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The Philosopher and Democracy Chart Westcott The purpose of a philosopher in a democratic society is to search for the good in itself Once that good is found it is the duty of the philosopher to share with others that good in an effort to meld all of society into the greatest good possible There are three primary arguments in this paper that are derived from Platos books in The Republic from which this thesis has resulted First Plato stresses that his new and ideal form of government could only be possible if philosophers became kings or if kings became philosophers Either way philosophers must rule and make real the greatest good for this society to exist Second Throughout The Republic Plato stresses education If the people of a democratic society were educated the way that Plato intends then they would be more likely to accept the rule of those who could bring society the greatest good Finally Plato emphasizes the importance of the harmony of reason desire and passion in humanity and more specifically philosophers This triumph is essential so that philosophers will not succumb to the pressures of any of the three yet act in harmony with them all This unity of soul would allow the individual in order to objectively search for the greatest good in all things Unlessthe philosophers rule as kings or those now called kings and chiefsphilosophizewill ever the regime now described in speech ever come forth from nature 47 3d-473e In this passage Plato highlights that his perfect society will never possible without the philosopher becoming king or kings learning the art of philosophy From Platos assertion that his society cannot exist naturally without a philosopher as ruler we can gather a great understanding as to the nature of a philosopher in a democracy Plato suggests that these individuals are more fit to rule because they understand that which is the greatest good If Plato intends for Philosophers
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