Definition of philosopher king in English:

philosopher king


  • (in the political theory of Plato) a member of a ruling elite who seeks to apply philosophy in the exercise of power.

    • ‘‘Justice’ has been a monumental puzzle since Plato's Republic, which labors through ten long books to define it - and then it turns out that only philosopher kings could administer a just state.’
    • ‘Henry was a great philosopher king, a student of Greek, Jewish and Arab learning.’
    • ‘As our first systematic fascist, Plato wished education to produce philosopher kings.’
    • ‘Abraham, the first hero of biblical myth, is the image of Plato's philosopher king - a powerful force in affairs of state whose major passion is for truth.’
    • ‘Scientific method was purported to be pure; its aim was to find abstract, universal truths ‘out there’ that could be brought back to enlighten the masses, like the philosopher king who returns to Plato's cave.’