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Justice as 'psychic harmony' and the tripartition of the soul in Plato's 'Republic'

Grant number: 16/04948-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2016
Effective date (End): October 01, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Marco Antônio de Ávila Zingano
Grantee:Ana Beatriz Barbosa de Carvalho e Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/05317-8 - Theories of causation and human agency in ancient Greek philosophy, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):17/09211-5 - Justice as Form in Plato's 'Republic', BE.EP.MS


The Book IV of Plato's Republic pictures us a soul in the condition of a good soul. As the rational element (tò logistikón) rules wisely and is able to deliberate the good, the spirited element (tò thymoidês) assists and performs with courage the resolutions of the former element, maintaining a straight opinion. Finally, the appetitive element (tò epithymêtikòn) is set under control, obeying temperately the further superior elements. Insofar as the soul is found in such a disposition, such a man is just, not because of any specific element in his soul, but because of the good arrangement in which the parts are found. Plato's comparison in 443c-444a between the soul of the just man and a harmony in a musical scale has made individual justice to be known as psychic harmony: a certain condition, according to which each part of the soul is to perform its own function - say, its own virtue. This research aims at establishing the foundations above which this understanding of justice lays. On the one hand, we will investigate the tripartition of the soul - i.e. the reason why and how it is divided necessarily in three parts - and what the nature of each one of its elements is, in order to find out what is intended by psychic. On the other, we will reconstruct the cartography of virtues in the soul - i.e. how its parts relate to each other and to each of the virtues - and glimpse what the possible arrangements (virtuous or not) are - in order to see if 'harmonic' is what, indeed, justice consists of. (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SILVA, Ana Beatriz Barbosa de Carvalho e. The definition of justice in Plato\'s Republic. 2019. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD) São Paulo.

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