What Plato Can Teach Us About Politics and Freedom

Philosophy in the Contemporary World 18 (1):75-89 (2011)
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Abstract

We have built our understanding of politics (the understanding that is today, letting us down) on a one-sided understanding of freedom as the ability or capacity to do as we wish, and have forgotten the role that self-discipline—self-control and self-mastery—have in ensuring real freedom. And we have done this at the same time as losing our capacity to think of polhics in terms of the virtues and vices of our ruling elites. To rectify these connected failures we need to look again at Plato's politics.

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