Skip to main content

Plato's Political Thoughts


Political theories of Plato


Plato is a celebrated ancient western Greek philosopher. He was born in Athens in a wealthy family. He was a student of Aristotle and a teacher of Socrates. He has been regarded as a founder of western political philosophy and the Athens academy.


He was the first who gave the political ideas in that ancient times that are still applicable today. His famous political books are "THE REPUBLIC", "THE STATESMAN " and" THE LAWS". Plato was concerned about human life.


He gave the "THEORY OF FORMS" based on pure reason. In this theory, he said that the physical world is not as real or true as timeless, absolute, unchangeable ideas. This theory is also known as the "Theory of Ideas". His political philosophy said that the world is unchanging, eternal, and beyond our senses. In his famous book "THE REPUBLIC", which is the longest of his work, he defined justice. In it, he divides the soul into three parts which are REASON, EMOTION, and DESIRE.

Scroll to Continue


He was dissatisfied with ATHENS' JUSTICE and DEMOCRACY as he considered it responsible for Socrates's death. His quote in this regard is that "TYRANNY NATURALLY ARISES OUT OF DEMOCRACY." Plato's sense of justice is the power of individual concentration on duty. For justice, he used the Greek word "DIKAISYNE" which means "righteousness" or "morality". Justice is the most important principle of his political philosophy. According to him, it is the quality of the soul. It is based on the inner nature of the human spirit. In his book " THE REPUBLIC" he raised the issue of justice.


Plato also gave the famous example "ALLEGORY OF CAVE" which symbolizes ATHENS' four grades of knowledge through which the mind can ascend to the ideas, each living represented by the particular state of men inside and outside the cave. These levels are Conjecture, Belief, Reasons, and Understanding. On the other hand, Plato also defines four cardinal virtues Wisdom, Courage, Moderation, and Justice.


Plato's theory of education focuses on mathematics analogies than literature. He was criticized for being an ideal philosopher than a man of action. Plato's famous quote in education is "The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant. However, critics said that he did not realize that education should be relative to the character of the individual.


There is another theory which is known as "PLATO COMMUNISM THEORY" which consists of two parts communism of family and communism of property. He abolished private family life and property. He promoted common food and interest of the state as well as established a higher standard for the rulers. Critics said that his theory of communism is too idealistic, imaginary, and far away from the realities of life. Apart from that, there are various theories and ideas which were given by Plato. However, his political ideas are still valid in the modern age.


His theories have been the subject of much criticism. His student "SOCRATES" criticized his idea of democracy. His idea of democracy has been taken as a "Totalitarian" form of government.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Kiran Sardar

Related Articles