Plato's Republic: the Virtues

1347 words 6 pages
Plato's Republic: THe Virtues

I. The Virtues

In Robin Waterfield's translation of The Republic,Socrates attempts to give a definition of justice. At the end of Book II he began a detailed description of the construction of a good city. The good city is a relation to the human soul, and its four virtues. In the following paper I will discuss the virtues, what they are and where they are found. Also discussed will be the foundation, arrangement, and the interconnectedness with each one. Next discussed would be the 3 "H's" and the understanding Aristotle has on the role of happiness in the moral life. Lastly, I will discuss the experience that I had that related to Leonitus. The four virtues used by Plato are prudence,
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The last part is desire, which can be found in temperance, and is closely related to passion.
Desire is the temptation to do what is wrong, but self-discipline corrects it.
"…desirous part, which is the major constituent of an individual's mind and is naturally insatiably greedy for things." (442a) Justice is again found in all three parts of the soul, because when they all work together justly, the are successful. The virtues are arranged in a hierarchical pyramid, in which the rulers are found at the top. The top resembles the highest position, in which the rulers are in charge of the community. The next position is the military, which takes orders from the rulers and sends orders to the workers, which are last on the pyramid. The only virtue that cannot be placed in the pyramid is justice. Justice is found in all three of the virtues, therefore it reigns in all of them. The way that the virtues are arranged makes it impossible for any of them to mix, be missing, or trade places. One must have all four virtues to be completely moral. Each virtue is directly related to each other in an indirect way. "The rational part will do the planning, and the passionate part the fighting. The passionate part will obey the ruling part and employ its courage to carry out the plans." (442b) The three "H's" which underlie each virtue are Head, Habitual, and
Happiness. In the Head the person must


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