Censorship In Plato's Apology

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While reading Book 3, I was struck by Socrates’ views on what constitutes acceptable poetry in his ideal city, which would “expunge all that sort of disparagement [of death]” (386c). Socrates explains that this censorship is necessary in order to inculcate an ideal form of justice, claiming that some kinds of poetry “should [not] be heard by men who are supposed to be free and to fear slavery more than death” (387b). Here, I think Socrates means to say that we should have the strength to uphold our rights/principles of freedom, instead of fearing the unknown nature of death, which he also articulates in Plato’s Apology – “Well, now it is time to be off, I to die and you to live; but which of us has the happier prospect is unknown to anyone but God” (42a).…show more content…
I remain uncertain about Socrates’ argument for censorship. While I understand that this is merely a thought-experiment of Socrates’, should poetry (and perhaps we could extrapolate this to art in general) be valued only for its contributions to a just society? Does Socrates mean to say that there can justice cannot be achieved with poetry/art that invoke conflicting and controversial
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