Qualities of Plato’s Ideal Monarch

Plato -- Raphael

Plato, from Raphael’s School of Athens

Plato, in his work The Republic, sets forth the ideal of a perfect monarch. The ideal philosopher king possessed the ability to philosophize on matters of the state. As Plato writes, “A king who must philosophize; a philosopher who must rule.” These kings also knew how to wisely mete out justice. Plato says that the philosophers have access to the true ideas outside the world of form. Having access to this, a philosopher king can rule wisely, efficiently and for the benefit of the people.