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THE PRIVATE AND THE COMMON IN PLATO'S REPUBLIC

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Abstract:

This article deals with the issue of the abolition of both property and family for the Guardians in Plato's Republic. My aim is to show that such abolition answers to the problem of the art of ruling raised in Book I: how can the rulers rule not in their own interest, but rather in the interest of the ruled? The abolition of property and family changes the very economic and social framework of the city, leading to an identity of the private interests of the rulers and of the common interests of the polis, by establishing a koinÜnia among the Guardians and a relationship of interdependence between them and the producers. Nevertheless, the exclusion of the lower class from the abolition of property and family creates a situation of fundamental asymmetry in the relationship between the classes and renders ambiguous the manner in which the producers belong to the city, creating in this way a 'differential inclusion into citizenship'.

Keywords: Plato; Republic; Thrasymachus; citizenship; civil war; common; community; differential inclusion into citizenship; family; guardians; power; private; property; soul; theory of forms; wealth

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: New School for Social Research, 6 East 16th Street, 10th Floor, Room 1017, New York, NY 10003, USA, Email: arruzzac@newschool.edu

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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