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Three Kinds of Tyrants in Plato’s «Republic» and the Critic of Athenian Democ

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Keywords: Plato, Republic, Tyrants, Athenian Democracy

This article argues that we ought to distinguish between three kinds of tyrants in Plato’s Republic. First, real, historical tyrants or autocratic rulers, whom Socrates mentions in the dialogue in negative terms. Second, the potential philosophical autocratic ruler mentioned by Socrates in book 5 as a possible condition for the realization of his ideal city. Third, the “idealµ figure of the tyrant discussed in books 8 and 9, which corresponds to a specific form of democratic leadership and is part and parcel of Socrates’ critique of Athenian democracy

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