Plato's Supposed Defense of the Division of Labor: A Reexamination of the Role of Job Specialization in the Republic
This article challenges the long-standing belief that Plato is an early proponent of the division of labor on account of the political proposals advanced in the Republic. In contrast, I contend that the Republic offers a radical critique—rather than any endorsement—of job specialization and its accompanying psychological orientation toward acquisitiveness. The article begins with a methodological section that attempts to explain the origin of the common misreading of Plato's works and forwards an interpretive framework for situating arguments raised in the Platonic dialogues in their dramatic and dialogic contexts. Having established these hermeneutic principles, the article proceeds to analyze the shifting significance of job specialization within the imaginary cities that are considered in the Republic and concludes that the dialogue ultimately critiques job specialization insofar as it prevents the individual from harmonizing his own soul and hinders his actualization of his natural job to philosophize.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 42 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?viewby=journal&productid=45614
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:42:y:2010:i:4:p:747-772. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Center for the History of Political Economy Webmaster)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.