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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

ONLINE FIRST

published on February 22, 2019

Drew A. Hyland
DOI: 10.5840/epoche2019219136

From Democracy to Oligarchy to Tyranny

As the differently ordered title indicates, and through a careful examination of Books IV and VIII of Plato’s Republic, I seek to destabilize the common view that there is a specific number of regimes and a necessary order of decline in the Book VIII account of the decline of regimes, one consequence of which would be that Plato is a straightforwardly harsh critic of democracy. The upshot of my study is to argue that in fact, the account offers a qualified defense, a proto-Kantian “critique” of democracy. I attempt to sustain this argument with references to several of the Letters of Plato.