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The Rhetoric of Plato'S RepublicDemocracy and the Philosophical Problem of Persuasion$
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James L. Kastely

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226278629

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226278766.001.0001

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The Limits of Persuasion

The Limits of Persuasion

The Residual Force of Culture and the Unruliness of Desire

(p.88) Chapter Five The Limits of Persuasion
The Rhetoric of Plato'S Republic

James L. Kastely

University of Chicago Press

Integral to the dialogue’s effort to develop a defense of justice that is not only theoretically consistent but genuinely persuasive are the repeated challenges by Socrates’ interlocutors that he explain how his model lines up with reality. In particular, Socrates must develop a fuller account of the Kallipolis’s policies and practices for channeling eros to beneficial political ends. For Socrates, it is imperative that the founders of this theoretical city constitute guardians in a way that eliminates any conflict between private interest and public interest in the guardian class. This elimination of private interest requires the control of eros and a careful and continuing attention to the cultural narratives that shape and direct both desire and thumos (spirit) in the city’s guardian class.

Keywords:   guardian, private interest, spirit (thumos), eros

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