The Republic

Noble Lie

The "noble lie" is perhaps one of the most disturbing and thought-worthy aspects of Plato's Republic. Through its use, the people of the "just regime" are intentionally misled and misdirected in an attempt to make them unified as a group and loyal to the regime. The "noble lie" provides a foundation for the just regime that Socrates describes in books 4 and 5 of Plato's Republic by giving everyone an equal origin and by setting the social position and class of everyone in the just regime.

The Noble Lie consists of two parts, the first being that everyone's "training" and "instruction" (i.e. education) in the just regime was just a dream in the bowels of mother earth (Plato, 414d), and when they were done they were sent back up to the surface of the earth. This is one of the most unifying parts of the foundation of the just regime because of its egalitarian implications. If the earth is their mother, everyone comes from a common beginning. The second part of the noble lie consists of classifying the people of the just regime into groups of metals. Socrates believes that the people should be told that their leaders, called Guardians have "gold in the composition of...

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