Aparently, Plato said
reason should rule over emotions and appetites
When googling the phrase, something about Plato's Tripartite Theory of the Soul comes up.
In Republic [Book IX], Plato asserted that the ψυχή (psyche) is composed of three parts; the λογιστικόν (logistykon, logical), the θυμοειδές (thymoeides, spirited) and the ἐπιθυμητικόν (epithymetikon, appetitive). These three parts of the ψυχή also correspond to the three classes of a society. Whether in a city or an individual, δικαιοσύνη (dikaiosyne, justice) is declared to be the state of the whole in which each part fulfills its function without attempting to interfere in the functions of others. The function of the ἐπιθυμητικόν is to produce and seek pleasure. The function of the λογιστικός is to gently rule through the love of learning. The function of the θυμοειδές is to obey the directions of the λογιστικός while ferociously defending the whole from external invasion and internal disorder. Whether in a city or an individual, ἀδικία (adikia, injustice) is the contrary state of the whole, often taking the specific form in which the spirited listens instead to the appetitive, while they together either ignore the logical entirely or employ it in their pursuits of pleasure.
This seems to be gobbledegook to me so I tried breaking it down. If I understand this correctly, according to Plato, you have three parts to the psyche:
- the logical (reason),
the function of which is to gently rule through the love of learning
- the spirited (emotions)
the function of which is to obey the directions of reason while ferociously defending the whole from external invasion and internal disorder, and
- "appetitive" (appetites)
the function of which, is to produce and seek pleasure
and they correspond with the three classes of society.
Whether in society or within the individual, there is justice if all three parts of the psyche fulfil their obligations without interfering with each other, and injustice often takes the specific form in which the emotions listens to the appetites instead of reason, while they together either ignore reason entirely or employ it in their pursuits of pleasure.
Now I can understand that in the sense of democracy, law and justice, but how does that fit in with physical needs?
In some situations the person may be hungry but refuses to eat. How is this possible when reason should rule emotion and allow appetite to satiate the feelings of hunger?