The First City and First Soul in Plato’s Republic

Rhizomata 9 (1):50-83 (2021)
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Abstract
One puzzling feature of Plato’s Republic is the First City or ‘city of pigs’. Socrates praises the First City as a “true”, “healthy” city, yet Plato abandons it with little explanation. I argue that the problem is not a political failing, as most previous readings have proposed: the First City is a viable political arrangement, where one can live a deeply Socratic lifestyle. But the First City has a psychological corollary, that the soul is simple rather than tripartite. Plato sees this ‘First Soul’ as an inaccurate model of moral psychology, and so rejects it, along with its political analogue.
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Archival date: 2021-09-04
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2021-09-04

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