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Word Count: 1,189
One of the first works of political philosophy is the Republic of Plato which is a masterpiece of insight and feeling mainly expressed in dialogue form Further development of Platos ideas is undertaken in his Statesman and Laws the latter prescribing the ruthless methods where they might be imposed Plato grew up during the Great War between Athens and Sparta in which Athens lost and like many political philosophers tried to find ways for prevalent political injustice and decline The Republic is the first of the writings and it is the first classic attempt of a European philosopher to moralize political life Cast as a lively discussion between Socrates whose wisdom Plato is recounting and various Athenians Books V VII-VIII and IX of the Republic state the major themes of political philosophy with poetic power Platos work has been criticized by many reflecting the moral assumptions of the elite in a slave-owning civilization and bound by the narrow limits of the city-state The work is a classic example of a philosophers bad views of society With Socrates the central problem of philosophy shifted from the study of the physical universe to the formulation of a rule of life to the practical use of reason As the Apology relates the specific message from God that Socrates brought to his fellowmen was that of the care or tending of ones soul to make ones soul as good as possible--making it like God in fact and not to ruin ones life as most men do by putting care for the body or for possessions before care for the soul for the soul or psyche is that which is most truly a mans self Politics from this point of view is the statesmans task of tending the souls of all his fellow citizens and making them as good as possible The knowledge of good is also the foundation of all statesmanship Socrates maintained that he alone deserved the name
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