Plato: a Guide to Education

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By dvicinanzo
Words 2787
Pages 12
Daniel Vicinanzo

Plato’s Republic: A Guide to Education

The Republic of Plato is a dialogue in which Plato’s teacher Socrates outlines his ideal city. The dialogue first sets out to answer one very important question: what is justice? The story begins with Socrates in the presence of several people, both friends and enemies, to whom he poses the question, ‘What is justice?’ Socrates then goes on to strike down every theory proposed and offers no definition of his own. This brings about the discussion of the ideal city. During this discussion, it is decided that the citizens of the city will be divided into three classes: the auxiliaries, the producers, and the guardians. The guardians are to be a class of citizens above the rest. They will be the defenders and rulers of the city and, therefore, must be the best of the best. This essay will summarize the education that Socrates advocates for the guardians of his city, and then discuss analyze the education of the guardian class in relation to that of Socrates’ own Socratic method to see if Socrates truly believes in the city he is creating. The first mention of the guardians’ education comes after Glaucon wishes to make the city far more luxurious, as he has begun having too much fun making up his own city and cannot imagine his ideal city as austere as the one Socrates has been describing. When
Socrates begins adding some of these luxuries to the city, however, a few problems arise.
For example, additional land will be needed to support the more opulent city which will surely lead to wars and possibly corrupt leadership. Therefore, an elite military force is needed to fight these inevitable wars and protect the city from invaders. In order to be a good soldier, according to Socrates, the guardians must be…...

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...society, or a democratic society. In Plato's Republic, Socrates and his interlocutors discuss how to educate children. Is it right to keep them censored, or should they be allowed to study all and every subject(s). The education of children is very important because they are the future of the society. They are the possible rulers, philosophers, guardians, and so on. So, it is important to shape them wisely. This concept is no different than what shapes our society today. It is well known that one of the many qualifications of a good leader is that who can improve the country's educational system. Why?, because the youth are our future leaders and teachers. A parent would rather pick a private school over a public school, and a job interviewer would look more highly on a private school graduate over a public school graduate. You can say that education is important in today's society, as well as Plato's society. The youth can be educated in many different ways, either by keeping them in the shadows, or exposing them to the light. this means that the future of the society can be either ruled by a person who is oblivious to the society's past, or by a person who has been fully exposed to the society's history. If a person is censored from education, then they love their life as a perfect world. this is best described when Socrates says that a Guardian should be a person who "must be gentle to their own people and harsh to the enemy." (375b-c). Socrates wants......

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...Plato was born around the year 428 BCE in Athens. His father died while Plato was young, and his mother remarried to Pyrilampes, in whose house Plato would grow up. Plato's birth name was Aristocles, and he gained the nickname Platon, meaning broad, because of his broad build. His family had a history in politics, and Plato was destined to a life in keeping with this history. He studied at a gymnasium owned by Dionysios, and at the palaistra of Ariston of Argos. When he was young he studied music and poetry. According to Aristotle, Plato developed the foundations of his metaphysics and epistemology by studying the doctrines of Cratylus, and the work of Pythagoras and Parmenides. When Plato met Socrates, however, he had met his definitive teacher. As Socrates' disciple, Plato adopted his philosophy and style of debate, and directed his studies toward the question of virtue and the formation of a noble character. Plato was in military service from 409 BC to 404 BC. When the Peloponnesian War ended in 404 BC he joined the Athenian oligarchy of the Thirty Tyrants, one of whose leaders was his uncle Charmides. The violence of this group quickly prompted Plato to leave it. In 403 BC, when democracy was restored in Athens, he had hopes of pursuing his original goal of a political career. Socrates' execution in 399 BC had a profound effect on Plato, and was perhaps the final event that would convince him to leave Athenian politics forever. Plato left Attica along with other friends...

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...of philosophy. Even though they were written approximately 1900 years apart, they represent two of the most valuable commentaries on political philosophy. They are of course, very different in their discussions of philosophy, yet some similarities are evident. Plato writes about philosophy through the mouth of Socrates, illustrating indirectly through a lengthy dialogue his own ideas and opinions. As a contrast to this method of narration, Machiavelli writes The Prince as a letter of personal advice to Lorenzo Medici. Within his work, Machiavelli makes numerous recommendations that have earned him the label of a heartless and cruel man. Plato, on the other hand, makes much of his discussion about the true nature of philosophy and the just treatment of all citizens. Despite numerous differences, Plato and Machiavelli each desire the rule of philosophers in their states, but while Plato approaches this with direct rule and education of philosopher-kings, Machiavelli appeals to manipulation and deceit in order to secure the rule of philosophers. Plato’s aim in his political state is for the greatest good of all people, through the best balancing of the natural elements on an individual and political scale. According to Plato, the human soul is comprised of the reasoning part, the spirited part and the appetites. The parallel elements within a city are the rulers, warriors and artisans. Only when these are ordered correctly will peace, justice, and long term prosperity prevail.......

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...Plato • • • • • • When: 427-347 B.C. Where: Athens, Greece What: Philosophy Teacher: Socrates Student: Aristotle Major Theories to Discuss here: – The Forms: unchanging ideas or patterns of reality, which persist through all time and culture. – Dialectic: question/answer methodology used to discover error in beliefs. – Philosopher Kings Plato’s Republic • Perhaps Plato’s best known work. • Form: dialogue • Characters: Socrates, Thrasymachus, Glaucon, Adeimantus • Topic: “What is Justice?” Note on Irony in the Dialogue • The Republic takes place in dialogue with the characters of the work. • But Plato seems to include an additional and unnamed character, namely, the reader of the work. The reader is quietly listening in on the dialogue, not unlike another individual (namely, the sophist Thrasymachus, who is also quietly listening in on the dialogue.) • Socratic wisdom is knowing that one does not know. Socrates often tells us that he does not have knowledge. He simply tests what others say when they say they have knowledge. • So when Socrates explains that he doesn’t really know anything about Justice, there’s a sense in which he’s telling us, the readers, that we don’t either, and that maybe we should listen in and even participate in the dialogue. • This same technique is used in other works by other authors. For example, when Sherlock Holmes......

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