The Republic: Plato’s Allegory for the Human Soul

This is a post on a blog I came across in December, Satyagraha. The author substantially agrees with one of the claims I advance in my master’s thesis, namely that Plato’s Republic is primarily about the human individual, and the governing of «the City within». Highly recommended.

Satyagraha

THIS is the first of a series of articles which argue that Plato’s Republic is mainly a work on psychology, not political science: an allegory for the politics and right government of the human soul or psyche, not a treatise on civil government. This is not a new idea, but an old one, and many modern classicists (e.g., Annas, 1999; Waterfield, 1993) support it. To be clear, this doesn’t deny that the Republic contains important political insights.  The proposal is only that it is more valuable as a work on psychology, and that more attention should be devoted to teaching, reading and studying it at that level than presently occurs.

The first order of business is to present the supporting evidence.  Here no attempt is made to convince or persuade, only to inform, so that readers decide for themselves.

  1. First, there are the ancient titles of the work.  Diogenes Laertius…

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