Socrates argues that there cannot be two opposite properties existing in anything at the same time, and nothing can do two different things at the same time. When it appears that a thing is doing two things at once, it is more proper to say that part of it is doing one thing and part of it is doing another. The fact that the human mind can do two things at once means that it has parts, with one part doing one thing and another part doing another thing. Socrates identifies the different faculties by showing that different things are happening at the same time. The human mind can have different actions and different motivations at the same time. There may be a mental conflict as one part of the mind pushes us one way and another part pushes us in a different direction. In this way, Socrates leads the listener to an understanding of the tri-partite nature of the soul.
The impetus for this analysis is not to determine the structure of human psychology but to make a moral statement about the nature of the state and its relationship to the individual. Socrates says at the outset. Socrates has already noted that the state has three natural constituents, wisdom, courage, and self-discipline, and he wants to show that these same three forces are to be found in the human soul.
The three parts of the mind are found to correspond exactly to the three classes of the state. Reason corresponds to the ruling class which also has to control the other two classes as the reason of the soul has to control the other two parts. Wisdom is the same as reason in this comparison. The emotional part of the soul corresponds exactly to the auxiliaries. The component of desire corresponds exactly to the craftsmen in the state, and self-discipline is manifested as the three elements are in perfect harmony with one another. Socrates has also described the Four Cardinal virtues found in the state--wisdom, courage, discipline, and justice. He expect...
Plato's Definition of Perfect World. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 19:34, February 28, 2015, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303582164.html