Sample Research Paper

Plato’s Republic makes more than a few clear statements indicating that the purpose of the dialogue between Socrates and others is to understand the good individual. The workings of a good society are analogous to those of a good mind.  It is easier to understand the society given that it is visible.The parts of the mind are not so (369a, 434d).  Plato is, in effect, defining the perfect human mind that could easily assume the position of the guardian of a city-state.  The values adopted by the good mind are the subject of the Republic.  This self-same good mind may also be called the perfect citizen of a state.  Seeing as the theory of Forms is one of Plato’s central contributions to the study of philosophy, it is not at all surprising that perfection in terms of the good state or the good mind is his chief concern in this dialogue.  The good state or perfect mind in Plato’s Republic is completely rational and ethically correct.  At the same time, it is influenced by the arts, which are a good part of the whole structure of the pure mind and cannot be separated from rationality owing to the fact that the good society requires an all-encompassing view of the world making use of all human senses (401d).  Moderation is a distinct virtue of the perfect citizen and the society that adopts it as one of its core values.  Also defined as temperance, this is the ability of an individual or society to moderate itself in terms of its inordinate desires.  All individuals of all abilities are able to moderate their inordinate desires, and this is regardless of their educational or financial backgrounds.  However, the more courageous and the more knowledgeable individuals must, in essence, be better prepared for self-mastery in terms of temperance.  Moderation leads to self-mastery and is, therefore, indispensable in Plato’s guardians.

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