Plato and the state - description according Politeia

03-03  Source: Network gathering  Views:4 

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Plato and the state - description according Politeia

Even in ancient Rome was policy a hot topic. Wolfgang_Dirscherl / Pixelio

Who was Plato and what exactly is the Politeia?

  • Plato was born about 430 v. Chr., And grew up in Athens.
  • Very early he showed a political interest: He joined Socrates.
  • Besides Politeia Plato also wrote numerous other (philosophical writings): Most of them are works that (with Socrates as interlocutors) are in dialogue form and to influence the reader politically.
  • The Politeia treated not only the theory of the state, but also areas of ethics, education, education and culture are addressed.
  • A very well-known example of the Politeia is the allegory of the cave.
  • Also in this book Socrates Plato's interlocutors. They discuss existing state forms, their advantages and disadvantages and how the ideal state should look like.

The theory of the state in the Republic

  • First, Plato divides the population into the following groups: Nährstand, military status and educational status.
  • Most of the forms Nährstand, in him all people are included, serving the people, so for example, farmers or traders.
  • The military state is something like the army of the country: it consists of people who defend the state and fight the wars.
  • Finally, there is the teaching status: This includes the educated man of the people who possess the intelligence to govern a country. An important requirement of Plato is that this elite must be able to philosophize.
  • It follows that such a philosopher seeks the idea of ​​the good, which in turn, that he is infallible and is only committed to his own conscience.
  • The ideal state is to Plato's view therefore the aristocracy.

This appears at first glance certainly unclear and it raises the question of what the idea of ​​good unless or how to get to her,

  • initially a very good education is necessary for the recognition of good. Up to 20 young people should be taught in music, poetry, hunting and the race to achieve the perfect medium between soft and hardness of young men.
  • At the age of about 30 years, the men are now brought to the mathematics and language arts and later a practice in the military of about 15 years behind.
  • After these 50 years of life, such a man will be able, because of his love and loyalty to the state and its excellent training to recognize the idea of ​​good and so to lead the country with dignity.
  • This idea means the good, imperishable in the world, the true and the real, the infinite being. This needs to recognize the ruler to successfully govern can.

What about the other forms of government?

Plato's ideal state is now clearly the aristocracy: a rule of the best, who have recognized the idea of ​​good and act accordingly right. However, other forms of government are described in the Republic:

  • From aristocracy can under bad circumstances timocracy arise: This is a rule of a few that may prevail thanks to their property, even though they might not bring sufficient qualification for it.
  • Another form of decay is the oligarchy: Here reign the wealthy few a state and be guided only by avarice and greed, which leads to increasing poverty of the people.
  • Hence it is the uprising and the people take power itself, it creates democracy. Freedom under this form of government can desire arise, the order is lost and the idea of ​​good can no longer be pursued now.
  • To restore order, a person is declared the head of state and a tyranny develops. This ruler can finally seize power and abuse it for his own personal purposes.
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