Plato's Republic Book 4 Summary and Analysis


Book 4 Summary and Analysis

1. Happiness of the Guardians (419–421c)

Adeimantus questions whether or not the Guardians will be happy, as they will possess none of those things that are “conventionally held to belong to men who are going to be blessed” (419a).

Socrates responds that, while the Guardians will likely be happy, the goal has been the happiness of the whole city. The conventional definition of happiness as wealth would make craftsmen poor at their crafts. It would be far worse for the Guardians to be corrupted in such a way, for if they fail at their task the city will be destroyed.

Most interesting in this passage is the references it makes to Socrates’...

(The entire section is 1270 words.)