FYS 100, Section 50
15 September 2015
“What makes Kallipolis, with its philosopher-king, a utopian society”
Kallipolis, with its philosopher-king, is a utopian society because the rulers are guided by a desire to do what is right for the city and the four virtues of courage, wisdom, temperance, and justice. The philosopher-king and the guardians do not act in their own self-interest since they are more concerned with doing what is right for all of the inhabitants of the city. The structure of the educational and political system ensures that the four virtues remain present in Kallipolis. These factors combine to form a utopian society.
All of the citizens of Kallipolis, especially the philosopher-king and the guardians, ensure that they do not act in their own self-interest but in the interest of the city. From birth, every citizen in Kallipolis is taught to act justly and to fulfill its special role in society. They are told that they all come from the earth; therefore, they are all brothers and sisters, and the earth is their mother. This myth creates a desire to treat every citizen fairly since they are all family. It also instills a desire to protect their land since it is their mother.
Another important factor that makes Kallipolis a utopian society is the education and political system. The guardians and the philosopher-king are all taught to be just and to not be selfish. Their education is carefully planned to ensure that they do not learn about unjust, selfish men. This carefully planned education causes the four virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice to be present in the city. Wisdom is present in the city through the guardians’ rule. Courage is present in the auxiliaries, who defend the city from all threats. Temperance and justice are present in all of the residents of Kallipolis because they allow everyone to their specialized job. These four virtues are essential to the existence of a utopian society. Members of a utopian society must be wise so they can make the best decisions for the society. Courage is also important because the utopian society could come under attack from people who do not live in the society. These attacks can be both physical and verbal. Members of a utopian society must be prepared to defend their society when confronted with either form of attack. Courage also gives members the ability to challenge any member who has strayed from the utopian society’s values and has put the existence of the society in jeopardy. Temperance allows the members of the utopian society to not desire more than what they currently have. Temperance keeps ambition and greed in check by allowing one to be content with their amount of wealth and power. Justice allows the members to accept their role in society. A society is most productive when every member can use his or her best skills.
The Education and political system of Kallipolis ensures that everyone does not act in their own self-interest and that each person does what they are best at doing. The result is a harmonious city that has all of the characteristics of a utopian society.
Excellent response paper. 5/5
Plato. Republic, Translated by C.D.C. Reeve. Hackett Public Company Inc., 2009
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