Department or Program


Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Corinne Gartner


The degenerate regimes and individuals have been a neglected topic in the literature on Plato’s moral psychology in the Republic. This thesis contributes to the currently limited literature on degradation, and explores the following issues in the interpretation of Plato: the validity of the city-soul analogy across all regimes, including both the just city and the unjust cities, the cause of degradation, and the bad-making feature in the degenerate regimes. In defense of my account of the badness of degradation, I also examine the hydraulic model of desire, and offer an interpretation that resolves an apparent tension between the model and Plato’s account of the tyrant.