The Republic, Plato Intimates, And The Realm Of Knowledge

Decent Essays

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).
Plato is, in essence, alleging that the one who is offered – and the one who seizes – the opportunity to traverse “the intelligible realm,” or “the realm of knowledge” (63), cannot – and will not – be romanced by notions of returning to the other, more primitive state of existence, even if retreating to this state means that he, or she, will be bequeathed a certain measure of “prestige and credit” (62); that the one who has seen both insuperable marvels and the unsurmountable truth will, being wholly engrossed by, or taken with, these, opt to cling to their memory, even when, in doing so, he will be resigning – or, perhaps, condemning – himself to an existence governed by isolation. Plato is intimating that unaffected “truth and knowledge” are so incredibly rewarding in and of themselves that one could, and would, be happy and willing to eschew all else – including societal conventions and standing – in their pursuit.
This sentiment only serves to strengthen the overarching argument that Plato is trying

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