The City Of Swine Essay Research Paper

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The City Of Swine Essay, Research Paper The City of Swine By: When one looks at why Plato would have included Glaucon s sarcastic remark of calling the first city a city of swine (372d) in his dialogue the Republic of Plato, one must understand what it is that Glaucon was talking about. To understand what Glaucon s sarcastic remark meant; and how important it was, is because there had to be more to what Plato was writing about. And that Glaucon s remark helped lead Plato s writings right into what followed. For I m sure to assume that: Polemarchus, Thrasymuchus, and Cephalus would have had some sarcastic remarks as well throughout the dialectic; but Plato must have ignored them, or choose not to include them, because their remarks would have been unimportant. So why did Plato

include the remark city of swine , and why did Glaucon call it a city of swine ? In order to understand the remark city of swine we must first understand why Plato is describing the city. Why Plato is describing the city, is that they are looking for the answer to what exactly justice is. For they had failed to come up with a reasonable answer in earlier attempts to define what justice was. In earlier attempts to define justice, Cephalus said, to tell the truth and repay one s debts. (331c). Socrates however dismissed this with the insane man example. Polemarchus said, that it was just or right to give back to each man what was due to him. This Polemarchus specifies as, doing good to one s friends and harm to one s enemies. (331e-332b). This too was easily dismissed by Socrates

that it can t be part of justice to do harm to anybody, and one can be mistaken as to who their real friends are. Therminacus idea for justice was, justice is for the strong. Socrates used the good doctor to refute this claim as well, and showed that justice isn t for the strong. So with no real answer to what justice was in the individual and nowhere to turn to look for justice, they had decided to look for justice in a larger scale. So why did they look to the city for the answer to justice? In (435e) Socrates maintains the individual must have the same characteristics as the city, for otherwise the city itself could not posses them. In (368d) Plato says they should look not to the individual man, but to the community as a whole. And since a city is larger than an individual,

it would make it easier to make out or find what justice is in the city. Plus in Plato s time the law of the state is the source of all standards of human life, and that the virtue of the individual is the same as the virtue of the citizen. (Jaeger. Paideia, Vol. II, p. 157.) With this established they had no problems with looking to the city for the answer to justice. So what is the city? Why is it called the economic city? Or why is it called the simple city? In Plato s account of the first city, (369-372), the city is fairly clear in its description. In it, it is a city that comes together basically because of man s basic need for survival. Because Plato states, an individual man is inadequate and cannot provide for his basic needs like: food, shelter, and clothing alone. It

is a city where one has to produce enough goods for himself, and sell or trade the rest for what he needs. This city is basically a working town only, where men do their task or job well; selling their service or goods, and buying the services or goods they need. It is a simple economic city for man s basic needs of survival. So why did Glaucon protest to this city, saying that the life which it provides will be excessively austere, making it a city of swine? (372d) Why did Glaucon call this city, severely simple, and rigidly strict in its manner of living? I believe he called it a city of swine because the people in this city lived like pigs! A people with no purpose other then one s own need for survival. A people with minimal essentials, with no emotion or feeling. A people