History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (4):301-316 (2010)

Mason Marshall
Pepperdine University
Most scholars have thought that in the _Republic_ democracy is supposed to be worse than timarchy or oligarchy, but lately certain commentators have denied that it is. Is it, then? We argue that pursuing this question leads to a dead end: it simply is not clear how bad democracy is supposed to be in the _Republic_. To make our case, we first marshal the strongest available evidence that democracy is supposedly better than timarchy and oligarchy. Next we lay out the strongest available evidence that democracy is supposedly worse. And then we explain why there is an impasse.
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