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The best-known platonic depiction of tyranny appears in Republic

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The best-known platonic depiction of tyranny appears in Republic  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2018, 19:54
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[quote="arpit2012"]
The best-known platonic depiction of tyranny appears in Republic, where the tyrant is beastly, subject to base and unnecessary appetites: power, vainglory, luxury, lust, and gluttony. To the extent that passions control him—a decidedly male figure—the tyrant is a sort of slave, who depends on both taxation to support him and his ―drink-mates…and…mistresses,‖ as well as bodyguards to protect him from assassins and other ―worthless creatures‖ who proliferate under tyrannical rule.

An argument recently propounded by the historian of philosophy Matteo Giovannini threatens to unsettle this widely held view of the platonic tyrant as a brutish slave. According to Giovannini, the traditional view, while sound as far as it goes, is incomplete in that it ignores insights into the tyrannical character that are offered by Plato in the earlier and more obscure dialogue, Lysis.

If the ancient Greeks first inspired the ideological commitment to democracy that gripped Western thought especially during and after the Enlightenment, the Greek philosophers contributed to this development less by their embrace of the democratic principle than by their rejection of tyranny. In Aristotle‘s schema, tyranny is the most perverse of six types of government; Plato designated five types, with tyranny the least desirable, followed by democracy. Yet less clear than Plato‘s disregard for the tyrannical character is his sense of its basic constitution.

Giovannini‘s account purports to complicate the one-dimensional view of tyranny associated with Republic. But this account, while ingenious and provocative, is not beyond question. Most significantly, Giovannini appears not to have anticipated an obvious objection to his research design. While Lysis first appeared during Plato‘s formative period of aporetic dialogues in which the principal interlocutors frequently pose questions but rarely provide lasting answers, Republic dates from a later, more mature period in the development of Plato‘s thought, when conclusions are more frequent and less concealed. If Plato intended the conception of tyranny that appears in Republic to be somehow bound up in a paradox with the conception of tyranny in Lysis, he would presumably have hinted as much. Absent such indications, the danger is heightened that Giovannini may have invented, rather than discovered, subtle interconnections in Plato‘s thought.

According to Giovannini, Lysis forms a counterpoint to Republic by depicting a tyrant whose status derives, not from his slavish dependency, but from his utter self-sufficiency; he is complete, or (to use the language of the ancient philosophers) perfect. For such a figure, friendship—for many of the Greek philosophers, the foundation of healthy political community—is ultimately impossible, because ―the one who is perfect does not depend on the many who are imperfect, but the many who are imperfect depend on the one who is perfect.‖ In short, Giovannini argues, the tyranny found in Lysis is the wake of a doomed union between the needy masses and the singular, complete one. Viewed in the double light of Republic and Lysis, the platonic tyrant depicted by Giovannini is a paradoxical figure: here a slave; there the epitome of wholeness.
1. The author makes a few different points throughout the passage. In paragraph 4, the author is primarily concerned with:

A. providing a richer alternative to the one-dimensional view of tyranny furnished in Republic.
B. establishing a relationship between the content of platonic dialogues and the order in which they first appeared.
C. dismissing Giovannini‘s findings on the grounds that they are more imagined than real.
D. supplying an overall assessment of Giovannini‘s argument about the platonic conception of tyranny.
E. mildly criticising Giovannini‘s findings but also indirectly supporting them



2. According to the information put forth by the author in the passage, what does Giovannini suggest about tyrannical regimes as depicted in Lysis?

A. They fulfil the brutish desires of the tyrant.
B. They are typically incompatible with the political community.
C. They result from a severe imbalance in the relationship between the ruler and the ruled.
D. They promote strength and self-reliance among the general populace.
E. They are an anomaly in the otherwise benevolent regimes of other rulers



3. Suppose conclusive evidence emerged that, in order to shield his audience from confusion, Plato on occasion intentionally avoided revealing complex or seemingly contradictory conclusions in his dialogues. What relevance would this information have to the passage?

A. It would weaken Giovannini‘s claim that the platonic tyrant is a paradoxical figure.
B. It would verify the author‘s assertion that Republic provides a reasonable but only partial depiction of Plato‘s conception of the tyrannical character.
C. It would weaken the author‘s major criticism of Giovannini‘s research.
D. It would weaken the author‘s assessment of Giovannini‘s work as ingenious and provocative
E. It would have no impact on the claims made in the passage


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The best-known platonic depiction of tyranny appears in Republic  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2018, 19:56

Official Explanations



Mapping the Passage
¶1 discusses Plato‘s view in the Republic of what tyranny is (traditional view of tyranny).
¶2 introduces Giovannini‘s argument that this traditional view of what Plato thought is incomplete and ignores Plato's earlier depiction of tyranny in Lysis.
¶3 argues that the Greek philosophers rejected tyranny, and that Plato‘s conception of what tyranny constitutes is unclear.
¶4 critiques Giovannini‘s argument, suggesting that the Republic may represent a more mature view of tyranny than the earlier Lysis.
¶5 outlines Giovannini‘s argument that Plato describes tyrants as ―perfect‖ in Lysis and that Plato‘s conception of tyranny between the two books is paradoxical.
1) An evaluation question: review your map of ¶4. Predict what the correct answer must look like: it has to note the author‘s critique of Giovannini‘s theory. Only (C) and (D) involve Giovannini, and (C) is much too harsh. (D) provides a balanced summary of what the author does, matching the prediction from your map closely. Note that the author's tone is neutral. He simply discusses the pros and cons of Giovannini's account.
(A): Out of Scope. The author isn‘t concerned with critiquing Plato, only Giovannini.
(B): Faulty Use of Detail. The author discusses content and order in discussing Plato‘s more mature work in the Republic as compared to Lysis, but only as a way of critiquing Giovannini‘s overall interpretation of the two works.
(C): Distortion. The author says ―the danger is heightened that Giovannini may have invented, rather than discovered, subtle interconnections in Plato‘s thought.‖ While the author is therefore raising the possibility that Giovannini‘s findings are more imagined than real, he doesn't dismiss Giovannini outright.
(D): The correct answer
(E): There is no ‗criticism‘ in this paragraph.
2) Review Giovannini‘s view of tyranny in Lysis (¶5), keeping in mind that the answer choices will try to confuse you with the views of others or from other books. The passage states: as ―Giovannini argues, the tyranny found in Lysis is the wake of a doomed union between the needy masses and the singular, complete one.‖ (C) paraphrases this contrast between the state of the masses and the state of the tyrant.
(A): Faulty Use of Detail. This is the Plato‘s opinion of tyrannical regimes as described in the Republic, not Lysis.
(B): Distortion. Giovannini believes that Plato considers tyranny incompatible with a healthy political community, but this doesn‘t mean that it‘s incompatible with politics in general. The fact that ¶2 lists tyranny as one of the types of governments that Plato recognizes further suggests that tyranny is in fact compatible with the political community.
(C): The correct answer
(D): Opposite. Giovannini describes the masses as ―needy,‖ suggesting that if anything, tyranny discourages self-reliance and strength.
(E): Out of scope.
3) An incorporation question. Paraphrase the situation given in the question: Plato avoids confusing his audience by not revealing contradictory conclusions. How would this be relevant to the passage? Predict: Plato might have had a paradoxical conclusion about tyranny, just like Giovannini argues, between Lysis and the Republic, but avoided revealing the contradiction in the Republic to keep his audience from being confused. This would contradict the author‘s point in the fourth paragraph that ―if Plato intended the conception of tyranny that appears in Republic to be somehow bound up in a paradox with the conception of tyranny in Lysis, he would presumably have hinted as much.‖ Look for an answer choice that summarizes this: (C) fits the bill.
(A): Opposite. The new information would strengthen Giovannini‘s claim since it increases the possibility that Plato did have a paradoxical view, but kept from revealing it for the sake of clarity.
(B): Distortion. The author doesn‘t argue this; Giovannini does. The author in fact argues that the Republic is the most complete reflection of Plato‘s views on tyranny since it was written when his views had matured.
(C): The correct answer
(D): Distortion. While it does weaken the author's view, it can‘t weaken the argument given in this choice because the author never describes Giovannini‘s work as ingenious. In any case, the new information would support Giovannini, and so it couldn‘t weaken any praise given to him.
(E): Incorrect, as explained in C.
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Re: The best-known platonic depiction of tyranny appears in Republic  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2018, 09:57

+1 kudos to all the posts containing proper explanations for all questions


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Re: The best-known platonic depiction of tyranny appears in Republic  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2018, 12:41
Spent 5 mins and got all three wrong. :?
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The best-known platonic depiction of tyranny appears in Republic  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 08 Dec 2018, 02:40
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Tackled RC passage just as CR question.

1. The author makes a few different points throughout the passage. In paragraph 4, the author is primarily concerned with:

A. providing a richer alternative to the one-dimensional view of tyranny furnished in Republic. ( "Richier alternative" ? nowhere such word is mentioned. para fourth provides sinply other dmensional view but defnately not RICHIER ALTERNATIVE )
B. establishing a relationship between the content of platonic dialogues and the order in which they first appeared ( ORDER IS NOT PRIMARY CONCERN. THATS FOR SURE.

C. dismissing Giovannini‘s findings on the grounds that they are more imagined than real. ( THE AUTHOR CRITITISIZES GIOVANNI`S FINDINGS BUT NOT ON THE BASES THAT THEY ARE MORE REAL ) MORE REAL IS NOT MENTIONED. OUT OF SCOPE.
D. supplying an overall assessment of Giovannini‘s argument about the platonic. YES AUTHOUR DEFINAELY ASSESSES GIOVANNIS ARGUMENT. KEEP.
E. mildly criticising Giovannini‘s findings but also indirectly supporting them (MILDLY CRITISIZING ? :lol: OH C`MON ) OUT OF SCOPE.



2. According to the information put forth by the author in the passage, what does Giovannini suggest about tyrannical regimes as depicted in Lysis?

A. They fulfil the brutish desires of the tyrant. ( OUT OF SCOPE. FULLFILLMENT OF DESIRES IS NOT MENTIONED IN GIOVANNIS SUGGESTION)
B. They are typically incompatible with the political community. ("POLITICAL COMMUNITY IS MENTIONED, BUT IN DIFFERENT CONTEXT". OUT OF SCOPE.
C. They result from a severe imbalance in the relationship between the ruler and the ruled. ) THE IMBALANCE IS MENTIONED.
For such a figure, friendship—for many of the Greek philosophers, the foundation of healthy political communityis ultimately impossible, because ―the one who is perfect does not depend on the many who are imperfect, but the many who are imperfect depend on the one who is perfect

D. They promote strength and self-reliance among the general populace. (THIS ONE IS TRICKY. SELF RELIANCE IS NOT MENTIONED. OUT OF SCOPE.
Self-sufficiency is a way of thinking and living in which the goal is complete autonomy in at least one aspect of life WHERE AS Self-reliance is a way of thinking and living in which the family produces as much food, energy, shelter, clothing, and tools as it can for its own use, but it works in a complementary way with other families.
E. They are an anomaly in the otherwise benevolent regimes of other rulers. ANOMALY IN RERTMS OF REGIMES IS NOT METIONED. OUT OF SCOPE.


3. Suppose conclusive evidence emerged that, in order to shield his audience from confusion, Plato on occasion intentionally avoided revealing complex or seemingly contradictory conclusions in his dialogues. What relevance would this information have to the passage?

A. It would weaken Giovannini‘s claim that the platonic tyrant is a paradoxical figure. ( GIOVANI DOESNT CLAIM the platonic tyrant is a paradoxical figure )
B. It would verify the author‘s assertion that Republic provides a reasonable but only partial depiction of Plato‘s conception of the tyrannical character. ( NOWWHERE IS MENTINED A PARTIAL DEPICTION) OUT OF SCOPE

C. It would weaken the author‘s major criticism of Giovannini‘s research. AUTHOR CRITICIZES GIOVANNI`S RESEARCH IN PARA 4. "Most significantly, Giovannini appears not to have anticipated an obvious objection to his research design"
D. It would weaken the author‘s assessment of Giovannini‘s work as ingenious and provocative. NOW THIS ONE IS REALLY TRICKY. THE AUTHOR MENTIONES "But this account, while ingenious and provocative, is not beyond question." SO AUTHOR AGREES THAT GIOVANNIS WORK IS INGENIOUS AND PRIVACATIVE, HENCE AUTHOR DOESNT ASSESS IT AS ingenious and provocative

E. It would have no impact on the claims made in the passage. THATS FOR SURE OUT OF SCOPE.

Originally posted by dave13 on 08 Dec 2018, 02:32.
Last edited by dave13 on 08 Dec 2018, 02:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The best-known platonic depiction of tyranny appears in Republic  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2018, 02:37
Gladiator59 wrote:
Spent 5 mins and got all three wrong. :?



Gladiator59 did you encounter such diffculty level of RC passage on the real GMAT ? hope my post helps :) but i definately took more time to answe questions.
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Re: The best-known platonic depiction of tyranny appears in Republic  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2018, 05:47
dave13 wrote:

Gladiator59 did you encounter such diffculty level of RC passage on the real GMAT ? hope my post helps :) but i definately took more time to answe questions.


Not really but such a passage cannot be ruled out based on how good you are doing on the verbal section. You may end up seeing a super difficult passage towards the end if you have done brilliantly.

I will reattempt and go through your post, thank you. + 1 kudos to you for explanations.

Did you get all of them correct in the timed attempt? How much time did it take?
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Re: The best-known platonic depiction of tyranny appears in Republic &nbs [#permalink] 08 Dec 2018, 05:47
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