David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phronesis 45 (1):19-37 (2000)
This paper tackles some issues arising from Plato's account of the democratic man in Rep. VIII. One problem is that Plato tends to analyse him in terms of the desires that he fulfils, yet sends out conflicting signals about exactly what kind of desires are at issue. Scholars are divided over whether all of the democrat's desires are appetites. There is, however, strong evidence against seeing him as exclusively appetitive: rather he is someone who satisfies desires from all three parts of his soul, although his rational and spirited desires differ significantly from those of the philosopher or the timocrat. A second problem concerns the question why the democrat ranks so low in Plato's estimation, especially why he is placed beneath the oligarch. My explanation is that Plato presents him as a jumble of desires, someone in whom order and unity have all but disintegrated. In this way he represents a step beyond the merely bipolarised oligarch. The final section of the paper focuses on the democrat's rational part, and asks whether it plays any role in shaping his life as a whole. For the disunity criticism to hold, Plato ought to allow very little global reasoning: if there were a single deliberating reason imposing a life plan upon his life, the fragmentation of life and character discussed earlier would only be superficial. I argue that Plato attributes very little global reasoning to the democrat. Aside from the fact that the text fails to mention such reasoning taking place, Plato's views on the development of character and his use of the state-soul analogy show that the democrat's lifestyle is determined just by the strength of the desires that he happens to feel at any one time
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Dominic Scott (2000). Plato's Critique of the Democratic Character. Phronesis 45 (1):19 - 37.
Gerasimos Santas (2001). Plato's Criticism of the ``Democratic Man'' in the Republic. Journal of Ethics 5 (1):57-71.
Jessica Moss (2006). Pleasure and Illusion in Plato. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (3):503 - 535.
Frisbee C. C. Sheffield (2006/2009). Plato's Symposium: The Ethics of Desire. Oxford University Press.
Dale Jacquette (2003). Plato on the Parts of the Soul. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 8 (1):43-68.
Yuji Kurihara (2008). Plato on Injustice in Republic Book I. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 2:133-139.
Patrick Tinsley (2011). Plato and the Spell of the State. Libertarian Papers 3.
David Wolfsdorf (2008). Trials of Reason: Plato and the Crafting of Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
G. Boys-Stones (2004). Phaedo of Elis and Plato on the Soul. Phronesis 49 (1):1 - 23.
Nicholas D. Smith (1999). Plato's Analogy of Soul and State. Journal of Ethics 3 (1):31-49.
Hsei-Yung Hsu, Just State and Just Man : A Dialogue Between Plato and Confucius. PhD Thesis, University of Glasgow.
Sandrine Berges (2001). Plato, Nietzsche, and Sublimation. Phronimon 3 (1):1-21.
Hendrik Lorenz (2006). The Brute Within: Appetitive Desire in Plato and Aristotle. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2010-08-31
Total downloads39 ( #69,387 of 1,699,596 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #77,273 of 1,699,596 )
How can I increase my downloads?