The Republic begins with Socrates attempting to persuade his interlocutors to release him.  Implicit in Socrates’s response is the idea that the meaning of words refers to a truer and/or better way of acting.  Also, it implies that rational persuasion (i.e. using logic) should have the power to 
 someone to resist their fleeting, egoistical, and base desires.  Explain how Plato understands the problem of (rational) persuasion and how he develops his philosophy to overcome the problem.  Do you believe he is successful; defend your conclusion? 
You should structure your paper to discuss how, for Plato, knowledge is power.  Here are some possible sections of The Republic that express this point:   
1. In Book 1, Socrates uses the example of medical knowledge.   How does Socrates’s example help to explain the idea that knowledge is power? 
2. At the end of Book 2, Socrates argues that there cannot be a chaotic or evil God which everyone could use as an ideal.
3. Explain how the attainment of education’s goal, i.e. truth and/or complete meaning, can perfect an individual’s existence.  Use the allegory of the cave and the idea of the Good in Book 7 to explain this.
4. Why does he in Book 10 argue that an ideal world provides the only good, but this requires giving up on bodily goods?
You may wish to focus on one or more of the above topics to make your argument and interpretation about Plato.
Your paper should be 3 full pages double-spaced with standard margins. The paper is due Tuesday, October 5th by midnight (NOTE: This is an extended deadline due to the storm). LATE PAPERS will not be accepted. Papers will only be accepted if submitted through the TurnItIn Paper 1 Link in the Course Content section of Blackboard (Your name on the paper is all that is required since you will be submitting electronically. A lengthy paper header is not required.) Please consult the syllabus for additional paper requirements and for the grading rubric for assigned papers in the course. To submit the paper, go to the Course Content section of Blackboard and upload an appropriate file (.doc or .pdf) via TurnItIn Assignments Paper 1 link. 
Note: extensive use of secondary sources in your paper is discouraged and will result in a lower grade. Engagement and analysis of the primary texts (i.e. the pdfs provided for free by the course) is expected in the paper. Citing lengthy primary text quotes without thorough explanation does not consitute engagement with the text. Additionally, papers will be checked for plagiarism. It is your responsibility to make sure your paper is free of copied and improperly cited material. Citation of the primary text does not have to follow rigorously the MLA or Chicago standards, since the readings were provided as free pdfs. For example, you can cite a passage with the (author, page number) format. Finally, there will be an Argumentation video posted in the Course Content section of the Blackboard, which explains how to construct an argument. Your paper should be written following its guidance; you should have a thesis which you propose and defend with logic/analysis in your paper. 
Socrates: I went down to the Piraeus^ yesterday with Glaucon, son of
Ariston,^ to pray to the goddess; and, at the same time, I wanted to ob-
serve how they would put on the festival,^ since they were now hold-
ing it for the first time. Now, in my opinion, the procession of the native
inhabitants was fine; but the one the Thracians conducted was no less
fitting a show. After we had prayed and looked on, we went off toward
Catching sight of us from afar as we were pressing homewards,
Polemarchus, son of Cephalus, ordered his slave boy to run after us and
order us to wait for him. The boy took hold of my cloak from behind
and said, “Polemarchus orders you to wait.”
And I turned around and asked him where his master was. “He is
coming up behind,” he said, “just wait.”
“Of course we’ll wait,” said Glaucon.
A moment later Polemarchus came along with Adeimantus, Glau-
con’s brother, Niceratus, son of Nicias, and some others—apparently
from the procession. Polemarchus said, “Socrates, I guess you two are
hurrying to get away to town.”
“That’s not a bad guess,” I said.
“Well, ” he said, “do you see how many of us there are?

“Of course.”
“Well, then,” he said, “either prove stronger than these men
or stay here.”
socrates/polemarchus/glaucon/adeimantus/cephalus the RErUBLIC
227 c “Isn’t there still one other possibility . . . ,” I said, “our per-
suading you that you must let us go?”
“Could you really persuade,” he said, “if we don’t listen?”
“There’s no way,” said Glaucon.
“Well, then, think it over, bearing in mind we won’t listen.”
328 a Then Adeimantus said, “Is it possible you don’t know that at sun-
set there will be a torch race on horseback for the goddess?”
“On horseback?” I said. “That is novel. Will they hold torches
and pass them to one another while racing the horses, or what do you
“That’s it,” said Polemarchus, “and, besides, they’ll put on an all-
night festival that will be worth seeing. We’ll get up after dinner and go
to see it; there we’ll be together with many of the young men and we’ll
b talk. So stay and do as I tell you.”
And Glaucon said, “It seems we must stay.”
“Well, if it is so resolved,”^ I said, “that’s how we must act.”
Then we went to Polemarchus’ home; there we found Lysias’^ and
Euthydemus, Polemarchus’ brothers, and, in addition, Thrasymachus,^
the Chalcedonian and Charmantides, the Paeanian,^ and Cleito-
phonji** the son of Aristonymus.
Cephalus,!! Polemarchus’ father, was also at home; and he
c seemed very old to me, for I had not seen him for some time. He was
seated on a sort of cushioned stool and was crowned with a wreath, for
he had just performed a sacrifice in the courtyard. We sat down beside
him, for some stools were arranged in a circle there. As soon as Ceph-
alus saw me, he greeted me warmly and said:
“Socrates, you don’t come down to us in the Piraeus very often,
yet you ought to. Now if I still had the strength to make the trip to
town easily, there would be no need for you to come here; rather we
d would come to you. As it is, however, you must come here more fre-
quently. I want you to know that as the other pleasures, those con-
nected with the body, wither away in me, the desires and pleasures that
have to do with speeches grow the more. Now do as I say: be with these
young men, but come here regularly to us as to friends and your very
own kin.”
“For my part, Cephalus, I am really delighted to discuss with the
e very old,” I said. “Since they are like men who have proceeded on a
certain road that perhaps we too will have to take, one ought, in my
opinion, to learn from them what sort of road it is—^whether it is rough
and hard or easy and smooth. From you in particular I should like to
learn how it looks to you, for you are now at just the time of life the
[ 4 ]
Book 1 1 327c-330a socrates/cephalus
poets call ‘the threshold of old age.”^ is it a hard time of life, or what 328 c
have you to report of it?”
“By Zeus, I shall tell you just how it looks to me, Socrates,” he
said. “Some of us who are about the same age often meet together and 329 a
keep up the old proverb. ‘^^ Now then, when they meet, most of the
members of our group lament, longing for the pleasures of youth and
reminiscing about sex, about drinking bouts and feasts and all that goes
with things of that sort; they take it hard as though they were deprived
of something very important and had then lived well but are now not
even alive. Some also bewail the abuse that old age receives from b
relatives, and in this key they sing a refrain about all the evils old age
has caused them. But, Socrates, in my opinion these men do not put
their fingers on the cause. For, if this were the cause, I too would have
suffered these same things insofar as they depend on old age and so
would everyone else who has come to this point in life. But as it is, I
have encountered others for whom it was not so, especially Sophocles. I
was once present when the poet was asked by someone, ‘Sophocles,
how are you in sex? Can you still have intercourse with a woman?’ c
‘Silence, man,’ he said. ‘Most joyfully did I escape it, as though I had
run away from a sort of frenzied and savage master.’ I thought at the
time that he had spoken well and I still do. For, in every way, old age
brings great peace and freedom from such things. When the desires
cease to strain and finally relax, then what Sophocles says comes to pass
in every way; it is possible to be rid of very many mad masters. But of d
these things and of those that concern relatives, there is one just
cause: not old age, Socrates, but the character of the human beings. ^4
If they are orderly and content with themselves, ^^ even old age is only
moderately troublesome; if they are not, then both age, Socrates, and
youth alike turn out to be hard for that sort.”
Then I was full of wonder at what he said and, wanting him to say
still more, I stirred him up, saying: “Cephalus, when you say these e
things, I suppose that the manyi^ do not accept them from you, but
believe rather that it is not due to character that you bear old age so
easily but due to possessing great substance. They say that for the rich
there are many consolations.

“What you say is true,” he said. “They do not accept them. And
they do have something there, but not, however, quite as much as they
think; rather, the saying of Themistocles holds good. When a Seriphian
abused him—saying that he was illustrious not thanks to himself but 330 a
thanks to the city—he answered that if he himself had been a Seriphian
he would not have made a name, nor would that man have made one
[ 5]
330 a had he been an Athenian. And the same argument also holds good for
those who are not wealthy and bear old age with difficulty: the decent
man would not bear old age with poverty very easily, nor would the one
who is not a decent sort ever be content with himself even if he were
“Cephalus,” I said, “did you inherit or did you earn most of what
you possess?”
b “What do you mean, earned, Socrates!” he said. “As a money-
maker, I was a sort of mean between my grandfather and my father.
For my grandfather, whose namesake I am, inherited pretty nearly as
much substance as I now possess, and he increased it many times over.
Lysanias, my father, used it to a point where it was still less than it is
now. I am satisfied if I leave not less, but rather a bit more than I
inherited, to my sons here.”
“The reason I asked, you see,” I said, “is that to me you didn’t
c seem overly fond of money. For the most part, those who do not make
money themselves are that way. Those who do make it are twice as at-
tached to it as the others. For just as poets are fond of their poems and
fathers of their children, so money-makers too are serious about
money—as their own product; and they also are serious about it for the
same reason other men are—for its use. They are, therefore, hard even
to be with because they are willing to praise nothing but wealth.”
“What you say is true,” he said.
d “Indeed it is,” I said. “But tell me something more. What do you
suppose is the greatest good that you have enjoyed from possessing
great wealth?”
“What I say wouldn’t persuade many perhaps. For know well,
Socrates,” he said, “that when a man comes near to the realiza-
tion that he will be making an end, fear and care enter him for things to
which he gave no thought before. The tales^^ told about what is in
Hades—that the one who has done unjust deeds^^ here must pay the
e penalty there—at which he laughed up to then, now make his soul twist
and turn because he fears they might be true. Whether it is due to the
debility of old age, or whether he discerns something more of the things
in that place because he is already nearer to them, as it were—he is, at
any rate, now full of suspicion and terror; and he reckons up his ac-
counts and considers whether he has done anything unjust to anyone.
Now, the man who finds many unjust deeds in his life often even wakes
from his sleep in a fright as children do, and lives in anticipation of
evil. To the man who is conscious in himself of no unjust deed, sweet
331 a and good hope is ever beside him—a nurse of his old age, as Pindar
puts it. For, you know, Socrates, he put it charmingly when he said that
whoever lives out a just and holy life
Book 1 1 330a-332a cephalus/socrates/polemarchus
Sweet hope accompanies, 331 a
Fostering his heart, a nurse of his old age,
Hope which most of all pilots
The ever-turning opinion of mortals.
How very wonderfully well he says that. For this I count the possession
of money most wroth-while, not for any man, but for the decent and or-
derly one. The possession of money contributes a great deal to not b
cheating or lying to any man against one’s will, and, moreover, to
not departing for that other place frightened because one owes some
sacrifices to a god or money to a human being. It also has many other
uses. But, still, one thing reckoned against another, I wouldn’t count
this as the least thing, Socrates, for which wealth is very useful to an in-
telligent man.

“What you say is very fine’^ indeed, Cephalus,” I said. “But as c
to this very thing, justice, shall we so simply assert that it is the truth
and giving back what a man has taken from another, or is to do these
very things sometimes just and sometimes unjust? Take this case as an
example of what I mean: everyone would surely say that if a man takes
weapons from a friend when the latter is of sound mind, and the friend
demands them back when he is mad, one shouldn’t give back such
things, and the man who gave them back would not be just, and
moreover, one should not be willing to tell someone in this state the
whole truth.

“What you say is right,” he said. d
“Then this isn’t the definition of justice, speaking the truth and
giving back what one takes.”
“It most certainly is, Socrates,” interrupted Polemarchus, “at least
if Simonides should be believed at all.”
“Well, then, ” said Cephalus, “I hand down the argument to you,
for it’s already time for me to look after the sacrifices.

“Am I not the heir of what belongs to you?” said Polemarchus. 20
“Certainly,” he said and laughed. And with that he went away to
the sacrifices. 21
“Tell me, you, the heir of the argument, ” I said, “what was it Si- e
monides said about justice that you assert he said correctly?

“That it is just to give to each what is owed,” he said. “In saying
this he said a fine thing, at least in my opinion.

“Well, it certainly isn’t easy to disbelieve a Simonides,’ I said.
“He is a wise and divine man. However, you, Polemarchus, perhaps
know what on earth he means, but I don’t understand. For plainly he
doesn’t mean what we were just saying—giving back to any man what-
soever something he has deposited when, of unsound mind, he demands
it. And yet, what he deposited is surely owed to him, isn’t it?” 332 a
[ 7]
332 a “Yes.”
“But, when of unsound mind he demands it, it should under no
condition be given back to him?”
“True,” he said.
“Then Simonides, it seems, means something different from this
sort of thing when he says that it is just to give back what is owed.”
“Of course it’s different, by Zeus,” he said. “For he supposes that
friends owe it to friends to do some good and nothing bad.”
“I understand,” I said. “A man does not give what is owed in giv-
ing back gold to someone who has deposited it, when the giving and the
b taking turn out to be bad, assuming the taker and the giver are
friends. Isn’t this what you assert Simonides means?”
“Most certainly.”
“Now, what about this? Must we give back to enemies whatever is
owed to them?”
“That’s exactly it,” he said, “just what’s owed to them. And I
suppose that an enemy owes his enemy the very thing which is also
fitting: some harm.”
“Then, ” I said, “it seems that Simonides made a riddle, after the
c fashion of poets, when he said what the just is. For it looks as if he
thought that it is just to give to everyone what is fitting, and to this he
gave the name ‘what is owed. ”
“What else do you think?” he said.
“In the name of Zeus,” I said, “if someone were to ask him,
‘Simonides, the ait^ called medicine gives what that is owed and
fitting to which things?’ what do you suppose he would answer us?”
“It’s plain,” he said, “drugs, foods and drinks to bodies.”
“The art called cooking gives what that is owed and fitting to
which things?

d “Seasonings to meats.

“All right. Now then, the art that gives what to which things
would be called justice?”
“If the answer has to be consistent with what preceded, Socrates,”
he said, “the one that gives benefits and harms to friends and enemies.”
“Does he mean that justice is doing good to friends and harm
to enemies?’
“In my opinion.”
“With respect to disease and health, who is most able to do good
to sick friends and bad to enemies?

“A doctor.”
[ 8]
Book 1 1 332a-333c socrates/polemarchus
“And with respect to the danger of the sea, who has this power 332 e
over those who are saihng?”
“A pilot.”
“And what about the just man, in what action and with respect to
what work is he most able to help friends and harm enemies?”
“In my opinion it is in making war and being an ally in battle.”
“All right. However, to men who are not sick, my friend Polemar-
chus, a doctor is useless.”
“And to men who are not sailing, a pilot.

“Then to men who are not at war, is the just man useless?”
“Hardly so, in my opinion.”
“Then is justice also useful in peacetime?”
“It is useful.” 333 a
“And so is farming, isn’t it?”
“For the acquisition of the fruits of the earth?”
“And, further, is shoemaking also useful?”
“You would say, I suppose, for the acquisition of shoes?”
“What about justice then? For the use or acquisition of what
would you say it is useful in peacetime?”
“Contracts, Socrates.”
“Do you mean by contracts, partnerships, ^^ or something else?”
“Partnerships, of course.”
“Then is the just man a good and useful partner in setting down b
draughts, or is it the skilled player of draughts
“The skilled player of draughts.”
“In setting down bricks and stones, is the just man a more useful
and better partner than the housebuilder?”
“Not at all.”
“But in what partnership then is the just man a better partner than
the harp player, just as the harp player is better than the just man when
one has to do with notes?”
“In money matters, in my opinion.”
“Except perhaps in using money, Polemarchus, when a horse
must be bought or sold with money in partnership; then, I suppose, the
expert on horses is a better partner. Isn’t that so?

333 c “It looks like it.”
“And, further, when it’s a ship, the shipbuilder or pilot is better?”
“It seems so.”
“Then, when gold or silver must be used in partnership, in what
case is the just man more useful than the others?”
“When they must be deposited and kept safe, Socrates.”
“Do you mean when there is no need to use them, and they are
left lying?”
d “Is it when money is useless that justice is useful for it?”
“I’m afraid so.”
“And when a pruning hook must be guarded, justice is useful both
in partnership and in private; but when it must be used, vine-cul-
“It looks like it.”
“Will you also assert that when a shield and a lyre must be
guarded and not used, justice is useful; but when they must be used, the
soldier’s art and the musician’s art are useful?”
“And with respect to everything else as well, is justice useless in
the use of each and useful in its uselessness?”
“I’m afraid so.”
e “Then justice, my friend, wouldn’t be anything very serious, if it
is useful for useless things. Let’s look at it this way. Isn’t the man who
is cleverest at landing a blow in boxing, or any other kind of fight, also
the one cleverest at guarding against it?”
“And whoever is clever at guarding against disease is also
cleverest at getting away with producing it?”
“In my opinion, at any rate.”
“And, of course, a good guardian of an army is the very same man
334 a who can also steal the enemy’s plans and his other dispositions?”
“So of whatever a man is a clever guardian, he is also a clever
“It seems so.”
“So that if a man is clever at guarding money, he is also clever at
stealing it?”
“So the argument’s indicates at least,” he said.
“The just man, then, as it seems, has come to light as a kind of
robber, and I’m afraid you learned this from Homer. For he admires
b Autolycus, Odysseus’ grandfather’^ on his mother’s side, and says he
[ 10 ]
Book 1 1 333c-335a socrates/polemarchus
surpassed all men ‘in stealing and in swearing oaths.’ Justice, then, 334 b
seems, according to you and Homer and Simonides, to be a certain art
of stealing, for the benefit, to be sure, of friends and the harm of ene-
mies. Isn’t that what you meant?”
“No, by Zeus,” he said. “But I no longer know what I did mean.
However, it is still my opinion that justice is helping friends and harming

“Do you mean by friends those who seem to be good to an in- c
dividual, or those who are, even if they don’t seem to be, and similarly
with enemies?”
“It’s likely, ” he said, “that the men one believes to be good, one
loves, while those he considers bad one hates.”
“But don’t human beings make mistakes about this, so that many
seem to them to be good although they are not, and vice versa?

“They do make mistakes.

“So for them the good are enemies and the bad are friends?

“But nevertheless it’s still just for them to help the bad and harm
the good?” d
“It looks like it.”
“Yet the good are just and such as not to do injustice?

“Then, according to your argument, it’s just to treat badly men who
have done nothing unjust?

“Not at all, Socrates,” he said. “For the argument seems to be
“Then, after all,” I said, “it’s just to harm the unjust and help the
“This looks finer than what we just said.”
“Then for many, Polemarchus—all human beings who make
mistakes—it will turn out to be just to harm friends, for their friends e
are bad; and just to help enemies, for they are good. So we shall say the
very opposite of what we asserted Simonides means.”
“It does really turn out that way, ” he said. “But let’s change what
we set down at the beginning. For I’m afraid we didn’t set down the
definition of friend and enemy correctly.”
“How did we do it, Polemarchus?”
“We set dovwi that the man who seems good is a friend.

“Now,” I said, “how shall we change it?”
“The man who seems to be, and is, good, is a friend,” he said,
“while the man who seems good and is not, seems to be but is not a 335 a
friend. And we’ll take the same position about the enemy.”
[ 11 ]
335 a “Then the good man, as it seems, will by this argument be a
friend, and the good-for-nothing man an enemy?”
“You order us to add something to what we said at first about the
just. Then we said that it is just to do good to the friend and bad to
the enemy, while now we are to say in addition that it is just to do good
to the friend, if he is good, and harm to the enemy, if he is bad.”
b “Most certainly,” he said. “Said in that way it would be fine in my
“Is it, then,” I said, “the part of a just man to harm any human
being whatsoever?”
“Certainly,” he said, “bad men and enemies ought to be harmed.”
“Do horses that have been harmed become better or worse?”
“With respect to the virtue^^ of dogs or to that of horses?”
“With respect to that of horses.”
“And when dogs are harmed, do they become worse with respect
to the virtue of dogs and not to that of horses?”
c “Should we not assert the same of human beings, my comrade

that when they are harmed, they become worse with respect to human
“Most certainly.”
“But isn’t justice human virtue?”
“That’s also necessary.”
“Then, my friend, human beings who have been harmed
necessarily become more unjust.

“It seems so.”
“Well, are musicians able to make men unmusical by music?”
“Are men skilled in horsemanship able to make men incompetent
riders by horsemanship?”
“That can’t be.

“But are just men able to make others unjust by justice, of all
d things? Or, in sum, are good men able to make other men bad by vir-
“For I suppose that cooling is not the work of heat, but of its op-
“Nor wetting the work of dryness but of its opposite.”
[ 12 ]
Book 1 1 335a-336d socrates/polemarchus/thrasymachus
“Nor is harming, in fact, the work of the good but of its opposite.” 335 d
“It looks like it.”
“And it’s the just man who is good?”

“Then it is not the work of the just man to harm either a friend or
anyone else, Polemarchus, but of his opposite, the unjust man.”
“In my opinion, Socrates,” he said, “what you say is entirely
“Then if someone asserts that it’s just to give what is owed to each e
man—and he understands by this that harm is owed to enemies by the
just man and help to friends—the man who said it was not wise. For he
wasn’t telling the truth. For it has become apparent to us that it is never
just to harm anyone.”
“I agree,” he said.
“We shall do battle then as partners, you and I,” I said, “if
someone asserts that Simonides, or Bias, or Pittacus^ or any other
wise and blessed man said it.”
“I, for one,” he said, “am ready to be your partner in the battle.

“Do you know,” I said, “to whom, in my opinion, that saying 336 a
belongs which asserts that it is just to help friends and harm ene-
“To whom?” he said.
“I suppose it belongs to Periander, or Perdiccas, or Xerxes, or
Ismenias the Theban,^^ or some other rich man who has a high
opinion of what he can do.”
“What you say is very true,” he said.
“All right,” I said, “since it has become apparent that neither
justice nor the just is this, what else would one say they are?”
Now Thrasymachus had many times started out to take over the b
argument in the midst of our discussion, but he had been restrained by
the men sitting near him, who wanted to hear the argument out. But
when we paused and I said this, he could no longer keep quiet;
hunched up like a wild beast, he flung himself at us as if to tear us
to pieces. Then both Polemarchus and I got all in a flutter from fright.
And he shouted out into our midst and said, “What is this nonsense
that has possessed you for so long, Socrates? And why do you act like c
fools making way for one another? If you truly want to know what
the just is, don’t only ask and gratify your love of honor by refuting
whatever someone answers—you know that it is easier to ask than to
answer—but answer yourself and say what you assert the just to be.
And see to it you don’t tell me that it is the needful, or the helpful, d
or the profitable, or the gainful, or the advantageous; but tell me
[ 13 ]
336 d clearly and precisely what you mean, for I ‘ won’t accept it if you say
such inanities.”
I was astounded when I heard him, and, looking at him, I was
frightened. I think that if I had not seen him before he saw me, I would
have been speechless.^” As it was, just when he began to be ex-
asperated by the argument, I had looked at him first, so that I was able
e to answer him; and with just a trace of a tremor, I said: “Thrasyma-
chus, don’t be hard on us. If we are making any mistake in the con-
sideration of the arguments, Polemarchus and I, know well that we’re
making an unwilling mistake. If we were searching for gold we would
never willingly make way for one another in the search and ruin our
chances of finding it; so don’t suppose that when we are seeking for
justice, a thing more precious than a great deal of gold, we would ever
foolishly give in to one another and not be as serious as we can be
about bringing it to light. Don’t you suppose that, my friend! Rather, as
I suppose, we are not competent. So it’s surely far more fitting for us to
337 a be pitied by you clever men than to be treated harshly.”
He listened, burst out laughing very scornfully, and said,
“Heracles! Here is that habitual irony of Socrates. I knew it, and I pre-
dicted to these fellows that you wouldn’t be willing to answer, that
you would be ironic and do anything rather than answer if someone
asked you something.”
“That’s because you are wise, Thrasymachus,” I said. “Hence you
knew quite well that if you asked someone how much twelve is and in
b asking told him beforehand, ‘See to it you don’t tell me, you human
being, that it is two times six, or three times four, or six times two, or
four times three; I won’t accept such nonsense from you’—it was plain
to you, I suppose, that no one would answer a man who asks in this
way. And if he asked, ‘Thrasymachus, what do you mean? Shall I
answer none of those you mentioned before? Even if it happens to be
one of these, shall I say something other than the truth, you surprising
c man? Or what do you mean?’—what would you say to him in re-
“Very well,” he said, “as if this case were similar to the other.”
“Nothing prevents it from being,” I said. “And even granting that
it’s not similar, but looks like it is to the man who is asked, do you
think he’ll any the less answer what appears to him, whether we forbid
him to or not?”
“Well, is that what you are going to do?” he said. “Are you going
to give as an answer one of those I forbid?”
“I shouldn’t be surprised,” I said, “if that were my opinion upon
[ 14 i
Book I …
“And, indeed, ” I said, “I also recognize in many other aspects of 595 a
this city that we were entirely right in the way we founded it, but I say
this particularly when reflecting on poetry.”
“What about it?” he said.
“In not admitting at all any part of it that is imitative. For that the
imitative, more than anything, must not be admitted looks, in my opin-
ion, even more manifest now that the soul’s forms have each been
separated out.” b
“How do you mean?”
“Between us—and you all won’t denounce me to the tragic poets and
all the other imitators—all such things seem to maim the thought of
those who hear them and do not as a remedy have the knowledge of how
they really are.”
“What are you thinking about in saying that?” he said.
“It must be told,” I said. “And yet, a certain friendship for
Homer, and shame before him, which has possessed me since child-
hood, prevents me from speaking. For he seems to have been the first
teacher and leader of all these fine tragic things. Still and all, a man c
must not be honored before the truth, but, as I say, it must be told.”
“Most certainly,” he said.
“Then listen, or rather, answer.

[ 277 ]
socrates/glaucon the republic
595 c “Could you tell me what imitation in general is? For I myself
scarcely comprehend what it wants to be.”
“Then it follows,” he said, “that I, of course, will comprehend it.”
“That wouldn’t be anything strange,” I said, “since men with
596 a duller vision have often, you know, seen things before those who see
more sharply.”
“That’s so,” he said. “But vdth you present I couldn’t be very
eager to say whatever might occur to me, so look yourself.

“Do you want us to make our consideration according to our
customary procedure, beginning from the following point? For we are,
presumably, accustomed to set down some one particular form for each
of the particular ‘manys’ to which we apply the same name. Or don’t
you understand?”
“I do.”
“Then let’s now set down any one of the ‘manys’ you please; for
b example, if you wish, there are surely many couches and tables.”
“Of course:”
“But as for ideas for these furnishings, there are presumably two,
one of couch, one of table.”
“Aren’t we also accustomed to say that it is in looking to the idea
of each implement that one craftsman makes the couches and another
the chairs we use, and similarly for other things? For presumably none
of the craftsmen fabricates the idea itself. How could he?”
“In no way.”
“Well, now, see what you call this craftsman here.”
c “Which one?”
“He who makes everything that each one of the manual artisans
makes separately.

“That’s a clever and wonderful man you speak of.

“Not yet. In an instant you’ll say that even more. For this same
manual artisan is not only able to make all implements but also makes
everything that grows naturally from the earth, and he produces all
animals—the others and himself too—and, in addition to that, pro-
duces earth and heaven and gods and everything in heaven and every-
thing in Hades under the earth.

d “That’s quite a wonderful sophist you speak of,” he said.
“Are you distrustful?” I said. “And tell me, in your opinion could
there be altogether no such craftsman; or in a certain way, could a
maker of all these things come into being and in a certain way not? Or
aren’t you aware that you yourself could in a certain way make all these
278 ]
Book X I 595c-597b glaucon/socrates
“And what,” he said, “is that way?” 596 d
“It’s not hard,” I said. “You could fabricate them quickly in many
ways and most quickly, of course, if you are willing to take a mirror and
carry it around everywhere; quickly you will make the sun and the e
things in the heaven; quickly, the earth; and quickly, yourself and the
other animals and implements and plants and everything else that was
just now mentioned.”
“Yes,” he said, “so that they look like they are; however, they
surely are not in truth.”
“Fine,” I said, “and you attack the argument at just the right
place. For I suppose the painter is also one of these craftsmen, isn’t
“Of course he is.

“But 1 suppose you’ll say that he doesn’t truly make what he
makes. And yet in a certain way the painter too does make a couch,
doesn’t he?”
“Yes,” he said, “he too makes what looks like a couch.”
“And what about the couchmaker? Weren’t you just saying that 597 a
he doesn’t make the form, which is what we, ofcourse, say is just a couch,
but a certain couch?”
“Yes,” he said, “I was saying that.”
“Then, if he doesn’t make what is, he wouldn’t make the being but
something that is like the being, but is not being. And if someone were
to assert that the work of the producer of couches or of any other
manual artisan is completely being, he would run the risk of saying
what’s not true.”
“Yes,” he said, “at least that would be the opinion of those who
spend their time in arguments of this kind.”
“Therefore, let’s not be surprised if this too turns out to be a dim
thing compared to the truth.

“No, let’s not.” b
“Do you,” I said, “want us on the basis of these very things to
investigate who this imitator is?”
“If you want to,” he said.
“There turn out, then, to be these three kinds of couches: one that
is in nature, which we would say, I suppose, a god produced. Or who
“No one else, 1 suppose.”
“And then one that the carpenter produced.”
“Yes,” he said.
“And one that the painter produced, isn’t that so?”
“Let it be so.”
[ 279 ]
socrates/glaucon the republic
597 h “Then painter, couchmaker, god—these three preside over three
forms of couches

“Yes, three.”
c “Now, the god, whether he didn’t want to or whether some
necessity was laid upon him not to produce more than one couch in
nature, made only one, that very one which is a couch. And two or
more such weren’t naturally engendered by the god nor will they be
“How’s that?” he said.
“Because,” I said, “if he should make only two, again one would
come to light the form of which they in turn would both possess, and
that, and not the two, would be the couch that is.

“Right,” he said.
d “Then, I suppose, the god, knowing this and wanting to be a real
maker of a couch that really is and not a certain couchmaker of a cer-
tain couch, begot it as one by nature.”
“So it seems.”
“Do you want us to address him as its nature-begetter or some-
thing of the kind?”
“That’s just at any rate,” he said, “since by nature he has made
both this and everything else.”
“And what about the carpenter? Isn’t he a craftsman of a couch?”
“And is the painter also a craftsman and maker of such a thing?”
“Not at all.”
“But what of a couch will you say he is?”
e “In my opinion,” he said, “he would most sensibly be addressed as
an imitator of that of which these others are craftsmen.

“All right,” I said, “do you, then, call the man at the third genera-
tion from nature an imitator?

“Most certainly,” he said.
“Therefore this will also apply to the maker of tragedy, if he is
an imitator; he is naturally third from a king and the truth, as
are all the other imitators.”
“Then we have agreed about the imitator. Now tell me this
598 a about the painter. In your opinion, does he in each case attempt to
imitate the thing itself in nature, or the works of the craftsmen?”
“The works of the craftsmen, ” he said.
“Such as they are or such as they look? For you still have to make
this further distinction.”
“How do you mean?” he said.
[ 280 ]
Book X I 597b-599c sockates/glaucon
“Like this. Does a couch, if you observe it from the side, or 598 a
from the front, or from anywhere else, differ at all from itself? Or
does it not differ at all but only look different, and similarly with the
“The latter is so,” he said. “It looks different, but isn’t.”
“Now consider this very point. Toward which is painting directed b
in each case—toward imitation of the being as it is or toward its looking
as it looks? Is it imitation of looks or of truth?”
“Of looks,” he said.
“Therefore, imitation is surely far from the truth; and, as it
seems, it is due to this that it produces everything—because it lays
hold of a certain small part of each thing, and that part is itself only a
phantom. For example, the painter, we say, will paint for us a shoe-
maker, a carpenter, and the other craftsmen, although he doesn’t
understand the arts of any one of them. But, nevertheless, if he is a c
good painter, by painting a carpenter and displaying him from far
off, he would deceive children and foolish human beings into think-
ing that it is truly a carpenter.”
“Of course.”
“But, in any event, I suppose, my friend, that this is what
must be understood about all such things: when anyone reports to
us about someone, saying that he has encountered a human being
who knows all the crafts and everything else that single men several-
ly know, and there is nothing that he does not know more precisely
than anyone else, it would have to be replied to such a one that he d
is an innocent human being and that, as it seems, he has encountered
some wizard and imitator and been deceived. Because he himself is
unable to put knowledge and lack of knowledge and imitation to the
test, that man seemed all-wise to him.”
“Very true,” he said.
“Then, next,” I said, “tragedy and its leader, Homer, must be
considered, since we hear from some that these men know all arts e
and all things human that have to do with virtue and vice, and the
divine things too. For it is necessary that the good poet, if he is go-
ing to make fair poems about the things his poetry concerns, be in
possession of knowledge when he makes his poems or not be able
to make them. Hence, we must consider whether those who tell us
this have encountered these imitators and been deceived; and
whether, therefore, seeing their works, they do not recognize that
these works are third from what is and are easy to make for the man 599 a
who doesn’t know the truth—for such a man makes what look like
beings but are not. Or, again, is there also something to what they
[ 281 ]
socrates/gi^ucon the republic
599 a say, and do the good poets really know about the things that, in the
opinion of the many, they say well?”
“Most certainly,” he said, “that must be tested.”
“Do you suppose that if a man were able to make both, the thing
to be imitated and the phantom, he would permit himself to be serious
about the crafting of the phantoms and set this at the head of his own
b life as the best thing he has?”
“No, I don’t.”
“But, I suppose, if he were in truth a knower of these things that
he also imitates, he would be far more serious about the deeds than the
imitations and would try to leave many fair deeds behind as memorials
of himself and would be more eager to be the one who is lauded rather
than the one who lauds.”
“I suppose so,” he said. “For the honor and the benefit coming
from the two are hardly equal.”
“Well, then, about the other things, let’s not demand an account
c from Homer or any other of the poets by asking, if any one of them was
a doctor and not only an imitator of medical speeches, who are the men
whom any poet, old or new, is said to have made healthy, as Asclepius
did; or what students of medicine he left behind as Asclepius did his
ofiFspring.^ Nor, again, will we ask them about the other arts, but
we’ll let that go. But about the greatest and fairest things of which
Homer attempts to speak—about wars and commands of armies and
d governances of cities, and about the education of a human being—it
is surely just to ask him and inquire, ‘Dear Homer, if you are not
third from the truth about virtue, a craftsman of a phantom, just the
one we defined as an imitator, but are also second and able to recog-
nize what sorts of practices make human beings better or worse in
private and in public, tell us which of the cities was better governed
thanks to you, as Lacedaemon was thanks to Lycurgus, and many
e others, both great and small, were thanks to many others? What
city gives you credit for having proved a good lawgiver and ben-
efited them? Italy and Sicily do so for Charondas, and we for So-
lon;2 now who does it for you?’ Will he have any to mention?

“I don’t suppose so,” said Glaucon. “At least, the Homeridae
themselves do not tell of any.”
“Well, is any war in Homer’s time remembered that was well
600 a fought with his ruling or advice?”
“Well, then, as is appropriate to the deeds of a wise man, do they
tell of many ingenious devices for the arts or any other activities,
just as for Thales the Milesian or Anacharsis the Scythian?”^
“Not at all; there’s nothing of the sort.”
[ 282 ]
Book X I 599a-601a socrates/glaucon
“Well, then, if there is nothing in public, is it told that Homer, 600 a
while he was himself alive, was in private a leader in education for
certain men who cherished him for his intercourse and handed down
a certain Homeric way of life to those who came after, just as Py- b
thagoras himself was particularly cherished for this reason, and his
successors even now still give Pythagoras’ name to a way of life that
makes them seem somehow outstanding among men.”
“Again,” he said, “nothing of the sort is said. For Creophylos,
Homer’s comrade, would, Socrates, perhaps turn out to be even
more ridiculous in his education than in his name,^ if the things
said about Homer are true. For it is told that Homer suffered consid-
erable neglect in his own day, when he was alive.” c
“Yes, that is told,” I said. “But, Glaucon, if Homer were really
able to educate human beings and make them better because he is in
these things capable not of imitating but of knowing, do you suppose
that he wouldn’t have made many comrades and been honored and
cherished by them? But Protagoras, the Abderite, after all, and Prot
dicus, the Cean,^ and very many others are able, by private in-
tercourse, to impress upon the men of their time the assurance that they
will be able to govern neither home nor city unless they themselves d
supervise their education, and they are so intensely loved for this
wisdom that their comrades do everything but carry them about on
their heads. Then do you suppose that if he were able to help human
beings toward virtue, the men in Homer’s time would have let him or
Hesiod go around being rhapsodes and wouldn’t have clung to them
rather than to their gold? And wouldn’t they have compelled these
teachers to stay with them at home; or, if they weren’t persuaded, e
wouldn’t they themselves have attended^ them wherever they went,
until they had gained an adequate education?”
“In my opinion, Socrates,” he said, “what you say is entirely
“Shouldn’t we set down all those skilled in making, beginning
with Homer, as imitators of phantoms of virtue and of the other sub-
jects of their making? They don’t lay hold of the truth; rather, as we
were just now saying, the painter wdll make what seems to be a
shoemaker to those who understand as little about shoemaking as he 601 a
understands, but who observe only colors and shapes.”
“Most certainly.

“Then, in this way, I suppose we’ll claim the poetic man also
uses names and phrases to color each of the arts. He himself doesn’t
understand; but he imitates in such a way as to seem, to men whose
condition is like his own and who observe only speeches, to speak
very well. He seems to do so when he speaks using meter, rhythm.
[ 283 ]
socrates/glaucon the REPUBLIp
601 a and harmony, no matter whether the subject is shoemaking, general-
b ship, or anything else. So great is the charm that these things by na-
ture possess. For when the things of the poets are stripped of the
colors of the music and are said alone, by themselves, I suppose you
know how they look. For you, surely, have seen.”
“I have indeed,” he said.
“Don’t they,” I said, “resemble the faces of the boys who are
youthful but not fair in what happens to their looks when the bloom
has forsaken them?”
“Exactly,” he said.
“Come now, reflect on this. The maker of the phantom, the
imitator, we say, understands nothing of what is but rather of what
c looks like it is. Isn’t that so?”
“Well, then, let’s not leave it half-said, but let’s see it adequately.”
“Speak,” he said.
“A painter, we say, will paint reins and a bit.”
“But a shoemaker and a smith will make them.”
“Then does the painter understand how the reins and the bit must
be? Or does even the maker not understand—the smith and the leather-
cutter—^but only he who knows how to use them, the horseman?”
“Very true.”
“And won’t we say that it is so for everything?”
d “For each thing there are these three arts—one that will use, one
that will make, one that will imitate.”
“Aren’t the virtue, beauty, and rightness of each implement,
animal, and action related to nothing but the use for which each was
made, or grew naturally?”
“That’s so.”
“It’s quite necessary, then, that the man who uses each thing be
most experienced and that he report to the maker what are the good or
bad points, in actual use, of the instrument he uses. For example, about
flutes, a flute player surely reports to the flute-maker which ones would
e serve him in playing, and he will prescribe how they must be made, and
the other will serve him.”
“Of course.”
“Doesn’t the man who knows report about good and bad flutes,
and won’t the other, trusting him, make them?”
[ 284 ]
f Book X / 601a-602d socrates/glaucon
? “Therefore the maker of the same implement will have right trust 601 e
• concerning its beauty and its badness from being with the man who
I knows and from being compelled to listen to the man who knows, while
the user will have knowledge.” 602 a
“And will the imitator from using the things that he paints have
knowledge of whether they are fair and right or not, or right opinion
due to the necessity of being with the man who knows and receiving
prescriptions of how he must paint?”
“Therefore, with respect to beauty and badness, the imitator will
neither know nor opine rightly about what he imitates.”
“It doesn’t seem so.”
“The imitator, in his making, would be a charming chap, so far as
wisdom about what he makes goes.”
“But all the same, he will imitate, although he doesn’t know in b
what way each thing is bad or good. But as it seems, whatever looks to
be fair to the many who don’t know anything—that he will imitate.”
“Of course he will.”
“Then it looks like we are pretty well agreed on these things: the
imitator knows nothing worth mentioning about what he imitates;
imitation is a kind of play and not serious; and those who take up tragic
poetry in iambics and in epics are all imitators in the highest possible
“Most certainly.”
“In the name of Zeus,” I said, “then, isn’t this imitating con- c
cerned with something that is third from the truth? Isn’t that so?”
“Now, then, on which one of the parts of the human being does it
have the power it has?”
“What sort of part do you mean?”
“This sort. The same magnitude surely doesn’t look equal to our
sight from near and from far.”
“No, it doesn’t.”
“And the same things look bent and straight when seen in water
and out of it, and also both concave and convex, due to the sight’s
being misled by the colors, and every sort of confusion of this kind is
plainly in our soul. And, then, it is because they take advantage of this d
affection in our nature that shadow painting, and puppeteering, and
many other tricks of the kind fall nothing short of wizardry.”
“And haven’t measuring, counting, and weighing come to light as
[ 2S5 ]
sockates/glaucon THEREPUBLI
602 d most charming helpers in these cases? As a result of them, we are not
ruled by a thing’s looking bigger or smaller or more or heavier; rather
we are ruled by that which has calculated, measured, or, if you please
e “But this surely must be the work of the calculating part in a
“Yes, it is the work of that part.”
“And to it, when it has measured and indicates that some things
are bigger or smaller than others, or equal, often contrary appearances
are presented at the same time about the same things.”
“Didn’t we say that it is impossible for the same thing to opine
contraries at the same time about the same things?”
“And what we said is right.”
603 a “Therefore, the part of the soul opining contrary to the measures
would not be the same as the part that does so in accordance with the
“No, it wouldn’t.”
“And, further, the part which trusts measure and calculation
would be the best part of the soul.”
“Of course.”
“Therefore, the part opposed to it would be one of the ordinary
things in us.”
“Well, then, it was this I wanted agreed to when I said that paint-
ing and imitation as a whole are far from the truth when they produce
their work; and that, moreover, imitation keeps company with the part
h in us that is far from prudence, and is not comrade and friend for any
healthy or true purpose.”
“Exactly,” he said.
“Therefore, imitation, an ordinary thing having intercourse with
what is ordinary, produces ordinary offspring.”
“It seems so.”
“Does this,” I said, “apply only to the imitation connected with
the sight or also to that connected with the hearing, which we name
“It is likely,” he said, “that it applies also to this.”
“Well, then,” I said, “let’s not just trust the likelihood based on
painting; but let’s now go directly to the very part of thought with
^ which poetry’s imitation keeps company and see whether it is ordinary
or serious.”
[ 286 ]
Book X / 602d-604b glaucon/socrates
“We must.” 603 c
“Let’s present it in this way. Imitation, we say, imitates human
beings performing forced or voluntary actions, and, as a result of the
action, supposing themselves to have done well or badly, and in all of
this experiencing pain or enjoyment. Was there anything else beyond
“Then, in all this, is a human being of one mind? Or, just as with
respect to the sight there was faction and he had contrary opinions in d
himself at the same time about the same things, is there also faction in
him when it comes to deeds and does he do battle with himself? But I
am reminded that there’s no need for us to come to an agreement about
this now. For in the previous arguments we came to sufficient agree-
ment about all this, asserting that our soul teems with ten thousand
such oppositions arising at the same time.”
“Rightly,” he said.
“Yes, it was right,” I said. “But what we then left out, it is now
necessary to go through, in my opinion.” e
“What was that?” he said.
“A decent man,” I said, “who gets as his share some such chance
as losing a son or something else for which he cares particularly, as we
were surely also saying then, will bear it more easily than other men.”
“Now let’s consider whether he won’t be grieved at all, or whether
this is impossible, but that he will somehow be sensible in the face of
“The latter,” he said, “is closer to the truth.”
“Now tell me this about him. Do you suppose he’ll fight the pain 604 a
and hold out against it more when he is seen by his peers, or when he is
alone by himself in a deserted place?”
“Surely,” he said, “he will fight it far more when seen.”
“But when left alone, I suppose, he’ll dare to utter many things of
which he would be ashamed if someone were to hear, and will do many
things he would not choose to have anyone see him do.”
“That’s so,” he said.
“Isn’t it argument and law that tell him to hold out, while the suf-
fering itself is what draws him to the pain?” h
“When a contradictory tendency arises in a human being about
the same thing at the same time, we say that there are necessarily two
things in him.”
[287 ]
socrates/gi^ucon the REPUBLIq
604 h “Isn’t the one ready to be persuaded in whatever direction the law
“How so?”
“The law presumably says that it is finest to keep as quiet as possi-
ble in misfortunes and not be irritated, since the good and bad in such
things aren’t plain, nor does taking it hard get one anywhere, nor are
c any of the human things worthy of great seriousness; and being in pain
is an impediment to the coming of that thing the support of which we
need as quickly as possible in these cases.”
“What do you mean?” he said.
“Deliberation,” I said, “about what has happened. One must ac-
cept the fall of the dice and settle one’s affairs accordingly~in
whatever way argument declares would be best. One must not behave
like children who have stumbled and who hold on to the hurt place and
spend their time in crying out; rather one must always habituate the
d soul to turn as quickly as possible to curing and setting aright what has
fallen and is sick, doing away with lament by medicine.”
“That,” he said, “at all events, would be the most correct way for
a man to face what chance brings.”
“And, we say, the best part is willing to follow this calculation—”
“—whereas the part that leads to reminiscences of the suffering
and to complaints and can’t get enough of them, won’t we say that it is
irrational, idle, and a friend of cowardice?”
“Certainly we’ll say that.”
e “Now then, the irritable disposition affords much and varied
imitation, while the prudent and quiet character, which is always
nearly equal to itself, is neither easily imitated nor, when imitated,
easily understood, especially by a festive assembly where all sorts of
human beings are gathered in a theater. For the imitation is of a condi-
tion that is surely alien to them.”
605 a “That’s entirely certain.”
“Then plainly the imitative poet isn’t naturally directed toward
any such part of the soul, and his wisdom isn’t framed for satisfying
it—if he’s going to get a good reputation among the many—but rather
toward the irritable and various disposition, because it is easily
“Therefore it would at last be just for us to seize him and set him
beside the painter as his antistrophe. For he is like the painter in mak-
ing things that are ordinary by the standard of truth; and he is also
b similar in keeping company with a part of the soul that is on the same
[ 288 ]
^ook X I 604b-606b socrates/glaucon
ilevel and not with the best part. And thus we should at last be justified 605 b
Ijn not admitting him into a city that is going to be under good laws, be-
^cause he awakens this part of the soul and nourishes it, and, by making
lit strong, destroys the calculating part, just as in a city when someone,
|by making wicked men mighty, turns the city over to them and cor-
Irupts the superior ones. Similarly, we shall say the imitative poet pro-
Induces a bad regime in the soul of each private man by making …
1142 Socrates/Glaucon
Moreover, it strikes me, now that it has been mentioned, how sophisti-
cated the subject of calculation is and in how many ways it is useful for
our purposes, provided that one practices it for the sake of knowing ratherd
than trading.
How is it useful?
In the very way we were talking about. It leads the soul forcibly upward
and compels it to discuss the numbers themselves, never permitting anyone
to propose for discussion numbers attached to visible or tangible bodies.
You know what those who are clever in these matters are like: If, in the
course of the argument, someone tries to divide the one itself, they laugh
and won’t permit it. If you divide it, they multiply it, taking care that onee
thing never be found to be many parts rather than one.
That’s very true.
Then what do you think would happen, Glaucon, if someone were to
ask them: “What kind of numbers are you talking about, in which the one526
is as you assume it to be, each one equal to every other, without the least
difference and containing no internal parts?”
I think they’d answer that they are talking about those numbers that
can be grasped only in thought and can’t be dealt with in any other way.
Then do you see that it’s likely that this subject really is compulsory forb
us, since it apparently compels the soul to use understanding itself on the
truth itself?
Indeed, it most certainly does do that.
And what about those who are naturally good at calculation or reason-
ing? Have you already noticed that they’re naturally sharp, so to speak,
Republic VII 1143
in all subjects, and that those who are slow at it, if they’re educated and
exercised in it, even if they’re benefited in no other way, nonetheless
improve and become generally sharper than they were?
That’s true.
Moreover, I don’t think you’ll easily find subjects that are harder to
learn or practice than this. c
No, indeed.
Then, for all these reasons, this subject isn’t to be neglected, and the
best natures must be educated in it.
I agree.
Let that, then, be one of our subjects. Second, let’s consider whether the
subject that comes next is also appropriate for our purposes.
What subject is that? Do you mean geometry?
That’s the very one I had in mind.
Insofar as it pertains to war, it’s obviously appropriate, for when it d
comes to setting up camp, occupying a region, concentrating troops, de-
ploying them, or with regard to any of the other formations an army adopts
in battle or on the march, it makes all the difference whether someone is
a geometer or not.
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