“Then,” I said, “it is possible, after all; and what we’re seeking for in the guardian isn’t against nature.”
“It doesn’t seem so.”
“In your opinion, then, does the man who will be a fit guardian need, in addition to spiritedness, also to be a philosopher in his nature?”
“How’s that?” he said. “I don’t understand.”
“This, too, you’ll observe in dogs,” I said, “and it’s a thing in the beast worthy of our wonder.”
“When it sees someone it doesn’t know, it’s angry, although it never had any bad experience with him. And when it sees someone it knows, it greets him warmly, even if it never had a good experience with him. Didn’t you ever wonder about this before?”
“No, I haven’t paid very much attention to it up to now. But it’s plain that it really does this.”
“Well, this does look like an attractive affection of its nature and truly philosophic.”
“In what way?”
“In that it distinguishes friendly from hostile looks by nothing other than by having learned the one and being ignorant of the other,” I said, “And so, how can it be anything other than a lover of learning since it defines what’s its own and what’s alien by knowledge and ignorance.”
“It surely couldn’t be anything but,” he said.
I mean, it could be said to be advocating for an almost fascistic “closed society”, or one of the most egalitarian and at least open minded ones. It sets out a cacophony of moral and psychological theories. It contains one of the most-cited (yet sort of nowadays useless) philosophic images, the cave. The Republic really has everything.