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Democratic VistasReflections on the Life of American Democracy$
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Jedediah Purdy, Anthony Kronman, and Cynthia Farrar

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300102567

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300102567.001.0001

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The Democratic Soul

The Democratic Soul

Chapter:
(p.16) 1 The Democratic Soul
Source:
Democratic Vistas
Author(s):

Anthony T. Kronman

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300102567.003.0002

This chapter discusses Plato's Republic. It argues that modern men and women who believe in the value of individuality, the value of living a life uniquely as one's own must reject Socrates' negative assessment of democracy and the organizing assumption on which the Republic is based: the assumption that the order of a political community mirrors the order in the souls of its citizens and can be derived from no other source. Socrates' inability to recognize the value of individuality and our inability to deny it leads him to count democracy as the next-to-worst regime and us to rank it as the best.

Keywords:   Plato, Republic, Socrates, democracy, political community, democratic character, individuality

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