Plato's Philosopher Kings

published 5 years ago by BBC Radio

Plato thought leaders should be specially trained philosophers chosen because they were incorruptible and had a deeper knowledge of reality. Narrated by Aidan Turner.

NCLEX those philosopher kings. If you were out at sea and a ship would you a take a vote and have to steer the ship or be trying find out of there was someone on board who knew how to do. If you chose B. then presumably you agree that expertise is useful in these situations. You don't amateurs taking gas is when it's a matter of life and death. Far better to have someone who can never get you back to port avoiding the rocks. Well what about when steering the great ship of state. Taking a vote on which way to go be far less effective than finding someone who knew what they would do it. That's what Plato argued in book 6 of his Republic. He had a very low view of democracy is a process for deciding what to do. Even voting in the leader would be risky because voters are easily swayed by relevant features such as a candidate's looks. They don't realize that routing is a skill ...

more episodes from A History of Ideas animations