As Happy As Can Be: How Republic's Philosophers Fare Best by Ruling

Authors

  • Cathal Woods Virginia Wesleyan College

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.11606/issn.1981-9471.v4i1p1-27

Abstract

Many scholars hold that in Plato's Republic philosophers who rule suffer in terms of philosophical activity. This view is based largely on Socrates' silence on the matter in response to a complaint from Glaucon. Yet two major themes of Republic maintain that philosophers who act justly and rule do not suffer in terms in philosophy: (i) with respect to the material goods and physical security which are pre-requisites for philosophical activity, philosophers benefit from the support of the city, and (ii) rule by inferior people is inimical to philosophy. I develop these two themes, disarm in passing the evidence for thinking that the philosophers are worse off, and consider four types of non-ruling philosopher — "spontaneous", "besotted" "wealthy" and "deceitful" philosophers. None of the four fares better in terms of philosophical activity than ruling philosophers.

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Published

2010-06-01

How to Cite

Woods, C. (2010). As Happy As Can Be: How Republic’s Philosophers Fare Best by Ruling. Journal of Ancient Philosophy, 4(1), 1-27. https://doi.org/10.11606/issn.1981-9471.v4i1p1-27

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Articles