The Distinction between the Philosopher and the Non-Philosopher

  • R. C. Cross
  • A. D. Woozley


By the end of Book IV the ideal state has been constructed and justice examined both in the state and in the individual soul. Socrates now proposes (at 445c) to review the various forms that evil takes both in states and in the corresponding characters of their citizens. At this point (449b–c) he is pulled up by Adeimantus, who insists on being told more about the proposed community of wives and children in the case of the Guardians, which Socrates had touched on at 423e–424a. There now follow the three “waves” — a metaphor used by Plato at 457b to describe the three contentious points with which he is now engaged and which the argument has to breast. The first wave (451b–457b) is concerned with the equality in education and public duties of female with male Guardians. Here Plato relies mainly on an appeal to what is “natural”; at 455e this equality is in accordance with human nature, “every occupation is open to both women and men so far as their natures are concerned”, and it is also in accordance with what happens in the natural world, since we expect this equality of function in a pack of watch-dogs of which our Guardians are the human counterpart (452d–e).


Relational Characteristic Sense Perception Negative Judgment Beautiful Thing Present Passage 
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Copyright information

© R. C. Cross and A. D. Woozley 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. C. Cross
    • 1
  • A. D. Woozley
    • 2
  1. 1.University of AberdeenUK
  2. 2.University of VirginiaUSA

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