PART ONE:          NOTES ON THE EARLY BOOKS OF THE REPUBLIC

I

Recall that THE REPUBLIC begins in the manner of an early dialogue:

Definition (1) ; counter-example;
definition (2) ; counter-example;

Then Thrasymachus turns everything on its head.

Socrates appeals to objective, intersubjective criteria in the nature of the enterprise (ruling) and the qualities needed to achieve the in-built goods of the enterprise.  He

          1) links justice with metron and  intelligence
          2) argues that justice is needed for effective action
          3) argues that there is an particular work  (becoming a human being)  and justice is
                needed to do that.  By doing that, a person will  know properly human
                flourishing (eudaemonia)

                                            But Book I ends inconclusively.

 Socrates has "defeated" the challenge of Thrasymachus. His "might makes right" is shown to be flawed. Yet the thesis: "injustice is better than justice" has not been proven. Socrates can still maintain his claim that justice is always better than injustice. Yet he has not given an account of what justice is. How strange -- justice is so important and we are ignorant of its true nature. On this note, Book I ends.

II

Glaucon and Adeimantus, Platoís brothers, challenge "Socrates" to really show that

Justice is always preferable to Injustice.
Here in Book II, we feel that we have left the field of the historical Socrates. From here on out,   we hear more and more of Plato
                                    speaking through the mouth of his main character Socrates.

Glaucon outline four classes of things:   GS = things Good in themSelves;
                                                                GC = things Good in their Consequences
                                                                 The tilde "-"  functions as a negation sign
 

Category 1: GS & GC     Things good in themselves and good in their consequences

Category 2: GS & -GC     Things good in themselves and NOT good in their consequences

Category 3: -GS but GC     Things NOT good in themselves but good in their consequences

Category 4: -GS & -GC     Things NOT good in themselves and NOT good in their
                                                                                                                        consequences

 However, things in Category 4 would not be good in any sense so we can cross out this category, which leaves us with Categories 1, 2 & 3.

Socrates places justice in category 1 -- he holds it is good in itself and also good in its consequences.

Glaucon says most people place justice in category 3 -- like going to the dentist. Not good in itself but only good in its consequences. He argues that most people act justly only reluctantly and gives the "ring of Gyges" example as a kind of proof that what the MANY say might be true.

Adeimantus makes the case still more difficult -- his "thought experiment"
                                        on TO BE vs. TO SEEM (or TO BE SEEN)):

    Consider two persons

                             A                                           B

                is just but                                     is unjust but
                seems to all                                  seems to all
                to be unjust                                  to be just

Let, counterfactually, even the gods be deceived!

Thus the just person will receive all the bad consequences in this world and in the next that usually accrue to unjust persons.

And the unjust man will receive all the good consequences in this world and in the next that usually accrue to just persons .

    NOW, SHOW US THAT IT IS BETTER TO BE "PERSON A" THAN "PERSON B."

III

Socrates now must "fight" with one hand tied behind his back. Remember that he believes that justice is good in itself AND in its consequences. However, to answer Glaucon and Adeimantus, he is forbidden to appeal to external consequences of any kind.

Plato realizes that to respond to the challenge he must come up with a model which has INTERNAL COMPLEXITY, i.e. it must be made up of parts.

Here is where the analogy between the small and the larger writing enters.

It may be difficult to describe justice within an individual -- i.e. without any reference to that individualís external actions.

However, suppose that the POLIS (City-state) was the PERSON writ large.

Parts of  Person                   Virtues                     Parts of  Polis
                                          [Values]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reasoning                         Wisdom                         Guardian
Part                         [To discern the true                     Class
                                    nature of things;
                                to know the True or Real,
                                the Good, the Beautiful]

Energetic                         Courage                           Military
Part                          [Honor/Glory/Fame]                  Class

Appetites                     Temperance                 Producer/ Consumer
Part                          [Goods of Appetite]                     Class

By Book IV Plato will argue
            -- at least in answer to Glaucon and Adeimantus' challenge --
                     that justice is an ORDERING notion --
                            the correct order of the soul or self; the correct order of the city (polis).

R                                             E          A
E is an ordered psyche.          R and   R are disordered psyches.
A                                             A          E

Likewise in the city, cities ruled by the military class or by the producer/consumer class are disordered cities.

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PART TWO:    THE EDUCATION OF THE GUARDIANS -- PLATOíS ASCENT OF THE MIND

The ultimate purpose of the education of the Guardians is insight into the harmonious order of the cosmos and the polis and the person. In the old wisdom traditions, the principle is "As above, so below." . As in the macrocosm, so in the microcosm. This is why it did not seem odd to our ancestors to see analogues between the Body Cosmic, the Body Politic, and the Body Personal. We have already seen the analogy:

Parts of psyche (person)                Virtues                 Highest Values         Parts of the polis (city-state)
                                              (Excellences at .. )

Reasoning part                     Wisdom                 Truth, Goodness, Beauty                 Guardian class

Energetic part                         Courage               Glory, honor, fame                                 Military class

Appetites                             Temperance             Possessing, Consuming,         Producer/ Consumer class
                                                                                                Enjoying

Justice here is correct order of the parts of the soul (personality) and correct order of the parts of the Polis (city-state).
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                                                                                                        After 55,
                                                                                                        retirement of sorts

                                                                                Age 50-55
                                                                                Actively rule as one of Guardians

                                                                    Age 35-50
                                                                    Experience in Cave World

                                                        Age 30 -35
                                                        Philosophy: Grasp of Forms

                                        Age: 20-30
                                        Higher education (move to 3rd level on divided line)
                                        Arithmetic, Geometry, Solid Geometry, Astronomy, Harmonics

                            Age 18-20
                            Supervised experience in military service (courage)

Age: childhood up to c. 18
Music (including literature and arts) and Gymnastics
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PART FOUR:             THE ANALOGY OF THE DIVIDED LINE

        Mode of Knowing                         What is Known

Way of Understanding                What is Understood
 and  Responding                            and Valued
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4th & highest level (2nd above line)

Dialectical, almost mystical                                       The FORMS (or KINDS)
Ecological Knowing                                                 The True, Good, Beautiful;
                                                                        the True Nature of Things in them-
                                                                        selves and in their interrelationships
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3rd level (1st above line)

Mathematical                                                                         Mathematicals
(we might today add scientific)                             (numbers & idealized patterns)
Knowing

more generally

Intellectual Knowing                                            the intelligibility of things
      (beyond "example thinking")                (+ ability to give true explanations)

the Line _________________________________________________________________

2nd level (below line)

Sense Perceiving + ordinary                                         Sense Objects + Convent-
common sense/nonsense                                                 tional Meaning & Value

Opining/ Believing                                                                 Opinions/ Beliefs

Can reach true opinion but cannot give adequate explanation of why things are as they are (pre-scientific/ unable to handle moral argument beyond reward/punishment; praise/blame stages)
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1st level (below line)

Imagining                                                                                 Images
                                                            (as in day dreams, night dreams, hallucinations, etc.)



PART FIVE:       The ANALOGY OF THE CAVE -- A : B :: B : C

ACT I:

    from the CAVE (= A) TO "OUR WORLD" (= B) and Return

In the A:B segment, "Our World" = B is seen as Real World
                                                                                at least in relation to the Cave.

Here the journey is a physical one. The prisoners are bound and have blinders on so that they can only see the Cave Wall. From behind and above them, on a kind of catwalk, are puppeteers who hold up puppets of people and ships and houses etc. A fire on a ledge above the prisoners casts light which projects the shadow of the puppets on the "screen." This is all they know. They are doubly ignorant -- they donít know what is real and they donít know they donít know. One prisoner goes to "our world" and realizes he has been living in an unreal world. Yet when he goes back to tell his or her comrades, they threaten to kill the messenger who disturbs them. This is a parable. In ACT II, we come to see WE are in the CAVE!
 

ACT II

    from OUR WORLD (= B) to the DIMENSION OF THE FORMS (= C) and Return

In the B:C segment, "Our WURT-WORLD" = (=B) --  becomes the Unreal World,
the WURT-WORLD of the FORMs, or KINDS, or TRUE NATURE OF THINGS (= C)  becomes THE REAL WORLD.
The movement here is a journey                                     a deep, wise, full
of the mind                                                                     understanding and
from the shadowy, changing --                                         compassionate
culturally conditioned -- world                 to                     responding to the
of sense perception and                                             True Nature of Things
conditioned sense + nonsense                                     in themselves and in
                                                                                    their interrelationships
This is a journey of successive WURTs --
                                                    Ways of Understanding and Responding to Life

See the higher education of the Guardians from age 20 to age 35. Then the testing in the "Cave World" from age 35 to age 50. They rule from age 50-55 and then retire or take over the training of the new "guardians-in-training."

In the B:C segment of the analogy, as noted

                        OUR WURT-WORLD is the CAVE!!!!!!!

Consider a particular Culture's Approach to ------------------->  That Culture's Sense of
                                Meaning and Value                            what is meaningful and valuable

        then the COLLECTIVE CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING OF
                        WHAT IS MEANINGFUL AND VALUABLE

                                                    IS THE CAVE.

For example, our late 20th century commercial (modified capitalism) and entertainment-driven view of ourselves and others and the natural world
            where money and fame and power are the measuring rods of worth.

Plato is pointing out that

1) all known cultures are partial and biased and use their own measuring rods
                                                      to define "the real world,"
                                                      to define what is collectively meaningful and valuable.

2) each known culture (and the so-called "real world" it creates) is a collective illusion
                                                        full of half-truths and flawed values.

AND THOUGH WE ARE IN THE CAVE, WE DON'T EVEN KNOW THAT WE ARE!

WE ARE IN DOUBLE IGNORANCE -- WE DON'T KNOW AND
                                                                    WE DON'T KNOW WE DON'T KNOW

Somehow we need to escape from this WURT-WORLD by

    learning to take on a WURT(f/s) by which we see the forms -- or natures of things
                                    in the sensibles

such a Wisdom Approach to  ------------generates  --------> A Wisdom Sense of
            Meaning and Value                                        what is meaningful and valuable

    The WORLD or DIMENSION of the FORMS or TRUE NATURE OF THINGS

                               Some Trans-Cultural Depth Criteria
                                   for what it means to be human
                         and to live humanely in the human-natural world

In Plato's way of putting it, in the Republic and elsewhere, the sensibles participate in the FORMS.
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PART SIX:       THE DESCENT -- FROM THE BEST TO THE WORST

NAME                 VALUE STRUCTURE                           EMBODIMENT
 

Aristocracy                Good and Just                              a) Philosopher-Guardian
Rule of the Best                                                               b) Seed of Decline:
(Meritocracy)                                                                     an excellent father in
                                                                                            an ill-governed state,
R                                                                                         as result of detachment,
E                                                                                           is taken advantage of.
A1
        (A1 = necessary & lawful appetites)
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Timocracy                 High Service with                          a) Courageous, honorable
(Rule of Honor)         or without wealth                                 person - possibly
                                    (Competition and                               military type in best sense.
                                        ambition enter)
E
R                                                                                        b) Sign of Decline: father holds
A1                                                                                           office as result service;
                                                                                                property enters

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Plutocracy                 Having wealth                                 a) Self-made man -- aim: to
(Rule based             (Blind Wealth                                         become rich as possible
on Wealth)                 leads the dance)                                   yet focuses on necessary
                                                                                                        appetites.

A1                                                                                         b) Sign of Decline: Son wants
R                                                                                                 freedom to enjoy.
E

(A1= necessary and lawful appetites)
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Democracy                 Liberty and                                       a) Self-Control vanishes
(Rule of Demos         Equality --                                                 Rulers caters to what
"the many")             unnecessary and                                         people want (appetites)
                                    spendthrift                                         b) Sign of Decline: Authority
A2                             appetites catered to                             weakened; qualifications
R                                                                                             disregarded; state cannot
E)                                                                                                 provide basic order.

(A2 = unnecessary but lawful appetites)

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Full Tyranny             Complete License                               a) Tyrant Enters as
(Rule of the             Unnecessary pleasures                            reformer; Provokes wars; Worst)                         and desires -- lawful                             becomes Slavemaster to
                                    and unlawful given                                 people. (Is in fact
A3                                     full reign                                                     slave himself)
R
E

(A3 = unnecessary and unlawful appetites)

In other words, unrestrained appetites rule; reason and honor trampled underfoot. "Throughout life, the despotic character has not a friend in the world; he is sometimes master, sometimes slave, but never knows true friendship or freedom. There is no faithfulness in him." Stephanus 575-576

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Now we are in a position to compare the Best with the Worst -- the True Philosopher-Guardian with the Tyrant and see which is better in regard to a) tests of well-being, b) pleasantness, and c) the ability to distinguish true from illusory pleasures. Plato's "Socrates" can now show Justice to be better than Injustice both in itself and in its consequences -- which is where he classed justice in Book II before Glaucon and Adeimantus tightened the argument and "tied one of Socrates' hand behind him," as it were.

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At the Top: The Guardian -- true rule of the best (aristoi) -- the fully just person
then starts the decline

      SOCIAL              INDIVIDUAL     TRANSITION IN STATE         TRANSITION IN PERSON
ARRANGEMENT
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Three waves:             lacks avarice;         Aristocracy                             A-father is
education             possesses thought-     upward pull                                 upward pull
no property           ful, cultivated mind;    *Timocracy *                            * T-son*
merit/knowledge     has integrity; will         downward pull                             downward pull
                                not do injustice         Plutocracy                                 P-Companions
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Guardians can         seeks power but         Timocracy                             T-father is
have property;            still approves            upward pull                             upward pull
less concern ed.        excellence yet        * Plutocracy*                             * P-son*
suspicion of               eager to make $     downward pull                             downward pull
intellectuals              as means; not yet     Democracy                                 D-companions
                                $ as end in itself
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Property quali-         values wealth             Plutocracy                                 P-father is
 fications entry         above all else             upward pull                                 upward pull
requirement for         Has been poor;         *Democracy*                      *Restrained D-son*
office; gap               keeps wants simple     downward pull                             downward pull
between rich and     toward miserliness         Tyranny                            unrestrained democratic
poor increases;        yet tempted to bend                                               companions
$ is new value.         laws (stingy and uncultivated)
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Liberty and             shame is subdued         Democracy                                 D-father
Equality prized;       thriftiness is                 restrained                                         is
no self-control         exiled; free reign             by laws                                 upward pull
or care for               to unnecessary and      upward pull                       *Unrestrained D-son* common good; no     harmful pleasures;       *Democracy*                          downward pull
qualifications;           spends as much time    downward pull                            ever more
no restraints.            and $ on superfluous        Tyranny                                evil & insane
                                pleasures as                                                                 suggestions
                                on necessary ones. ______________________________________________________________________________

Finally at the bottom, we meet the Tyrant and Tyranny -- the totally unjust person
______________________________________________________________________________

Think of the Analogy (c Republic 588) of the Model of a Person magnified to great size.

Within that great person are three parts:

the Human

the Lion

the Many-Headed Beast

To say (falsely) that injustice is profitable to the completely unjust man
                                                who is reputed to be just
                                                is the equivalent of saying:
                    it is profitable to feed the beast and lion and to stave the human.
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PART SEVEN:            SOME REMAINING NOTES ON PLATO'S REPUBLIC

Plato has by now answered the challenge of Glaucon and Adeimantus to show that the just life is better than the unjust life apart from consequences. He has done this by skillfully choosing something with internal complexity -- a polis with its social classes. Next, he makes a brilliant analogy:

the parts of the polis are analogous to the parts of the person (or the psyche = soul or the
                                                                                                personís character).

Having done this, he proceeds to a focus on the well-ordered polis or city-state.

1) Plato constructs a state in the best of order (where merit and virtue and wisdom rule -- a
                    true rule of the best - the lovers of wisdom -- the Guardians).

2) He then goes on to illustrate progressive states of disorder --
                        the intermediate types are Timocracy, Plutocracy, Democracy.

3) Finally, he outlines the worst state of affairs -- Tyranny
            and he show us the tyrant in his or her true nature.

"Throughout life the despotic character has not a friend in the world; he is sometimes master, sometimes slave, but never knows true friendship or freedom. There is no faithfulness in him." (575-576)

[In Epistle 7, Plato write: there is no surer sign of moral character than lack of trustworthy friends.]

So we are in a position to compare

       the totally just person                                    the totally unjust person
        (the true ruler who is ruler over                     (one who behaves in waking life
            himself or herself)                                     as people do in nightmares where
                                                                            there is no restraint, no metron)

Platoís Socrates now asks that his hand be untied (so to speak) and that he be permitted to argue that the just person will not only be better off internally but also will be happier than the unjust-- looking to external consequences as well as internal order.

Recall that Platoís Socrates held justice to be BOTH good in itself AND good in its consequences. Here is where he argues that the consequences of justice are better than the consequences of injustice.

A) Political Argument: the city under the tyrant is worst off than the city under the just ruler. This we have seen as we went along. The city well ruled has freedom, wealth, security from fear, etc. The state under a despot is not free but enslaved. The parallel holds of the soul.

B) Psychological Argument: There are 3 types of pleasantness:   (1) the gain or pleasure-loving life
                                                                                                  (2) the honor or fame-loving life
                                                                                                  (3) the virtue or wisdom-loving life

Which type is best? Well, who is best to judge them? Those alone with experience and insight and reasoning. But Plato has placed these three types of life on a ladder or rising scale. All know pleasure and gain in growing up. Some come to go beyond this to seek honor and fame. Still others know honor and know fame but also know virtue and wisdom. Those who know #3 also know #2 and #1. They alone are in a position to judge and they judge their own virtue and wisdom-loving life the best. C) Metaphysical Argument: Concerning the nature of pleasures. Here Plato argues that there are real pleasures and pains and illusory pleasures and pains. The pleasures of intellect are true and pure and lasting. Others are illusory. There is complexity in this argument. Using Abraham Maslowís 20th century vocabulary, we might say that the real values are being values -- lasting values. Others are deficiency values. For example, when we are well, we think little of being well. Yet when we drop below the norm for health, we wish fervently to be back at our ordinary state. Illusory values are those which go between the norm of ordinariness and less than ordinary -- they are illusory because they are merely going back to normal well-being -- they manifest as a deficiency and when they are filled we are back at equilibrium again.

Above the "line-of-the-ordinary" might be values akin to self-actualization, to knowing the real, to understanding the true nature of things. But only the true lover of wisdom ("philo-sophos") knows pleasures such as these, whose basis is a coming to understand the nature of things, the forms which never change.

____________________________________ the line of ordinary bodily satisfaction

Below the "line-of-the-ordinary," when we drop below the norm, we seek to get back to the norm. We think getting back to the norm is great benefit -- great pleasure. While losing the norm is great pain. Being hungry, then eating. Feeling sexual desire and satisfying it. Etc. The class of things concerning the body have less truth and being. The class of things concerned with care of the soul are truer, more real.

Consider once more of the picture of a human who has inside a Human, a Lion, and a Many-Headed Beast. To say wrongdoing pays = to say it pays to feed the beast and starve the human. To say justice pays is to say that it pays to feed the human and put this part of us in charge. Can it truly profit a person to take money (or other things) unjustly if that person thereby enslaves the best part of himself or herself to the worst? It would be, says Plato, like selling oneís beloved son or daughter into slavery to a cruel and evil man. What good is wealth or power if you become a worse person with it?

Think of Socratesí prayer in the Phaedrus:

Beloved Pan and all ye gods who haunt this place
Give me beauty in the inward soul.
And may the outward and the inward person be at one.
May I reckon the wise to be wealthy
And may I have a quantity of gold
But only so much as a temperate person can carry.  
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