From Ignorance To Knowledge In Plato's Book, The Republic

Decent Essays
Question 1
In Plato’s book, The Republic, he explains the path from ignorance to knowledge using a metaphor of men bound by chains in a cave, and how if only one man is set free to experience true reality and is sent back to tell the others of the truth, they will not understand and will act against the man in accordance to their ignorance. He illustrates the idea that we are all conditioned to see the world in a certain way, from the perspective that is given to us by the ‘system’ in which we live. When we have the opportunity to see the truth in reality, it becomes a personal journey as we discover a new understanding of the same reality. We will become excited about our newfound understanding and will be compelled to share it with others.
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He explains that to gain truth, we must exercise these virtues. The first of these 5 virtues is art. Art is described as not only what we can conceptualise but also what we are able to carry out, or manufacture. Second is science, what cannot be any other way except the way it is. The things of science will remain unchanged and must be accepted as a ‘universal truth’. Third, is intellect. Intellect is used with science to help us understand the limits of reality, making a framework to describe phenomena. Fourth is wisdom. Wisdom is a combination of science and intellect, as it is the general assumptions of the way things are. In a more modern setting, wisdom would be known as ‘common sense’. Lastly and most importantly, is practical wisdom. Practical wisdom is doing the right thing in the circumstance in which a decision needs to be made. This is important for the good life as it does not only take into account the advantage it would bring for one person, but also considers the good for all. This is why practical wisdom must be practiced in politics, since the good for a few must not outweigh the good for many. All decisions must be made with the intent of the good and prior deliberation. The actions must be anticipated so that when a circumstance arises, the right logic, manner and timing would be used to ensure the most effective result. Phronesis in my own experience…show more content…
The basis of his advice is that the cosmos is naturally good, even when change occurs in our lifetime. We are expected to accept the change and to think of it as something good, and to be grateful for the things we have and are faced with. He goes on to explain that everything in nature works for mutual benefit. Therefore, people must not work against each other but for each other so that we can liv in harmony as this is in accordance to nature. We are to use reason, which eliminates an emotional standpoint on decisions and takes the situation from a practical point of view. Aurelius explains that we must focus our minds on essential things and we must have no time for unvirtuous conduct or petty matters, as our tiredness comes from trying to think about another person’s thoughts. With this he brings about the idea of apatheia – to be free of emotional disturbance, which is achieved when we focus on our own minds. He says that what we need to do is already known in our own minds, but we need to focus on it to become calm and use our minds to their full extent. We are also advised to see the beauty in planned and unplanned things, and to live for the moment we have presently, as we cannot live for a better past and cannot will the future to be a certain way by worrying over it. In my own experience, I have developed a state of mind that is in line with
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