The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

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I attempt to resolve three closely related problems concerning philosophers’ rule over Kallipolis in Plato's Republic. First and foremost, it seems that the rulers should willingly take up ruling, since it is just to rule and the rulers are just people. So why does Plato emphasize that they must be compelled to rule? Second, since just acts are beneficial, how does ruling, qua just act, benefit philosophers? Third, since Plato has been accused of jumping unfairly between just actions and just souls, what exactly is the connection between the two? I submit that these questions are intricately related, so that the answer for each depends on that of the next.


Christopher Buckels presented "The Republic's Reluctant Rulers" to the Society at its meeting with the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association in April, 2012.