Plato's criticism of the ``democratic man'' in the republic

Journal of Ethics 5 (1):57-71 (2001)
The article discusses two puzzles about Plato''s account of the democratic person: (1) unlike his account of the democratic city, his characterization of a democratic person is markedly incorrect. (2) His criticism of a person so characterized is criticism of a straw man. The article argues that the first puzzle is resolved if we see it as a result of Plato''s assumption that a democratic person is a person whose soul is isomorphic to a democratic constitution. Such a person has a desire satisfaction theory of good and adopts liberty and equality of desires as a basis for action. The article then argues that Plato''s criticism brings up two problems endemic to desire satisfaction theories of good, the problem of bad desires and the problem of conflicts of desires. The criticism is that the democratic person''s way of dealing with these problems, by applying the social principles of liberty and equality to his desires, is irrational.
Keywords bad desires  conflict of desires  democracy  democratic man  desires  desire satisfaction  equality  good  Plato   Republic
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1011464824304
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,721
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Democracy and Equality.Thomas D. Christiano - 1988 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
Plato's Criticisms of Democracy in the Republic.Gerasimos Santas - 2007 - Social Philosophy and Policy 24 (2):70-89.
Problems in the Theory of Democratic Authority.Christopher S. King - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (4):431 - 448.
Science in a Democratic Republic.I. C. Jarvie - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (4):545-564.
An Introduction to Plato's Republic.Julia Annas - 1981 - Oxford University Press.
Terror, Torture and Democratic Autoimmunity.L. M. Johnson - 2012 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (1):105-124.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

68 ( #76,242 of 2,158,831 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #86,693 of 2,158,831 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums