Authors
Mark Johnstone
McMaster University
Abstract
In book 9 of Plato's Republic, Socrates describes the nature and origins of the ‘tyrannical man’, whose soul is said to be ‘like’ a tyrannical city. In this paper, I examine the nature of the ‘government’ that exists within the tyrannical man's soul. I begin by demonstrating the inadequacy of three potentially attractive views sometimes found in the literature on Plato: the view that the tyrannical man's soul is ruled by his ‘lawless’ unnecessary appetites, the view that it is ruled by sexual desire, and the view that it is ruled by a lust for power. I then present my own account. On the view I defend, the tyrannical man's soul is to be understood as ruled by a single, persistent, powerful desire for bodily pleasure: as much as he can get, and however he can get it. Finally, I show how understanding the tyrannical man's soul in the way I recommend helps resolve some commonly expressed concerns about this part of the Republic. I suggest, on this basis, that Plato's procedure in constructing his catalogue o..
Keywords Plato  Republic  Soul  Tyrant  Tyrannical
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DOI 10.1080/09608788.2015.1017799
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References found in this work BETA

An Introduction to Plato's Republic.Julia Annas - 1981 - Oxford University Press.
Plato's Utopia Recast.Christopher Bobonich - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (217):619-622.
Greek Homosexuality.John Boardman & K. J. Dover - 1980 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 100:244-245.

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Plato on the Enslavement of Reason.Mark A. Johnstone - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):382-394.

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