The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-8-2009

Abstract

Scholars have typically thought that in the Republic democracy is supposed to be worse than timarchy and oligarchy. But lately, certain commentators have denied that it is. Is it, then? I argue that pursuing this question leads us to a dead end, because it is not clear how bad democracy is supposed to be in the Republic. Perhaps a debate on this topic would help us answer other questions, whatever they might be; but otherwise it would be fruitless. To make my case, I marshal the strongest available evidence that democracy is supposedly better than timarchy and oligarchy. Next I lay out the strongest available evidence that democracy is supposedly worse. And then I indicate why I think we come to an impasse.

Notes

Mason Marshall presented “Democracy in Plato’s Republic: How Bad is it Supposed to Be?” to the Society at its meeting with the Pacific Division in Vancouver in 2009. A revised version was published as “Democracy in Plato’s Republic” in the Southwest Philosophy Review 25.1 (2009) 93-105.

For information about the author see: http://seaver-faculty.pepperdine.edu/jmarshal/