Term Paper: The Republic by Plato

Sample Term Paper

Words 1,600

This term paper discusses The Republic by Plato. The Republic is presented to us as readers (and perhaps in its first generations as listeners) as a discussion between Socrates, whose wisdom Plato is recounting, and a number of different Athenians of the upper classes.

The Republic is presented to us as readers (and perhaps in its first generations as listeners) as a discussion between Socrates, whose wisdom Plato is recounting, and a number of different Athenians of the upper classes – a fact that has led some later writers to criticize this work as being overly class bound, mired in the unchanging and elitist assumptions of the wealthy Athenians of his generation. It has especially come under fire for reflecting the approval that wealthy Athenians of Plato’s day would have felt toward the ownership of slaves.

But, while it is certainly important to acknowledge the ways in which The Republic is in many important ways a product of its time (and so most certainly not reflective of any sort of universal human morality), it is equally important to acknowledge the ways in which this work continues to be both relevant and useful to us today. The Republic was meant by Plato to be a criticism of the-current political system. Much of the criticism that Plato leveled against his own government was based in the philosopher’s metaphysical system, in his belief in a world of permanent Forms that existed well beyond the limitations of human experience. Plato argues that the state and political institutions should exist to promote these ideal Forms, among which is the concept of an absolute justice toward which leaders should strive. He describes this justice in Book Five of The Republic:

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