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Plato introduced his ideal state to salvage bad governance that could spring up from bad leaders. He classified the citizens of his Republic into three categories; Guardian (Rulers), Auxiliaries (Military) and the Artisans (Farmers). He apportioned duties for each of the three classes and conditions that make one a member of either of the classes. He defined duties for both the sate and individuals that make up the state and introduced Justice as a means of assuring peace in the state, which is by the principle of one minding his duties without interfering with others. The individuals owe the state a duty of obedience, while the state on the other hand owes the individuals a duty of security and provisions of other amenities. Finally, Plato’s ideal state is a pace setter for all generations and has made a whole lot of positive impact which prevails over his mistakes throughout the history of political Philosophy.



Plato was born in 427B.C. at Athens; he was born into a distinguished and wealthy family; his birth, took place some few years after the out break of the Peloponnesian war. This war lasted until he was twenty three years old. This is to say that his experience with this war, made impact toward his ability to sharpen his thought on the relationship between the individuals and the state.

More so, Plato’s analysis on the relationship between the individuals and the state was also influenced and sharpened through the political connection of Plato’s family. He had a link with Pericle whose political influence, dominated Athens for a period of about thirty years. Pericle was a democrat to the core and he died at the early state of the war in 427BC. After the death of Pericle, some radical democrats came up and used more ruthlessly, the element of force in the Athenian confederation. According to Plato, “they were ready to act on the belief which Thracymachus expresses that it is natural and


sensible to exploit the weak”! This was an ugly experience for Plato, between the agency of the state and the individuals. These radical democrats had all their powers depended on their ability to sway and win the popular support through rhetoric. Their policies depend on popular acclamation rather than what the situation demanded. It was in their hand that Athenian state got humiliated and defeated, due to their inability to do what the mind of the individuals.

After the final fall of Athens, then came on Oligarchic revolution and commission of thirty was set up. Though, they started on a good note, purging the city of perpetuators of evil and later the resorted to savage tyranny. Their tyranny lasted for only eight months and they were divided out and subsequently killed. So the ugly democratic but tyrannical political dispensation and the outbreak in the political scene of Athens contributed in no small measure, to the Platonic idea of what the relationship between the state and the individuals ought to be, the measure to ensure peace and avoid tyrannical leaders.



Right from the ancient days, philosophers are faced with the problem of what the relationship between the individual and the state would be and the structure of the society where the individuals live. On this quest, Aristotle voted earlier that “man is by nature a political animal and thereby needs the existence

of others in the society (state) for his survival”2 Most is political scholars till date are still faced with this unique problem of what nature, form or kind of state that will be the best organization to enable man to live a good life, which is what man cherishes best. The kind of principle, which will best guide the relationship that exists between the individuals, is part of the existing problem facing political philosophers.

Since the individuals according to John Locke, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Hobbes gave up their right of self and independence governing of them selves to the sovereign state, which gave rise to the civil society. What then are the expectations of the individuals from this civil state that they have formed, by given up their rights of self and independence


governance, which is the political obligation of the sovereign state? What also is expected from these individuals in a civil society, so as to sustain peace and harmony and to make this state, what they want of it is also another basic problem facing all political scholars.

1.3       SCOPE OF STUDY

Plato dealt with numerous topics in his various works. But this research work is narrowed down to his conception of the motion of the state and notion of the individuals: What the relationship between the individuals and the state is in the Plato’s ideal state. Plato’s three categories of the individuals and the principle that shall be applied in his ideal state so as to maintain peace and harmony among the individuals and classes that make up the state. Also are the respective political obligations of the individuals for the sovereign state and political obligations of the sovereign state for the individuals that formed the sovereign state.


1.4       Purpose of the study

Politics has been denoted as one of the most interesting endeavors through all the epoch. The reason for this, been that it concerns man and how he relates with his follow man in a community or groups. This derives from the fact that man as a person is dignified and ennobles as a being and as a result must be treated as such.

However, the purpose of this work; about the ideal state in the political philosophy of Plato, is to view the Platonic conception as it presents enough materials for learned research into the

ways of improving man’s life in the society.2 Plato conceived government in general to be fundamentally based on competence, that is why he tried to introduce hiss ideal state so as to replace the general conception of governance

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