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Colloquium 2 Commentary on Santas

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image of Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy

How does Socrates conceive of the good of the city-state in the Republic? Does he conceive of the city as a kind of organic entity, with a good of its own that is independent of the good of the citizens? Or does he think the good of the city includes the good of the citizens. If so, how? Santas argues that the good of the city must include the good of the citizens. Specifically, he argues that the city is organized so that the citizens can attain a great good: the ability to do well the work for which they are best suited by nature and education. In these comments, I raise a challenge for Santas’s interpretation and I provide an alternative account of how the good of the city includes the good of the citizens. On my view, the city is organized so that all of the citizens can attain what is in fact the greatest good for the individual: virtue and the rule of reason. 

Affiliations: 1: University of Maryland


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