The most important element for existence of an ideal society is a combination of the four virtues with other personal attributes. Plato defines wisdom also known as prudence to mean knowledge of the whole city. This is clearly represented in the gold class as they are deemed to have knowledge that exceeds beyond true wisdom. Few members of the society have this virtue as wisdom is an element of knowledge which is a rare virtue observable in the lives of many individuals. A second virtue is courage which according to Plato means preservation of opinions recognized by the law.
The law teaches individuals about the bad and good values in life that should be avoided or acquired. Courage is found at the silver class which represents a number of society members. Plato clearly illustrates this concept by giving an example of dyers who have to take courage when dying a piece of cloth made from wool. They have to start with the background after acquiring and preparing the right piece of cloth to be dyed. This should be done with a lot of care as poor job results to big loss. The example or illustration given by Plato aimed at training the silver soul class through physical activity and music.
The precise training of the soul class aimed at bringing upright members of the society who are in a position to make morally upright decisions. Instilling moral knowledge to individuals was a way of encouraging them to be strong in every aspect of life. He never wanted the sanctity of their souls to be destroyed by fear, grief, death and pleasure which are common features in individual’s life (Kochin Michael, 1999). Teaching society members about courage as a virtue aimed at influencing the decisions of individuals about good and bad.
In this context, Plato implied that a person with the right knowledge of differentiating between bad and good influences has courage to face life. Courage is a virtue developed at tender age and makes a person handle problems and choose the best that fits his or her life. Courage according to Plato means that a person is in a position to stand firm on a particular issue which has positive implications. An individual according to Plato without adequate knowledge about dangerous acts against him or her has no courage.
Moderation is another main virtue considered by Plato in the Republic which he defines as a kind of harmony that exists between silver and bronze souls. Moderation according to Plato is the capacity of an individual to be in a position of controlling desires and govern his or her life. The mind of an individual according to Plato thinks about good and bad. In certain instances the bad can overcome the good in case an individual has no adequate information or as a result of peer pleasure influence (Wardle Lynn, 2001).
Once a bad influence overwhelms the good an individual becomes a slave to his or her desires thus they are deemed to be out of control. Such individuals are not courageous in addressing real life issues as they lack principles. On the other hand, when an individual is controlled by the good elements moderation exists. A city which is moderate has peace and harmony as is reflected in the difference between moderation and courage or wisdom. The last virtue as is described by Plato in The Republic is justice which basically means minding one’s business.
This class for individual responsibility in any activity a person executes. It occurs when each member of the society engages in activities that he or she is supposed to do. Every society member has his or her own talent or something they are best at which leads to promotion of justice. Justice is a virtue that makes the other three elements complete because once wisdom, courage and moderation are acquired justice prevails easily. Recognition of each part of the soul means coexistence of utopian society which is an important aspect of development.
Each virtue is important and they should work in conjunction with each other to promote existence of a morally upright society. Work Cited: Pangle Thomas, 1980, The Laws of Plato, Basic Books. Kochin Michael, 1999, War, Class, and Justice in Plato’s Republic, The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 53. Wardle Lynn, 2001, “Multiply and Replenish”: Considering Same-Sex Marriage in Light of State Interests in Marital Procreation, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 24.