E-LOGOS - University of Economics, Prague
Faculty of Economics, University of Economics, Prague
E-LOGOS
ELECTRONIC JOURNAL FOR PHILOSOPHY - ISSN 1211-0442

Political Reluctance: On the Noble Lie in Plato’s Republic (2014)


Author: O. Pettersson

Email: olof.pettersson@fof.uib.no

Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, University of Bergen, Norway

Address:
University of Bergen
P.O.Box 7800
5020 Bergen
Norway


Article type: Standard scientific article

Section: History of Philosophy

Language: language


Abstract (english):

As is well known, the rule of the philosophers is what ultimately completes the political project in Plato’s Republic. Only if the philosophers accept to rule, may the city see the light of day. Yet, as is equally well known, the philosophers are reluctant to rule. But ruling is what they are designed to do. Their entire education was constructed to prepare them for this task. And therefore, as Plato’s repeatedly puts it, they will need to be compelled. How? As this paper sets out to argue, it is what Plato calls the noble lie that does the job. Established in the philosophers’ souls during their childhood, and tested like “gold in the fire”, it is only the city-love established by the noble lie that can counteract their otherworldly desire for truth and knowledge. Designed to imbue their souls with a sense of responsibility and care, the noble can outweigh their political reluctance, and turn their eyes back to the city.



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