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What does the Rebublic by Plato teach us about philosophy and its relation to poltiics - Essay Example

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What does the Rebublic by Plato teach us about philosophy and its relation to poltiics

According to Plato, politics and virtue should go hand in hand, the latter being learnt philosophically. In politics, there are different, conflicting ideas. Plato believed that different, divergent views in a political system can be harmonized. The best political order in any state leads to peace in the society. Plato advocates for dependable systems of governance because they give citizens a chance to flourish in whatever they are doing. However, Plato says that the freedom given to citizens to do whatever they like should not be used to discriminate others. The rights of other citizens must be honored. Freedom to perform certain duties should not lead to violation of other people’s rights. Consequently, Plato asserts that, the best political order cannot be obtained without virtue (Bloom 5). Plato was a student of Socrates during the turbulent times in Athens. Socrates had been convicted of impiety. He was charged with inciting Athen’s youths against the gods put in place by the political leaders. Plato stated that the judgment given to Socrates was unjust. In particular, Plato stated that human beings will never have justice until real philosophers take charge of the political systems. According to Plato, it is only philosophers who can honor the political will of the citizens. Evil will continue to affect human race until philosophers acquire power. In addition, evil will only be eliminated in the society when people in power receive divine intervention form a supreme being. (iep, par 2). While in Athens, Plato set up an academy where citizens could be taught principle ideas concerning politics and philosophy. Plato taught his students about mathematics, rhetoric, dialectics, and virtue. These subjects were necessary for any person who wanted to be in politics. Plato’s students became exemplary leaders in the society; they advocated for the use of reason in making right political decisions (iep, par 2). For Plato, politics was an area of significant concern. Politics determined how people lived in a state. Political power is often used to acquire wealth, and status. Plato’s political philosophy concentrated on three areas; state, power, and democracy. Through the republic, Plato wanted political leaders to make the right decision whenever they are faced with dilemmas. Making the right political decisions is the main test of exemplary leadership, it also defines statesmanship. Political leaders must make rights decisions concerning peace and war. Peace and war are critical choices that any statesman or political leader can make while in power. According to Plato, the decisions made concerning peace or war should not be based on public opinion. Leaders should make decisions without succumbing to public pressure. Such leaders have philosophical wisdom in them. Philosophy is, therefore, necessary in the governing of states. In making decision, Plato proposes that leaders evaluate beliefs; right beliefs lead to correct decisions thereby leading to best political order (Bloom 7). The republic also advocates for the prevailing of justice in the society. Justice forms a crucial part of ethics and political concepts in any state. In some instances, justice can refer to individual virtue, and harmonious living in the society. According to Socrates, leaders can exercise justice by ensuring that every citizen speaks the truth. This definition is based on morality principles such as honesty and goodness. However, Plato says that such a definition of justice is not applicable to the modern society where there is the power of critical thinking ...Show more

Summary

Plato lived around c. 427-347 B.C., a time Athens was under immense conflicts and wars. Plato’s political philosophy advocates for the use of reason in politics. The ideas of Plato influenced forms of governance in the United States and Western Europe…
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