What were Plato's views on human nature in books 5 and 7 of The Republic?

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Plato is an influential Greek philosopher who was born into an influential family of Athens. He was especially influenced by the ideas of Socrates. The Republic is Plato's most famous work. It covers many of the greatest philosophical issues and is one of the first examples of a systematic philosophy...

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Plato is an influential Greek philosopher who was born into an influential family of Athens. He was especially influenced by the ideas of Socrates. The Republic is Plato's most famous work. It covers many of the greatest philosophical issues and is one of the first examples of a systematic philosophy of the Western world. One of the concepts that Plato explores in The Republic is human nature.

Plato is what's called a dualist. He believes that there is both a material body and an immaterial mind or soul. He believed that souls live on without bodies. Plato further split the soul or mind into three distinct parts. The first is will. This is what Plato believed to be the source of anger, love, ambition, aggression, and more. The second is appetite, which Plato called physical urges, and the third is reason. He believed that humans must keep all three of these parts of the mind in balance. Otherwise, one aspect can override the others and lead us to improper actions. This is one of Plato's most clear statements on what it means to be human.

However, Plato knew that humans can't thrive in isolation. That's why he emphasized the social aspects of human nature. He believed that we need others' talents, friendships, and skills to live our best lives. He believed that people had different personalities based on which part of their mind was the most dominant. For example, someone who's mind was dominated by reason would be more philosophical than a person who's mind was dominated by emotion. With these thoughts from The Republic, Plato has given us a strong understanding of his beliefs regarding human nature.

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