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The roadmap of 'The Republic'

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  1. The stance of Plato and his republic.
    1. Approaching it in the right way.
    2. The character of Socrates as Plato reconstructs him.
    3. Dialectic methodology in 'The Republic'.
  2. The Magnificent Myth.
    1. Plato construction of tools in order to better convey his meaning.
    2. Separating people based upon some measure of intelligence or aptitude.
    3. His philosophies and their applications in the Athenian lifestyle.
    4. The Magnificent Myth - acceptable to all peoples within The Republic.
    5. Investing the interest of every citizen into the welfare of the State.
  3. Justice in the Individual.
    1. Justice in the sate - analogous to justice as seen in the individual.
    2. The model provided by The Republic.
    3. Shedding light into the psyche of Plato.
    4. Plato's underlying theme.
  4. Conclusion.

When tackling a text of great literary merit, it is important to remember to approach it in the right way. For instance, if we look to the New Testament of the Bible, while masterfully written, it is not a verbatim moral or ethical code of human behavior. Likewise The Analects of Confucius, while it offers insights into the human mind exclusive to the philosophies of Confucius, if taken as writ, would be confusing, quaint, and outlandish. Perhaps these incongruities, present in any piece of true classical literature, are the result of mismatched social values?the standards of one society, as imposed upon another, will not elicit the same results. In order for us to find depth, value, and meaning in what are regarded as ?great? books or works of literature, we must approach them skeptically, question endlessly, and search for the true intended conveyance.

[...] For him to express his ideas in a manner similar to a dissertation or treatise, whereby he might have constructed an extended narrative in which he presents and explains his own personal philosophies, would have been to lose the weight and relevance of the argument he is making about the true nature of justice. At the very least, it would not stimulated creative thought or pursuit on the part of those who received it?both Socrates and Plato knew this, above all, to be the supreme goal of human life. [...]

[...] In the same way that the Individual (Citizen) and the State find a commonality of purpose and are thereby inexorably tied to one another, Plato's definition of justice is related to his higher ideals of The Republic. The Republic he presents to us is a model, a paradigm of what can be achieved when each facet of the interior and exterior of human interaction is applied to a superior standard. For example, the issue of place in society, and as it relates to role (Plato extends it almost to what we might define as ?career') is relevant to both the Individual and the State. [...]

[...] The Rulers (Guardians), the highest stratum that Plato offers to us, those who would steer the Ship of State, are ?golden.' Auxiliaries, being of a higher status than the Skilled Workers of the state, are similarly ?silver.' Those whose only contribution to society is that they may perform and fulfill a role to the best of their abilities (lacking in the mental, physical, and ethical qualities of Rulers and Auxiliaries) are the ?bronze' Skilled Workers or laborers. Plato qualifies these striations by adding that they are not hereditary, and it is the job of the Guardians to discern the true ?metallurgic' nature of any child. [...]

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