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Philosophers in the "Republic"Plato's Two Paradigms$
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Roslyn Weiss

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449741

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449741.001.0001

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Philosophers by Design II

Philosophers by Design II

The Making of a Ruler

(p.85) 3 Philosophers by Design II
Philosophers in the "Republic"

Roslyn Weiss

Cornell University Press

This chapter considers the philosophers of Rep. 7, who possess neither the native interest in the pursuit of wisdom and the Good nor the inclination to rule. These philosophers have little in common with the philosophers of Book 6, who do wish to rule under reasonable conditions, even though they have no obligation to do so. The reason why the philosophers of Book 7 have to be compelled to rule, have to be commanded to do so (katabateon—520c) is that none of these activities is something they desire. The evidence provided—first, by the allegory of the Cave; second, by how unambiguously and explicitly the philosophers' unwillingness to rule is expressed (517c-d, 519c-d; cf. the Cave image: (516d-e); and, third, by the sheer frequency of references to compulsion—heavily favors taking anankazein with respect to the philosophers of Rep. 7 in its strongest sense.

Keywords:   Plato, Republic, philosophers, rulers, Socrates

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