Democracy in Plato's the Republic Essay
In Plato's Republic democracy made a controversial issue in a critique by Socrates. The theory of the soul accounts for the controversy as it states that the soul is divided into three parts: the rational, the spirited, and the appetite which are ranked respectively. The idea of the soul's three parts and the soul being ruled by a dominant part is used as the basis for identifying justice and virtue. However, the theory of the soul is not only used to identify justice and virtue, but also used to show that the virtue within a city reflects that of its inhabitants.
Socrates evaluates four city constitutions that evolve from aristocracy: timocracy, oligarchy, democracy and tyranny. As a result that these four …show more content…
The idea of democracy is frowned upon by Socrates simply because of the amount of freedom the inhabitants possess. Promotion of equality among the rich and the poor voids the principle of specialization and does not allow the city to perform at its maximum potential by Socrates? standards. Socrates believes that ?the goal of a city is not to make a group happy at the expense of another, but to make the city as happy as it can be?. The freedom of the individual can not be a factor if the well being of the city is to be achieved. However, within a democracy, individuals live as they please and retain the legal right to do so.
In a democracy ?there is no requirement to rule or to be ruled?. This creates a state of disorder amongst the inhabitants of the city. Socrates opposes a city without rulers because he believes that only those ruled by reason (the rational part of the soul) have the capability to enforce justice in a city. Those who are not ruled by reason are not intelligent enough to know and acquire that which is best for them. A city or individual that is ruled by the appetite is in no way just, nor capable of ruling in a just fashion. Socrates believes that the freedom that exists in a democracy is to be