Plato theory of Justice | Plato's Ideal State

Plato's Theory of Justice | Plato's Ideal State

Plato theory of Justice | Plato's Ideal State

Basic Biography

Born in Athens 

Plato was born in 427 BC in Athens which is currently situated in Greece. Athens was a city-state in Plato's era. Meaning it was a complete state but it consisted of a single city.

Student of Socrates

He got his early education at home. But late on he became a student of Socrates. He remained his student until Socrates's execution.

Establishment of Academy

After the execution of Socrates, Plato left Athens. Ultimately, he returned to Athens and established an institution called the Academy. Furthermore, he spent his remaining life in teaching at the Academy. 

Important Books 

Plato wrote three most important books namely:

The Republic

Theories of Plato

Plato’s Ideal State | Philosopher King 


There were two factors to influenced Plato to develop the theory of the Ideal State. 

Socrates criticises the direct democracy in Athens. He called it a corrupt and bad system. As a result of which Socrates was executed. Due to this Plato became disrespectful to direct democracy which cannot tolerate and executed his teacher Socrates. And that is why he gave the theory of the Ideal State. 

The second reason was the defeat of Athens in the hands of Sparta in the Peloponnesian War



He established the theory of the Ideal State in the principle of Justice. Now what is justice according to Plato? He stated that human beings have three main instincts:

Lust or desire

Courage or spirit
Wisdom and reason 

According to Plato, in every human being, the above all three points are present. However, anyone of them is dominant and the others are present but not dominant. He said it could be anything.

Furthermore, he said that in society the majority of people are those in which lust is dominant. Secondly, few people are those in which courage or spirit is dominant.

Lastly, the least number of people have wisdom as dominant. In simple words, the wise people are the least portion of the population. 

Now where is the Justice? 

According to Plato, those people in which Lust is dominant, they must play the role of workers/artisans. 

Those in which courage is dominant must play the role of the military.
Those in which wisdom is dominant they should be the rulers. 

According to Plato, in a society, if people perform a role according to their dominant instincts this is called Justice. 

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