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AN OVERLOOKED FORM OF DEMOTIC POWER: REPUTATION IN PLATO'S REPUBLIC

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This article challenges the customary view that the ruled have no political power in Plato's Kallipolis. It does so by attending to the role reputation (doxa) plays in the relationship between philosophy and power. Reputation is a positional good determined in part by the judgments of those who attribute it, namely, the many. The article first draws attention to the many in the persuasive task Socrates agrees to undertake. It then establishes that the pursuit of reputation is constitutive of political life in the regimes of Books 8 and 9. These findings are used to discuss reputation in the institutional design of Kallipolis which transforms philosophy from something regarded as useless or harmful, to that which saves the city. The article argues that the philosopher must care about how philosophy appears to the many who are spectators in the city. Kallipolis is a city in which philosophy is valued truly by the non-philosophic many.
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Keywords: Kallipolis; Plato; Republic; philosophy; political power; regime; reputation; the many

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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