Plato's Republic by Plato

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Book 4 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What four virtues will the ideal state possess?

2. Whose happiness does the ideal state seek?

3. How does the “doctrine of the mean” explain Socrates’ desire to keep the city’s workmen from becoming rich?

4. Why does Socrates not fear his city falling in war?

5. What metaphor describes the well-regulated state as well as the well-ordered mind?

6. What three elements compose the mind?

7. Who is allowed to rule in the ideal state?

8. What class does “appetite” correspond to?

9. What two forms of rule does Socrates find appropriate to the ideal state?

10. What would be the worst thing to happen within the ideal state?


1. The ideal state will possess wisdom, courage, moderation (or self-discipline), and justice.

2. The ideal state seeks the happiness of all.

3. Socrates wishes to avoid extremes, so he prefers that workmen be neither rich nor poor.

4. Because the state will not be rich, Socrates predicts it will easily defeat lazy states and will easily find allies if it should seek them.

5. The well-regulated state and the well-regulated mind are both in good health.

6. The mind is composed of reason, spirit, and appetite.

7. Only the Guardians, who have gold within them, will be allowed to rule.

8. The working classes correspond to the mental element of appetite.

9. Socrates says the ideal state will either be ruled as an aristocracy or as a kingship.

10. The worst thing to happen within the ideal state would be for a member of the silver or bronze classes to get into the Guardians.