Sunday, March 17, 2013

1st High School of Pefki, Plato’s State

The entire State is divided into 10 books.
1. Introduction. Concentration on Cephalus. Justice and injustice.
2. Development of the ideal State. Principles of social organization and necessity
for protection. Guardians.
3. Training of guardians.
4. Creators, assistant – guardians, sovereign guardians.
5. Harmony of city and soul. The 3 parts of the soul.
6. Family and communism of property.
7. Philosopher-kings. Definition of a philosopher.
8. Top level education.
9. Failed systems of government.
10. Conflict between philosophy and poetry. Rejection of mimetic art by the
11. Immortality of the soul.

The ideal state is by marked by four virtues: wisdom, bravery, prudence and justice: each person in the society does that which is required, depending on his role in it, without preventing the operation of the others and escaping from the limits applicable to himself, namely without being meddlesome.

In order to preserve justice, specified as the axis of balance in morality and policy, Plato reaches the limits as typically stated by Romilly. Since justice prevails in the State, the soul of each individual appears harmonious and is divided into three parts: the impulse / instinct (EPITHYMETIKON) expressing the basic needs of each individual the feelings (THYMOIDES) attempting at disciplining the impulse /instinct (EPITHYMETIKON) and the mind (LOGISTIKON) which the two first ones obey.

These three sections of the soul correspond to the 3 classes of the State: the EP

to the creators, the THY to the assistant guardians and the LOG to the sovereign guardians. Consequently justice is the harmony of the individual parts of the soul.

Finally, towards the end of the work, Socrates reverts to the issue of comparing the just and unjust man, quoting the example of Ardiaeus the tyrant. Communism of property and private life.

In this manner Socrates forms a city in which there is no ownership, personal life and family, whereas the philosophy is not accessible to the lower classes.

Everything is sacrificed to the common benefit and each one is restricted to such activities suiting one’s nature. Since communism of property has been established, there is no distinction between the rich or the poor. There are no slaves, as well as no distinction between men and women. There is a uniform educational system for men and women, whereas the arts of poetry, music and the theatre are excluded from the State.

Cancellation of wealth leads to the decline of the traditional family: no child should know its parents and vice-versa, in order to prevent inheritance, personal wealth and nepotism in public office.


The allegory of the cave.
Plato typically maintains that “when the philosophers reign and the kings philosophize, only then will the people be happy”. Since in the myth of the cave, the flight from the cave of the freed prisoners has been described, it is derived that only these are suitable for governing the State, since they have known the true world of Ideas, given light by the Agathon.

The allegory of the cave
The allegory of the cave is an attempt to substantiate the position of the philosopher as king in the ideal State. A team of individuals lives in a cave for its entire life, chained to a wall, without being able to see outside the cave, or see behind them where there is a flame lighting the objects moving reflecting their shadows on the walls of the cave.

Nevertheless, the fact that prisoners can see only these shadows, does not mean that the existing world is restricted only inside the cave.

If certain of them succeed in freeing themselves from the chains, managing to leave the cave, they will be blinded by the beam of the Sun and will return back. If however, they become accustomed to the light, they will see the Sun clearly, symbolizing the Agathon and will realize that whatever they saw in the cave were mere reflections, shadows of the truth. However, those freed, the philosophers ought to return teaching the remaining persons.

Frequently, the Sun, symbolizing the Agathon, leads to the interpretation of the Myth of the Cave from a religious point of view: without any God, people live in darkness.

Manners of governance.

Persons who love honour and have been selected / appointed.

… that wealth will not …
The rich people constantly conspire against the poor and vice-versa.
…… tensions increase among social classes…..

The poor overthrow the inexperienced oligarchs and soon provide freedoms to all
citizens. Some demagogue soon surfaces to protect the right of the lower classes.

…. resort to the democratic demagogue …….
….. is corrupted by power and becomes a tyrant with the assistance of a small group of his disciples for his protection and full control.

Platonic Timaeus
In this dialogue ….. the world was created in accordance with a “model’ / “pattern” by the Creator.

This pattern is the world of ideas, remaining unchanged and eternal knowing no other evolution. The “copy” is that formulated in perpetuum not existing in any other fixed form.

This world is a live organism having one “Soul”. To create this soul, the Creator mixed Identity and Difference and so detached a third substance:…… sharing the “Soul of the World”, following a Pythagorean geometry. This “Soul of the World” he placed in the centre of the world and spread until this surpassed its limits.

Then God created the four kinds of living beings and first of all the gods: the true gods, made of fire, and the gods of legend of Homer and Hesiod. Thereafter, the birds and fish and finally the human lineage. The human lineage has a soul.

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