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A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science

Ed. by Wildberg, Christian / Morison, Benjamin

4 Issues per year

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Volume 44, Issue 2


The Unity of the Virtues and the Degeneration of Kallipolis

Mark J. Boone
Published Online: 2011-04-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron.2011.010


Each of the degenerating constitutions in Book VIII of Plato's Republic is the result of the disappearance of one of the four cardinal virtues. The failure of wisdom creates a timocracy; the failure of courage, an oligarchy; the failure of moderation, a democracy; the failure of justice, a tyranny. The degeneration shows that the disunited virtues are imperfect, though they have some power to stave off vice. Thus Book VIII implies a unity of the virtues thesis according to which perfect virtues can only exist in a united state, but imperfect simulacra of virtue can exist in a disunited state.

Keywords:: Plato; Republic; wisdom; virtue; unity of the virtues

About the article

Published Online: 2011-04-06

Published in Print: 2011-03-01

Citation Information: Apeiron, Volume 44, Issue 2, Pages 131–146, ISSN (Online) 2156-7093, ISSN (Print) 0003-6390, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron.2011.010.

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