Instructions How to Write

Socrates’s Plan for Unifying the Ideal City

At 462a10 in Book V of the Republic, Socrates argues that there is no greater evil in a city than whatever tears it apart and “makes it many instead of one.” And there is no greater good than what brings it together and makes it one. Sharing pleasure and pain binds a city together. This happens when all the citizens (as far as possible) feel more or less the same joy or pain at the same gains or losses. On the other hand, the “privatizing” of joys and sorrows to one individual or one family tends to divide the city.At 464a4, Socrates introduces the “Second Wave” of his proposal for governing the ideal city they are constructing. The guardians will share each other and their children in common, so that all the guardians will be the “parents” of all the guardian children. The children will not know who their biological parents are, and the parents will not know who their biological children are. Thus the guardians of the city will “share to the fullest, and call ‘mine’ the very same things.” This sharing will unify the guardians and make it easier for them to focus on the good of the city as a whole, rather than their own individual good or the good of their particular family. The sharing of children and each other by the guardians will be the source of the unity of the city, and one of its greatest goods.

- Prompt
Develop a thesis of your own about Socrates’s plan for unifying the ideal city by having the rulers (guardians) share everything in common. Begin by discussing the guardians, and then discuss whether it would be good to apply the plan to parents and children generally. Some questions to consider while you develop your thesis and write your paper: Will a city function better if the children of the guardians do not know their biological parents, and all guardians contribute to the rearing of the guardian children?Will this system promote the best interests of the children of the guardians?
Will the system advance the common welfare of the city? Could the system be applied across society as a whole?Should biological parents have no special role in the education of their children?
- format :
1) A title
2) A statement of the claim you will be defending. This is both the thesis of your paper and the conclusion of your stepped argument (part 3).
3) An explicit argument for your claim, with numbered premises and conclusion.
4) A discussion of your argument, where you explain your premises and conclusion more fully. Usually the premises of an argument will themselves require some defense or justification. This is the section of your paper where you should do that.
5) An objection to your argument.
6) A reply to that objection.
The thesis you develop will be the claim of your paper (part 2) and the conclusion of your explicit argument for your claim (part 3). Your thesis should be a single proposition, and each of the premises which support your thesis in your explicit argument should be a single proposition.
-Rubric for papers
(1) Respond to every part of the prompt.
(2) Write complete sentences; use periods at the end of your sentences.
(3) Proofread carefully. Make sure there are not more than two misspelled or seriously misused words in your paper.
(4) Accurately represent the views of any author you discuss. (5) Satisfy the word-count minimum.
(6) Avoid rhetorical questions.

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