The Origins of Plato's Philosopher Statesman

Classical Quarterly 8 (3-4):198- (1958)
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Abstract

The idea of the philosopher-statesman finds its first literary expression in Plato's Republic, where Socrates, facing the ‘third wave’ of criticism of his ideal State, how it can be realized in practice, declares2 that it will be sufficient ‘to indicate the least change that would affect a transformation into this type of government. There is one change’, he claims, ‘not a small change certainly, nor an easy one, but possible.’ ‘Unless either philosophers become kings in their countries, or those who are now called kings and rulers come to be sufficiendy inspired with a genuine desire for wisdom; unless, that is to say, political power and philosophy meet together, … there can be no rest from troubles for states.’

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