Plato

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Analysis of Plato’s View of Falsehoods

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

In Plato’s republic he creates a utopian city by the name of Calipolis as both an example and a thought experiment to be employed while showcasing his views on society and the nature of just government. In his mind the creation and maintenance of a just city is dependent on a number of things. This city must have a clear class system in which the citizens are content in their station in life or the very least led to believe that it is the best they can possibly attain. The classes within this system must be clearly defined and be pervasive in all areas of life. Plato divides his society into three main classes, guardians, auxiliaries and the artisan class. Among the uppermost ranking are the perfect rulers of Plato’s mythical city, the philosopher kings.

In order to maintain the strict class system and thus maintain a platonic form of justice within Calipolis, Plato invents series of creation myths and deliberate falsehoods to maintain order. One of the more important of these such falsehoods is the “myth of the metals”. In this myth Plato states that all citizens of Calipolis are born with a certain metal in their blood. The ruling class of guardians is born with gold in their blood, the auxiliaries have silver and the artisans have bronze. This places everyone into a category of aptitude that cannot be disrupted and thus instills a certain form of order to the city.

In Plato’s mind “the myth of the metals” is a form of acceptable if not necessary falsehood or government sponsored lie. He believes that to maintain a just city the guardians must use falsehoods to ensure that the citizens do not become dissatisfied with their lot in life and then create disorder. “But what about spoken falsehood? Is it not sometimes and on some occasions useful, and not then detestable? Can we use it, for example, as a kind of preventive medicine against our enemies or, when anyone we call our friend tries to do something wrong from madness or folly.” Plato sees these deliberate lies as useful to the ruling class in order to alter public perception of reality and allow for the select few at the top to have more ideological control than otherwise possible in a totally transparent society.

Although Plato argues for the deliberate selection of lies that are to be told by the ruling class, proper justice cannot last for very long under these conditions. By instilling the power to select which lies are told and what areas of life they greatly impact, gives far too much power to one set of individuals. It is possible in theory that the rulers of Calipolis (a mythical utopia) would be able maintain a series of just lies over an extended period. In a non-mythological setting however, this system would break-down into total authoritarian injustice rather quickly. This shift would take place as those in power, being human and thuis having their own flaws, and base appetites as Plato refers to them, would create falsehoods that directly benefit them and disadvantage the rest of society. Throughout history, powerful and intransparent ruling parties have created some of the most blatantly unjust and tyrannical societies through the extensive dissemination of falsehoods and government sponsored lies. Somewhat recent examples of this are the rules of Hitler, Stalin and currently Kim Jong Un.

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148

Summary of Plato’s “Protection of Socrates”

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Plato’s “Protection of Socrates” takes after the preliminary of Socrates, for charges of misguidance of the young. His opponent, Meletus, claims he is doing as such by instructing the young of Athens of a different otherworldliness from that which was generally acknowledged. Socrates’ contention was one of a kind in that he endeavored to persuade the jury he was only a normal man and not to be dreaded, but rather, in reality, exhibited how sharp and persevering he was. In view of his stoic impression of death, he offers an absurd counter-proposition: the first being free suppers for him in the Prytaneum. Somewhat later, his supporters persuade him to settle on a direct fine of 30 minas. His thinking for proposing such silly counter-punishments is that since he feels demise would be great, he has no motivation to subject himself to a far more terrible destiny, for example, oust.

Socrates proceeds to decline to change his courses with a specific end goal to keep away from death for two reasons. The first being that he believes he is taking the necessary steps of the divine beings, and the second, that what he does advances a larger amount of thought and astuteness; changing his ways would conflict with the essentials Athens was based upon. It was a totally bad idea to throw these types of arguments in the court which was indicating he was trying to be blunt and not thinking straight. The counter-argument he should have presented that would lead to his acquittal will be discussed, and will examine how this acquittal will not be consistent with Socrates in his views of life mission. He starts his argument, with a tale of his visit to the Oracle of Delphi, which disclosed to him that there was no man more intelligent than he. He, being as modest as he seems to be, couldn’t underestimate the Oracle’s answer and approached addressing Athenians he felt outperformed his insight. The arguments can be raised in a well-thought manner not just bluntly, his first argument has given the impression of a sense of superiority which gave a negative impact of his personality to the court.

Meletus says that Socrates is the individual in Athens who is in charge of the debasement of the adolescent. However, it is crazy to state that just Socrates misguide the young. This infers every other person helps the young. Be that as it may, similarly as there are few pony trainers, so there are rare sorts of people who are in a situation to truly “prepare” the young. What’s more, as opposed to what Meleteus affirms, Socrates is one of these coaches. Who might deliberately degenerate the young? In the event that Socrates deliberately hurt the young, at that point they would hurt him. Also, no normal individual intentionally hurts himself.

However, in the event that he hurt the young unintentionally, at that point he ought to be taught not rebuffed. If Socrates get acquitted from the allegations it does not change his life missions, he had a staunching stance in the matter and none conviction can change that. Socrates proceeds to reject changing his life with a specific end goal to stay away from death. He believes he is taking the necessary steps of the divine beings, and the second being that what he does advances a more elevated amount of thought and intelligence; changing his ways would conflict with the basics Athens was based upon.

Anyway, Socrates does not fear death. He assumes that demise could mean a hereafter that rewards the individuals who are great and since he believes he has been a decent individual, passing would be welcoming. His other hypothesis is that demise measures up to non-presence, which in all likelihood looks like a profound rest. So both of these final products are not deserving of being dreaded.

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137

Main Message in Plato’s Republic

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

An Ode to Reason

Book IX of Plato’s Republic is underwritten by one of the central themes of the whole text: the importance of rearing and education for the soul of the individual and as a result the prosperity of the polis. It is often hard to distinguish between the two when they are not explicitly evoked, but it would suffice to say that rearing happens in the family and education in schools or during the individuals personal philosophical pursuits. In the discussion tyranny, it is once again the degeneration of the individual’s soul that leads to an overbearing political composition of the whole polis. This degeneration occurs as a result of desires run amok; that is not only the deformation of desires, but the uninhibited pursuit of desires that are deemed unnecessary.

Richard D. Parry boldly underscores the centrality of the distinction between necessary and unnecessary desires for Socrates’ argument. “Necessary appetites are necessary because satisfying them allows us to live and is beneficial for health (558d-e)” (pg. 387). Quite obviously, these are the quite literal appetites for food, drink, shelter and as Aristotle might even say: human connection. Although these desires have the potential to degenerate into gluttonous tendencies, for the most part their pursuit is healthy and beneficial. Moreover, gluttonous tendencies are a matter of dispositions that are shaped and acquired through rearing and education. “Unnecessary appetites, then, are such that one can get rid of them, if one is trained from a young age. Moreover, dwelling in the soul, they do no good and some of them are harmful (559a)” (pg. 387). It is clear then, that as dispositions, both of these subsets of desires are in a sense value neutral. Parry describes them as sources of behaviors, thus as quasi agents (pg. 390), hence it is the job of reason to police their moderation. This is one of the clearest arguments presented in the Republic that connects desire with the design of political institutions. There is nothing inherently evil about the appetitive part of the soul, rather wretchedness comes to life due to corrupted design of institutions, including here the family.

The only point I am inclined to disagree here, mainly with plato and Socrates, is the narrow definition that is given to education and a certain insistence on the essentialism of dispositions. It only seems possible to get rid of such dispositions at a young age, and for the most part that’s true, children are most malleable in terms of virtue. However, this account seems to assume that the design of political institutions is then only important insofar as rearing and education go. Once these dispositions are moulded, i.e. granted their quasi-agent status, they take on a life of their own. Since only reason can moderate them, then it follows that this sort of propensity for reason must be instilled at a young age as well. Which makes me think of two challenges. First, what is then the role of political institutions in the life of an adult? Are the then merely schematic chess-pieces that one approaches according to their pre-shaped dispositions? I would argue then that institutions, as constantly changing entities, are also constantly shaping our desires in relation to them. Although one is certainly predisposed to approach them a certain way, there is a malleability that continues beyond childhood. Second, are lovers, or even more simple minded ‘likers’ of reason, minted as such only at a young age? Or is it possible for someone to fall in love with philosophy at old age even? I would tend to argue for malleability once again and propose that in accordance to the old trope of old age and wisdom, it is possible for one to reckon old wicked ways. Parry reminds us very diligently that in the Ancient world, the kind of madness that takes hold of the tyrant can be a temporary phenomenon. One can “snap out of it” and feel shame, as well as regret.

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323

The Matrix and Philosophy: Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Watching a movie can sound like a typical and normal activity nowadays. Naturally, families and people spend more time selecting the film to see that thinking about the complex meaning that this entails. In order to emerge ourselves in the film’s situation, the world of cinema plays with our mind and body. This unconscious game with us is seldom noticed and we just keep our eye in the film and enjoy it. However, what would happen if we stopped for a moment to analyze these previous perceptions? Will they be the same? Absolutely no, most individuals are not aware of the significant and valuable consequences of trying to be more observers and analytics in cases as movies or general media.

“Seeing beyond what is easily visible”. It’s not necessary to be a philosopher to do it, this essay won’t pretend that everyone thinks or acts like a philosopher, albeit it will demonstrate the profits of being critical and having another conception of what we perceive as truth and reality. Being more specific, “The Matrix” is an excellent illustration of the complexity of the understanding of our daily life. This is because of the fact that a large list of religious, mythological and analytical issues have been shown in the movie. This essay will provide an explanation of the uses of philosophical ideas in the film “Matrix” and its relation to the “allegory of the cave” by Plato in order to explain how the reality can be understood. Consequently, it will be divided in the following main concepts: “allegory of the cave” by Plato, the definition of the philosopher, the Jewish religion, “the red pill and the blue pill” idea and its exemplification in current life.

First of all, it is relevant to explain what means “Matrix”. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Current English (2018) generally, it is an environment or material in which something develops. Mathematically it is a special case of dimensional arrays which indicates the existence of two different dimensions called rows and columns and consequently each element has a determined space and role. In this order, this term can reflect the direct relation that the actual definition has with the “The Matrix” movie. The feature depicts the painful and problematic process of acceptation of the true existence for Neo, the principal character. Through the instructions and lessons of Morpheus and Trinity, he noticed that the world which he perceived as real was actually completely fake known as “Matrix” controlled by intelligent Machines. “The Matrix is the most philosophical film ever made, every step of its fast-paced plot pivots on a philosophical conundrum”.

Plato was really interested in images and illustrations; he often used those to describe the relation between the forms and perceptible things. Most well-known in “The Republic” Plato uses a metaphor of projected shadows to explain how we can make the transition from focusing on the forms to focusing on the real world,

“Imagine, he says, slaves chained in a cave so that they can see only a wall, which is illuminated by the light of a fire, close to which objects are carried so that their shadows fall on the wall. They would take these shadows to be real things. However, if their chains were broken, they would turn and recognize the objects themselves as the originals of the shadows: a real book is more book-like than the shadow of a book. But until they had done this, they would not know what real things, as opposed to opposing to shadows, were”.

In our case, we live in the movie theatre of the everyday life and we are able to know the presence of many things, although we find it hard to know what they essentially are. This kind of mental challenge is also described in “The Matrix” or even in Plato’s words: “world of dreams”. In which the so-called reality turned out to be the world of shadows and the “awakening” indeed is the crude reality. This allegory by Plato is still being present in nowadays cinema. While projected images pass in front of us, we are sitting contemplating them with attention. However, a relevant distinction between the prisoners and modern cinema exists. Plato’s captives are not aware of the issue that darkness, shadows and unreality were only their own idea of truth. On the other hand, despite the advanced technology in the movie, the truth and what it is seen on the screen are able to be distinguished. Neo had to pass through a series of, first decisions and second complications, in order to forsake his habitual conception.

The slave who lives in the cave or even Neo before the “awakening” represents a regular person. Somebody who just follows rules, obeys laws, repeats the quotidian action and is aware of superficial problems. On the contrary, the exemplification of the real philosopher is seen through the slave who takes off his chains or Neo after his “awakening”. Gunkel (2008) states that “Chains can be understood as everything that binds us and prevents discovering the truth directly”.

The philosopher is defined as the man who first escapes the cave. “The one among us who comes to realize that we are all in some way living lives of illusion, held captive by shadows and chains, not of our own making”. Morpheus during “The Matrix” it is that one who did it. Besides, the philosopher, the wise, has a paramount role in general. “He or she tries to free as many of his/her fellow captives as possible, liberating them to live in the broader, brighter realities that lie beyond the narrow confines of their customary perceptions”. Its goal is to free us from illusion and to help us get a grip on the most fundamental realities. This figure is not only always trying to seek the pure or sincere but also allows others to reach the same. It is a model who guides who also decides to make the effort to wake up. Morpheo also is a vivid image of this task of philosophy, because he guides to Trinity, Neo and other to the awakening.

Furthermore, another association that it is made it is the pain of realizing the deceit in which you have been living most of the time, or in fact, of life. In order to join Morpheus and Trinity in their experience looking for the real, Neo must be born again. In his case he suffered various aches, for instance he had to be in a long recovery due to the fact that he had never used really his body, his muscles were extremely weak, he does not have hair and his eyes were irritated at the beginning because, according to Morpheo, he never uses it truly. Likewise, in Plato’s allegory the slave who go out troubled similar illness too. The exposure of a true reality makes face challenges that just someone who absolutely is looking for the truth is able to support. Unfortunately, sometimes the pain is not just physical. In some occasions, it is present emotionally when the philosopher attempts to expose the truth and he or she is ignored or portrayed as a liar, manipulator or ignorant. Comparatively, in the last years, some cases made reference to this rejection. Social leaders famed as Nelson Mandela, Jaime Garzon or Mahatma were treated unfairly because of their controversial behavior. At the end, they were not wrong at all.

At this point, the previous idea allows to this essay introduce the “Jewish religion”, which also bears alliance with “The Matrix”. The main belief of this particular doctrine is the existence of a unique omnipotent God who desires people be just and loving. In the same way, Jewish people affirm that in God there are three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three are equal to each other, support each other and complete each other. This doctrine of the Trinity assures that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is also God, and that, nevertheless, there is only one God. The Matrix is also a spiritual film, saturated with religious symbolism.

The story goes deep into the Jewish religion, in which Neo represents Jesus. Neo’s mission is to reveal the truth that will set humankind free. And if that is not enough, he gives his life for others and then rises from the dead more powerful than ever. He even ends the movie ascending to heaven. Moreover, Trinity is a clear reference to the Holy Spirit. She stays next to Neo and Morpheus; she obeys them, supports them and takes care of them in a certain way as the Holy Spirit. Also, Morpheus makes the representation of God. He knows the truth, he is able to see the seemingly invisible to others, he steers the new true way.

Equally surprising, “Morpheus” comes from morphe and in Greek mythology was the god of dreams; his name currently looks like “morphine”, which is a drug that induces sleep and freedom from pain and “morphing” which is used to change smoothly from one image to another by small gradual steps using computer animation techniques. Furthermore, “Neo” comes from néos and means “new, young”. Linguistically “Neo” is a prefix which denotes something current. In the religious context “Trinity” is the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead. Each character poses a wonderful meaning that curiously manages to describe certain fragments of the personality and function that they have in the film.

It could also be said that Morpheus handles Neo’s destiny. The beginning of this unimaginable crossing is remote to the scene where he made Neo choose between the red pill and blue pill. But, what is the meaning of those? Why was this decision extremely relevant? The pills represent an election we have to make between knowing the truth of reality (red pill), which is harsh and difficult or maintaining our complete ignorance of the world (blue pill), which is way more comfortable. “You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes”. – Morpheus to Neo. If we lead this to a philosophical perspective, we are faced with the deeper meaning of the selection. The dilemma is: do we agree with living an ignorant life as long as we are happy? Or will we prefer to search and find the truth even if it will be difficult to assume? It is a personal option which each society or individual make every day.

Our current life is directly reflected in “The Matrix” too, no matter the date, year or century, Matrix should continue to be considered as a true example of how philosophy is present everywhere. “the idea of reading “The Matrix” is not as containing a consistent philosophical discourse, but as rendering, in their very inconsistencies, the antagonisms of our ideological and social predicament”. This how Matrix should be denoted, it is more than simple forms of philosophy, it’s also how the reality is comprehended dividing the world into two opposes sides. It is good or bad, high or low, heaven or hell, new or old, true or false. Everything tends to have two faces. “To be or not to be”. However, normally the options exist but in the end, each one leads to an opposite extreme. Reading the news, selecting which information is relevant, which issues deserve attention and time,social movements, revolutions, simple things as preferences, behaviors, likes, inclinations, the way we have to get home, what we eat, what we think, absolutely everything, no matter how minimal and insignificant it seems, could take us to an endless number of “realities”.

It should be noted that like any movie, any artistic piece, just a glance is not enough. Revising each detail could lead in discovering much more essential information. The option to consider the background of the truth as presented in the film, not just a simple story, but as a proof that we have a choice. “The Matrix” and its philosophical issues had been compared and analyzed. Aspects as religion, Greek mythology, “red pill and blue pill” idea and lastly Plato’s allegory of the cave were explained. We either could accept our roles as slaves of the machine, or we can reinvent ourselves as philosophers as the Matrix style. The first and last day of the rest of the life need not begin and end in Plato’s Cave. Thereby is how life should work.

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389

Views of Plato on Marriage in Republic

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Marriage – the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman). When two people make a public pledge or commitment to each other to share and live their lives together that is recognised socially, legally and sometimes religiously. According to many Christian denominations, a marriage is a union between a man and woman, instituted and ordained by God as the lifelong relationship between one man as husband, and one woman as wife.In ancient Greek culture, the purpose of marriage was to reproduce, establish a family, and to have heirs who would carry on the family name,lineage and memory. In Plato’s days there was no prejudice against men having sex with other men. Sex with the same gender was quite common and accepted in the Greek culture, but men did not marry other men. Because there would be no conception and birth so marriage was not necessary. Plato is one of the most influential philosophers in the world. He has contributed in many fields like ethics, metaphysics, cosmology, politics, etc. One of his most famous works is the Republic, which contains how a philosopher runs a wise society. From his works it’s assumed that Plato never married or have any offsprings.

Plato viewed marriage in a unconventional way, it was a bit different from the original concept of marriage. According to his depictions of an ideal state, the state should monitor and have a control over human reproduction. As per the philosophy of eugenics, temporary marriages shall be arranged in a festival, where the matches shall be chosen by the selected Rulers. Plato understood that this would not be accepted by the common people so it was done in secret. In Plato’s republic a number system was introduced in which your mate would be chosen by selecting a ‘marriage number.’ According to this concept the people with similar qualities will be matched together so that they can procreate. Everyone chose the names from the lot and the mate they get is chosen by God himself and if you draw a blank you are considered unfit for offsprings. Plato also wanted the offsprings to be taken away from the biological parents and wanted them to be raised in common nurseries. Plato’s reason for restructuring marriage was to abolish the concept of private family and to give power to the state, to discourage personal interest and to encourage common good and to increase the strength in the state. The reason was also to improve human conditions, the logic behind it was if people with good qualities bred then the outcome would also be good. His main aim was to bring unity among people and to have atleast some citizens in the state who had the best interest of the state. His main idea behind this was to find the best race, and the best people for this society.

However, Plato realised his error that even though people with similar qualities mated, it’s not necessary that the offspring would have those ‘golden’ qualities of the parents. Aristotle also firmly criticized this theory of Plato. He said that this theory of Plato was unworkable. As Plato has not taken into consideration the fact that natural love a parent would have towards his or her child and the emotions associated. Plato had assumed that the love for family can be transferred to the fellow citizens. Plato himself never married and he never thought that love was necessary for a marriage. He viewed the institution of marriage only as a means to procreate and to establish a family.

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199

Groundhog Day and Plato’s Virtues

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

In the motion picture Groundhog Day by Harold Ramis, and Danny Rubin, shows scenes which are directly concerned with the theory of having virtues and being a virtuous person. I shall argue that the movie, Groundhog Day, is connected with the theory of virtues, according to Plato’s view on virtue.

Four Virtues

I will be discussing how the theory of virtues by Plato’s perspective are directly or indirectly identified to the movie Groundhog Day. Plato’s view on virtue are the four cardinal virtues which are wisdom, temperance, courage and justice. These reflect the nature of the soul. Plato like most other ancient philosophers, he believes that happiness or well-being (eudaimonia) is the greatest aim of which morals can attain, therefore, the virtues are the requirements needed to attain this aim or eudaimonia. Meaning, most mortals only dream of achieving such an accomplishment.

Becoming Truly Happy

In the early scenes of Groundhog Day, Bill Murray, is portrayed as a person with low virtues and no desire to achieve any of the four cardinal virtues. During the beginning of the film, Bill has not come close to any of the cardinal virtues defined from Plato’s version. As of now, Bill is far from close to attaining the virtue of wisdom and temperance. As the movie progresses Bill is caught in a repetition of the same day – February 2nd – over and over again. Bill could do whatever he wanted and never pay a price. Bill then does everything a person would do. He steals, lies, cheats and gets to wake up like nothing ever happened. In doing all this, he did everything Plato thinks most people would do. While he does this everyday, he grows tired of it, he becomes unhappy and realizes he can do so much more with this gift he has been given. By the end of the movie, he is helping people with flat tires, feeding homeless people and even getting a reluctant fiancée to make up her mind. Although he is not being selfish any more or doing stuff for his own personal gain, he is now truly happy.

Gaining the Virtue

Leading to Plato’s point thousands of years ago. Bill with every day he relives, he tries to better himself, coming closer to eudaimonia. Meaning, instead of doing the same thing every day for personal gain, he tries to better the lives of other people even if they won’t remember him the next day. With this Bill has started to gain one of the cardinal virtues according to Plato. Bill begins to gain the justice virtue. With this Bill began to really want people to enjoy their lives and took time out his day to see people happy. While doing so, Bill managed to attain another virtue. Wisdom. Bill gained the virtue wisdom by just helping people and gaining knowledge, allowing him to put the virtue of justice at hand. Ultimately, I believe being a virtuous person does matter because like being able to see that your works and good deeds really make someone else happy but can make your day as well.

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400

Plato and the Idea of Truth

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

In this essay, I will explain about my truth and will compare it with Plato’s theory of truth. You might ask, why Plato in particular? Well, to tell you the truth, since week four of our reading and work assignments, I could not put away the troubling thoughts about how Plato had described in his work titled “Republic” the ideal city that he called ‘Utopia”. To find his theory of truth made me look further trying to understand it, which I will explain further in this essay. Additionally, I would describe some of the differences or similarities between our truths, providing a couple of examples of the arguments from my point of view against Plato. Finally, bringing reasonable argument for why my truth is more valid one of the two.

The Correspondence Theory of Truth

As stated by Glanzberg in Stanford Encyclopedia, the Correspondence Theory of truth is a relationship between thoughts or assertion on one hand, and things or objects on the other. This theory holds that the truth or the falsity of a representation is determined in principle entirely by how it relates to an objective, by whether it precisely describes the mentioned objective (2018).

Plato’s Theory of Truth

And according to Marian, Plato’s theory of truth was correspondence theory, but it was mentioned unclearly in his earlier works. For Example, Plato’s description of truth in “Sophist” states “The true statement as a whole complex and its structure corresponds to the structure of the fact. Truth means this correspondence”. However, Aristotle’s words were remembered by many and he has taken a leading role in correspondence theory formed from his words “To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true” (2015).

Young Plato aimed his thoughts toward the question of virtue. The way we think and what we acquire to be real encompasses importance in how we act. As a result, he came to believe that a philosophical approach toward life would lead a person to be just and, in due course happy. In his book Hestir stated that Plato’s truth theory depends on being; the declaration is right in virtue of the world being a certain way, in virtue of highly intricate metaphysical formation and associations. (2016). Plato understood that a ‘good society’ must be established on knowledge resulting from truth and reality.

Idealism and Ideal State

Both of our theories of truth similar but based on different knowledge. My truth relies on correspondence theory of truth too; the only difference between both is that my truth is based on logical knowledge. Plato based his truth on Idealism; his main studies were concentrated on superior truths, in search of ethics, virtues, and justice. And in search of these qualities he wrote about an ideal state that would be perfect in its government structure and people’s attitude; his famous work “Republic”. Reading through his “Utopia” my logical mind continued to shake its head, and saying multiple NO’s: 1.) NO to women living in separate dorms, 2.) NO to children being separated from parents plus living and studying in groups, 3.) NO to citizens without self-choice who would have no choice of where and how to live. According to Levin, Plato’s idea in creating this perfect state was to arrange citizens into three classes depending on the qualities of their natural character. He divided citizens into three classes (people were born with gold, silver or bronze in their system) and no one allowed to be involved (intimate intermingling) from other classes (2012).

One of the reasonable arguments why my point of view is more valid than Plato’s is based on practicality. Hypothetically, if Plato’s Republic’ were created somewhere on the island, far away from the mainland. The teacher, for example, Plato himself, would have a group of children averagely ten years old to teach them of various disciplines (as he had mentioned in the Republic). It would not work, because every child is different, no matter how young they are to be separated and formed into groups, eventually, kids would begin showing their own personalities and curiosity would lead to question every situation they would face. The same circumstances would occur in the adults’ world; they would simply get tired of living by rules, being denied freedom of choice and instigate a rebellion. There are many examples in the modern time that have proved that Plato’s “Ideal State” is a wrong one since numerous countries around the world tried to create a similar government. So told governments sooner or later ends up turning into a dictatorship country and others into communism. But not for long, because sooner or later the citizens would get tired of being oppressed, the mutiny would lead to rule being overturned and the new, more suitable government is assembled.

Another example would be when Plato describes a “cave allegory” with three men chained up who can see only the shadows on a wall thinking it is a real truth. Hypothetically speaking, these shadows are the things (materialistic reality) that we see around us; the chains are related to our traditions, customs, habits, etc. And since we are so preoccupied with the shadows of truth, we (people) ignore the real truth. I have the same opinion of his idea of the cave and us being ensnared by our materialistic thoughts. According to Shah and Adolphe, it is been four hundred years since the first group of slaves was brought to the United States. In the southern states of the country were many various plantations that required lots of work and many owners thought the best way to profit from the land is to get cheap labor workers. And 1619 was the first time slaves were brought into the country (2019). Every plantation owner had his own “Utopia” where he was the king, teaching his sons and grandsons that this is the right way to live.

Conclusion

In the end, it is clear that Plato’s idea of a ‘Perfect Republic’ was an illusion. Being an Idealist at heart he tried to imagine the ideal state where people would leave in harmony, but knowing human beings’ nature we recognize that it would be hard to create such an idea into reality.

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236

Plato’s Republic and Gender Equality

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

In this essay, I will argue the question through the character of Socrates in Plato’s Book V from the Republic, how he chooses to stand on the base of having an efficient and prospers republic and the arguments he uses to reach that conclusion. To many readers even myself included, when first listening to the proposals laid by Plato to educate women and give them the same role class as guardians might look as a liberation towards women, but the more you keep reading you can find the deep meaning of utilizing people in its best efficient way. I will be further discussing the arguments by Plato towards how gender equality and later expanding on what their eternal goals are.

The Importance of Women

In book V of the republic, it starts off with Plato getting into a discussion with his listeners over the role of the women in the ideal republic. He then starts off by convincing his listeners about the importance of assigning women into the guardian class, by having them educated in both aspects of physical and political life. By doing so, he puts himself in a position of vouching for gender equality and perceived as a feminist. Furthermore, his position and ideas can also be seen as a revolutionary move towards gender equality.

The Same Duties of Men and Women

Over the discussion on the guardian class living arrangements, the subject of having wives and children has definitely caught my interest, when Socrates mentions that wives and children will be held in common by the guardian class (423e-424a), than further explaining more on the subject where families would be separated from birth and being brought up not knowing who their kin is. In this event it shows what Plato’s main argument is for the greater common good. First, he begins by asking a question that has the theme of equality in human nature. In the stage where Socrates proceeds to ask his listeners about what they think about the wives of our guardian watchdogs should guard what the male’s guard, hunt with them, and do everything else like them? Or should we keep the women at home, as incapable of doing this, since they must bear and rear the puppies, while the males work and have the entire care of the flock? (451d). leaving his listeners, no choice but to agree with his reasoning in the role of the male and female guardians should have the same role and responsibilities when guarding the city, but to leave them without the realization that they agreed on the men and women sharing the same natural differences. Plato also mentions of what is just for the city is only when its citizens perform the tasks which they are naturally suited for (423d). Consequently, if women are left out from their natural abilities to be guardians will end up developing to a city that is unjust. In addition, he proceeds to explain why the differences arise not from looks and gender but in a deeper meaning which is the soul. He uses the example of the bald man and the long-haired man, if the nature of the bald and long-haired men are opposite, then we agree that bald haired men are cobblers, then we ought to forbid the long-haired ones to be cobblers, and if the long-haired ones are cobblers, we ought to forbid this to the bald ones. (454c) Moreover, they both can be seen having a soul of a cobbler, it is not of what they look like that could justify what their best suited for, only their natural difference of functions which can identify them, and that is the soul and the same goes for other men and women. Plato also argues for both the men and women when it comes to the perspective of merit and what they are naturally suited for (454d-455e). By having the same education for both genders the republic can reach a flourished state.

Maximizing Efficiency of the State

Plato’s main reason to reach equal rights between men and women in the guardian class was to help construct and elevate the republic, utilizing the people not for the sake of reaching equality between genders but it is to maximize efficiency. Additionally, Plato mentioned that in order for the republic to achieve total efficiency it has to become one “For what is there any greater evil we can mention for a city than the which tears it apart and makes it many instead of one? Or any greater good than the which binds it together and makes it one?” (462a-462b). His attempt to view the family as the weak link that would ultimately divide the guardian class, in which therefore lead to the divide within the republic, because family in the guardian class will prefer to ultimately choose to be protecting their own kin than the republic. Which in the end he stands with the abolishing family relation in hopes to eliminate the divide from occurring. Another point that could be argued that women can be seen as a threat to Plato’s republic for women use their power through family which had to be stopped to ensure the unity of the guardians. He uses an example of the mother and child relationship, when the mother was unsatisfied with her husband’s actions and proceeds to paint a picture of the father actions to her son as his actions aren’t good and he must choose a different path to better the family at the cost of harming the republic: “When he listens, first, to his mother complaining that her husband isn’t one of the rulers and that she’s at a disadvantage among the other women as a result. Then she sees that he’s not very concerned about money and that he doesn’t fight back when he’s insulted, whether in private or in a public in the courts but is indifferent to everything of that sort. She also sees him concentrating his mind on his own thoughts, neither honoring nor dishonoring her overmuch. Angered by all this, she tells her son that his father is unmanly, too easy-going, and all the other things that women repeat over and over again in such cases” (549c-549d). Thus, Plato reaches the conclusion of abolishing the family ties, for women are seen to have a big role in shaping society therefore it is crucial for him to create equality to female in the guardian class. Finally, he brings the subject of having a rigged lottery system that involves breeding the best man and women to ensure a healthy and strong guardian class. (460a-460b)

Conclusion

In conclusion, it might seem to sound as a radical idea to give equality to the female guardians as warriors and give them education to help support the city and fight for it. But on the other hand, from a different perspective Plato is seen as a faulty feminist. However, it should not be missed for Plato’s stand in granting women of the guardian class equality to education and training was an important one. It built a platform for future generations of people to look at the role of women in society differently than what tradition aimed to be. Although, the main argument which Plato was concerned about was not freeing women from the shackles of tradition, but in fact it was only an aim to extend the women to the guardian class and not to all the women in the city as a mean to obtain a healthy republic.

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219

Reflection – Lessons from Plato’s the Republic

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Introduction

Social thinkers such as Plato presents school of thoughts that empower the society to live in cohesion and harmonious way. The ideas presented by Plato define the societal problems and build on solutions that ensure the society improves on different areas. Folks in 2019 can find essential thoughts from Plato that can improve contemporary life and result to a life of purpose. Even though Plato defined the society based on the structures and way of life at that time, folks in 2019 can still be empowered by the thoughts presented. The societal changes that have happened from then till now are immense but the structures that define the society are the same. The social processes and social institutions try to define the laws that guide the society towards realization of purpose. This paper examines the ideas of Plato in The Republic that can facilitate improvement of life in the contemporary society.

Justice

Plato`s Republic emphasizes on the need for justice. It is important to be just than unjust in order to avoid misery and live a happy life. The text also teaches us the value of self-control and moderation in asserting democracy (Plato & Cornford, 2010). In defining the need for just than unjust, Plato develops an analogy of the city to individuals. The city contains different classes all of which are driven by their desires for happiness.

A person ruled by desires turns up to be unjust and lives an unhappy life. The key ideas we can derive from Plato in the contemporary society is justice, self-control and moderation (Plato & Cornford, 2010). Socrates in book four provides an answer on what defines a just society. A city that does not make use of money so that there is no rich or poverty is considered as a just society. This may prove difficult for the folks in 2019 to adopt as part of contemporary life.

The contemporary society has turned into a man eat man society where individualism is at its highest level. The insanity in the society has resulted to creating of a society antagonizes itself. People are no longer willing to engage and work together for the betterment of the society but are driven by individual desires. This is what Plato defines as an unjust society. Justice is desirable based on its consequences. This analogy resonates to the contemporary world and is a key element from The Republic.

Moderation

One of the key lessons the contemporary society can adopt from the teachings in The Republic is moderation and self-control. Moderation has been threatened as a result of desires by mankind. For instance, the contemporary society focuses on investing at the expense of the environment. Trees are city down to pave way for buildings. This has resulted to degradation of the environment which has resulted to climate change.

There has not been moderation in the need to acquire wealth at the expense of environmental degradation. Even though the current focus is on environmental sustainability, this has proved difficult to achieve due to interests and desires. The scramble to get wealth and the social stigmatization as a result of social class in the society present an unjust society and one that is not guided by moderation. Implementing moderation in the current society would prove a daunting task as the society has been programmed in an unjust way.

Plato incorporates the context of a city and relates it to the soul. He asserts that the soul comprises of different parts. The just and healthy soul is the one that maintains harmonious relationship among its parts which include spirit, appetite, and reason. According to Plato, the soul has a dominant nature and justice is staying true to the disposition (Plato & Cornford, 2010). It’s normally a delicate balance. Realization of the balance is what becomes difficult for the contemporary society to adopt the teachings of Plato. The desire for too much makes one veer off from nature and this upsets it. Plato suggests the reason for the structure governing the balance where Socrates states that, “And we’ll call him wise because of that small part of himself that rules in him and makes those declarations and has within it the knowledge of what is advantageous for each part and for the whole soul, which is the community of all three parts…and he [is] moderate because of the friendly and harmonious relationship between these parts, namely, when the rational part rules and doesn’t engage in civil war against [itself]” (Plato, 1984).

Justice is identified as harmonious balance between the parts as guided by reason. The contemporary society as envisioned by folks in 2019 is not defined by justices as reflected in the balance of the parts. The society is at war as each person seeks to satisfy own desires at the expense of others. Plato asserts that the lack of balance and the desires for more makes one engage in irrational practices where he ensures he takes what belongs to the other person. By seeking more, one is pushed to take away either by force or stealing what belongs to the other and this results to an unjust society.

Socrates therefore focuses on constructing an ideal society that assures uniformity (Plato & Cornford, 2010). It is this uniformity that is needed much in the contemporary society in order to create a balance of parts. The balance asserts that is each member focuses on what they are good at doing and there true nature, then the rational rule defines such society as just. This means that the true meaning of justice will be found.

The question that is then triggered is whether folks in 2019 can be able to stick to what they are good at. The contemporary society is set in such a way that the masses are driven by what is trending. People tend to move in a wave and do not understand or stick to their purpose. This calls for self-reflection in order to understand one`s own purpose and stick to what they are good at doing.

Justice can be realized is everyone performs the functions and purpose they are meant to as guided by reason. The ideal society in the contemporary society is therefore defined by justice (Plato & Cornford, 2010). It can be realized by self-reflection in order to understand what one is meant to do. What ails the current society according to Plato is the desire to have more and more. The context of wanting too much is what destroys an individual and the whole society. Socrates in analysis of the Republic defines in Greek the desire for more as pleonexia. Socrates asserts that,

“Pleonexia is what one succumbs to when one always wants to outdo everyone else by getting and having more and more. Pleonexia is, or is the cause of, injustice, since always wanting to outdo others leads one to try to get what belongs to them, what isn’t one’s own. It is contrasted with doing or having one’s own, which is, or is the cause of, justice.” (Plato, 1984).

Minimalism

The idea of minimalism is to combat materialism. Plato shows that it is not only the desire for material possessions that results to decay in the society, but also the desire and crave for more recognition. In the contemporary society, the desire is for more status, more pleasure, more success and more power. The balance as defined by Plato in order to realize a just society mean learning who we are, what we were meant to be, being contented with ourselves, managing our appetite, and pacifying our desires through self-acceptance and self-understanding (Plato & Cornford, 2010).

The minimalist movement as echoed by Plato and Socrates emphasizes on self-awareness and the assertion that peace is not found in consumerism. This is one key change needed by folks in 2019 where the context of consumerism defines the contemporary society today. Minimalism in this case is marked by high prices which seems desirable through advertising. The context of consumerism has gone to a higher extent in the contemporary society where it destabilized self-control and created desire for more. The class structure is enhanced as those who cannot afford are viewed as less and this breeds unjust society.

Conclusion

Socrates in The Republic presents key thoughts that can be emulated by folks in 2019. Based on the contemporary life, the society has changed as individualism has negated the need for cohesion and justice. The units that hold people and the society together are no longer reflected in the society today. Socrates emphasizes on creating an ideal society with uniformity. The ideal society upholds justice and ensures self-control which can be emulated by folks in 2019. The desire for more only works at creating divisions in the society making it difficult to realize societal goals in the contemporary society. Moderation and self-control are key in ensuring folks in 2019 do not engage in desires that create an imbalance in the society where the need for more and more negates the idea of social cohesion and integration. The need for justice as echoed by Plato is also key in contemporary society in order to ensure harmonious living across the society.

Reference

  1. Plato, (1984) Plato: The Republic – The Greek Text Oxford. Clarendon Press.
  2. Plato & Cornford, (2010). Plato’s theory of knowledge: The Theaetetus and the Sophist of Plato. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
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203

The Reflection of Metaphysics and Epistemology with Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Plato, born circa 428 B.C.E, was a prominent ancient Greek philosopher. A teacher of Aristotle and student of Socrates, Plato’s writings explored justice, beauty and equality but also contained discussions of political philosophy and theology.

Plato’s most famous work is The Republic, a Socratic dialogue written around 375 BC and targets the questions “what is justice?” and “what is the relation between justice and happiness?”. Also, within the republic is Plato’s theory of the forms which is the “account of a realm of abstract reality to be apprehended by the intellect – a realm ‘above and beyond’ the ordinary world of particular objects that we perceive by the senses”.

Within this theory, Plato conveyed the idea of two worlds, the finite world and the infinite world. Plato proposed that the finite world is one in which we reside, which is imperfect. In contrast, the infinite world is one which consists of all the perfect forms that exist, through reflections that are projected into the finite world. An example of this may be in the form of beauty, which could be reflected in the finite world as a flower. Essentially, the finite world aspires to reproduce the perfect infinite world. Plato also proposed that the recognition of the forms such as beauty in the finite world occurs because our souls have been to the infinite world before we are born into the finite world, this is also known as anamnesis. Therefore, it has been proposed that we recollect things and apply them to the finite world. There are many other forms which exist alongside beauty. These are in a hierarchal form, which includes the ‘good’ (the highest form), ‘higher forms’, ‘lower forms’, material objects and images.

To explain this theory in more depth, Plato hypothesised the ‘Allegory of the cave’ story. This is a narrated conversation between Plato’s teacher Socrates and his brother, Glaucon. In the allegory, the theory of forms is represented by prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads, subsequently meaning that they have not experienced anything beforehand. All they can see is a wall in front of them which is lit by a fire which burns behind them. Behind the prisoners is a walkway where puppeteers hold up puppets to cast shadows on the cave wall. The casted shadows and noises and echoes are coming from objects which they cannot see. These prisoners would perceive these shadows to be real, and in order to truly understand the shadows, one must escape and make the journey out of the cave. When a prisoner leaves the cave, they will see true reality in the form of the outside world and so have sought true knowledge – this is a metaphor for a philosopher which has access to knowledge. Whilst in the outside world, the prisoner gets blinded by the sun, the highest of all forms and is also the form of good as it makes things visible. Once the prisoner has adapted to the outside world they return, with the knowledge they have gathered with the goal of educating the other prisoners. However, upon return, the escaped prisoner is greeted with persecution by the remaining prisoners as being idiotic or speaking nonsense, this was emphasised by the fact that the escaped prisoner had difficulty adjusting to the darkness, this is a metaphor as to when truth has been found, it is difficult to go back to old ways of thinking.

This supports Plato’s theory of Forms because it shows that an escaped prisoner can understand reality, much like we as individuals can understand our world if we continue to pursue philosophical knowledge. However, those that have not experienced this and have not developed a new way of thinking will criticise the individuals who have. This is like the criticism Socrates experienced which he had to endure, ultimately leading to his death via execution.

Plato’s ontological and epistemological view of the universe can be described using a visual metaphor known as the divided line. This line is divided into two parts: the intelligible realm or world of the forms, and the visible realm or the world of appearances. Plato believed that the closer you were to the intelligible realm the closer you got to truth and reality, therefore, the closer you got to the visible realm, you were least likely to get to the truth and reality. Each of these two realms can be sub-divided giving us four realms of being and cognition. The visible realm can be split into the lower region which is belief or objects such as animals and man-made objects and the higher region is illusion which are images such as shadows and reflections. The intelligible realm consists of intelligence or pure ideas which includes philosophy and forms, and mathematical reasoning which includes geometry and mathematical forms. These four realms represent the ontological hierarchy of Plato’s metaphysics.

It is generally considered that Plato’s work has been the staple of philosophy ever since its creation. As a result, there hasn’t been many people that have opposed his fundamental ideas and theories. It comes as a surprise that the person who opposed Plato the most was his student Aristotle. Aristotle disagreed with Plato’s view of Forms and saw the existence of two worlds unnecessary for explaining our reality. Aristotle believed that the physical world is the real world and there is no need for a World of Forms to help us understand things, he believed that as we grow up, we develop an understanding of different theories and concepts. Aristotle also believed that we can divide the physical world into two things, these are Primary Beings and Secondary Qualities. For example, a tree is a primary being but the branches on the tree are secondary qualities.

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