Analysis Of Plato’s View Of Falsehoods

Categories: Plato

In Plato’s republic he creates a utopian city by the name of Calipolis as both an example and a thought experiment to be employed while showcasing his views on society and the nature of just government. In his mind the creation and maintenance of a just city is dependent on a number of things. This city must have a clear class system in which the citizens are content in their station in life or the very least led to believe that it is the best they can possibly attain.

The classes within this system must be clearly defined and be pervasive in all areas of life. Plato divides his society into three main classes, guardians, auxiliaries and the artisan class. Among the uppermost ranking are the perfect rulers of Plato’s mythical city, the philosopher kings.

In order to maintain the strict class system and thus maintain a platonic form of justice within Calipolis, Plato invents series of creation myths and deliberate falsehoods to maintain order.

Get quality help now
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Free Essays

star star star star 5 (339)

“ KarrieWrites did such a phenomenal job on this assignment! He completed it prior to its deadline and was thorough and informative. ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

One of the more important of these such falsehoods is the “myth of the metals”. In this myth Plato states that all citizens of Calipolis are born with a certain metal in their blood. The ruling class of guardians is born with gold in their blood, the auxiliaries have silver and the artisans have bronze. This places everyone into a category of aptitude that cannot be disrupted and thus instills a certain form of order to the city.

In Plato’s mind “the myth of the metals” is a form of acceptable if not necessary falsehood or government sponsored lie.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

He believes that to maintain a just city the guardians must use falsehoods to ensure that the citizens do not become dissatisfied with their lot in life and then create disorder. “But what about spoken falsehood? Is it not sometimes and on some occasions useful, and not then detestable? Can we use it, for example, as a kind of preventive medicine against our enemies or, when anyone we call our friend tries to do something wrong from madness or folly.” Plato sees these deliberate lies as useful to the ruling class in order to alter public perception of reality and allow for the select few at the top to have more ideological control than otherwise possible in a totally transparent society.

Although Plato argues for the deliberate selection of lies that are to be told by the ruling class, proper justice cannot last for very long under these conditions. By instilling the power to select which lies are told and what areas of life they greatly impact, gives far too much power to one set of individuals. It is possible in theory that the rulers of Calipolis (a mythical utopia) would be able maintain a series of just lies over an extended period. In a non-mythological setting however, this system would break-down into total authoritarian injustice rather quickly. This shift would take place as those in power, being human and thuis having their own flaws, and base appetites as Plato refers to them, would create falsehoods that directly benefit them and disadvantage the rest of society. Throughout history, powerful and intransparent ruling parties have created some of the most blatantly unjust and tyrannical societies through the extensive dissemination of falsehoods and government sponsored lies. Somewhat recent examples of this are the rules of Hitler, Stalin and currently Kim Jong Un.

Updated: Feb 17, 2024
Cite this page

Analysis Of Plato’s View Of Falsehoods. (2024, Feb 17). Retrieved from

Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment