Analyzing Book V

There is a fine line between imagination and reality.  That’s why so often people will ask their peers if they have kids, before they make a point about a topic.  This is because there is this idea that the empathy of losing a child or having kids and experiencing something, can only be understood by those who have children.  That, those without children could not possibly understand because there is a different bond, a different reality of life for parent’s verse nonparents. Further, with every known there are even larger possibilities of the unknown. Plato dabbled in crossing this fine line, using philosophy to create his Kallipolis, a utopian society in respect to third century Greece.  A world where there were prime children, and guardians, and the collective family.  Kallipolis appears in Plato’s Book V: The Republic and is deeply analyzed as one of the first created utopian societies.  In many ways it is seen as this abstract fantasy, an idea that could never be achieved due to the distance from society as we know it.  Until one takes a closer look it can easily be mistaken as a fantasy, but through my hyper text I have created a point of view that shows that Kallipolis is not as far off as we believe and that in many ways the fine line between imagination and reality is boldly blurred.  That our reality is not as abstract from this imagination as we believe it to be.

            A hyper text is a way to create an interactive textual piece, by allowing the creator to attach links to certain lines or words; similar to the format that Wikipedia uses.  The advantage to a hyper text is that it allows the reader to understand a larger picture perspective of the topic or text.  By allowing different perspectives through the chosen attached links, an analysis piece is made much more interesting and.  A hyper text also develops a piece with more depth compared to the original text, a depth that the original author may not have intended for. By creating a hypertext it also allows the reader to see different perspectives but to also better understand them, without having to do their own research.

            For my original text I am using a section from Plato’s Book V: The Republic.  In the section that has been selected Socrates and Glaucon, two other philosophers, are presumably having a conversation about relationships and family within in the mythical city of Kallipolis.  Kallipolis is Plato’s imaginary version of a perfect society.  A place where only alpha children are produced, philosophers’ rule all, and children belong to everyone and no one all at once.  The dialogue touches on the role of children and how the traditional idea family is not real in this world.  They also talk about the potential governmental state of Kallipolis and how tyranny must be avoided through the roles of different people and how guardians are regarded and held to different standards.  Book V is quite interesting due to its ability to act as a window into the past and how a utopian society was looked at then verse now.  It also creates an interesting take on how philosophers looked at life and how they felt it was meant to be lived.

            Within the hypertext I created I take on the perspective that Kallipolis is not as imaginary one may think it is.  That Plato’s seemingly outlandish ideas are in many ways a 21st century reality.  The very first text is attatched to a section about the current conversation on parenting.  The hot topic on if parents should take on the “Best Friend” role or the authoritative role.   Attatched is a link to the TocaBoca website, which is blog and resource center for parents. It specifically directs the reader to an article about if children should be treated as a parents equal and what that means in the long run.  This plays of Plato’s idea of how children would act in Kallipolis if they do not technically have individual parents.  Will they be seen as equal? Will the mass of parents still hold authority?  I found that this text really helped investigate the modern day take on how people are parenting their children in both ways.

            All of the other text embedded into this project are similarly related in the way that it is a modern take on the ideas that were being projected through the text.  A few of the texts such as the last embedded test, referring to pain and pleasure, is a scientific article on how a human turns pain into pleasure and the exact chemical balance that occurs in one’s brain when this is taken on.  Another text that is embedded is how tyranny in many ways is inevitable through democracy.  This is an important text because Socrates and Glaucon talk about how they believe their version of government will be the only way to stop tyranny.  This is much different than the modern article that says that tyranny may be inevitable regardless.  All of the embedded text are put in to prove a point that Kallipolis is very much real and alive, although in different parts of the country and not all together, this is no fantasy. 

            Throughout this process of reading, analyzing and creating I have made many observations regarding the state of society as we know it.  In all of humanities time, a utopian society has always been the goal, but with every imagination of the utopian society there was the always a pairing idea of how the utopian society would and should be overthrown.  An inevitable to keep people minds in check and make sure that it is understand that this is only and imagination and should not and cannot be obtained without repercussion.  Plato’s idea of Kallipolis is great in theory but it is ultimately impossible as a whole.  The only possibility of this utopian society is to split the ideas in parts. The hyper text is used as a platform for this perspective and how these split ideas have been implemented in modern time.  The fine line has been blurred; the imagination is now reality.  An unimaginable world is now in our hands.   

A Fine Line

SOCRATES: Now, can you tell me whether a ruler

in other cities could address one of his co-rulers as his

kinsman and another as an outsider?

GLAUCON: Many do, at any rate.

SOCRATES: And doesn’t he regard and speak of his

kinsman as belonging [c] to him, while he regards the

outsider as not doing so?

GLAUCON: Yes.

SOCRATES: What about your guardians? Could any of

them regard or address a co-guardian as an outsider?

[5] GLAUCON: Certainly not. He will regard everyone

he meets as a brother or a sister, a father or a mother, a

son or a daughter, or some ancestor or descendant of

these.

SOCRATES: Very well put. But tell me this, too: will

your laws require them simply to use these terms of

kinship, or must they also do all the [d] things that go

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along with the names? In the case of fathers, for

example, must they show them the customary respect,

solicitude, and obedience owed to parents?  Will they

fare worse at the hands of gods or men, as people [5]

whose actions are neither pious nor just, if they do

otherwise? Will these be the sayings that are chanted

by all the citizens, and that sound in their ears right

from their earliest childhood? Or will they hear

something else about their fathers—or the ones they

are told to regard as their fathers—or about their other

relatives?

GLAUCON: They will hear those. It would be

ridiculous if they only [e] mouthed the terms of

kinship, without the actions.

SOCRATES: So, in this city more than in any other,

when someone is doing well or badly, they will utter

in concord the words we mentioned a {155} moment

ago, and say “my such-and-such is doing well” or “my

so-and-so is doing badly.” [5]

GLAUCON: That’s absolutely true.

SOCRATES: Well, didn’t we say that this conviction

and way of talking are [464a] accompanied by the

having of pleasures and pains in common?30

GLAUCON: Yes, and we were right to do so.

SOCRATES: Then won’t our citizens share to the

fullest, and call “mine,” the very same thing? And

because they share it, won’t they experience to [5] the

fullest the sharing of pleasures and pains?

GLAUCON: Of course.

SOCRATES: And—in the context of the rest of the

political system—isn’t the sharing of women and

children by the guardians responsible for it?

GLAUCON: Yes, it is by far the most important cause.

[10]

SOCRATES: But we further agreed that this sharing is

the greatest good for a city, when we compared a

well-governed city to the way a human body [b]

relates to pain and pleasure in one of its parts.

GLAUCON: And we were right to agree.

SOCRATES: Then we have shown that the cause of the

greatest good for our city is the sharing of women and

children by the auxiliaries. [5]

GLAUCON: Yes, we certainly have.

SOCRATES: And what is more, it is consistent with

what we said before. For we said, as you know, that if

these people are going to be real guardians, they

should not have private houses, land, or any other

possession, but should receive their upkeep from the

other citizens as a wage for their [c] guardianship, and

should all eat communally.31

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GLAUCON: That’s right.

SOCRATES: So, as I say, doesn’t what was said earlier,

as well as what is [5] being said now, make them into

even better guardians and prevent them from tearing

the city apart by applying the term “mine” not to the

same thing, but to different ones—with one person

dragging into his own house whatever he, apart from

the others, can get his hands on, and another into a

different house to a different wife and children, who

create private pleasures [d] and pains at things that are

private? Instead of that, don’t our guardians share a

single conviction about what is their own, aim at the

same goal, and, as far as possible, feel pleasure and

pain in unison? [5]