As we read through the first few chapters of The Republic, Socrates is posed with the question, â€œWhat is Justice?â€ In order to answer this in terms to which others can understand they start to delve deeper into the meaning of justice, to better show what justice is for the individual as well as a city there begins a dialogue about what the criteria of a city would have to be in order to be completely just, including itâ€™s citizens. Along with several other factors to this scenario would be a ruler for this faux city, he is called the Philosopher King. In this paper I am going to discuss the characteristics of the Philosopher King as well as how this all knowing, all wise person comes to fruition in this theory of a city.
Socrates proposes that the definition of justice is doing in life what you are best suited for. In order for there to be justice in the city there must be justice in each individual (soul). If each person in city does what he/she is best suited for, then this should thereby produce a just city. According to Socrates there are three parts of the soul; rational part, spirited part, and appetitive part. The people best suited to rule the city have the strongest rational part of the soul. The people who have the strongest spirited part of soul should become auxiliaries (soldiers). And the people who have the strongest appetitive part of the soul will become craftsmen and farmers. The city Socrates is proposing has many facets, the most important being, how to separate the people into classes and bring forth the persons best suited to be rulers (Philosopher King).
The Philosopher King is going to be a person whom has had an exemplary education, is not a politician, loves everything, not in their nature to lie, understands all laws of nature perfectly and has true knowledge. This knowledge consists of his understanding of what justice itself is, and understands everything through knowledge, not opinion or senses.