Plato’s Phaedrus And The Conceptual Constitution Essay

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Markia Bonner Plato’s Phaedrus and the Conceptual Constitution As individuals abandon the state of nature and began to form societies, some individual rights or powers are ceded while others become protected by the state. Within these states or communities the citizens progress from existing in parallel to their counterparts, to coexistence. At times, the needs and wants of the state supersede those of the individual for the sake of the common good. When societies or states began to organize into distinctive communities the natural executive control of the individual is turned over to a governing body. It is this governing body’s job to identify the principles that are most representative of the ideological timbre of the citizens of the state. In many instances this set of principles, rules, or laws are termed constitutions. However, can a codified constitutions be just, or is the inherent concept of a written constitution unjust when its intended application is for those that are not the author? If a constitution is used as a guideline that is incorporated into the founding of a state, it can be just. Justice is a term that is used and defined in many ways. Therefore, if justice exists, why can it not exist within a codified constitution? The area in which Plato’s logic falls short on the subject of codified constitutions is that Plato does not take into account the differences that arise from an individualistic world versus a communal one. In the Phaedrus, Plato speaks of a universal truth which should be our ultimate guiding principle (248a-c). However, this universal truth is only known by the individual, who is incapable of knowing that truth until that exact moment that it presents itself. In theory this may be an efficient manner of policing oneself, but this is not a practical solution to governing groups or societies. Societies or groups must create

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