[1.2.7] Plato about the Ideal City in the Republic

Plato (429?-347 BC) in the Republic describes in detail Kallipolis (Beautiful City) as a state with the (second) best political system. This city has a tripartite class structure, reflecting that of the human soul, and linking to those different psychological constitutions [1.2.5] and virtues [1.2.6].

Part of the
human soul
VirtueClass of the

The OntoUML diagram below presents the structure of the Ideal City:

Plato on the ideal city
IdealCityThe Ideal City, (Kallipolis, beautiful city) “includes three classes, two that guard the city and its constitution (ruling and auxiliary guardians) and one that produces what the city needs.”
ClassClass is a collection of Citizens with common tasks and properties.generalizes Guardians, Auxiliaries and Producers
ConstitutionThe constitution is the collection of laws, rules governing the city.characterizes IdealCity
GuardiansThe Guardians are the ruling class of the Ideal City. Propaganda, eugenics, falsehood, and censorship are among the tools used by guardians to rule. subkind of Class; exclusive part of IdealCity
AuxiliariesThe Auxiliaries are a military class, with the main task to conduct the Ideal City’s wars and to enforce the Constitution. They are trained to be aggressive, and ruthless with foreigners, but gentle with the Citizens.subkind of Class; exclusive part of IdealCity
ProducersThe Producers are the class of workers, responsible for delivering the goods necessary for the city’s population. subkind of Class; exclusive part of IdealCity
CitizenCitizen is a human being.role of HumanBeing
GuardianPersonA guardian person is a citizen, trained in philosophy, member of the class of Guardians. For Guardian Persons, the nuclear family is abolished, man, woman, and children live in community, children are removed from their mother after birth and raised and educated collectively.subkind of Citizen, member of Guardians
Philosopher-kingThe Philosopher-king is a Guardian Person in his fifties, carefully educated in military, mathematics, government, and philosophical topics and chosen to be a leader. subkind of GuardianPerson
AuxiliaryPersonAn auxiliary person is a citizen and soldier, a member of the class of Auxiliaries.subkind of Citizen, member of Auxiliaries
ProducerPersonA producer person is a citizen and worker, a member of the class of Producers. subkind of Citizen, member of Producers and Family
EducationAll the citizens receive a class-specific education.
For guardians “this education is most often noted for its carefully censored ‘reading list;’ the young guardians-to-be will not be exposed to inappropriate images of gods and human beings… A well-trained guardian will ‘praise fine things, be pleased by them, receive them into his soul, and, being nurtured by them, become fine and good,’ and each will ‘rightly object to what is shameful, hating it while he’s still young and unable to grasp the reason’… Socrates has the young guardians not only responding to good things as honorable (with spirited attitudes), but also becoming fine and good.”
For auxiliaries military education is available.
For producers there is primary education “to make good on the commitment to promote especially talented children born among the producers and to enable the producers to recognize the virtue in the philosophers.”
provided to Citizen
NobleLieThe noble lie is part of education and promotes the universal acceptance of the individual’s class status.
It states, that Guardians have gold, Auxiliaries have silver, and Producers bronze in their blood, thus the members of these classes can not mate.
part of Education
FamilyProducers can have private families.
PropertyProperty can be land, houses, materials, different assets etc.
PrivatePropertyPrivate property is allowed for the producer persons. Guardians and Auxiliaries can not have private propertysubkind of Property; is owned by ProducerPerson
StatePropertyState property is assets held by the state, controlled by the Guardians.subkind of Property; is owned by the State
HumanBeingA human being.
CitizenshipCitizenship is a legal status of a human being that relates it to the state.relates Citizen with State


All citations from:

First published: 14/11/2019
Updated: 21/9/2021

[1.2.6] Plato about Cardinal Virtues in the Republic

Plato (429?-347 BC) (through Socrates) in Book 4 of the Republic presents a theory, which states that the human soul has three main faculties: reason, spirit, and appetite (see also [1.2.2], [1.2.5]). Based on this, he works out the idea of the four cardinal virtues, namely wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice.

The OntoUML diagram below explains this theory:

Plato on the four virtues
HumanSoul“every embodied human being has just one soul that comprises three parts. No embodied soul is perfectly unified: even the virtuous person, who makes her soul into a unity as much as she can, has three parts in her soul. (She must, as we shall see, in order to be just.) But every embodied soul enjoys an unearned unity: every human’s reason, spirit, and appetite constitute a single [human] soul that is the unified source of that human’s life and is a unified locus of responsibility for that human’s thoughts and actions.”
ReasonReason is the part of the soul that is, of its own nature, attached to knowledge and truth. It is also, however, concerned to guide and regulate the life that it is, or anyhow should be, in charge of, ideally in a way that is informed by wisdom and that takes into consideration the concerns both of each of the three parts separately and of the soul as a whole.” (Lorenz)is a component of the HumanSoul; in harmony with Spirit and Appetite
Spirit“The natural attachment of spirit is to honor and, more generally, to recognition and esteem by others.” (Lorenz)is a component of the HumanSoul; in harmony with Appetite
AppetiteAppetite gives rise to desire for instant gratification through food, drink, sex…is a component of the HumanSoul
CardinalVirtue[Cardinal] Virtue is a state of the Soul, and is a fundamental constituent of what is good for a human being.characterizes HumanSoul
Wisdom“A person is wise just in case her rational attitudes are functioning well, so that her rational part ‘has in it the knowledge of what is advantageous for each part [of the soul] and for the whole in common of the three parts”subkind of CardinalVirtue; relates to Reason; component of Justice
Courage“A person is courageous just in case her spirited attitudes do not change in the face of pains and pleasures but stay in agreement with what is rationally recognized as fearsome and not”subkind of CardinalVirtue; relates to Spirit; component of Justice
Temperance“A person is temperate or moderate just in case the different parts of her soul are in agreement.”subkind of CardinalVirtue; relates to Appetite; component of Justice
Justice“a person is just in case all three parts of her soul are functioning as they should. Justice, then, requires the other virtues. So the unjust person fails to be moderate, or fails to be wise, or fails to be courageous.
Actually, the relation among the virtues seems tighter than that, for it seems that the unjust person necessarily fails to be wise, courageous, and temperate… You might try to deny this. You might say that a person could be courageous—with spirited attitudes that track perfectly what the rational attitudes say is fearsome and not, in the face of any pleasures and pains—but still be unjust insofar has her rational attitudes are inadequately developed, failing to know what really is fearsome. But Socrates seems to balk at this possibility by contrasting the civically courageous whose spirit preserves law-inculcated beliefs about what is fearsome and not and the genuinely courageous in whom, presumably, spirit preserves knowledge about what is fearsome and not. So you might say instead that a person could be moderate—utterly without appetitive attitudes at odds with what his rational attitudes say is good for him—but still be unjust insofar as his rational attitudes are inadequately developed and fail to know what really is good. But this picture of a meek, but moderate soul seems to sell short the requirements of moderation, which are not merely that there be no insurrections in the soul but also that there be agreement that the rational attitudes should rule. This would seem to require that there actually be appetitive attitudes that are in agreement with the rational attitudes’ conception of what is good, which would in turn require that the rational attitudes be sufficiently strong to have a developed conception of what is good. Moreover, it would seem to require that the rational attitudes which endorse ruling be ruling, which would in turn require that the rational attitudes are at least on the path toward determining what really is good for the person. If these considerations are correct, then the unjust are lacking in virtue tout court, whereas the just possess all of the virtues.”
is CardinalVirtue; Wisdom, Courage and Temperance are essential parts

First published: 7/11/2019