Sample Research Paper

Plato implies that this is not true – that, in fact, people with any amount of intelligence or education do master or control themselves with regards to inordinate desires; and even those that are not brave enough to shoulder the total responsibilities of righteousness in a good state do perform perfectly in terms of moderation.

     Plato is asking for his new state to be called a “master of itself” (431a-431c).  Temperance will determine whether the naturally better element (the healthier) or the naturally worse can rule the state.  All four principles, that is, knowledge, courage, moderation, and justice, appear to be interconnected.  It can be inferred that individuals that observe temperance to a greater extent than do others,are being more just to themselves than the rest.  Returning to our example of an unhealthy habit (cigarette smoking) – it is clear that people who are controlling their desires in this respect are not only being just to their physical health but also to their financial health.  To put it another way, temperance allows for the possibility that there will be fairness in Plato’s new state providing an equal chance to all to be elected as leaders of a good state, or owners of a good mind.  Self-mastery, then, is the key.  Educated people that are both brave and just cannot be looked upon as ideal guardians of the state if they do not master themselves or master their minds, as we cannot predict their behavior with respect to the state or with respect to themselves in the days to come.  Only self-mastered individuals of all backgrounds are acceptable.

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