PLATO’S CONCEPTION OF STATE

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He was student of Socrates. He is not the first philosopher, but one of the earliest to leave us significant body of work and One of the most influential of all philosophers. He studied Phythegoras and mathematical forms. He returns Athens and established ‘Acedemy’. He developed theory of forms. ‘Republic(State)’ is first work of political philosophy that is written by Plato. The Republic is masterpiece for us. Plato born into an aristocratic family, living in a democratic Athens, defeated by the oligarchy of Sparta ,so form of Plato’s state is influenced this situation.

One of the main assumptions of the Republic is that the right kind of government and politics can be the legitimate object of rigorous, rational analysis, rather than the inevitable product of muddling through fear and faith, indolence and improvisation. Socrates is the chief figure in the Republic. There is so much in the Republic that is explicitly undemocratic or outright antidemocratic. For Plato, state should has some forms. State for him ; justice is reason of the state. Form of ideal regime is that a state managed by the best. According to Plato, education ‘curiculum’ is very important for state because only educated man can conduct the state.’, and king of state should be philosopher or should be philosopher king. Nevertheless the best regime is monarchy and aristocracy. The others(democracy, tyranny and oligarchy) are defined broken regime forms. Plato said that the state has three things in human beings. These are Nous(Mind), Thomas(Soul), and Soma(Body). Head(king) represents Nous ,and controls the soul and body. The other one is Guardians that represents soul ,and to be expected courage (virtue), also there is no family. Lastly, Workers(producers) represents body ,and expresses moderation. He said that about justice , ‘Justice is minding your own business.’ Nous legislate ,and it provides the justice. In Plato’s opinion is that , ideal state is agamic ,and Plato do not discriminate between man and woman. Plato’s polis has two reasons. (1) I need you, you need me (mutual). Human beings needs each other (division of labor ) (2) capacity of aptitude(different capacity. He said that ‘Polis is natural growth.’ It grows naturally and is necessary. Plato is opposite of Hobbes and Rousseau social contract. He also said that ‘Women are capable of becoming philosopher rulers.’

I think that, there are some advantages somewhere in Republic ,and some disadvantages somewhere. One hand, Plato defends monarchy, on the other hand, I said that ‘monarchy is not good for peoples because minority or peoples’ right are not taken any notice by philosopher kings.’ For Plato, there is a classification in society.(king-guardians-producers). According to me, it is not true because ıf Plato do not discriminate between man and woman , he should not discriminate man. Man should call a spade a spade their own ideas against the state or philosopher king.

In conclusion, Plato also said that, to the extent that we believe in the possibility of applying reason and critical analysis to the solution of political and social issues we are all Plato’s spiritual heirs, although we may heartily disagree with any or all of his specific teachings.

 

YUSUF TANER KILAVUZ

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Yusuf Taner KILAVUZ

Istanbul Medeniyet University, Faculty of Political Science, Department of International Relations. tanerkilavuz@gmail.com

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