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Philosopher King

Philosopher King

Plato, in The Republic, outlined ideas for the ideal government. Distilled to its basic premises in a term paper, show that Plato argued that the best form of government would be a society ruled by a Philosopher King. In Plato's society, an elite was raised and educated from birth to take its place at the highest levels of government. This was, in Plato's estimation, the greatest possible political system, since both democracy and oligarchy had their tyrannical leanings. However, one cannot help but suspect that Plato saw himself as the ultimate Philosopher King, and that his system was based largely on dissatisfaction with the government of Athens (which ranged between democracy and oligarchy), after the execution of Socrates.

Plato sought to soften the hand of an absolute leader by providing him with enlightenment, hence a philosopher king. The idea has some merit, but can it be considered workable?

An excellent term paper topic on philosopher kings would be to examine if, in our modern society, have the smartest, and best-educated individuals learned to avoid political office at all costs, leading the ruling up to the wealthy?

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