Date of Award

Fall 1994

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dupuis, Adrian M.

Second Advisor

Riordan, Timothy M.

Third Advisor

Marlaire, Courtney L.


In Plato's time, Athens was in political crisis. Athenian democracy was in nearly the worst condition possible; even politics gave no hope for Athenians. Plato knew that "Athens was no longer administered according to the standards and practices of our fathers." Plato tried to improve this political situation through education, arguing "Athens desperately needs the means of improving this particular situation and of reforming the whole constitution." Plato also knew that "the written law and the customs were being corrupted at an astounding rate. " In addition to the poor political situation, Plato personally was disappointed to see that corrupted Athenian politics sentenced Socrates to death. Regarding this matter Plato says: "I kept waiting for favorable moments, and finally saw clearly in regard to all states now existing that without exception their system of government is bad. " For this reason, rather than getting involved in politics Plato decided to search for what is just for the individual Athenians and for Athens. He had little doubt that in order for a society to be just, the individual must be just. Then, for Plato, the question is what justice is and how the individuals and a society can achieve justice. To answer these questions, Plato tried to construct an ideal political system on the basis of education...



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