Plato and John Rawls give to us an account of a moral community in which they both presupposed different views of the human person as order to such community. In this paper, I will attempt to examine what this moral political community is according to Plato and John Rawls. My thesis will support Plato’s idea of moral political community which is better than John Rawls because it presents a community with order and a concern for the well being of all not just one. According to Plato in the words of Socrates, ” I assume that if a community has been found properly, it has everything it takes to be good.” The keywords from this phrase being “found properly” and “has everything to be good.” In what follows I will defend this claim: first, by explaining briefly some divisions Socrates made in order to form the moral community; then, I will present the modern viewpoint of a moral political city by John Rawls; Finally, I will comparing these two points of view, and I will show that even though John Rawls view point seems to be more pleasant to many people in today’s society, Plato’s view point is a better choice for a community to choose. In the Republic, in which Plato describes the meeting of Socrates and others to discuss the ideal community, Socrates first provided us with a class of farmers and worker to meet the basic needs of the community. He says “one member must be a farmer, another a builder, and another a weaver.” After providing people with the basic needs, Socrates provides another class, the guardians, to protect the city’s goods.
The views of Plato and Aristotle are different but to some extent similar. Plato was mostly known for Theory of Forms and Aristotle was basically known for his thoughts in metaphysics. Even though they both thought a bit differently they did agree in a few things, for instance, Plato and Aristotle not only impacted social life in the past but the future, in fact some still use it in today’s ...
Socrates says, “We need an army to go out and defend all the community’s property and all the people.” This army Socrates named the guardians. Next, Socrates makes a division out of the class of the guardians to be auxiliaries who will act as the militia, and other to be the guardians proper who will look over the welfare of all the community. Socrates says, “Shouldn’t we decide which members of this particular class will be the rulers and which will be the subject.” After making these distinctions Socrates, then, makes a story in order for the people to understand why a city is formed in a manner that it needs guardians, auxiliaries, and workers. Socrates says, “Although all of you citizens are brothers during the kneading phase, God included gold in the mixture when he was forming those of you who have what it takes to be rulers . . .
silver when he was forming the auxiliaries, and iron and copper when he was forming the farmers and the workers . . . because you’re all related, sometimes a silver child might be born to a gold parent, a gold one to a silver parent, and so on . . .” This story was made in order for the people to see that an auxiliary or a worker can become a guardian proper if he has the capacity to do it.
Also, a guardians proper, son, can become an auxiliary or a worker if he does not have the capacity to do the job of a guardian. In all this I can see that Socrates, being a philosopher and wise, is hesitant to give the answer. Certainly, he has a belief about the matter being said and was ready to give his friends the answer, but after reading the dialogue of the Republic, one would conclude that Plato wants his readers and his questioners to be active participants in the dialogue. This can be seen when Socrates questions his friends, “Can you think of any tactics to make them believe this story.” This is the style of Socrates’ dialectic. Before one can give an opinion of a subject, that is how it should be, one has to define the subject. Socrates says, “I’ve got a pretty good idea of what you’re getting at, I said, it would help them care even more for the community and for one another. But the future of all this will be decided by popular consensus, not by us.” So we can see right here that Socrates has a good idea of what a good community is, but he wants his friends to see it for themselves too.
When we think of hospital staff, we often think of physicians, nurses, or other caregivers. These caregivers are only a part of the staff required to manage an efficient hospital. Behind the scenes there is hidden, incredibly important role in health services delivery – healthcare executive administration. Healthcare executives are responsible for providing the most basic of social services, ...
Just like the notion of a good community that Plato has, John Rawls provide us with a modern viewpoint of a moral political community. In the essay of Political Liberalism Rawls give us a definition of moral political community. He says, “Since our account of justices as fairness begins with the idea that society is to be conceived as fair system of cooperation over time between generations” In this John Rawls refers to a cooperation for the good of the community. In the progress of his essay John Rawls give us some of the privilege, like freedoms, the citizens have in the moral community. John Rawls says: “Citizens are free in that they conceive of themselves and of one another as having the moral power to have a conception of the good they regard themselves as being entitled to make claims on their institutions so as to advance their conception of the good they are viewed as capable of taking responsibility for their ends and this affects how their various claims are assessed.” In these lines we can surly see the privilege people have in the community described by John Rawls. People are free to choose which is going to be their destiny in the future, they can make claiming to their institutions, and they can take the responsibility of a job if they want.
In these short essays Rawls is straight to the point in telling about the definition of the moral political city and the rights people have. Now, it is important to return to our previous paragraphs and see both notions of a moral political community. Plato talks about dividing the people in classes, and giving them a specific job to do. John Rawls talks about cooperation and freedom for the people. It is true that Rawls says that the people have freedom to choose what they want, and this is what appeals to many people, but the problem here is that people still are bound to the laws. These laws many times prohibit the people to get what they want.
John Winthrop’s “City Upon A Hill”, described the mission and vision to start a “New England”, which became known as the United States of America. John Winthrop believed a perfect society could exist in a perfect city where everyone worshiped and worked together in harmony. He envisioned a community so closely woven together that everyone was equally important to the ...
Where as with Plato when he gave the story, in the word of Socrates, of how people are formed, seems more fear because I think what he has in mind is to give people the chance to be in the highest places if they have the potential for it. The divisions Plato makes on people as guardians, others as auxiliaries, and others as farmers and workers are not to restrain them, but this is to have more order in the city. On the other hand, Rawls’ city can have a problem because people can choose what they want, and this may corrupt the city because people can choose to do the same thing. People may choose to be only rulers, guardians, or workers which will cause unbalance in city. Plato’s idea can be seen more clearly if we think of it as the “human body” because the city Plato has in mind work just like the parts of the body. The “body” has many different parts, the community of Plato also has many different parts.
For example, The “body” has eyes to see, hands to work, and feet to walk. Each of these are parts of the “body”, and surely the parts of the body are different and each part is in charged of different job, but each one work for the good of the body. In the same way, the divisions in the city of Plato people have a different job in the community, and each specific job is for the good of the city. On the contrary, Rawls’ idea will be similar to a part of the “body” that does not work right because people may choose not to take responsibility of doing the job. In this case the will need to work extra to replace the work of the bad part, so the members of the city of John Rawls’ they will need to work extra to replace the job others do not do. In conclusion, Socrates knows what he says in the Republic during the dialogue he has with his friends about the moral political community is true.
The story he tells during the dialogue about the creation of people was to demonstrate that a division within the community is necessary for the community to work well. John Rawls sees freedom in a community as good, however this freedom can cause an unbalance when people choose to belong in the job that they are not fit for. I hold that the divisions of classes Socrates mention in the story, and some of the answers he gave to his friends to explain how a moral political community should be are better than John Rawls’ ideas of freedom. So, I see Socrates not contradicting himself, by saying that a community well formed has everything it takes to be good. Footnotes Plato’s, Republic, tran. Robin Waterfield (New York, Oxford University Press, 1993) John Rawls’, Political liberalism, ed.
Background Bath & Body Works is a premium retailer owned by Limited Brands, producing spa treatments, soap, beauty products and fragrances for the home. Stores include products from several different brands ranging from aromatherapy, C.O. Bigelow (an apothecary), True Blue spa, Slatkin & Co. for home fragrances, White Barn Candle Company and Bath & Body’s signature fragrance and body ...
Peter Loptson’s, Readings on Human Nature, (Toronto, Ontario, Broadview Pres, 1998).