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Philosophers have forever been concerned with political and social matters Not only have they asked how politics work but mainly how they should work These philosophers have been concerned with the nature and justification of political obligation and authority and the goals of political action Although their doctrines have differentiated and numerous have been utopian in concept they have all shared the same ideas and convictions that it is the political philosophers duty to distinguish between what is and what ought to be between existing political institutions and potentially more humane institutions Throughout the centuries philosophers have debated over the moral issues involved in the search for the ideal society Three influential philosophers in this field have been Plato John Locke and Karl Marx Their philosophies and utopian states have continually influence political actions and thoughts throughout the ages One of the most powerful thinkers in history was Plato As Socrates young pupil he was the founder of the Academy and many philosophical theories and dialogues His most important work was in political and social philosophy namely in his most famous book simply called Republic In this book Plato was concerned with the question of justice and therefore with the questions what is a just state and who is a just individual According to Plato the ideal state was composed of three classes the workers and the artisans the soldiers and the rulers The rulers consisted of men who had reached their maximum educational potential and were complete and enlightened in virtues of reality truth and goodness The spectacle of his day brought Plato to the conclusion that only philosophers were fit to rule since they possessed all the necessary knowledge and wisdom Plato named these rulers philosopher-kings In the Republic Platos ideal educational system was structured primarily to produce philosopher-kings In its simplest form Plato believed that the just state is one in which each class performs its own function well
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