Platos Republic The Five Regimes

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Philosophy

Document 1

The understanding of Plato as far as politics is concerned goes beyond the presentations he gives in the dialogues. The space of what Plato addresses under the preface of politics is broader than what most philosophers covered in the 21-century philosophical findings. Such issues include the link between philosophy and political life, as well as the meaning of the virtues and characters and their link to politics, and the powers of the soul (Klonoski, 7). Plato is of the idea that justice in the city and that of an individual has a direct link to each other. He based this assumption on the logic and use of metaphors plus the three major components of the soul namely reason, spirit and desire. He believed that it was the desire by these individuals to please themselves and also their bodies that largely controlled them.

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Within the Republic, a soul is used to play the significant role of creating some connection between the political state and individual soul. Pluto believed that strong and energetic people were in charge of protecting and guarding the city. He also believed that justice was defined by those who were strong and intelligent. It was these individuals who made decisions as to what was in the best interest of the state (Klonoski, 7). This kind of rule is one that is characterized by honor, order, duty, and hierarchy. In this form of government, liberty, money nor equality drives the virtues of the rulers. On the same note, fear, as well as the disorder is not part of the system (Ober, 7). Put simpler, the kind of system is the highest kind that is not a monarchy.

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Plato also argues that oligarchy is the system of governance that separates the rich and the poor, and is a system where the rich rule over the poor. It is based on this background that Plato presents reasons for the cycle decline of regimes from the best regimes to worst regimes, something that compounds an important aspect of his Republic. In digging further on the reason for the decline, Plato accompanies his ideas of the ranks order as well as the decline of five regimes he presents in his argument. He also presents five corresponding kinds of man. Plato presents the five regimes based on the order of best to worst and includes aristocracy or kingship, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and tyranny.

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Correspondingly, the five kinds of man are depicted as an aristocratic or kingly man, timocratic man, oligarchic man, democratic man, and the tyrannical man or the tyrant (Ober, 17). That is, it relied on the fortuitous confluence of multifaceted historical factors (Plato, et al. He maintains that the best regimes come into place when the philosopher king has gained the power to the polis, and the kings or the aristocrats must have become philosophers. Furthermore, the conditions in the city must be such that they are ripe for the population to listen and obey the philosopher king. He says that the king must, however, ensure that he contends to the existing institutions and traditions. Nonetheless, Plato cautions in his submissions that even if the best regimes were to exist, even them must come to degenerate inevitably.

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Democratic man is synonymous with peace and freedom, and the desiring part of the democratic man is meant such that he desires to separate the types of desires to pursue and which ones to brush aside, as he keeps the rest in check. It is important to note the fact that the kind of freedom that comes with the democratic establishments make it possible to accommodate all kinds of persons, even philosophers. Be that as it may, Plato posits that the kind of freedom or the unstrained freedom of the masses inevitably degenerates into some mob rule (Plato, et al. This is what makes the condition possible for the reemergence of tyranny in the form of demagogues who promise order and change.

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