David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Philosophy and Policy 24 (2):21-39 (2007)
Among the instances of apparent illiberality in Plato's Republic, one stands out as especially curious. Long before making a forced return to the cave, and irrespective of the kinds of compulsion operative in such a homecoming, the philosopher-king has been compelled to apprehend the Good (Rep. VII.519c5-d2, 540a3-7). Why should compulsion be necessary or appropriate in this situation? Schooled intensively through the decades for an eventual grasping of the Good, beginning already with precognitive training in music and art calculated to equip the guardian with a natural affinity towards the good and beautiful (Rep. III.401d3-402a4), the fully mature guardian might be expected to leap towards the Good when it is first opportune. For the Good is, according to Plato, the greatest thing to be learned (megiston mathêma; Rep. VI.504e4-5, 505a2). Reflection on these questions permits us to develop a richer appreciation of the forms of necessitation and compulsion Plato envisages for his guardians, which turn out to be primarily merely hypothetical instances of nomic necessitation. It follows that many of Plato's appeals to compulsion are neither coercive nor objectionably authoritarian. Footnotesa I thank the participants in the Liberty Fund Conference on Ancient Political Theory, held in San Diego, California in 2006, for their helpful and spirited criticisms. Still more do I thank Fred Miller and David Keyt, whose incisive written comments improved an earlier draft of this essay in countless ways. Finally, I am indebted to Ellen Wagner, who first permitted me to see the importance of questions regarding prepolitical necessitation for our understanding of Plato's Republic and from whose paper on this topic I have benefited enormously. (See note 5 below.).
|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
Michelle Jenkins (2015). Early Education in Plato's Republic. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (5):843-863.
Similar books and articles
Robert J. O'Connell (1997). Plato on the Human Paradox. Fordham University Press.
H. W. B. Joseph (1935/1971). Essays in Ancient and Modern Philosophy. Freeport, N.Y.,Books for Libraries Press.
Mariana Anagnostopoulos (2006). The Divided Soul and Desire for the Good in Plato's Republic. In Gerasimos Xenophon Santas (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Plato's Republic. Blackwell Pub. 166--188.
Christopher Bobonich (2007). Why Should Philosophers Rule? Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Protrepticus. Social Philosophy and Policy 24 (2):153-175.
Jim Robinson (1993). A Change in Plato's Conception of the Good. Journal of Philosophical Research 18:231-241.
Rachel Barney (2008). The Carpenter and the Good. In D. Cairns, F. G. Herrmann & T. Penner (eds.), Pursuing the Good: Ethics and Metaphysics in Plato's Republic. University of Edinburgh
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads38 ( #87,235 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?