Why should the philosopher talk to the political man and why should the political man listen?

Philosophical Politics

Famously, Plato solved this problem in the Republic by inventing the idea of the philosopher-king. The two roles, political and philosophical, were combined. His solution, though, showed the deeper problem that a philosopher, like Socrates, poses for any city. If a philosopher poses a problem for the city, he then poses it for the political man. The philosopher embodies the pure individual who does not need the city except in a basic or physical sense. The philosopher can think for himself and he does not need the city or political society to give him his opinions. The philosopher pursues excellence and virtue which are not always the political man’s highest ambition. The philosopher pursues what is true by nature. As someone who pursues wisdom and not the city’s political good, he presents a fundamental or existential challenge to the city. The city has its opinions and it does not want…

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