Gennaro Carillo

Against Nature. On Democracy in Plato

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Keywords: Plato, Democracy, Republic, Nature

Critique of democracy is a recurring argument in Plato’s dialogues. What does Plato mean by democracy? How does Trasymachus’ gigantic provocative stance affect his vision of political regime in the Republic? Is democracy a way to steer conflict towards a sustainable degree, or is it the highest expression of that very conflict? Does it figure out an inner split in the city, laying the ground for tyrannis? Following in Aristophanes’ footsteps, Plato exasperates and distorts democracy’s shape. He portraits it as a collective dizziness, caused by the «pure wine» of bad-tempered freedom. And as a non-constitution, where the right hierarchy has been put upside down. Because right hierarchy – fit to «nature» – is the true basis of government, in the polis and in the soul

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