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The Dilemma of the Philosopher and the City In the third wave in Book V of the Republic Socrates proposes his idea of the philosopher-king 473d The philosopher Socrates claims is superior to anyone else in any respect and hence he should be king Notwithstanding his superiority the philosopher does not want to deviate from philosophy and be the ruler The citizens also rebel against the rule of the philosopher because they cannot understand the virtue of philosophy Hence philosopher cannot be the ruler in any existing city Moreover philosophy is more of a danger to the imperfect city in which the philosopher is not the king namely all existing cities It may be abused and lead to evil And philosophy itself always goes against the imperfect regime for it strives after justice Philosophy and the city need each other as well as conflict with each other Because on the one hand the citizens do not appreciate the superiority of philosophy and on the other hand the philosopher in the imperfect city may do harm to the regime the real city cannot accommodate the philosopher The philosopher and only the philosopher is qualified to be the king for three reasons he is the most just man he can see the underlying truth of the city and he requires nothing from the city As defined in Book IV justice of a city is when the other three virtues wisdom courage and moderation are in the right place which is to say those with wisdom rule and the others obey Analogically justice of a man is that the wisdom within him rules The philosopher as friends and kinsman of truth justice courage and moderation 487a is such man the most just man The true philosopher as the lover of the sight of the truth 475e not only knows justice is good but also knows how it is good 506a As the leader of the city one has
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