Plato's Three Parts of The Soul Essay Example


Plato’s philosophy doesn't just divide rulers, or philosophers, and common man but goes further into dividing people by which part of their soul influences them. According to Plato there are three parts of the soul making 3 types of people in society. In order for society to work people must stick to the roles, or classes, that their soul determines.Every soul is made up of rational, spirited, and appetitive parts, and one part of a person's soul dominates the others. Each part of society is a part of the soul; auxiliaries are the spirited, producers are appetites, and guardians are the rational. On the left the largest group is represented, the Appetites. Appetite souls are confined inside the working or producing class: banders, merchants, farmers and craftsmen. This part of the soul represents physical survival and basic needs, hunger thirst, and sexual desire, which is why they are considered lovers of money. Individuals who are overridden by the Appetitive part of their soul are greedy, and dark people who do their daily obligations without reaching for a higher goal. The next part of the soul, represented on the right, is the spirit of the soul. Spirited souls live in the smallest group of people known as the military or auxiliary class. The spirited part of the soul yearns for supreme honor, and the people whom it confines in are brave and great at overcoming obstacles. However, they are also ruled by the heart which causes them to be hot-headed, but this allows them to overcome adversities with strength and pride to attain victory. Those who are taken by the spirited are lovers of honor and courage is the highest virtue. The last group is the faculty of knowledge, the rational. People who are encompassed by the rational part of their soul, who desire wisdom and truth, are Philosophers and guardians. Plato's ideal king has to come from the faculty of knowledge, and even states that we must “liken the soul to the composite nature of a pair of winged horses and a charioteer.”Where one horse is passion, and the other Appetite, with reason, a character who commands the reins of the horses. The king or queen has to come from this group because it is considered superior by Plato, because it is only the people in this group that can make decisions for the welfare of society as a whole with no thought of themselves interfering. However it can’t just be a philosopher from this group, a guardian has to not only have the rational part of their soul, buy they must also have the spirited helping there rational in order to be a leader. 

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