Ideas Y Valores 61 (149):125-141 (2012)

Authors
Marina McCoy
Boston College
Abstract
Plato uses the myth of Er in the Republic in order to carve out space for political freedom and responsibility for human freedom in the ordinary polis. While much of the Republic concentrates on the development of an ideal city in speech, that city is fundamentally a mythos presented in order for Socrates and his friends to learn something about political and individual virtue. The city in which Socrates and his friends exist is an imperfect city and myth of Er is intended for those audience members. Its emphasis on the necessity for personal responsibility in the midst of freedom can be understood as a political claim about the place of individual choice in a world that is constrained by both political and cosmic “necessity”.
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