Plato: a Guide to Education

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By dvicinanzo
Words 2787
Pages 12
Daniel Vicinanzo

Plato’s Republic: A Guide to Education

The Republic of Plato is a dialogue in which Plato’s teacher Socrates outlines his ideal city. The dialogue first sets out to answer one very important question: what is justice? The story begins with Socrates in the presence of several people, both friends and enemies, to whom he poses the question, ‘What is justice?’ Socrates then goes on to strike down every theory proposed and offers no definition of his own. This brings about the discussion of the ideal city. During this discussion, it is decided that the citizens of the city will be divided into three classes: the auxiliaries, the producers, and the guardians. The guardians are to be a class of citizens above the rest. They will be the defenders and rulers of the city and, therefore, must be the best of the best. This essay will summarize the education that Socrates advocates for the guardians of his city, and then discuss analyze the education of the guardian class in relation to that of Socrates’ own Socratic method to see if Socrates truly believes in the city he is creating. The first mention of the guardians’ education comes after Glaucon wishes to make the city far more luxurious, as he has begun having too much fun making up his own city and cannot imagine his ideal city as austere as the one Socrates has been describing. When
Socrates begins adding some of these luxuries to the city, however, a few problems arise.
For example, additional land will be needed to support the more opulent city which will surely lead to wars and possibly corrupt leadership. Therefore, an elite military force is needed to fight these inevitable wars and protect the city from invaders. In order to be a good soldier, according to Socrates, the guardians must be…...

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