Why the Philosopher Kings will believe the Noble Lie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

One puzzle about the so-called “Noble Lie” is how, if at all, the rulers in the ideal state (so-called “philosopher kings and queens”) could be brought to believe it. In this paper I show that the story that they are to endorse is hard to believe not because it is false but because it conveys a message that is challenging to both aristocratic and democratic ideologies. It is also couched in imagery that will make sense to the philosopher first and above all, particularly once she or he has emerged from the Cave and discovered the truth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-100
JournalOxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy
Volume50
Early online date1 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Republic
  • Noble Lie
  • Philosopher Kings

Cite this