Political Theory of Plato
Through his portrayal in Plato's dialogues, Socrates has become renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics, and it is this Platonic Socrates who also lends his name to the concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method.
Because his works are so significant to the political field, he is credited as the most celebrated Greek moralist. His early efforts in defending and defining the system of justice has gained him fame in the political field. However, though he has proposed many great theories that have benefited the society significantly, Plato’s greatest contribution to political science is essentially his powerful yet impartial definition of system. In The Republic, Plato explains that the common perception of justice in the contemporary world is that those who behave unjustly naturally gain power and become rulers and stronger people in society. On the other hand, when weak people behave in accordance with justice, they are disadvantaged, and the strong gain the advantage. In the “second title, Concerning Justice” Plato equates justice with virtue, thus making them equal. Notwithstanding, as one attempts to explain justice within the context of political discipline, one sees that laws were initially created to bring peace and social order to society. According to Bruell, The Republic presents itself as a consideration of justice. This is an important statement because it shows Plato’s argument about the system of justice as a dynamic political philosophy. The fact that it is perceived as a “consideration” of justice shows it is the work of the humanistic intellect rather than expose of a universal truth. Plato’s consideration of justice shows that in the domain of justice there are multiple ways to designate its private and public place in the society. He argues that justice is an orderly system and it functions according to the needs of the society and the individual. In fact, the system itself is so powerful it can become manipulative in regulating the lives of innocent individuals when such a system rests in the hands of powerful rulers who practice lawlessness.
The implementation of the political manifesto would lead to chaos and anarchy. The model of government led by the philosopher king would be an aberration of reason. It is presumed that the philosopher king would have a comprehensive understanding of the justice. ‘The philosopher king would rule according to the universal truths’. He will be called to pilot the ship of the state instead of appointment or through hereditary. The fact that the philosopher king would either be a god or a mortal with the trappings of a deity, underscores the fact that the political theory is impractical (Blackburn, S., 2006).
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