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.
Marshall, Mason, "Democracy in Plato's Republic: How Bad is it Supposed to Be?" (2009). The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter. 348.