of the soul. There are three types of desire in the "tripartite soul" which "correspond to the three parts of the state"32; appetitive desires (base ones for things such as food, money and sex), spirited desires (for honour, victory and reputation) and rational desires (for knowledge and truth). In each person one of the three desires rules, thereby determining their class and values. ...read more.

Conclusion

The taking away of the family from the philosopher class would also in my opinion make him a worse ruler, less in touch with society and less developed as a character. Also from a secular viewpoint it is not right to put only educated rulers from one strata of society in power when those from a less education background could be more in touch with society and its needs. Also the prospect of a state education system selecting the leaders of the city is a matter of concern as the "relevant knowledge" which Plato advocates is purely a matter of opinion and therefore may be biased. Also these rational desires, that the philosopher king is supposed to have, are not I believe the monopoly of the educated. They can be found at all levels of society. Also Plato denies personal advancement in his city, especially once a person has been graded. In reality however once people have met their basic needs there is a desire for more. Also it is not natural for people to forgo private property even if they are a ruler. Therefore I would conclude that Plato's view, that the philosopher kings should rule, is incorrect and unrealistic in terms of any real society and its values. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Work & Leisure section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Work & Leisure essays

  1. Assess the claim that the nuclear family as a dominant form of family structure ...

    Graham Allen and Graham Crow support the Rapoports and argue that it is a continuing trend. Furthermore, The New Right, a conservative perspective, opposes diversity but admits that it is replacing the nuclear family, which, in their view, is the best type of family unit for society.

  2. 'Education is a tool of the ruling class'- Discuss.

    David and Moore state that the role of education is to allocate people to occupations that best suit them ability wise. They say that educational mechanisms such as grades, exams, references and qualifications are used to sort individuals.

  1. Examination of the Functionalist view that schools serve the interests of both society and ...

    They argue that meritocracy in society is a myth, which merely reduces the discontent of those who are least successful, and that the education system is just something that serves the needs of capitalism by legitimating inequality and thus preventing conflict.

  2. a) With reference to the Items and elsewhere, assess the view that the introduction ...

    It is wrong to emphasise on how the conflict produces social order, which is a characteristic in any society: those with power and those without. The criticism of the functionalist approach is that it stresses order as an expense of conflict.

  1. What were the lives of people like in the 19th century cities?

    Small holes would be ignored or fixed, bigger ones left till the boot is completely destroyed. Because of his bad working conditions he would not look any good. His skin would be rough and so would his body. Probably a bent back and if not, some injuries.

  2. SOCIAL CLASS DIVISION

    Interactionist theory focuses on what goes on in the classroom between teachers and pupils rather than social factors external to the school. Interactionist approaches have concentrated on the processes of surveillance and evaluation adopted by teachers when they interact with children.

  1. Critically examine the view that society is becoming Mcdonalized using relevant examples to illustrate ...

    Many would say this is an irrationality of Mcdonaldization, that is a an unintended and negative consequence of the ideology. Malls control what is available for us to buy as they authorize which shops can be in the mall. Therefore malls tend to be full of high street chains rather than individual independent shops, which limits our choice.

  2. Religion can both be a conservative force and an initiator of social change. To ...

    Therefore, the interpretation that Calvinists put on pre-destination contributed to them being the first capitalists. Weber describes the Protestant ethic, which developed in 17th Century Western Europe. The ethic was ascetic - encouraging abstinence from life's pleasures, an austere lifestyle and self-discipline.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work