It is without any doubt that Plato has thought deeply about his theories on the formations of personal constitutions, social structures, and political landscapes. While some of these theories seem to have genuine investment, others are contradicted in his practices.
According to Plato, we cannot fully understand the true forms at the level he does. In extension, how can we be certain that there is anything to understand at all if he avoids explaining it. Is Plato lying about knowing a greater truth altogether? Instead is he practicing, as he stated in the book, a justice in telling lies for the greater good?
What about a lie in words? Aren’t there times when it is useful, and so does not merit hatred? What about when we are dealing with enemies, or with so-called friends who, because of insanity or ignorance, are attempting to do something bad? Isn’t it a useful drug for preventing them? – Plato, Republic pg 63 line 382d
Plato may think he should be in a position of power based on higher intellect and/or ability to understand the system at a higher level than current rulers. Or simply based on his reasoning and skill in persuasion.
Throughout the novel he makes claims to know the true good and can only give reference through examples to explain what he sees as true. In contradiction to this, he critiques artwork for only being inferior reflections of a true form (pg 301 line 598b).
The entire book is him speaking in the third extension, something he openly is against in the (fittingly) final chapter of the book.
- the truth
- the way he perceives the truth
- him speaking about these perceptions
Continuing on, he is always questioning and wanting more explanation from his peers (in an albeit demeaning way). Yet he claims that he cannot adequately transfer his knowledge on the true forms of virtue (seen on pg 228).
This makes me re-raise the question: is purpose of the book a true lie (discussed in book II) to push him to a higher standing in society?