The Review

Independent Student Voice of UVU


June 2020

Plato’s Republic: Portents of morality

The western world owes its tradition of deductive logic not only to clever British detectives, but to the legendary philosophers of ancient Greece.?Plato’s Republic is a testament to human beings’ ability to look at the world within abstract constructs of morality and corruption and to develop more just societies through them.

Plato (Play-Toe) was one of the founding fathers of Western ethics and religion with his idea that perfection can and does exist, from anything as mundane as the perfect stapler to the unadulterated, divine beauty of platonic love.?Having studied under the seemingly omniscient Socrates (sah-kra-tees), who never himself wrote anything out of distrust for the written word, Plato centralized most of his craft on reconstructing the discussions that took place around his good friend and teacher.

His classic, The Republic, is a narration of a discussion between Socrates and several other residents of Athens about the meaning of justice and injustice. As the story unfolds in the format of friendly arguments meant to enable the entire group to think through a situation, ideas of the highest moral value are extracted from the conversation, such as, “to injure anyone is never just anywhere.”

The work contains the off dark moment, like when Socrates admits that at times injustice, ergo evil, appears to be more successful than justice. In these spots, when he seems to have given up the discussion, his companions play devil’s advocate to entice Socrates into revealing a more optimistic notion that just people are superior and happier when compared with the unjust.?

With noble notions of human disposition and the consequential quality of life, this book also offers insight into productive thought process. There are examples of looking at all sides of a situation, using what your opponent (strictly in a competitive, almost playful sense) says against themselves, and the development of tangental dialogue into useful trains of thought.

An evolution of the mind is discovered as the group’s ideas grow into a conceptualization of a perfectly functioning society, which continues to metamorphose from simple yet productive teamwork into a vibrant utopia with a self-continuing system of religion, and a network of leadership guided by the necessity of a society’s metaphorical body to have a head.?These ideas, and others fill the approximately 300 pages of this classic from another time, practically another world, that proves that humankind has never really strayed from its moral core.


Timothy E. Wood II

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