Plato: An Analysis Of Plato's The Republic

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In his book “The Republic”, Plato argues vis-à-vis Socrates that the philosopher is, in fact, the happiest person. He draws this conclusion when he compares it against that of a money-lover and an honour-lover. This paper will expound on the argument put forth by Socrates and in doing so will provide the reasons for my support of his argument.

In Book 9 of “The Republic”, Socrates wants to find out the type of person that enjoys the most pleasant life and therefore, suggests that the soul of each individual be divided into three parts: the appetitive, the spirited and the rational. He corresponds each of these to people and categorizes them into three different kinds, based on what part rules them. The money-loving and profit-loving, the
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He does so when he makes the statement, “Observe then that, apart from those of a knowledgeable person, the other pleasures are neither entirely true nor pure but are like a shadow-painting...” (583b). Socrates defines pleasure and pain as opposites of each other; pleasure is the absence of pain and vice-versa. He then states that the pleasure derived for the money-lover and honour-lover are dependent on the body, therefore, cannot be considered as genuine pleasure. These two types of people are ruled by the appetitive and spirited parts. Both their pleasures are connected to needs within the body, whether it be in the form of hunger and thirst or the pursuit of control and triumph. Socrates considers their desire a source of pain as it helps satisfy a need, the ‘pleasure’ they get is nothing but short-lived freedom from the pain. Since their desires are insatiable they live in constant state of pain and less pain, not true pleasure. It is the pleasure of the philosopher that is based solely on human effort, that Socrates considers being genuine. The philosopher is on a constant search for truth. The pleasure of learning is more significant to ones’ overall happiness than pleasures of the body. Only when the soul is ruled by the philosophic part does it enjoy true
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