The dialectic of community in Plato’s Republic

D Futter


Some scholars maintain that there is no logical progression between the first three cities constructed in Plato’s Republic. In this paper I show that they are wrong. On the view I defend, the dialectic of Plato’s civic architecture is centred on an account of justice as geometrical equality. The first city expresses this account by assigning social roles on the basis of τέχνη. The second city disrupts the geometrical schema in order to accommodate the human desires for greatness and self-knowledge, with the third city re-establishing the geometrical pattern by means of poetic catharsis, a noble lie, and the placement of an armed camp.

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ISSN 2079-2883 (online); ISSN 0303-1896 (print)

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