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Plato: Republic

3. The City-Soul Analogy

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In the last module, Socrates outlined the ideally just city as one in which there was a balance between the three distinct social classes; the Guardians, the Auxiliaries, and the Producers. In this module, Socrates attempts to bring the analogy back to the question of individual morality. His argument is as follows: just as in the ideally just city there was a balance between three distinct social classes, so too in the ideally just individual should there be a balance between the three parts of the soul.


In this course, Nakul Krishna (University of Oxford) considers some of the key philosophical problems in Plato's Republic. In the first module, he examines the fundamental question that the Republic is trying to answer: "Why should we be just?". In this second module, he discusses the creation of an ideal city from scratch, while after that he discusses one of the most ingenious arguments in the Republic in the context of the so-called city-soul analogy. In the fourth module, he discussed Plato's theory of knowledge, looking in particular at one of the most well-known parts of the Republic: the allegory of the cave. And finally, he considers Plato's philosophy of art, asking why it is that Plato chooses to ban artistic representation from his ideal city, and what possible responses we may have to Plato's arguments.


Nakul is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. In addition to Plato's Euthyphro and Meno, he also teaches Plato's Republic as well as Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Krishna, N. (2018, August 15). Plato: Republic - The City-Soul Analogy [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Krishna, N. "Plato: Republic – The City-Soul Analogy." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,

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