Useful Notes on “Philosopher King” (by Plato)

The concept is described by Prof. Foster as “the most profoundly “original conception in the entire political thought of Plato” has some distinct feature.

1. Plato denounced democratic system as a government of ignorant. Instead suggested some novel and unprecedented institution which resembled almost tyranny so, he thought of an unlimited government of a philosopher Ruler for his ideal state

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2. He favored the concept of government by elite. Those who possess the capacity should rule over those many that do not.


3. Plato’s conception of Philosopher is one who is the lover of wisdom and passionate seeker of truth. So, he is in a better position to determine what is in the interest of the community than an ordinary person.

4. Plato’s philosopher ruler’s are the product of comprehensive and rigorous training and education.

5. Philosopher rulers are assigned absolute powers. They are not accountable to public opinion or bound by customs or written laws.

According to Plato, since philosophers are the embodiment of virtue and knowledge, there is no logic for Public control over their actions. The Philosopher rulers through the use of their wisdom can give to every person what he deserves, no short, it is expedient to have the government of philosopher rulers.

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6. Plato imposes a restraint on their power by insisting that they

1. Must watch against the excessive inflow of property and wealth in the state.

2. Should keep the size of the state consistent with the unity and self sufficiency.


3. Must ensure due performance of allotted duties by each citizen.

4. Must ensure that no change is made in the education system.


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