Plato is remembered as one of the worlds best known philosophers who along with his writings are widely studied. Plato was a student of the great Greek philosopher Socrates and later went on to be the teacher of Aristotle. Plato’s writings such as “The Republic”, “Apology” and “Symposium” reveal a great amount of insight on what was central to his worldview. He was a true philosopher as he was constantly searching for wisdom and believed questioning every aspect of life would lead him to the knowledge he sought. He was disgusted with the common occurrence of Greeks not thinking for themselves but simply accepting the popular opinion also known as doxa. Plato believed that we ought to search for and meditate on the ideal versions of beauty, justice, wisdom, and other concepts which he referred to as the forms. His hostility towards doxa, theory of the forms, and perspective on reality were the central ideas that shaped Plato’s worldview and led him to be the great philosopher who is still revered today.
Plato was never satisfied with accepting other’s ideas or views of things in this world. Instead he would question everything to discover for himself what things in the world meant. Plato as seen in some of his writing such as “The Republic” uses numerous amounts of theoretical questions to try and get a deeper understanding of themes such as justice. Plato refuses to accept that justice is naturally good and injustice is bad as he writes “see, that to do
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In the Allegory of the Cave there are chained prisoners in cave who can only stare at the cave wall in front of them. At the back there is a long entrance with a staircase the width of the cave and a fire burning in the distance. They see only shadows projected in front of them from a raised platform and hear an echo that they attribute to what they observe. They talk about and name the shadows of objects they see before them. To them the truth are the shadows. Then one day one of the prisoners is released. He is told that what he saw before was an illusion. Once he is outside it takes a while for his eyes to adjust to the sun. First he observed the shadows of thing then their reflection and finally the actual object. Remembering his previous state he goes back to the cave and tries to explain that everything is an illusion but they laugh at him and think he’s crazy. They believe it best not to ascend and they choose to remain as they are. The cave represented opinion. The shadows that are cast on to the wall represented physical objects. The prisoners represented the common people (Welles).
Plato was a student of the great philosopher of Socrates and went on to become a very influential figure in classical Greek philosophy. Plato went on to write the Republic where he sets out to answer many question such as; what is justice, why does man follow the law, and how do implications of society affect our behavior. The most interesting topic from the Republic is from Book VII, the allegory of the cave. With the allegory of the cave Plato gives us the power to break the chains that bind us down and leads us to see the light.
In Book VII of the Republic, Plato intimates that someone “returning from a mode of existence which involves greater lucidity” (63-4) would “much prefer, as Homer describes it, ‘being a slave labouring for someone else – someone without property’ […] than share [the] beliefs and [the] life” of ignorant “people who [have, by virtue of being (born) astute, managed to accrue a great deal of] status and power” for themselves despite the sizeable odds stacked against them (62).
Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Questioned if you are completely able to see from the outside looking in? Philosopher Plato, presents his view of reality through an allegory to explain the concept, and how we gain knowledge of our reality. Two other philosophers that I will mention both touch base with their description of reality and how it relates to Plato’s conception. All three of these philosophers believe knowledge is attainable through acts of realization and simple knowledge, and each philosopher presents his/her main point of reality through different ways of attaining it. I will further mention the relevance of Plato’s theory in today’s world and why I believe it to be valuable.
Plato was a philosopher who was born in Athens (470-390 BCE), and was also a student of Socrates. He felt that intelligence and one’s perception belonged to completely independent realms or realities. He believed that general concepts of knowledge were predestined, or placed in the soul before birth even occurred in living things. Plato believed that the cosmos was intelligible, and the the universe was mathematically understandable. He believes that mathematical objects could be seen as perfect forms. Forms, a doctoral of Plato, can be understood as an everyday object or idea, which does not, exists in the everyday realm, but merely is existent in the hypothetical realm or reality.
Plato, in addition to being a philosopher, wrestled at the Olympic level, is one of the classical Greek authors, mathematicians and the founder of The Academy, the first higher learning institute in the west. In short, Plato is one of the great thinkers in history and his contributions to philosophy, ethics and politics are many and varied. One of Plato’s main philosophical ideas is based on the idea that the world
Plato had some views that seemed realistic to society while others to me seemed to be unjust for the people. According to Plato everyone by nature has their own function and in order to make an ideal state they each need to serve that role and only that. They are not permitted to do more than one thing or venture off of what they are suited best to do. These roles are people that are motivated by three
In the Republic, Plato puts forward multiple theories on justice. The main character in his story is Socrates, a philosopher. Socrates sets out with the premise to answer two questions: What is justice? And why should we be just? He follows by expressing many different views through various characters in his story. Many of the propositions of justice that Plato puts forward end up
The Sophist views and beliefs originated in Ancient Greece around 400 B.C.E. The Sophists were known as wandering rhetoricians who gave speeches to those who could afford to listen. The Sophists deeply believed in the power of rhetoric and how it could improve one’s life. Plato on the other hand was opposed to all Sophist beliefs. He viewed the Sophists as rhetorical manipulators who were only interested in how people could be persuaded that they learned the truth, regardless if it was in fact the truth. Plato basically opposed every view the Sophists held true and tried to disprove them throughout his many dialogues. The Sophists and Plato held two very contrasting views and this paper will attempt to sift through them all in hopes of
Socrates continues the conversation with Glaucon and now focuses on the obligation of the guardians and philosophers to serve the people as a result of their education.
Plato was interested in how we can apply a single word or concept to many words or things. For example how can the word house be used for all the individual dwellings that are houses? Plato answered that various things can be called by the same name because they have something in common. He called this common factor the thing’s form or idea. Plato insisted that the forms differ greatly from the ordinary things that we see around us. Ordinary things change but their forms do not. A particular triangle may be altered in size or shape but the form of a triangle can never change. Plato concluded that forms exist neither in space or time. They can be known not only by the intellect but also by the senses. Because of their stability and perfection, the forms have greater reality than ordinary objects observed by the senses. Thus true knowledge is knowledge of the forms.
The most significant writings on Socrates came from one of his own disciples, Plato. Plato’s writings are the reason Socrates is historical figure he is today, without them Socrates would have been nothing more than a minor presence (Navia 93). Plato’s writings are classified as either early, middle, or late. However, only the early writings best portray the real Socrates (Navia 105). These writings include the Euthyphro, Crito, Phaedo, and most importantly the Apology, which discusses the trial and execution of Socrates. Similarly Xenophon’s dialogue of the same name also discusses the same subject. While both authors demonstrate similar positions defending Socrates, their approach to their discussion varies significantly.
The Republic of Plato explores the meaning of Justice from both an individual and societal point of view. It also looks into the incorporation of Justice into human society, in other words, how to create an ideal state of social order in a society. This is carried out through the various dialogues and arguments between Socrates and other individuals. During this process, Socrates gave a detailed analysis of the formation, structure and the organization of an ideal State, and through this, vindicate the intrinsic value of being a Just person in a society and the virtues that each individual must possess.