Plato’s Democratic Epic
Plato sets his dialogue in a democratic Athens where the standard defense of justice fails to persuade anyone that justice in itself is valuable or desirable. This points to the inadequacy of normal rhetoric to defend values foundational for a democracy and argues that philosophy has an important role to play in the reconstitution of a democratic citizenry who would then value justice and desire to be just. The problem for philosophy is that it has little authority with an audience of non-philosophers, so if it is to speak to that audience, it needs to find an appropriate rhetoric.
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