The Republic by Plato [Book Summary – Review]

What gets a human to be fair? And how can we explain a fair capital? The thing that is the Athens fly Socrates is trying to uncover throughout the Republic is answers to such questions.

Although this discussion was written by Plato more before than 2,000 years, it is still the center of both philosophy and political theory. Admittedly, once the whole philosophy was named as “a footnote to Plato” by Sir Alfred North Whitehead who was the mathematician and meta physicist. The Republic, an indispensable part of the Western canon, puts you in the shoes of one of Socrates’ followers and traces him, seeking various human beings about the role that fairness, philosophy, and art played in the formation of the town and the spirit.

Therefore, this abstract will show you the following;

  • why just looking fair is the worst kind of inequity;
  • why are people bond to their community by the “noble lie”; and
  • why the spirit is created like a talking.

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Chapter 1 – What is questioned and eliminated by Socrates is the meaning of fairness proposed by dialogue partners.

How would you describe fairness? No matter how well your answer is examined, your definition could be presumably destroyed by Socrates. He determines and seeks different meanings of fairness during the dialogue between him and his collocutors.

What comes from Polemarchus, who insists that fairness is to give everyone what they are in debt is the initial definition. In answer, it is tried to weaken this definition by discovering exceptions by Socrates. What if he is in debt to a gun? Even if the person returns his debt, he should not propose a gun to someone who is crazy and impedes to hurt someone.

Therefore, the meaning of fairness “to give the debtor” does not every time apply.

Later, another answer is given by Polemarchus: Being just defines helping friends and hurting opponents. For this, Socrates questions whether there are conditions under which it is moral to hurt. He discovers that it is not there. He tells animal trainers not to take advantage of the animals they hurt; Likewise, people become less moral provided that they are harmed. Besides, one may consider friends as adversaries and adversaries as friends, and hence take advantage of what they desire to cause hurt.

Therefore, this second definition also fails, as hurting someone is not helpful and our decisions cannot be completely correct.

The third definition put forward by Thrasymachus is that fairness is what is beneficial to a sovereign.

The thing that is questioned by Socrates is whether this definition implements to other positions – a physician, for instance. The health of the patient, instead of the advantage of the doctor, should be the primary attention of the physician. A sovereign who tries to benefit himself rather than his individuals is not just. Like the doctor, the emperor should target to do nicely to his “patient”, that is, the town.

This third meaning is also insufficient, and therefore the first venture to describe fairness comes to a stalemate in dialogue, an aporia.

Chapter 2 – At justice, it cannot be studied separately of the person and the town.

After this deadlock, Socrates’s definition of justice is offered by himself: taking care of one’s job. He says it owns both an individual and a common feature.

With that in mind, our job is to play our proper role and be in charge of and thus advantage both ourselves and our town. Each of the residents of a town that operates in a fair and great-organized way has a role that fits them excellently. Therefore, no one should take care of everything on their own.

It is claimed by Socrates that a town must involve craft workers, physicians, traders, administrators, and soldiers and that every individual must accept their role and then acquit it skillfully. Information of the individual’s role relies on the city having fair institutions that train residents of their proper tasks.

When they comprehend what their tasks are, people take care of their job by performing their roles fairly and properly. This resonates within the town, making it either fair or unfair.

However, it is revealed by Socrates that not everyone is suitable for every role. For example, someone qualified to be a general does not surely have to be the greatest horse instructor.

Each individual’s business should greatly benefit society – this is their communal role. Let’s take the emperor as an instance: A fair emperor rules over the town, while a tyrant commands his interest. Thus, the actions of a tyrant indicate the corrupt community he manages, while the actions of a fair emperor show the fair town he controls.

Justice for each person cannot, therefore, be viewed independently of justice for the city.

Therefore, fairness for each individual cannot be seen separately from fairness for the town.

Designating the individual’s role is never the person’s judgment, it is formed by the requirements of the town and the person’s abilities.

In an optimal and equitable town, the requirements of the town and the requirements of the person work in common life and benefit from the city’s people and people who benefit from it.

Chapter 3 – What must be just? The answer is individuals and towns. Just being seen is the worst kind of inequity.

There is a subject that operates through dialogues on fairness – the distinction between basis and sight. Scilicet, how something looks distinctive than it is. The biggest inequity is when it appears when someone is unfair.

Glaucon, who is Plato’s brother, is now participating in the discussion. Both Glaucon and Socrates try to comprehend fairness and introduce the opinion that a just life is more charming than an unfair life.

It is argued by Glaucon, who plays the devil’s advocate that he desires Socrates to refute. He bets that the majority of the community sees just the look of living a fair life as better than being fair in reality.

But it is not only denied by Socrates this but also is emphasized that like life is notably unfair.

He says that someone who looks like a talented gunmaker looks like this even though he’s inadequate. By such false, it is declared that it will guide to solid-looking shields that shatter in conflict. The point is that someone’s real character has nothing to do with looks. Settle one to the examination and it will be discovered by you which from a type of metal they are shaped.

Ultimately, the city is declared by Socrates that one can understand whether someone is fair or not by examining their realm – the town – and their relationship with others. Consequently, for a person to be fair, their town must be fair and not.

Therefore, Socrates states that only people cannot endure without a fair town. In other words, people living in towns whose rules benefit the minority live in unfair cities even though they seem fair.

The before-mentioned cities are frequently run by tyrants whose unfair behavior is utilized to construct the dignity of fairness. The bully’s laws every time encourage him and he doesn’t like everyone who opposes him. The tyrant attempts just to fulfill his aims, instead of achieving general good.

Chapter 4 – What is important for fairness is training and a “royal lie.”

Socrates assumes that training should teach people to be fair. For this reason, a healthy education is an education that permits human beings to have a healthy brain and body that protects and strengthens the town.

For instance, what uncovers the path to a healthy mind is musical education, and thanks to gymnastics, the way to a healthy body is opened.

Music assists to train the brain and spirit within rhythm and harmony, both maintaining an equitable mindset and guiding to a fair character. This equitable order is also necessary for several arts and crafts.

What encourages physical power and strengthens group collaboration is gymnastics. In special, it is nurtured with Olympic sports both personal power and group mind.

People empower themselves by going for a run or throwing javelins. It is taken by the group as training by participating in wrestling and fighting exercises, activities that require collaboration among human beings, and thus develop the group’s mind.

What is that they get residents healthy in terms of mind and body is the advantage of music and gymnastics, as they allow the improvement and strengthening of a town’s culture and army.

Whilst a healthy brain and body are beneficial to the person, something else is needed to support fairness and make the person sense included in the future of the town: a royal lie that attaches human beings to their town and their societies.

What explains to the residents that the globe is mothers and nurses is the royal lie, and that whole inhabitants rise from below the town. Since the base of the town is the Earth, residents are also dependent on the Earth that carries them. Socrates indicates that human beings should be told of this lie, or an equivalent legend, by their guardians. This is what gets them to sense joined with their town.

What allows human beings to preserve the town in times of battle and strengthen it in times of peace is the royal lie.

Chapter 5 – It is compared by Socrates that is the town to the person by making an analogy between the spirit of the fair town and the spirit of the just individual.

It is said by Socrates that it is improbable for anyone to investigate his town without exploring it. Not only does a city build its residents, but residents also build and improve their cities. A fair individual and a fair town require each other.

A town sets its residents according to its regulations and institutions. Later, while residents grow and take on distinctive roles, they can change rules and assist the town to move forward with them by designing fresh ones.

Hence, you cannot own a fair individual in an unfair society or an unfair human in a fair society.

Socrates makes an analogy between the town and the individual spirit to show his point of view.

Once Socrates is asked by Glaucon to investigate the spirit of the righteous, it is said by Socrates that the spirit is similar to a conversation because it is logical and rational. It can be revealed by an individual’s spirit during chats with that human and their explanations about their action.

What is just similar to a fair individual on a larger range is the fair town. Hence, the speeches, dialogues, and regulations on which the fair town is discovered should be considered through argument.

An individual can comprehend a town by speaking to others, as they can know how they are considering by speaking to that human.

Provided that the city is fair, it will only produce human beings who can present an account of their behavior and discuss what forms their justice.

So, considering a fair individual is also a matter of examining the fair town through conversations and dialogues between Socrates and his collectors.

Chapter 6 – The city and the spirit are separated into three pieces, and every part of the town matches every part of the human’s spirit.

What must the fair town appear like and how should it be built? It is used by Socrates that the royal lie to indicate how the town is split and how the human spirit is separated into the exact parts as the town.

The part that is the soul and city is managed by reason is the initial part.

According to the royal lie, city leaders have golden spirits belonging to the defenders who are provided to form and rule the regulations. While the sovereigns manage the city, the logical part of the soul informed by reason and rationality should control other pieces of the spirit, preserving order and hence fairness. In this first section, there are also planned duties and ways to achieve them.

The second part of the city is the soldiers, which come to the warmer, “lively” piece of the spirit.

Those with silver spirits generate the army and the warrior protects the town in wars and enforces regulations in peacetime. This “living” piece of silver behaves as a negotiator once there is a battle between the logical and desired parts of the spirit. It keeps the order between brain and feelings by seeming a balance between laborious calculations and rash judgments.

What is made up of farmers and craft workers is the lowest part of the town, and the lowest part of the spirit – the bronze piece – is the part controlled by wishes.

The people who are farmers, craftsmen, and producers of goods are bronze spirit ones. This part is managed by natural wishes and wants like crying sexual desire for momentary pleasure. It also allows us to comprehend when we require to have dinner, nap, or reproduce.

Even though kings, warriors, farmers, and craft workers symbolize the gold, silver, and bronze elements of the spirit respectively, their spirits are also separated into gold, silver, and bronze. Hence, just as managers have desires in their souls, farmers and craftsmen own a vibrant and rational part of their spirits.

Chapter 7 – In a perfectly fair town, the people who should be kings are philosophers or philosophers should be emperors.

Provided that you had to select, by whom would you desire to be managed? It is argued by Socrates that the philosophers should be emperors of the town. This, he tells, is the unique path the regulations of the town are fair and its observation is reasonable.

For the philosopher-king, philosophy and power should be hand in hand. For a philosopher to become emperor or emperor to be a philosopher, their spirits should be rationally controlled and their towns rationally controlled.

The philosopher-king wants erudition; his spirit is well-balanced and compatible. This signifies that he should not be a minion to passion. Once a person’s spirit is balanced, one’s life is also equivalent. Philosopher-kings are well in body and brain and summarize the worth ​​given to them throughout their training.

The philosopher emperors’ thirst for information will also be mirrored in society and affect them in defining how the town must be operated and its residents should be trained. In addition, people are required to choose their training – which roles are most appropriately fit to every human and what human beings should study.

It should be also determined by philosopher-emperors that the rules of the town, all of which should be written to reflect fairness and public interest. Don’t forget: Only rules are produced for the advantage of everyone, not for the advantage of the managers.

Finally, just the philosopher-kings can define the general good. This is the general good of human beings and the town. This provides that the town does not develop at the expense of its residents and that the residents do not develop at the expenditure of the town.

Chapter 8 – It will be faced with many obstacles in managing and training others by philosophers.

Simply because something is logical doesn’t signify it’s famous. Sometimes the reverse can occur. Logical arguments often romp versus our ingrained routines and bias. For instance, trying to persuade someone to exercise frequently can be nearly improbable. Besides, it is tried by logical philosophers to organize a city that will frequently encounter unreasonable resistance.

It is shown by Socrates this point with the legend of the cave. He says the trials by philosophers to train those nearby him were like moving people out of a cave.

Glaucon is told by Socrates to imagine a cave. The captures are chained to the armchairs, their gaze towards the wall. They lived this path throughout their lives. The shadows of the actions of individuals moving in front of this cave are thrown counter the wall by the sunlight behind them. Since this is entire, they comprehend, the captives in the cave pick up the shadows and sound designed on the wall as truth instead of just a shadow.

The person who joins the cave to rescue the captives and give them to light is the philosopher. It is argued by Socrates that most human beings are similar cave dwellers and favor treating the shadows only as providing that they were real.

Therefore, it is tried by the philosopher to spill the real or basis behind these appearances back to these shadows.

In the cave similarity, the good is represented by sunlight – even if one cannot see immediately at the sun, it assists us to see the truth.

It is pointed out by Socrates that once everyone was born in this cave; it was the philosophers who could go and revert to rescue the others.

Chapter 9 – Although five types of administration are found, aristocracy is the most appropriate shape.

Democracy is a shape of administration that will have so far only experienced by most of us in the West. Therefore, what are the other kinds of government? And which one is the most useful? It is now laid out Socrates’s analysis by him.

It is argued by Socrates that the life of towns is cyclical, going from the most suitable form of administration to the worst and then back to the most desirable.

It is organized this way into five governments, from greatest to worst: aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and tyranny. What is inescapable is a movement among them and it is encouraged by a rebellion led by rebellion toward the ruled.

Socrates says the optimal form of management is an aristocracy that suggests the “rule of the excellent.” The philosopher-king is an excellent emperor.

The following greatest administration is a thymocracy controlled by pride. This method is run by those who cannot reason well and therefore cannot rule an aristocracy. Contrary to the rational lessons taught by philosophers, they gain backup through rhetorical and fiery speeches about pride, and once a philosopher-king is overthrown by a timocratic emperor, the aristocracy also falls.

Following is an oligarchy where cash controls the town. It is tackled by silver and bronze spirits against each other to command the town and control cash. In an oligarchy, anyone with more cash can enter the chair.

A democracy with combined liberty is the fourth most excellent administration. This starts with poor residents complaining about the imbalance of the oligarchy. They run their towns by proposing liberty to all, involving the liberation of expression. In a democracy, anyone can do as they please, a situation where Socrates cross checked his colors to a multicolored cape without equalizing or command.

Bullying is the worst form for management. It is given by permissive liberty of democracy that the tyrant has the occasion to go forward and start to dominate for his advantage rather than for the advantage of all.

The Republic by Plato Book Review

In Plato’s dialogue, it is tackled by Socrates the problem of what it defines to be fair and what is the most suitable shape of administration. He considers what organizations are necessary to lead people to be most fair. He advocates for a town that is fair and advantages its residents, as well as for residents who benefit their cities fairly and in return. What is to show that being fair is better for injustice is his general purpose.

Thanks to handling the Socratic approach, get clarity.

Provided that you desire to reveal earlier not-observed presumptions, ask other individuals’ knowledge, or easily explain your ideas, take a Socratic approximation by asking issues that reveal blind spots in other individuals or your logic.

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