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Plato: Republic

2. The Ideal City

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About this Lecture


In order to answer the challenge outlined in the previous module ("Why should we be just?"), Socrates offers an analogy; instead of considering the just individual, he says, let's start by considering the ideally just city. In this module, we outline one of the most well-known parts of the Republic, in which the interlocutors attempt to define what the ideal city would look like. Having introduced the purpose of the analogy, this module examines both cities that Socrates offers ("the city for pigs", which is rejected for being too simplistic, then Kallipolis) before detailing the tripartite social structure of this ideal city into Guardians, Auxiliaries, and Producers. The module ends by considering how Plato justifies this social hierarchy in the famous 'myth of the metals'.


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 Ideal City [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

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