Plato 427 -- 347 BC  Essay

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Philosophers are those most endowed to comprehend reality, therefore they ought to be granted state leadership. At the same time, people ought to realize their potential, an action which implied not only virtuosity, but also the achievement of happiness.

Lucretius on the other hand argued that dedicating oneself to the pleasures of the body is nothing but a road to perdition and that it is likely to bring more pain and misery than happiness. Just like Plato he argued for a rational view of the world and a rational approach to politics. According to him, inner balance was a strategic factor for the individual's happiness and for the society's well being. However, people had to accept pain and deal with (in a rational manner) and not simply choose to ignore it. He underlines that hardship is a natural element of life and that people should demonstrate their dignity and strength of character in properly fighting it.

It could be stated that the political and social circumstances that led both Plato and Lucretius to formulate their beliefs are similar to what is happening in the world right now. Wars still exist and the goals of the great economical powers have nothing to do with humanity. Under the circumstances in which science has developed so much and man relies upon technology in all the areas of his life,
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it would be very difficult to impose the figure of the philosopher.

It could be underlines that the contemporary crisis is caused by the incapacity to find a proper political system of rule. The democracy is most states is failing, yet citizens are not aware of it because their attraction is distracted through the media. The loss of values is supported through the encouragement of consumerist approach to life (where to have is synonymous with to be). This hedonism is the exact opposite of that supported by Epicurus and Lucretius.

The contemporary people are avid for immediate gratification. They wish for a political system that would make everything perfect. Yet the dominating spirit is not one in which there is strong interest for the community. Just like in ancient times the prevailing interest is selfish. Taking into consideration the time which has passed, the historical developments, etc. It could be asserted that since change has not occurred, it will not occur. While both the Platonist and the Epicurean systems are valid through the values they suggest, the spirit that guides men generally prevents them from being applied. The main challenge is that people wish for immediate solutions which do not demand high efforts or suffering. Since this is impossible, the world is likely to remain the same (as it is today, as it was during ancient times).

Plato (Gill, C), The symposium, Penguin classics, 2003

Lucretius (Stallings, AE), The nature…

Sources Used in Documents:

The contemporary people are avid for immediate gratification. They wish for a political system that would make everything perfect. Yet the dominating spirit is not one in which there is strong interest for the community. Just like in ancient times the prevailing interest is selfish. Taking into consideration the time which has passed, the historical developments, etc. It could be asserted that since change has not occurred, it will not occur. While both the Platonist and the Epicurean systems are valid through the values they suggest, the spirit that guides men generally prevents them from being applied. The main challenge is that people wish for immediate solutions which do not demand high efforts or suffering. Since this is impossible, the world is likely to remain the same (as it is today, as it was during ancient times).

Plato (Gill, C), The symposium, Penguin classics, 2003

Lucretius (Stallings, AE), The nature of things, Penguin classics, 2007

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