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Sean McAleer

Published On


Page Range

pp. 229-250

Print Length

21 pages

12. The Decline and Fall of the Ideal City-Soul


  • Sean McAleer (author)
Chapter of: Plato's 'Republic': An Introduction(pp. 229–250)
In Chapter Twelve, ‘The Decline and Fall of the Ideal City-Soul’, we begin exploring Socrates’ answer to the Republic’s second question. In Books VIII and IX, Socrates sketches five kinds of cities and souls, noting what each takes as its primary end or goal and which part or class governs the soul and city, respectively. We trace the decay from the best city-soul to the worst, attending to the role that changes to education play and to interesting features of each stage, and discuss at some length Plato’s distinction between necessary and unnecessary desires.


Sean McAleer