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Finally, Socrates comes to the idea of knowledge as true judgment accompanied by "an account," meaning evidence or reason. In this context, knowledge would mean not only believing something true, but also having a reasonable justification for that belief; in other words, this definition proposes that knowledge means knowing a true thing and knowing why that thing is true. However, even here Socrates has a problem with the definition, because one cannot ultimately distinguish between the preliminary knowledge required for true judgment and the knowledge required to make an account of that judgment, such that one is led in circle back to the defining of knowledge. Ultimately, Socrates concludes that they cannot truly define knowledge (at least that point) and gives up.
The attempts to define knowledge in Theaetetus is particularly interesting because it simultaneously demonstrates how Plato suffers from a lack of critical depth regarding the presence of evidence…… [Read More]
Plato and Aristotle
The idea of metaphysics is a complex idea that focuses on expanding beyond the mere realities of physics within the natural world. In a sense, this goes "beyond physics," in that the study of metaphysics is "devoted to matters that transcend the mundane concerns" expounded by those of practical scientists such as Einstein and Heisenberg (van Inwagen, Peter). So in a broad term, "metaphysics" attempts to delve deeply into the matters that try to understand and explain that with which still has no explanation.
Neither Plato nor Aristotle coined the term "metaphysics," though it does become the name of Aristotle's collective works, which revolved around the subject that would be later known as "metaphysics" (or "ontology"). In attempting to answer the metaphysical questions of "What is Substance?" And "What is there?" both Plato and Aristotle provide ideas that could help them understand these questions. In some…… [Read More]
Plato -- Life and orks
Plato was born in Athens circa 425 BC, just after the onset of the Peloponnesian ar between Athens and Sparta. He lost his father at an early age, but through his mother's marriage to a friend of the leading statesman and general of Athens at the time, Plato became affiliated with some of the most influential circles of a city enjoying a Golden Age. The early historian, Diogenes Laertius states that Plato's birth name was Aristocles and that he was nicknamed Platon, which was the Greek term for "broad," which could have both referred to Plato's intellectual capacity or his forehead/stature (Diogenes Laertius). Plato was reared in the house of his step-father, learning first the works of Cratylus, Parmenides and Pythagoras, and then learning under Socrates, who was friends with Plato's uncle Charmides. Thus, the meeting between Plato and Socrates is not surprising as they…… [Read More]
He will be a servant to other servants. ithout humility, however, the "servant" will become vain and proud; his vision of truth will likely become distorted by hubris. He will be no good to himself or to others. He will fight with other warrior-kings but for power and influence rather than for truth, beauty and goodness. Humility, in a sense, will keep him honest and in the light (even while laboring in the cave of darkness).
As Plato says, it is the business of the Founders of the State to urge those citizens who are capable of learning towards the light of truth, that they may later labor alongside one another amongst the prisoners, accepting honors when they are bestowed, whether they like it or not (519b). In this manner, Plato means to effect happiness in the whole State. Education benefits those who partake of it, and those who partake…… [Read More]
Plato's Philosopher King
Plato and the Philosopher-King
ith the Allegory of the Cave, Plato expresses the notion that the best thing a philosopher can do is lead the people and that, in turn, a leader (king) must be a philosopher. Plato emphasizes this idea by equating the unenlightened citizens of his Republic to prisoners in chains (they are, in effect, chained by their ignorance of reality and transcendental truth). The philosopher is he who is able to loose himself from the chains of ignorance and follow the light of knowledge and wisdom. Moving toward this light is an ordeal in and of itself, but Plato makes it very clear that embracing the light is only half of the battle: the philosopher must not be content merely with being enlightened, but must descend to the cave from whence he came and share the light with those still imprisoned in darkness. Because…… [Read More]
Discuss the main points of Plato's the Apology
The Apology is based upon series of speeches that were made by Socrates in 39 BC. He was standing trial for corrupting the youth of Athens by not believing in the gods of the city. This is because he would often question various ideas in order to have a greater sense of understand and enlightenment. As a result, there were several main points that he argued in his defense to include: showing his accusers as self-righteous hypocrites, he is obeying the laws of a higher power and the jury / judges was overly influenced by his opponents. ("The Apology")
In the case of showing his accusers as self-righteous hypocrites, Socrates directly questions Meletus (the primary witness) by demonstrating that they are not helping the youth of Athens with these proceedings. Instead, the trial and the charges levied against him are…… [Read More]
Plato and Death
One of the most influential minds in western philosophy describing this search for meaning was Plato. Plato lived from 422-347 B.C, and was born into an aristocratic family in the city of Athens where he became a student of Socrates, and eventually a teacher of Aristotle. As a student of Socrates, Plato followed the structure of philosophical agreement to ensure a just society - no laws are to be broken despite their relevance. The ability for an agreed upon purpose to structure society, law, is important to both the general populace and to philosophers. This theme of law, self-actualization, and justification of responses, resources, and human thought would run through all of Plato's works. Plato's "Theory of Forms" or "Theory of Ideas" assets that non-material ideas are the basis for truth and fundamental reality, not the material and constantly evolving world we perceive on a daily basis.…… [Read More]
This is very true because even in modern times students who desire to attain good grades will endeavor for that, but a student who has no desire will only go to school to pass time. This analogy can also be vice versa, a petty man can become a gentleman and a gentleman can also become a petty man Austin, Page 106.
The main reason they do not change places is because neither of them desires to become the other. This shows that although a person may desire to become something else it might not be possible for them to actually do it. According to Mencius arguments then this point does not exist at all. Considering that all human beings are born good and it is only the external forces which drive them to do evil. Then it can be misunderstood that the petty man was a gentleman, but due to…… [Read More]
Plato, the Republic by Francis MacDonald Cornfield. Answer each question fully explaining the answer.
What is Socrates explanation of the nature of justice in individuals?
Socrates determines through much discussion that the nature of justice in the individual is associated with a balance of the natural state of harmony in the individual. The individual therefore determines his or her ideal of justice by being true to his or her most suitable practice. For Socrates, justice in the individual is harmony among the three principles of the soul, (reason, appetite, and spirit) achieved by rationality, or reason the wisest faculty. Justice in individuals is analogous to the justice of a society as justice is achieved only when those more capable and educated to lead are leading as an aspect of their most suitable practice, when those elements are in place in a society then the society is just and Socrates would…… [Read More]
It is very dark in the cave, and everything, including the face of the person next to them, is in deep shadows. It is never mentioned whether the people are happy or sad, or whether they speak to each other. It is assumed that they speak at least enough to put names to the shadows they see on the far wall. According to some, the chains that bind the prisoners represent human senses, and the cave and the way they see it represents human life. Behind them is a fire, and there are people moving around between the fire and the people that are chained, so that the shadows are cast on the back wall of the cave for the chained people to observe. The only bright spot in the cave is the fire, and the only things for the people to watch are the shadows. They cannot turn around…… [Read More]
I agree with the theory that humans are born with innate ideas. This idea was best expressed by Plato (2010), who argued that “man must have intelligence of universals, and be able to proceed from the many particulars of sense to one conception of reason” (p. 417). Locke’s idea of the tabula rasa eliminates the idea of the transcendental—the one, the good and the true—that were at the heart of Plato’s philosophy. Plato argued that the soul had these ideals imprinted upon it from the beginning, as a result of the soul’s having passed before God. Innate ideas were what allowed one to “recollect” or acknowledge truth or goodness when it was encountered, for a sense of these things was innate or in the soul: “this is the recollection of those things which our soul once saw while following God—when regardless of that which we now call being she raised…… [Read More]
Plato's The Republic
Throughout the book, the ideas of Plato and his peers center on the social conditions of an ideal republic, which lead each person to the perfect possible life. Socrates, who was Plato's mentor, acts as a moderator during Plato's discussions, presenting a series of questions and topics that contribute to Plato's ideas of a perfect society. At the beginning of The Republic, Plato asks the fundamental question of what is justice? This becomes one of the key issues of the book, along with Plato's ideas about forms.
Socrates had just attended a festival and was returning to Athens when he met Polemarchos on the road. Polemarchos insisted that Socrates join him at his home to meet his family and friends. The group began a conversation about justice. Polemarchos said that justice was giving back what is owed. Socrates argued that if he returned a weapon to a…… [Read More]
Americans basically believe that schools should teach children how to become productive citizens who are willing to participate in capitalist enterprise, a philosophy that Plato did not contend with in ancient Athens.
Today, millions of Americans are obese or out of shape. At the same time, Americans are obsessed with bodies, which are plastered on the cover of almost every newsstand magazine. But because schools do not promote physical education as being integral to the development of the whole human being, exercise is conveyed as a struggle. As a result, people force themselves to go to the gym knowing that the exercise will keep them fit. The pursuit of money in modern American society has made care of the body secondary.
On the other hand, care of the body was a primary concern for many ancient Greeks. The ancient Greeks were aware of both the aesthetic and salutary benefits of…… [Read More]
In his model, Plato is therefore unjust.
Just as his social and political arrangement of a city is inappropriate for humans, so too is his argument for the humans in that political and social arrangement. Most of his arguments for the individuals in this society can be found in his fifth book. hile be first begins with the argument that men and women should be treated equally in education, occupation, and war -- a modern idea -- this furthers his unjust expectations of humans. It is an attempt to further dehumanize the humans that live in his society by refusing to acknowledge their emotional and human characteristics by acknowledging, instead, the characteristics that can be used to make use of them in society. In an even greater assault of these human ideas, Plato states that the wives of guardians will be chosen for them, as well as wondering how "marriages…… [Read More]
The issue of justice is also very closely related to that of morality. In the epublic, morality is again a function of the class division dictated by soul dominance. With every individual's place in society rigidly defined, social interaction were also defined. There would be a prescribed way of dealing with someone lese based on which class each member was, and since most immoral behavior has some form of jealousy at its root, the ideal state has carefully removed all such temptations to jealousy. The reason for the ascetic life of the philosopher-kings and warriors is so the commoners see the way of life that the rulers lead and are turned off by it; being ruled by desire and seeing nothing in that way of life to desire, they would cease even to desire power. For Plato, it would have been immoral for someone not equipped to rule to attempt…… [Read More]
They do not occupy space. Nevertheless, although the Form of a circle has never been seen -- -indeed, could never be seen -- -mathematicians and others do in fact know what a circle is. That they can define a circle is evidence that they know what it is. For Plato, therefore, the Form "circularity" exists, but not in the physical world of space and time. It exists as a changeless object in the world of Forms or Ideas, which can be known only by reason."
Forms have greater reality than objects in the physical world both because of their perfection and stability and because they are models of reality (Vincent, 2005). Circularity, squareness, and triangularity are all good examples of what Plato meant by Forms. An object in the physical world may be called a circle or a square or a triangle only to the extent that it resembles the…… [Read More]
Plato on Justice
he Greek word which Plato uses to mean "justice" -- dike or dikaios -- is also synonymous with law and can also mean "the just"; as Allan Bloom (1991) notes, Plato uses a more specific term -- dikaiosyne -- in the Republic, which means something more like "justice, the virtue" (p. 442). Gregory Vlastos (1981) goes even further to note that, with Plato's very vocabulary for these concepts of justice, "the sense is so much broader: they could be used to cover all which is morally right" (p. 111). his terminology links it with justice as it would be conceived within Plato's theory of forms, and Dominic Scott (2006) notes that -- following that theory -- this introduces "another connotation of virtue" as being "a genus of which such qualities as justice, courage, temperance and wisdom are species" (p. 14). Slippage of terminology seems to be looming…… [Read More]
Plato and Socrates -- Human Soul
There are a number of philosophical tenets that have been the subject of intense scrutiny since humans coalesced into formal societies. ho are we as a species? here do we fit in with the universe? hat is morality? Do the ends justify the means? Moreover, most of all, why are we here and are we free to act as individuals toward greater good? Free will, for instance, or the idea of that human's make choices unconstrained, has been contested even as a concept. The paradigm that humans may make rational choices and that life is not predetermined from "divine" beings allows one to look at a number of philosophical constructs that are on a continuum between the idea that determinism is false and that of hard determinism, or the idea that determinism is true and free will completely impossible forms the crux of a…… [Read More]
Justice equalled virtuosity. The goal was a rather pragmatic one since what the philosopher had in mind was the ideal functioning of the city (where a happy city would mean happy people). It is important to understand the fact that a city can reach the ideal state of virtue only if all of the citizens living in it are virtuous. Therefore the main focus is directed towards the individuals. Under thee circumstances being virtuous means performing the specific tasks that one has. Aristotle on the other hand is more concerned with happiness. He ha established the fact that happiness is the ultimate goal that one can achieve and he is concerned with which are the best ways in order to achieve it. He manages to provide people with a sort of prescription for reaching happiness which lies in the expression of reason. If a person fulfils his function in the…… [Read More]
Plato's work is idealistic and, as such, some of the rationale behind many of the conclusions he draws on do not necessarily have a logical or practical motivation. Nevertheless, they are logically tied to most of the assumptions he makes in his work, which is why his conclusions could, ideally, be transposed into the society he had projected. The most important conclusion of his work may be that each part of society is closely related and coordinated with all the others. This is why issues such as education and general knowledge will need to be customized so as to best fit the needs of society and to support the governing infrastructure.
1. Danzig, Gabriel, "Rhetoric and the Ring: Herodotus and Plato on the Story of Gyges as a Politically Expedient Tale," Greece & Rome journal, Volume 55, Issue 02, October 2008, Cambridge University Press, 18 August 2008, pp.169-192
2.…… [Read More]
Plato vs. Freud on eros and sexuality
Plato's concept of love mandates two rectifications. Both of these rectifications are necessary in order for us to appreciate the relevance of Plato's theory of love to contemporary problems. The first depiction comports with the non-sexual aspect of the loving relationship, because Plato's theory of love indeed includes sex.
The second depiction, or rectification, is related inextricably to the heterosexual aspect of the loving relationship. Without a doubt, Plato considers love between people solely as a homosexual phenomenon, but his explication of sex comprises both heterosexual and homosexual relationships.
The sociological setting of Platonism is all one needs to understand it: In Fifth Century Athens, apart from some outstanding exceptions, like Pericles' legendary love for Aspasia, men only married for reproductive needs and ends, yet reserved the term 'love' and the passionate activity of sexual love only for homosexual relationships. However, nothing in…… [Read More]
Given that Plato's Socrates is an Idealist and a dualist, the highest form of love is not the sexual or erotic kind, or that of family and friends, all of which are materialistic and impermanent. On the contrary, the highest form of love is for God (the Good), as expressed through the immortal soul, for God is a perfect and ideal Form and the soul longs for union with the divine. Love expressed for mortal bodies or any other material object in this world is necessarily of an inferior kind, a pale reflection or shadow of love for the Eternal and the Perfect. There existed a Divine Intelligence above all the other gods and demigods, which could only be contemplated and nurtured by the "pure intelligence" of the soul (Plato 27). This is perhaps one reason why the dialogue is set outside the walls of Athens, away from the…… [Read More]
Plato & Aristotle
The Platonic theory of knowledge is divided into two parts: a quest first to discover whether there are any unchanging objects and to identify and describe them and second to illustrate how they could be known by the use of reason, that is, via the dialectical method. Plato used various literary devices for illustrating his theory; the most famous of these is the allegory of the cave in ook VII of The Republic. The allegory depicts ordinary people as living locked in a cave, which represents the world of sense-experience; in the cave people see only unreal objects, shadows, or images. ut through a painful process, which involves the rejection and overcoming of the familiar sensible world, they begin an ascent out of the cave into reality; this process is the analogue of the application of the dialectical method, which allows one to apprehend unchanging objects and…… [Read More]
To paraphrase Marx several centuries later, this can most easily be summed up as "from each according to his ability to each according to his needs," or, for Plato, "if each person does one thing for which he is naturally suited, and does it at the opportune moment" (48). Here, Plato is acknowledging that not every individual is equal, nor has the same abilities as everyone else. This, in the long-term, will bring about the best society possible, because each person is really actualizing -- called the "healthy city." To ensure that this happens, education must be healthy and must ensures that the right education be given to the right person. He focuses on the guardians of the city, and then turns to who should rule -- deciding that personal freedom is not really valued, but the ruler should uphold the good of the state. Social classes are quite rigid,…… [Read More]
However, the most important argument seems to be the happiness of the city. If responding to an inner need of fulfilling your tasks -- which derive from your very way of being- means happiness for each and every person living from the city, then it is easy to understand how personal happiness and justice contribute to social justice. Justice is the realization of the potential of all the individuals.
This realization is at its turn a manifestation of nature which is a reflection of the idea of good (here we must underline the importance of the "ideas" in Plato's Republic).
The city can very well be interpreted as a metaphor for the individual. If for the individual happiness means the harmony between reason and feeling and the manifestation of his own nature, then it is easy to see the analogy with the just people living in the just city obeying…… [Read More]
While this is not yet true for the United tates, might the country be dangerously close? If one could return to the events on 9/11, is it not possible that the diminished freedoms brought about by legislation such as the Patriot Act and its successor almost smack of tyranny? These are important questions to consider if the much-mentioned American "way of life" is to be preserved. Tyranny is far from desirable, and governments would do well to consider its dangers as these might relate to democracy.
The answer to this question is therefore dangerously close to yes, if certain paradigms are not curbed and warnings not heeded. While I do not fully agree with Aristotle's placement of democracy in the sequence so far away from the ideal tate, it is nonetheless important to consider specific governmental paradigms. Citizens should take great care when choosing their rulers. Many believe that the…… [Read More]
The Sociological Implications of Plato's Allegory of the Cave
Social enlightenment is an abstract concept indeed, and one that is tied closely to collective ways of understanding and perceiving complex cultural dimensions such are hierarchies, forms of governance and variances of individual economic burden. However, our understanding of this abstract concept may be enhanced by Plato's well-known "Allegory of the Cave." Comprising Chapter VII of Plato's critically important The Republic, the allegory examines the experience of socially-imposed ignorance and the consequences of enlightenment. In doing so, it offers an extremely compelling discussion on the human condition that is remarkable in its relevance to our lives today. Namely, the allegory forces us to examine our conceptions of awareness and to reflect on that which we truly know as opposed to that which we believe we know. Indeed, the most compelling aspect of the Plato allegory is the degree to…… [Read More]
Plato and Aristotle
Both Plato and Aristotle attempted to philosophically construct the ideal society and the most suitable form of government. Two of the main areas on which the two philosophers disagree are the importance of private property and on the need for a guardian class. Aristotle derides holding property in common on the basis that it is impractical. In Politics, Part V of Book 2, he states, "there is always a difficulty in men living together and having all human relations in common, but especially in their having common property." Aristotle offers two main arguments to promote his opinion. The first is based largely on semantics and therefore misses the point Plato was attempting to make in his Republic. Aristotle's defense of private property is weakest in this respect: that which is held in common by the state is consequentially shared by all citizens. Even women and children come…… [Read More]
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…… [Read More]
Plato vs. De Tocqueville -- The ideal vs. The real vision of the democratic character and the democratic state
Both the Greek philosopher Plato and French traveler Alexis de Tocqueville approached different 'lived' versions of contemporary democracy as outsiders looking in. Plato (using the persona and voice of the deceased teacher Socrates) critiqued ancient Greek democracy with the aim of putting in that democracy's stead an idealized version of a republic, run entirely by philosopher kings who were judged to be the most fit to rule. Alexis de Tocqueville, in contrast, came from France to American. He came from a nation that had experienced a difficult relationship with its monarchy to a nation where the democracy of the masses was something to be aspired to rather than something to be feared and dreaded. Although de Tocqueville did allow that democracy had its potential to become abusive, when the popular will…… [Read More]
Although ook III in Plato's The Republic is titled 'The Arts in Education', it has come to be known as the author's censorship treatise. In order to provide an 'ideal' education for the state's guardians, or rulers, and to ensure social and moral welfare of the citizens, Plato argues that art and literature should be censored. y controlling the creative output of artists, poets, and writer; and by amending or deleting their previous work, the state would ensure that, "some tales are to be told, and others are not to be told to our disciples from their youth upward, if we mean them to honor the gods and their parents, and to value friendship with one another" (p66). While agreeing with Plato's commitment to improving education, and with his belief in upholding social and moral values, this paper disagrees with the control and censorship of art, literature, or…… [Read More]
Plato and Descartes
Plato concept of innate goodness and Descartes descriptions of human reasoning for being good both provide a foundation for man's need to better understand the basic and spiritual goodness found within human nature. In Plato's Republic, he provides many anthologies that help one to discover their own goodness. Descartes gives many logical reasons within his work, Meditations, that help to explain why the human mind reflects God's natural ability to be good, but when human error occurs, the ability to have a pure mind disappears. This paper will discuss the similarities of Plato's and Descartes' concept of man's ability to be good.
Book VI of The Republic defines Plato's concept of "good" and provides many various descriptions to help guide others to better understand the nature of what it means to be "good." Plato's idea of "being good" eventually will lead to an "end in itself" and…… [Read More]
This view corresponds roughly with Freud's analysis of the soul, which consists of the unconscious id, dark and ugly, needing to be molded by the ego, which balances needs and maintains order, both sitting under the super-ego, which represents the wisdom of social convention and knowledge. Plato believes that in constructing the soul in this way he is able to define morality as those actions which tend to bring the soul into balance, just as by defining society in the way he does he thinks he can define justice. The key to both morality and justice, according to Plato, is order.
Although Plato's view of the soul is robust and illuminating, there are some possibilities which it does not account for, corresponding with the same notions which have been used to criticize Freud. Specifically, he doesn't seem to be able to account for the possibility of a spiritual component to…… [Read More]
Philosopher-kings strive to lead individuals out of the cave, and to perceive 'the real,' the pure and ideal world of the forms rather than the shadows of ideals. This idealistic concept is one reason why Plato is so determined that every human being assume his ideal place in the social order, whether working at a trade, fighting, or engaging in philosophy.
hile Plato's version of a social contract between the different classes of society is, in his view, a mutually beneficial one, in Hobbes' view the social contract between sovereign in subjects is unequal, but extremely necessary because life is not worth living without such a contract. If there is any part of Plato that Hobbes would agree with, it is the "Myth of Gyges" which is told by an opponent of Socrates, the advocate of tyranny Glaucon (a kind of precursor to Hobbes). Gyges was a shepherd who became…… [Read More]
Education then is necessary to help prevent the failures of government - for Socrates, an aristocracy represents a rule by the "best" citizens whose educations have centered upon training the warrior-guardians to be swift, philosophic, spirited and strong.
This education is significant because in order to prevent the corruption that power so often has upon those who wield it - it is the broadly educated, self-aware, and community-driven individual who can truly understand their own place within the machinery of society. The philosopher-king places himself above society leaving the warrior-guardian to protect the lives and livelihoods of not only the individual citizenry, but of the entire community itself.
7-What are Socrates main concerns about education in music? (Remember, music consists of poetry and stories, theater, and music) What are his main points about education in gymnastic and the relation of the body to the mind/soul?
Socrates understands that "Music" (which…… [Read More]
..from sin by keeping the soul unspotted from the world."
Meantime, Platonic scholar Paul Elmer More, in his book The Religion of Plato, develops the idea that at the very heart of Plato's philosophy is a "moral dualism" (there is a higher soul, the spirit, and a lower soul, the body) upon which Plato fashions ideas that link up with what was later known as Christianity. "Philosophy then may be defined to be the [higher] soul's discovery of itself, as an entity having a law and interests of its own apart from and above all this mixed and incomprehensible life of the body," More wrote (More, 48). That concept of a soul discovering itself and its worth in spiritual terms, he continued, "...is the beginning of the Platonic religion and, if not the beginning, certainly the consummation of Christianity." More even saw Christianity as "the completion of the philosophy of…… [Read More]
" (Kundera: 60) at this point, a strong connection between body and soul is forged. Her mother is unwell, and Tereza wants to visit her. However, Tomas opposes this trip so she does not go. Tereza falls in the street hours later and injures herself. What follows is a series of small accidents which are symbols of her soul falling as well: "She was in the grip of an insuperable longing to fall. She lived in a constant state of vertigo." (Kundera: 61) the third step in the evolution of her dualism occurs when Tereza embarks on an extramarital affair with an engineer. She wants to become like Tomas hoping she can get back at him and his infidelities. The intimate relationship established between the two helps Tereza understand both her body and her soul. The touch of his hand on her breast "erased what remained of her anxiety. For…… [Read More]
Why do people behave justly? Is it because they fear societal punishment? Or do they do so because it is good for them and thus society as a whole? Is justice, regardless of its rewards and punishments, a good thing in and of itself? How should justice be defined? Plato responds to such questions in the Republic and concludes that justice is worthwhile in and of itself.
In Book III of the Republic, Plato continues his discourse on "guardians" (373d-374e) as well as other roles that make up a society. In order to educate guardians so they can gain the necessary character traits, he notes the importance of music and poetry, with an emphasis on simplicity of style. These guardians will be motivated by beauty and the arts (401d-403c). Such studies of art and literature, along with physical training, will develop a just soul. By stressing the importance…… [Read More]
One of the points clarified in this way is then, as mentioned above, ocrates' apparent stubborn foolhardiness in refusing to refute the court's decision. Xenophon notes that ocrates found death desirable over life. This is a point that ocrates himself also addresses in Plato's work, when he considers the possibilities of life after death. ocrates appears to consider both complete annihilation and the migration of the soul as preferable to his current life: annihilation would be like a restful and dreamless sleep, while the soul's migration would result in reuniting with old friends. Both of these possibilities are highly desirable to ocrates.
Unlike Plato, Xenophon places ocrates' ideas surrounding death at the beginning of his work. This places the rest of the philosopher's actions into perspective right at the beginning of the action. In Plato's work, on the other hand, the reader only receives this revelation when ocrates reacts to…… [Read More]
Plato held that a just state would be run by philosopher guardians. Plato thinks that, given their education, talents, virtues and the way their lives would be controlled in his Republic, such people are the best possible rulers. Is he right about this?
One of the contradictions in Platonic philosophy is that its oligarchic structure of rule by philosopher kings who are 'the best' and 'most fit' to create a 'just' state embodies an antidemocratic and unjust philosophy. The idea that only those temperamentally fit to rule should rule has often been used to justify tyranny. Socrates, at the beginning of the Republic, calls for his listeners to strive to live a good life, not one that is merely pleasurable or self-serving. However, despite his calls for justice, a society which denies individual autonomy can never be just and dictatorships almost inevitably produce self-serving regimes.
At the beginning of the…… [Read More]
In The Republic, Plato uses several analogies, myths, and allegories to illustrate his philosophical and political stances and concepts. These myths serve to clarify, simplify and explain to his readers and students complex ideas. For example, in one of the most famous passages of The Republic, the myth of the cave, Plato demonstrates his otherwise complicated concept of the Forms. The world that our senses encounter creates illusions, like the shadows formed on the walls of the cave. Only the philosopher who is willing to comprehend the truth can leave the cave and witness the origin of these shadows, that which causes them to appear: the Forms. Furthermore, Plato uses the sun as a symbol of the ultimate Form of the Good. Through this myth the student is able to visually conceptualize an otherwise abstract notion of Forms or Archetypes.
Similarly, Plato uses myth to describe his political…… [Read More]
A philosopher makes "logoi," discusses, and cross examines about virtue, is short of wisdom, and is aware of it. However, in as much as one is a philosopher, one desires wisdom and searches for it. In historical Greek, this notion is virtually a tautology, prompting Socrates to hold that the wise no longer philosophize. Socrates believes that philosophy is gathering knowledge; however, going by valid evidence, philosophy is the process of acquiring knowledge (Reeve 899).
Socrates is viewed as inventing another mission for philosophy because of the manner in which he practiced it. He thinks that he is acting in line with divine wishes. His reiteration that he is acting under divine orders qualifies him as a prophet. Divine orders are not philosophical knowledge to be debated and modified. It calls for unquestionable loyalty and demand direct honor to command. At this point, if Socrates is not a prophet then…… [Read More]
Plato, Epictetus, & Nietzsche
When we discuss how Plato presents the most appropriate human attitude toward bodily appetite and/or passion, it is vital to note that Plato's method of discussing philosophy in dialogue -- as though this were a drama with characters each competing for attention, but with an overarching dramatic structure above and beyond those chattering characters which more subtly guides the way we are meant to understand the competing arguments -- makes it difficult to say what Plato himself thought about the question of bodily desire, because the Symposium's dramatic structure may give the climactic pride of place to Socrates's speech, but then seemingly Plato directly undercuts the loftier sentiments of Socrates's discourse on love by ending it with the farcical entry of the drunken Alcibiades. So this is important to notice before examining Socrates's vision of the bodily appetites -- in this case, specifically the sexual appetite…… [Read More]
Socrates asked them to come forward with their thoughts if they were "still doubtful about the argument." The two proceed to make a sophisticated argument, contrary to Socrates' points, that were counterexamples to the points about the body and the soul that Socrates had been making with such eloquence. It was cross-examination, but it was also a series of new hypotheses that Cebes and Simmias presented to the philosopher whom they held in the highest regard, of course.
Basically, they argued that the existence of the soul during the bodily period has been sufficiently proved; but as to what happens to the soul after death, is "unproven," Cebes offered. And it went on for awhile, convincingly; and when the narrator Phaedo brought the story back to real time, he recounted that the listeners to Socrates "had been so firmly convinced" and yet after the cross-examination (elenchus) by Cebes and Simmias,…… [Read More]
Plato and Aristotle - Approach to Truth
Plato and Aristotle arrive at what they deem to be "truth" through sometimes similar and often times different paths. While both philosophers seek comprehensive explanations of reality and both made huge contributions to Western philosophical thinking, each did so seeking an ultimate method to define their experience.
Plato, the teacher, Aristotle the student; it is natural that one would build upon the ideas of the other. "According to Plato, sense objects are not completely real. Beliefs derived from experience of such objects are therefore vague and unreliable" (Dartmouth, 23). In his theory of Ideas, he expressed reality as being divided into two realms: There was the realm of ideas and the realm of things that one knows through the senses. Therefore, the idea of a rock, for Plato, is more the rock than the rock itself. The reason for this is that all…… [Read More]
In essence this means that humanity lives in a state of illusion that has been technologically constructed by an intelligence that provides people with an illusionary reality. In the film it appears that humanity is being kept in a state of illusion in order to be used as an energy source.
We can relate the scenario in the Matrix to the cave allegory in that the entire world has become trapped in a highly technologized ' cave' where mankind exists in a false and dreamlike state, completely unaware of the actual reality of their imprisonment.
However, there are a few people who are aware of the "shadows" that exist outside the cave. There are a number of human beings who have become aware of the "forms" or the true and horrific reality of their world and the true nature of human existence. Under the leadership of the mysterious Morpheus, they…… [Read More]
His argument is that the two extreme sides are opposed by nature hence they exist in a state of "civil war." he third part of the soul is identified as the "spirited part" which is "far from being [appetitive], for in the civil war in the soul it aligns itself far more with the rational part" (Plato: book IV).
he healthy soul is the one where reason, assisted by spirit, rules over desire, be it for food, sex, etc. A healthy soul - according to Socrates - means that the individual is just inside and out, in the sense that on the one hand, the individual will be ruled by reason thus he will be just on the inside, and on the other, he will be just on the outside because someone who is ruled by reason cannot rob or cheat: "Both together will they not be the best defenders…… [Read More]
He believes the Forms to have more reality than what we see around us in the visible world. The world we see around us is elusive and transitory. (This chair can be burned into a pile of ash and no longer take the form of a chair.) The ideal world of Forms, however, is permanent. (Nothing can destroy the Ideal Chair.) We see the concrete world and know it only by making reference to the abstract reality of the Ideal Forms.
One alternative to this view was offered by Plato's student, Aristotle. He argued that when we see the world we see the things in themselves that make up subjective reality, and after we see many of such things we formulate knowledge of a supposed abstract reality. In this view we move, not from abstract to concrete, but from concrete to abstract. We learn to make abstractions by viewing the…… [Read More]
Thrasymachus sustains that obedience to rulers is just (Republic, 399b7) and this comes in no contradiction with what Hobbes sustains. In a contractual society, laws must be obeyed, but this is simply the result of the renunciation of one's freedoms in return of security. However, what Hobbes always argues for in his writings is that individuals pursue their self-interest because this is their nature. Laws are restrictions in the path of pursuing one's interest. Thrasymachus makes it clear in his argumentation that he is in favour of everyone supporting their own interest and that this is the position he defends. This is one of the most obvious similarities with Hobbes. He described justice as seeking another's interest, and injustice as involving seeking one's own interest.
Hobbes supports that the ideal state of the human being is the state of nature, from which people moved to the commonwealth presented in the…… [Read More]
The rulers correspond with the mind/soul- just as the mind directs the body in the individual, the rulers direct the body of the state (i.e. The guardians and workers.)
Part Two: Aristotle on Pride
Aristotle claims that pride is not a vice, but a major moral virtue. He opens his argument by saying that the word pride itself implies gratness, and therefore a proud man is one who considers hiomself-worthy of great things- in contrast to a moderate man who is worth little and considers himself worthy of like amount, or the foolish man, who thinks himself more worthy than he actually is. Aristotle also distinguishes the humble man, as the one who does not consider himself worthy of his own good fortunes. The point is that the proud man claims what he deserves, and nothing more, whereas other sorts claim either more or less than is to their credit.…… [Read More]
Plato, Descartes, And the Matrix
The Matrix can be compared with Plato and Descartes. While that might seem like a very odd comparison, there are many similarities. In each scenario, there is the concept of reality and how to determine what is real and what is not. While it may seem as though it is easy to tell if something is real or not real, the truth is more complicated. People can have experiences in their lives that feel completely unreal to them, and they can have dreams that feel so real that they have trouble understanding why they have ended once they wake up. Naturally, that is a serious concern for people who are attempting to really understand the truth. There are some differences in the three works, though, because Plato was fixated more on people seeing something while they were awake and not being exposed to anything else.…… [Read More]
Plato and the Little Prince
Plato's Allegory of the Cave and the Little Prince of Antoine de Saint Exuprey
Plato's Allegory of the Cave in Book Seven of The Republic portrays a world in darkness, the darkness of a cavern. Individuals in the darkness of the cavern of the lived texture of reality, of a daily existence of neckties and golf as Antoine de Saint Exuprey might say, sit around a burning fire. This image represents human beings the world. The fire the human beings gaze at is the fire of the enlightenment the philosophers of humanity, are seeking, often in vain. Occasionally, the humans at the fire catch glimpses of a higher form of reality upon the walls of the cave in the form of shadows. The shadows, which represent how most human beings see reality, are really only dimly filtered versions of the true nature of the forms,…… [Read More]
This may be true, but only to a limited extent. If human experience is limited, then so is the acquired knowledge and truth can not exist partially only. On the one hand. On the other hand, it is safe to say that unlimited experience is impossible at least empirically (419a).
Therefore, truth might be based on experience but experience is not enough. The fact that people are chained to the wall is a metaphor which suggests the fact that human perceptions are influenced and shaped by the environment we live in through its customs, beliefs and values. It becomes obvious how difficult it is to have a free mind. Returning to the issue of experience, we may have a person breaking free from the chain and thus being able to move around the cave.
Now he can see the statues and the fire and with the use of reason he…… [Read More]
When we first feel what we call love for other human beings, it is usually a form of self-love. We love our mother because she loves us, we love our parents because they buy us Christmas gifts and take us to softball practice, and we love the prettiest girl in the class because looking at her makes us feel good. Then we feel love that acknowledges the other person, but is still often very shallow -- we might give our first crush a rose on Valentine's Day, but don't understand the other person's needs. Perhaps when they have a bad day, or need time with their friends, we ignore them or get upset when they seem to be ignoring us. This shallow love deepens into the ability to experience and appreciate a more mature and self-sacrificing relationship, like what occurs during a long-term relationship, or when we have a family.…… [Read More]
and, through the scientific study of modern, cognitive science, the idea that 'I' am doing the thinking in a way that is separate from my body and that this can be rationally deducted, simply by thinking and without scientific experimentation would be confounded.
However, those using empiricism as their main philosophical view of the world have also been able to twist the empiricism to use science's supposed rationalism and objectivity to justify tyranny of 'the best,' as in the case of eugenics, and the notion of 'survival of the fittest,' which suggests that the 'best' (morally, racially, and ethically) thrive and should be allowed to triumph over the 'weak.' In reality, Darwin's actual theory merely supports the idea that those best suited to an environment survive, not that survivors are innately better or superior creatures (a mutated moth that can blend in with a coal-blackened environment is not 'better' than…… [Read More]
Using the ring of Gyges as his 'proof,' he finds the last reason to be the most persuasive.
What Socrates definition of justice in the state is as found in Book IV? Compare the parts of the just state to the parts of the just soul. Describe the virtues of each.
Socrates defines justice in terms of balance, as every person doing what he is best suited to do -- to rule, fight, or labor. This is why the just state is structured into three classes, the philosopher kings who rule, the military class that defends the state, and the ordinary laborers. The philosopher kings govern by virtue of knowing best, the military class is necessary to defend the state, and the laborers are necessary to do the practical work of the land, so people can eat. All classes are necessary, and correspond to the soul, mind, and body split…… [Read More]
To wit, in Socrates' day, there were no official government prosecutors (commonly referred to in modern America as "District Attorneys"); in effect, any citizen could bring an indictment against any other citizen, and call for a trial. And that's basically what happened to Socrates.
Here in America, in 2006, notwithstanding what Vice President Cheney said, President George . Bush stated, "I will never question the patriotism of somebody who disagrees with me." Bush was responding to a reporter's question on August 21; Bush was asked if he believed, according to http://mediamatters.org, that the "Democrats advocating for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq 'embolden Al Qaeda types' as...Cheney similarly stated. Bush's answer was, "I will never question the patriotism of somebody who disagrees with me... [although] leaving [Iraq] before the job would be done would be to send a signal to our troops that the sacrifices they made were not worth it...this has…… [Read More]
Plato's theory of forms promotes the belief that two objects can never be equal, regardless of their apparent similarity. Concepts cannot be defined by their appearance, as they actually need to be defined by their nature. People thus come to define objects by trying to associate them with the closest ideas that they can think of and that is similar to these respective objects. The Ancient Greek philosopher practically wanted people to understand that form was a very complex concepts and that it would be wrong for someone to attempt to define an object simply by looking at its appearance.
While a table might be defined by someone as being an idea that cannot be discussed as a result of the rigidity of the concept's form, matters can actually be more complex than someone might be inclined to believe. For example, something like a tree stump might be used by…… [Read More]
Plato's Phaedo and STC's "Christabel"
In Phaedo 80ff, Socrates outlines Plato's theory of Forms, particularly attempting to prove that the eternal Forms are of divine origin. Through analogy with the living body and the dead body, Socrates in dialogue with Cebes forces his interlocutor to admit that the body-soul dualism admits to a qualitative difference between the two, and then Socrates begins to describe the separation of body and soul, such as we would describe as a ghost:
"And, my friend, we must believe that the corporeal is burdensome and heavy and earthly and visible. And such a soul is weighed down by this and is dragged back into the visible world, through fear of the invisible and of the other world, and so, as they say, it flits about the monuments and the tombs, where shadowy shapes of souls have been seen, figures of those souls which were not…… [Read More]
Plato, The Apology of Socrates
The charges against Socrates, as given in Plato's Apology, are twofold. This is how Socrates himself phrases it:
And now I will try to defend myself against them: these new accusers must also have their affidavit read. What do they say? Something of this sort: - That Socrates is a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the state, and has other new divinities of his own. (Plato 2009).
In other words, the first charge is that Socrates has corrupted the youth of Athens, and the second charge is that of impiety towards the official gods of Athens. Socrates in his defense begins by cross-examining his accuser, Meletus. On the first charge he asks whether Meletus thinks his corruption of young minds was intentional: when Meletus says it was, Socrates notes that Meletus has never…… [Read More]