Who Said Republic Is The Finest Treatise On Education?
The general definition of education is the transmission and learning of cultural technique by a group of individuals that is able to satisfy its general needs, to protect each other against the hostility of physical and biological environment, and to work and live together peacefully.
- These all techniques are usually called culture, and a human society could not survive without its background of custom and culture.
- This concept can be applied in civil and primitive society; the primitive society is characterized by the role of education finalized to guarantee the immutability of the cultural techniques.
On the other hand, in a civil society the education gives the opportunity to face new and mutable situations. At this point we can define two different forms of education: the one, which simply transmits the technique of work and behavior to maintain the natural immutability of human beings, and this concept is related to moral and religious education.
The second form interests the role of education into a civic society. Its aim is to forge the individuals’ personalities by giving them the capacity to correct and improve their own education. This civic form of education analyzes the human being’s process of forming his own culture, and even the education becomes the aim and the goal of the entire process.
For this reason, education has always been an important theme in political and social background. Since ancient age philosophers and scholars wrote about the main principles and general foundations of public and private education in a state. Famous emperors such as Charles the Great who attributed importance to the role of education into his empire, even if he was not a cultured king, considered education a relevant instrument for creating an homogeneous ruling class loyal to the empire and capable to create a unity for the formation of cultural traditions and customs.
Therefore, education is a natural part of human beings’ development; it allows individuals to acquire some basic and relevant skills in attitude and mental thought that staying in animal stage they are not able to learn. The aim of this essay is to define the right definition of education in political theory field through the main and significant works of Plato and Rousseau, and to analyze its importance in the social and political common good.
As it is mentioned before, both Plato and Rousseau have elaborated different ideas regarding the same topic of the role of education, the pedagogy, the formation of perfect philosopher-king and good social figure in their own conception of society. This essay wants to begin an analysis by comparing and contrasting the political and philosophical theories of there two thinkers.
- First of all, Plato’s Republic has defined more as an educational treatise rather than a political book (Rousseau 57); in fact, Plato’s philosophy is concentrated on ethics, he is interested in what and “how is the best to live” (Meckenzie 88).
- According to Plato, education is the base of the philosophical education of guardians and future citizens of the ideal city of the Politeia.
Plato elaborates a new kind of education in line with the Socratic philosophy; in fact, the main speaker of dialogues in the Republic is Socrates himself, who embodies the philosophical soul and figure of which should be the skills and characteristics of the perfect philosopher-king.
The conception of education in the Republic is explained through the philosophical concept of the Myth of the Cave; it is not a case that Plato decided to present education in the way of the myth. In ancient cultures, in particular in Greek culture, the myth indeed had been considered a kid of tale with a underlying meaning that through the heroic deeds of gods and semi-gods should have convey a specific learning for human beings.
According to Arthur A. Krentz of Luther College in his Play and Education in Plato’s states: “The Myth of the Cave is presented as a metaphor of education (paideia, 7.514a) but it may also serve as a model of the role of an educational mentor, such as Socrates.
Thus we can compare Socrates to the free, philosophical wise man who reenters the nether-world of the dark caveâ€¦ in order to attempt to rescue those who live in this shadowy worldâ€¦” With this quotation, we can understand that Plato-Socrates wants to outline a fixed model of elite education regarding to those people who are by natural inclinations more talented to cover the role of the guardian.
In the Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society, in the paragraph of The State as an Education Entity is expressed how Plato considers Education the core of his Republic alike the research of the meaning of justice. In fact, Plato is firmly persuaded that if guardian and future children are educated through Socratic philosophical ideas, the pursuit of the Public Good becomes the principle at the base of the just City-State.
Therefore, the passage that the other spokesmen have to understand before starting the investigation of justice is “what is the best education for philosopher-kings and in what does consist it?” In the opinion of Ariel Dillon “the ability to know is always within a man-faltering, but useful only depending on whether it is focused on the truth (518e)â€¦ anyone could be a philosopher with the right trainingâ€¦the purpose of the philosopher-kings’ education is eventually teach children how to distinguish right from wrong showing them the whole truth”.
The knowledge and development process that philosophers undertake from the cave to the new world is long and difficult, but they are motivated by the inner truth that they own to achieve the common good for a just state. After the release from the cave where human beings are imprisoned and forced to see projected figures on the wall, philosophers start they path out of the cave; they will encounter the powerful light of the Sun and they are blinded by it, but afterwards a period of familiarization with the external world they acquire the truth and the capacity to become the real philosopher king and guardian.
According to Arthur A. Krentz “the aim of the educational process is the fostering of the growth and development of the learner toward the ultimate objective of the individual’s contribution to a good society and the vision of the Good itself.” Plato has a altruistic vision of education in fact as Ariel Dillon states in her article Education in Plato’s Republic: ” must escape the cave, be educated in the good through philosophy (512c), and then return to the cave to rile and enlighten others (519d).
Get Help With Your Essay If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help! Essay Writing Service Moreover, in the VII book of Republic Plato begins a long digression about what consists the philosophers’ education “the child belongs to the state and its education is the responsibility of the state” (Republic, 2, 376).
Children have to be trained to become good philosophers through a complex and completed process of formation. This education consists in different disciplines, which the philosophers have to acquire to become good governor of this ideal state. Philosophers have to practice music, gymnastic, mathematic, geometry, astronomy and in particular the technique of philosophical dialectic.
Plato acknowledges that the discipline of the philosophical dialect if the only one, which convey the philosopher the instrument to deeply know the real truth and the capacity to convey it toward other people. This type of education can be considered the previous idea of pedagogy, which will be in the 18th and 19th century elaborated by Rousseau as new psychological and philosophical discipline.
- Socrates, indeed, elaborates an innovating pedagogical technique called maieutics method of teaching, which consists in helping the child to formulate his own thoughts by aid of the teacher through a methodological process of dialectic dialogue.
- In the Republic Plato-Socrates presents a theory that education and play should be strictly connected; in fact, Socrates affirms that philosophers-kings should be perform their training without any kind of forcing, but instead with playing.
In fact, as Ariel Dillon writes: ” Socrates says that the best education should be more like play than work (536d)â€¦students should come to the truth on their own rather than by force (536e)” As with the maieutics technique, Plato-Socrates wants to explain that the philosopher has to achieve the last and high meaning of the truth by a complex formation.
- In fact, during the entire dialogue, but in particular in the one with Glaucon and Adeimantus he applies this dialectics to lead them to the final meaning of justice and consequently truth.
- As it has been analyzes before, Plato compares the conception of justice and truth with the theory of philosophers’ education in order to create the ideal city-state.
Therefore, the education and political theory are two parts of the same project, and there are connected and dependent each other. In fact, Plato-Socrates considers education as a fundamental formation of learning without which the city-state could not own a group of governors interested in the common good rather than in their own private needs.
Therefore, education in politics and political theory has a necessary role. However, the idea of education elaborated by Plato in the middle of 4th century BC was subjected to changes and development, even because of the historical, political and social transformations. In the 18th – 19th century, Rousseau was one of the main philosophers and thinkers who paid attention to the education problems, elaborating a modern view of pedagogy in his famous book Emile.
The Rousseau’s Emile is a brief treatise, which deals with the pedagogical problem; in this book Rousseau’s aim is to recreate the human beings’ spontaneous nature, which they had as quality during their primordial and primitive existence (State of Nature), into the society.
Rousseau wants to give back a human measure to society and culture. Emile is an educational formation in which the final goal is to achieve a free and happy development of human nature. Rousseau’s philosophy is made by important concepts such as the feeling of pity and the amour the soi, and around these ideas is elaborated the pedagogical formation of human beings.
The entire book is a detailed analysis of individual’s formation from the birth to the entrance in the civil society. Rousseau argues the behaviors and feelings for each ages of the man, giving an explanation and presenting the right model to follow in order to acquire the best education; he is interested in the pedagogical formation and development of the child who is embodied by the figure of Emile.
- Rousseau starts his first book with the phrase: “God makes all things good; man meddles with them and they become evil.” With this phrase Rousseau points out his negativity toward the civic society made by human beings, underlining the goodness of the Nature and God’s things.
- He continues: “We are born weak, we need strength; helpless, we need aid; foolish, we need reason.
All that we lack at the birth, all that we need when we come to man’s estate, is the gift of education” (52) In the third section of the book I, Rousseau expresses the impossibility to a public education, mentioning briefly that the public institute does not and cannot exist because there is no more the concept of country and patriot; these words should be deleted from the modern vocabulary.
57) He quotes the Plato’s Republic as an example of public education: “If you wish to know what is meant by public education, read Plato’s Republic. Those who merely judge books by their titles take this for a treatise on politics, but it is the finest treatise on education ever written. In popular estimation the Platonic Institute stands for all that is fanciful and unrealâ€¦Plato only sought to purge man’s heart.” (57) Rousseau is more interested in the natural education and formation of individual than his acquisition of education in society and civil context; for this reasons, he states: “the natural man lives for himself, he is the unit, the whole, dependent only on himself and on his like” (56) in contrast with the idea that he elaborates regarding the citizen: “The citizen is the numerator of a fraction, whose value depends on its denominator” and this denominator are “the social institutions, those best fitted to make man unnatural.” (56) Rousseau in the first book of his treatise deals with Emile’s first age and his childhood; in the second book the second age of the childhood and the feel and awareness of the suffering, he continues analyzing the adulthood and the first contact with the society, in the fifth book are described the relations with the other sex and the conclusion of the treaties.
Rousseau defines the tree types of education: natural pedagogy, the pedagogy of things and the men’s pedagogy, and he declares that only the harmonic relation amongst them could make the individual “well-educated”. Rousseau affirms that the first kind of education that the child should learn is the negative education: “therefore, the education of the earliest years should be merely negative.
It consists, not in teaching virtue or truth, but in preserving the heart from vice and from the spirit of error.” (107) Rousseau states: “the law of necessity soon teaches a man to do what he does not like, so as to avert evils which he would dislike still more.” (152) The fourth book is the most significant for the explanation of the main concepts of Rousseau’ s philosophy such as the amour de soi and the compassion.
Rousseau explains that our passions are the main principles of our self-preservation; it is a ridiculous and absurd destroying these passions because are given by God so humans should not contradict the His will. (176) According to Rousseau our natural passions are very limited, but they are the instruments of our freedom and they maintain us; he writes: “the only passion which is born with man, which never leaves him as long as he lives is self-love; this passion is primitive, instinctive, it precedes all the restâ€¦self-love is always good, always in accordance with the order of nature.” (178) The self-preservation elaborated by Rousseau consists in the total and absolute self-love of human beings above everything, and this love is the one feeling, which can preserve individuals.
(179) To this concept depends the idea of compassion; in fact, Rousseau argues that during the adolescence the individual is weaker and closer to the emotions and passions of fellows. This weakness makes man sociable with other people. The adolescent feels the need to share his condition of suffering and to support others; this pity is the first emotion of relation that human being’s heart feels.
In conclusion, by the analysis of the main conceptions of Plato’s and Rousseau’s philosophical theory about education we can assume that both had considered education and the pedagogical formation as an important part of the developing process for human beings; Rousseau in particular reclaims the Plato’s ideology of educational treatise, but he does not present the education strictly connected with the political and social estate of society.
Rousseau is more interested in how the humans lost their natural qualities as amour de soi and compassion, which he had in the State of Nature rather than underlining the type of best education that the group of governors have to pursue and achieve in order to reach the Common Good as Plato elaborates in the Republic.
Therefore, the role education in the civil and political society can be considered relevant for citizens and governors? At this question we could answer that both governors and citizens should be trained to acquire a pedagogical process of formation in order to realize together the common good without any personal interests as Plato argues in his treatise.
On the other hand, it is true that the education of human beings should be more comply with their natural and sensitive feelings, but people should be accustomed to live in contact with other fellows and conformed to the right education for a civil society in which they have to belong. Work Cited Plato, Republic.
Penguin Classics.2007. Print Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile. GLF Editori Laterza, 1953. Print Meckenzie, Mary Margaret. Plato’s Moral Theory. Journal of Medical Ethics,1985, 11, 88-91. JSTOR Krentz, Arthur A. Play and Eucation in Plato’s Republic. Luther College.
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- 1 What does Plato say about education in the republic?
- 2 What is the famous line of Plato?
- 3 What Socrates said about education?
- 4 What is the famous line of Immanuel Kant?
- 5 Did Plato or Socrates write The Republic?
- 6 What is Plato’s most famous theory?
- 7 What was Plato’s main philosophy?
- 8 What does Plato mean when he says education should be a cure?
What does Plato say about education in the republic?
Plato treats the subject of education in The Republic as an integral and vital part of a wider subject of the well-being of human society. The ultimate aim of education is to help people know the Idea of the Good, which is to be virtuous.
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What is the famous line of Plato?
Plato Quotes –
Plato is credited with coining several phrases that are still popular today. Here are some of Plato’s most famous quotes: · “Love is a serious mental disease.” · “When the mind is thinking it is talking to itself.” · “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion and knowledge.” · “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
· “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” · “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” · “Man-a being in search of meaning.” · “Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back.
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What Socrates said about education?
Socrates’ First Account of Education: – Aim of Guardians’ Education: The most explicit account of education arises after Glaucon questions the moderate and plain lifestyle required in Socrates’ just city “of speech” (369a). Caught up in the fun of imagining the ideal city, Glaucon cannot fathom that it would be as austere as Socrates suggests and desires that it be more luxurious.
As soon as Socrates allows fineries, however, the city quickly becomes rife with potential trouble. More land is needed to hold the burgeoning population and its possessions and a specialized military is needed to carry out conquests and guard the city from its neighbors. With the ever-present danger of tyranny accompanying military rule, efforts must be made to curb the guardians’ natural tendency to lord over the citizens.
Socrates suggests that the guardians be controlled through an education designed to make them like “noble puppies” that are fierce with enemies and gentle with familiars (375a). Education in music for the soul and gymnastics for the body, Socrates says, is the way to shape the guardians’ character correctly and thereby prevent them from terrorizing the citizens.
Thus, the guardians’ education is primarily moral in nature, emphasizing the blind acceptance of beliefs and behaviors rather than the ability to think critically and independently. Socrates says that those fit for a guardian’s education must by nature be “philosophic, spirited, swift, and strong” (376 c).
The guardians must be lovers of learning like “noble puppies” who determine what is familiar and foreign by “knowledge and ignorance” (376 b). Unlike the philosopher-kings appearing later in the book, these philosophically natured guardians approve only of that with which they are already familiar and they attack whatever is new.
Although Socrates says potential guardians must have a certain disposition, the impressionability of the ideal nature suggests that they must only be bodily suited to the physical aspects of the job since they will be instilled with the other necessary qualities through education. Musical Education: Education in music (which includes speeches) begins with the telling of tales in the earliest years of childhood because that is when people are most pliable.
Tales must be strictly censored because young children are malleable and absorb all to which they are exposed. Socrates claims, “A young thing can’t judge what is hidden sense and what is not; but what he takes into his opinions at that age has a tendency to become hard to eradicate and unchangeable” (378d).
- Unable to distinguish between good and bad and, therefore, garner examples of how not to behave from bad tales, children will only use bad examples to justify their own bad behavior (391e).
- Through the telling of carefully crafted tales, mothers and nurses will shape their children’s souls (377c).
- Moreover, children are expected to accept whatever they are told with little free-thought.
Radically, Socrates says that anything in youth “assimilates itself to the model whose stamp anyone wishes to give to it” (377b). The implication that children can be shaped completely by education fits with the earlier suggestion that guardians are not meant to have a particular moral nature before their education.
The content of tales is meant to instill virtue and a certain theology in the hearers. Instead of giving examples of appropriate tales, Socrates attacks the great poets, Hesiod and Homer, for creating inappropriate tales. He says that these poets’ tales include bad lies, which further unrealistic images of the gods and heroes (377e).
Gods must never be shown as unjust for fear that children will think it acceptable and honorable to do injustice. Tales cannot depict fighting among the gods and, further, children must actively be told that citizens have never been angry with one another (378c).
By hearing such tales, youths will learn the importance of unity and will be disinclined to fight amongst themselves when they are grown. Children must be told that the gods are not the cause of all things, only those which are good and just (380c). Furthermore, gods cannot be said to punish (unless it is for the punished person’s benefit), change shape/form, or lie.
By making the gods incapable of dishonesty and connected only with what is good, Socrates distances them from the world of men in which lying and deception are ever-present. Separating gods from men prevents poetic accounts of the gods from being used as a model for human behavior.
Instead, children must look solely to human guardians and the law for guidance. Good tales must also foster courage, moderation, and justice. Hades should be praised so that the warriors will not fear death; children should grow up fearing slavery more than death (386c). The hero Achilles must be absent from all tales, because children cannot see lamenting or gross displays of immoderate emotion glorified for fear they will adopt the practices as their own (388).
Additionally, tales cannot include displays of laughter (389a). Like excessive displays of grief, excessive displays of happiness threaten the stoic attitude that is desirable in guardians. Suitable tales must glorify and encourage moderation; they must display obedience to superiors and temperance in drinking, eating, sex (389e), and love of money and possessions (390e).
Tales must also show bravery in the face of danger (390d. Most existing stories, Socrates claims, send inappropriate messages and must be outlawed. They show unjust men as happy, just men as unhappy, injustice as profitable, and justice as being someone else’s good and one’s own loss. Interestingly, these bad messages are the same as Glaucon’s and Adeimantus’ arguments against the usefulness of justice.
Instead of being told existing tales such as those by Homer and Hesiod, children must be told speeches about real justice, whatever it may be (392c). Interestingly, although Socrates includes three of the four main virtues (courage, moderation, and justice) among the important lessons of appropriate tales, wisdom is absent.
The omission of wisdom, along with the implication that the guardians should accept blindly whatever they are told and to be wholly molded by the tales, suggest again that guardians are not intended to be wise and philosophical. Narrative Style of Tales: After addressing the appropriate content of tales, Socrates discusses whether simple or imitative narrative should be used by poets and guardians.
He determines that mimetic poetry is dangerous because it encourages people to imitate bad as well as good behavior and supports the violation of the one man-one job principle (395c). But if poets and guardians are to imitate (which they doubtlessly will since Socrates’ whole discussion of the importance of good tales relies on the idea that children will imitate good examples), they must copy those virtues which they have been taught since childhood (courage, moderation, holiness, freedom) (395c).
- Socrates says, “Imitations, if they are practiced continually from youth onwards, become established as habits and nature, in body and sounds and in thought” (395d).
- Therefore, the correct style of narrative for both guardians and poets is mostly non-imitative, but allows for some imitation of good men (396d).
Socrates then says that the preference for non-imitative poets excludes the most loved and entertaining poets from the city (397e-398a), in favor of more austere and less-pleasing poets. Whereas Glaucon was unwilling to give up the “relishes” which he loves (372c), Adeimantus, Socrates’ partner for this part of the discussion, willingly gives up his favorite poets and agrees that poets must be less pleasing.
Lastly in his discussion of educative music, Socrates addresses the appropriate melody of tales with Glaucon. Similar to the content and style of speeches, Socrates allows only moderate and austere melodies. Melodies imitating the sounds and accents of men courageous in the face of danger and those suitable to peaceful men are allowed, but modes suiting laments or revelries are forbidden (399b).
Only simple instruments such as the lyre, cither, and pipe are permitted (399d). Most importantly, Socrates insists that rhythm must follow speech, not the other way around. Every component of speech must follow the disposition of a good soul; “Good speech, good harmony, good grace, and good rhythm accompany good disposition” (400e).
Socrates says that careful crafting of tales is important because they are the most effective method of educating guardians’ souls. Rhythm and harmony touch the soul directly, so if children are surrounded by tales of goodness and never exposed to bad tales, like “noble puppies” they will learn to love what they know (goodness and justice) and hate what they do not know (injustice) (401d-e).
Learning to love fine things and hate ugly things as a child will help them appreciate reasonable speech and find pleasure in living moderately when grown (402a). By asserting that the highest virtues are acquired through education and are a matter of refined taste, Socrates combats Glaucon’s love for base pleasures.
Socrates shows him that with the proper education, a life of noble virtue, including “moderation, courage, liberality, and magnificence” (402c) but excluding sex and excessive pleasure, will be fulfilling. In other words, through learning real virtue, Glaucon will find a satisfaction similar (although not identical) to that of the eros that he so craves.
Gymnastic Education: Having completed the discussion of music, Socrates moves onto gymnastic education. Socrates does not advocate a complicated gymnastic regimen; instead, he says that a good soul produces a good body, and that a healthy intellect ensures a healthy body (403d-e).
- Therefore, by eating and drinking moderately and undertaking a simple physical exercise plan from youth, the body will be as fit as is needed.
- Gymnastics is mainly responsible for preventing illness and the need for medicine in the city.
- Medicine, Socrates says, is only welcome as a means for curing easily-fixed illnesses and should never be used to keep those unable to work alive (406).
Following his discussion of medicine, Socrates discusses the appropriate character of judges. Like the well-educated guardian, a good judge will be “a late learner of what injustice is” (409b). Although never exposed to injustice personally, he will recognize injustice by its foreignness.
- This ability to distinguish between good and bad without ever having been directly exposed to the bad is the intended result of the guardians’ education.
- Although music is the most important component in the guardians’ education, equilibrium between music and gymnastics is important for the production of moral guardians.
Because a solely gymnastic education causes savagery and a purely musical education causes softness, the two must be balanced. Socrates says, The man who makes the finest mixture of gymnastic with music and brings them to his soul in the most proper measure is the one of whom we would most correctly say that he is the most perfectly musical and well harmonized (412a).
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What does Socrates say in the republic?
a. Book I – Socrates and Glaucon visit the Piraeus to attend a festival in honor of the Thracian goddess Bendis (327a). They are led to Polemarchus’ house (328b). Socrates speaks to Cephalus about old age, the benefits of being wealthy, and justice (328e-331d).
One would not claim that it is just to return weapons one owes to a mad friend (331c), thus justice is not being truthful and returning what one owes as Cephalus claims. The discussion between Socrates and Polemarchus follows (331d-336b). Polemarchus claims that justice is helping one’s friends and harming one’s enemies and that this is what one owes people (332c).
Socrates’ objections to Polemarchus’ definition are as follows: (i) Is this appropriate in medicine or cooking? So in what context is this the case? (332d)? (ii) The just person will also be good at useless things and at being unjust (333e). (iii) We often do not know who our friends and enemies are.
Thus, we may treat those whom we only think are our friends or enemies well or badly. Would this be justice? (334c). (iv) It does not seem to be just to treat anyone badly, not even an enemy (335b). Discussion between Socrates and Thrasymachus follows (336b-354c). Thrasymachus defines justice as the advantage or what is beneficial to the stronger (338c).
Justice is different under different political regimes according to the laws, which are made to serve the interests of the strong (the ruling class in each regime, 338e-339a). Socrates requires clarification of the definition: does it mean that justice is what the stronger think is beneficial to them or what is actually beneficial to them (339b)? And don’t the strong rulers make mistakes and sometimes create laws that do not serve their advantage (339c)? Thrasymachus points out that the stronger are really only those who do not make mistakes as to what is to their advantage (340d).
- Socrates responds with a discussion of art or craft and points out that its aim is to do what is good for its subjects, not what is good for the practitioner (341c).
- Thrasymachus suggests that some arts, such as that of shepherds, do not do this but rather aim at the advantage of the practitioner (343c).
He also adds the claim that injustice is in every way better than justice and that the unjust person who commits injustice undetected is always happier than the just person (343e-344c). The paradigm of the happy unjust person is the tyrant who is able to satisfy all his desires (344a-b).
- Socrates points out that the shepherd’s concern for his sheep is different from his concern to make money, which is extraneous to the art (345c) and that no power or art provides what is beneficial to itself (346e).
- Socrates claims that the best rulers are reluctant to rule but do so out of necessity: they do not wish to be ruled by someone inferior (347a-c).
Socrates offers three argument in favor of the just life over the unjust life: (i) the just man is wise and good, and the unjust man is ignorant and bad (349b); (ii) injustice produces internal disharmony which prevents effective actions (351b); (iii) virtue is excellence at a thing’s function and the just person lives a happier life than the unjust person, since he performs the various functions of the human soul well (352d).
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What is Plato’s theory of education?
Abstract – Plato regards education as a means to achieve justice, both individual justice and social justice. According to Plato, individual justice can be obtained when each individual develops his or her ability to the fullest. In this sense, justice means excellence.
For the Greeks and Plato, excellence is virtue. According to Socrates, virtue is knowledge. Thus, knowledge is required to be just. From this Plato concludes that virtue can be obtained through three stages of development of knowledge: knowledge of one’s own job, self-knowledge, and knowledge of the Idea of the Good.
According to Plato, social justice can be achieved when all social classes in a society, workers, warriors, and rulers are in a harmonious relationship. Plato believes that all people can easily exist in harmony when society gives them equal educational opportunity from an early age to compete fairly with each other.
Without equal educational opportunity, an unjust society appears since the political system is run by unqualified people; timocracy, oligarchy, defective democracy, or tyranny will result. Modern education in Japan and other East Asian countries has greatly contributed to developing their societies in economic terms.
Nevertheless, education in those countries has its own problems. In particular the college entrance examination in Japan, Korea, and other East Asian countries caused serious social injustices and problems: unequal educational opportunity, lack of character education, financial burden on parents, and so on.
- Thus, to achieve justice, modern society needs the Platonic theory education, for Plato’s philosophy of education will provide a comprehensive vision to solve those problems in education.
- There is also some controversy about the relationship between education and economics.
- It is a popular view common in East and West that businesses should indirectly control or even take over education to economically compete with other nations.
However, Plato disagrees with this notion since business is concerned mainly with profit whereas a true education is concerned with the common good based upon the rational principle of individual and social justice.
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What did Aristotle say about education?
Aristotle’s Theory And Philosophy Of Education – Free Essay Example This essay aims to explain Aristotle’s theory of education before evaluating the contemporary significance of his philosophy of education today. Aristotle is understood to have lived from 384 BC to 322 BC in Ancient Greece which today would span a geographical area that includes Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and parts of Afghanistan (Malam, 2006).
- He was a philosopher, scientist and teacher who is still viewed today as one of the most significant thinkers in the field of ethics and psychology (Cooper, 2006).
- His intellectual musings however extended beyond this and he is known for his contributions to a wide variety of areas including physics, botany, ethics, logic, agriculture, medicine and politics (Gotthelf, 2012).
This discourse will argue that he is of immense value to teachers today in reinforcing and strengthening the values of moral education which we can imbed within our own teaching philosophy and providing a theoretical rationale for the value of inquiry based learning approaches and hands-on experiences (Carr & Harrison, 2015).
Rather than accepting Plato’s belief in contemplation and self-reflection, Aristotle argued that we gain understanding of the world around us through logical, methodical discovery (Curren, 2000). For Aristotle the development of a moral character was to be the aim of education (Carr & Harrison, 2015).
As such the education of children and young people should extend beyond learning about academia and useful skills to a greater understanding of moral and social values and to a cultivation of a personal moral character (Carr & Harrison, 2015). He believed that education was crucial if man was to achieve fulfilment of the possibilities of one’s character (Lobkowicz, 1970).
- Aristotle believed that the supreme good to which we all aspire to is happiness but the happy man is neither a noble nor savage but instead he is an educated man (Lobkowicz, 1970).
- The happy man, the good man, is a virtuous man, but virtuous is acquired precisely through education” (Hummel, 1999; p.2).
Virtue for Aristotle involves behaving in the right manner and as a mean between extremes of excess and deficiency which are both vices (Leunissen, 2017; MacIntyre, 2013). For Aristotle intellectual virtue develops and grows because of teaching while moral virtue emerges from a result of habit (Leunissen, 2017).
The development of a habit is tied into a well-rounded education where students learn by engaging in an activity or task repeatedly whether that habit be a skill such as a musical instrument, completing an ethical act or making virtuous decisions education can assist in this process (Leunissen, 2017).
When it comes to moral education then Aristotle believed that practice to form the habits should come before theoretical study of morality (Hall, 2018). Therefore the teaching of virtue and morality comes second to the actual practice of it in the classroom and school environment (Hall, 2018).
Indeed moral education’s purpose is not to make people good but rather to demonstrate to them what is good, why it is good and how we might be able to generate goodness in our society (Natali, 2013). “Children will need to be taught not just to do right because it is imposed upon them, but they will need to aspire it for themselves, as they turn their virtuous behavior into habits” (Loosman, 2013; p.9).
Jean-Jacques Rousseau adopts similar viewpoint arguing that moral excellence is a virtue and that education should work towards nurturing morality in students (Natali, 2013). Intellectual virtues represent traits of character such as being able to judge the truth of the matter and understanding the nature of things while moral virtues are habits of living that involve the whole person and include justice, temperance, prudence and fortitude where they are characterised by desire and emotion (Aristotle, 1984).
Aristotle explores these ideas in The Nichomachean Ethics, a text which consists of ten books and from where he argues that ‘The man who is to be good must be well trained and habituated’ (Aristotle, 1984; p.11). Happiness for Aristotle can only become accessible through education with it being the touchstone of Aristotelian ethics with the virtues, wisdom and happiness acquired through this (Curren, 2000).
Virtue for Aristotle comes when we obtain happiness or goodness with goodness lying across two categories; goodness of intellect and goodness of character (Curren, 2000). Goodness of intellect can be enhanced through education and is the result of training and experience while goodness of character occurs because of habit which can be engineered by keeping good habits (Curren, 2000).
Aristotle held the view in this theory of education that it was the responsibility of the state to provide for education and therefore he is a strong advocate for public education (Carr & Harrison, 2015). Indeed the only extended discussion of his theory of education that survives is that held within Book VIII of the Politics where Aristotle argues that schooling should be provided by the state and ‘one and the same for all’ (Randall, 2010).
He was also interested in continuing education recognising that it was not limited to children and young people but that it needed to take a whole-life perspective with this being organised in stages of seven years at a time (Carr & Harrison, 2015). Pre-school education denotes the very first stage with the parents, and specifically the father responsible for their children’s education as noted in his text The Nichomachean Ethics (Leunissen, 2017).
- Games should be used as the basic tool of education until a child is five, between five and seven they should merely be spectators in the lessons they will later go on to learn and at seven the child should attend school up to twenty one years of age (Kristjánsson, 2015; Natali, 2013).
- Unfortunately much of Aristotle’s work has been lost so we do not have the details of how schooling was structured or any details about adult education (Leunissen, 2017).
However what we do know is that Aristotle believed in a system of continuing education and in supporting learning throughout the lifespan. Ultimately Aristotle’s theory of education sees a well-educated person as somebody who seeks out a balanced life, is capable of pursuing a range of interests including in music, public speaking, philosophy etc.
MacIntyre, 2013). This paper will now set out to evaluate the contemporary significance of Aristotle’s philosophy of education today. Firstly we will argue that he has an important significance in arguing for the need for the public provision of education that is available to everyone. As highlighted above Aristotle believed that education had an important role in the political community in helping to cultivate the intellectual and moral virtues, as the primary tool of statesmanship, in order to bring about happiness (Randall, 2010; p.544).
He argued strongly in Book VIII of the Politics that school should be publicly provided ‘one and the same for all’ (Randall, 2010; p.544). His arguments have important ramifications on the education system and on state parties because he believes that societies have a collective duty, which falls on governments, to help develop young people into ‘good and flourishing adults’ (Randall, 2010; p.544).
- Legislation should be in place to regulate birth and early training to help ensure that children grow up healthily in body and mind (Randall, 2010).
- This suggests a quality education is required and that the Government has a responsibility to introduce legislation, policies and best practice guidelines to support the development of healthy adults through the education system.
We can see this in Ireland when free secondary school education was established in Ireland in the 1960s alongside free school buses in rural areas to help facilitate school access for rural children (O’Donoghue et al, 2017). However it remains that in many countries across the world children do not have access to a quality education owing to a range of barriers such as poverty (Iwunze, 2009).
In the Central African Republic for Instance 25% of 15 to 24 year olds have no education at all while 42% have an incomplete primary education (Education Policy and Data Centre, 2014). Indeed Aristotle’s argument for the equitable provision of education remains a compelling one today even though unfortunately he was not in favour of extending this equity to people with disabilities as he perceived it to be a waste of the State’s resources (Onora-Oguna, 2018; Curren, 2010).
However fortunately the development of special education and inclusive policies in Ireland have extended the rights of all children to receive education and this is supported in international legislation such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN, 2006).
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Aristotle argues that an important educational objective is the encouraging of habit formation which is virtuous (Elliott et al, 2016). However a challenge of this is that habits are not neutral and they require the educator and the government to provide a more concrete commitment to specific behaviours that most people can justify and implement (Curren, 2000).
As such a system of education needs to be provided to the public which provides for adequate moral, political and disciplinary education which prepares children for work and to live in the society in which they were raised (Curren, 2000). A common schooling approach then which brings together children from a variety of diverse backgrounds together in classrooms and promotes equal respect and status is important to support this system (Elliott et al, 2016).
Additionally employing cooperative methods of instruction which encourage children to work together and deliberate are important in sharing the values implicit within a given culture (Curren, 2000; p.212). Aristotle is of value to our understanding of contemporary education and in providing a theoretical rationale for the approaches taken today.
He argued that the education system should place a strong emphasis on a holistic, well-rounded and balanced development of all learners (Elliott et al, 2016). For him, he believed that a balanced curriculum should be provided to the child which included opportunities for play, physical training, music, debate, and the study of science and philosophy which were needed to assist the child in developing their body, mind and soul (Elliott et al, 2016).
Aistear, the National Early Years Curriculum Framework for instance recognises the critical role of play in providing a context to a child’s overall learning and development (NCCA, 2009; Kernan, 2007). Standard Six of the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood also recognises that each child has ample time to engage in freely available and accessible opportunities for exploration, creativity and meaning making through play (CECDE, 2006).
The importance of a balanced approach to education is also recognised within the Primary School Curriculum (Government of Ireland, 1999a). Within the Physical Education Curriculum for example it seeks to foster and support the balanced and harmonious development and general well-being of children through the curriculum’s key themes (Government of Ireland, 1999b).
Another important implication for teachers within the education system is that Aristotle believed that educators should employ a pedagogy which is infused with a clear philosophy of life and a concern for what is ethical and virtuous and model this for children and young people in their classrooms (Kakkori & Huttunen, 2007).
The teacher’s pedagogical ethics should as by exhibiting friendliness which is related to sincerity such that a teacher has a high self-esteem but no interest in boasting (Kakkori & Huttunen, 2007). Such a teacher should be self-confident and provide honest recognition to others. The teacher is also a leader for Aristotle and to best serve her students she should lead with dignity so they are not stubborn and are willing to listen to students and accept criticism from them (Kakkori & Huttunen, 2007).
A good teacher should also exhibit gentleness or temper so that they are even-tempered in order to have a positive effect on pupils (Kakkori & Huttunen, 2007). Courage is also needed from teachers so that they can challenge superiors if needed and stand by their convictions while having the power to rely upon their own judgement and the strength to resist including with respect to classroom management (O’Donoghue et al, 2017).
For Aristotle too the teacher must be The Just, in that she should be lawful and fair in relation to her pupils and colleagues (O’Donoghue et al, 2017). Aristotle’s work is extended by Kakkori & Huttunen (2007) who argues that teachers need to adopt a democratic attitude in the spirit of John Dewey’s conceptualisation of education.
If a teacher consistently engages in an authoritarian way then pupils will not learn to adopt a democratic attitude themselves while a teacher is not able to teach democracy without themselves adopting a democratic attitude (Kakkori & Huttunen, 2007).
- Many of these virtues are explored and expanded upon by the Teaching Council of Ireland’s Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers (The Teaching Council, 2012).
- It recognises the ethical values of care, trust, integrity and respect as underpinning the teachers conduct in relation to teaching and learning (The Teaching Council, 2012).
This too is seen in the draft Code of Conduct for early years teachers as introduced by Schonfeld (2018) thus providing a theoretical rationale for their importance in underpinning education provision. Aristotle also provided the early seeds for active learning, hands on learning and inquiry based education all of which are seen as crucial methodological approaches to quality teaching in the primary school context today.
Aristotle stood apart from Plato in that he believed that knowledge and truth could be discovered externally while Plato, a rationalist, believed we could discover this through self-reflection (Hammond et al, 2001). Aristotle then developed a scientific method of gathering data from the world around him (Hammond et al, 2001).
As such the inquiry methods we use in our classrooms today derive much of their theoretical base to Aristotle while in contrast pedagogical approaches which call for discourse and reflection to be used to uncover truths rely more upon the works of Socrates and Plato (O’Donoghue et al, 2017).
- This makes Aristotle highly relevant and significant for contemporary education because he helps provide us with a theoretical justification for the adoption of inquiry learning opportunities into our classroom teaching.
- Inquiry based learning posits that letting students investigate solutions to open problems themselves helps true learning to be achieved which can include utilising research projects, group work opportunities and field work to provide children with learning opportunities (Chambliss, 2017).
Aristotle remains highly relevant in providing the theoretical underpinnings for contemporary practices in the early learning centre (ELC) setting. We can see examples of Aristotle in the Montessori Classroom for instance where Aristotle argued that people acquire particular principles which help facilitate their discovery of knowledge and truth through inductive learning (Buckenmeyer, 2009).
- The introduction of the diverse materials by Maria Montessori is to support inductive learning on the part of the child so that they can use all their senses to investigate the world around them (Chambliss, 2017).
- Those theorists most closely linked to inductive learning are John Dewey, Maria Montessori and Jerome Bruner where knowledge and skills are learned through investigative or creative activities (Shavinina, 2009).
Moreover both Aristotle and Montessori shared the belief that Eudaimonia, or the highest good for human beings is actualised by intrinsically motivated work (O’Donoghue et al, 2017; Eiford, 2007). Montessori’s philosophy posits that education should be more than about material gains in the future but instead focusing on encouraging children to derive pleasure in completing work (Buckenmeyer, 2009; Eiford, 2007).
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What is the famous line of Aristotle?
I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.
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What is the famous line of Socrates?
, (?) Quotes are added by the Goodreads community and are not verified by Goodreads. (Learn more) Showing 1-30 of 409 “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” ― Socrates “The unexamined life is not worth living.” ― Socrates “I cannot teach anybody anything.
I can only make them think” ― Socrates “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” ― Socrates “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ― Socrates “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” ― Socrates “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” ― Socrates “To find yourself, think for yourself.” ― Socrates “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” ― Socrates “By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.” ― Socrates “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” ― Socrates “Be slow to fall into friendship, but when you are in, continue firm and constant.” ― Socrates “If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever.
Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.” ― Socrates “Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.” ― Socrates “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.
Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.” ― Socrates “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training.
It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” ― Socrates “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” ― Socrates “Know thyself.” ― Socrates “Let him who would move the world first move himself.” ― Socrates “Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.” ― Socrates “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.” ― Socrates “The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live.
Which of these two is better only God knows.” ― Socrates “The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.” ― Socrates “Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.” ― Socrates “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.” ” ― Socrates “Every action has its pleasures and its price.” ― Socrates “I examined the poets, and I look on them as people whose talent overawes both themselves and others, people who present themselves as wise men and are taken as such, when they are nothing of the sort.
From poets, I moved to artists. No one was more ignorant about the arts than I; no one was more convinced that artists possessed really beautiful secrets. However, I noticed that their condition was no better than that of the poets and that both of them have the same misconceptions.
Because the most skillful among them excel in their specialty, they look upon themselves as the wisest of men. In my eyes, this presumption completely tarnished their knowledge. As a result, putting myself in the place of the oracle and asking myself what I would prefer to be — what I was or what they were, to know what they have learned or to know that I know nothing — I replied to myself and to the god: I wish to remain who I am.
We do not know — neither the sophists, nor the orators, nor the artists, nor I— what the True, the Good, and the Beautiful are. But there is this difference between us: although these people know nothing, they all believe they know something; whereas, I, if I know nothing, at least have no doubts about it.
As a result, all this superiority in wisdom which the oracle has attributed to me reduces itself to the single point that I am strongly convinced that I am ignorant of what I do not know.” ― Socrates “Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.” ― Socrates “We cannot live better than in seeking to become better.” ― Socrates Welcome back.
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What is the famous line of Immanuel Kant?
Immanuel Kant: Greatest Quotes Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher and an influential mind in the philosophy of Enlightenment. He promoted the idea that one should think feely and autonomously, without influence from authority or doctrine. One of Kant’s core beliefs was that reason is the ultimate source of morality and that what we perceive as beauty and desirable is subjective and dependent on the mind of the individual.
Ant also proposed that because of our lack of information and tangible evidence, it is impossible to know whether or not God, or an afterlife, really exists. He put forward the sentiment that people are justified in believing in God, despite not being able to know of it’s existence. The quotes below are some of his best.
We are not rich by what we possess but by what we can do without. Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end. All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason.
- There is nothing higher than reason.
- Seek not the favour of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means.
- But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them.
- Genius is the ability to independently arrive at and understand concepts that would normally have to be taught by another person.
Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another. Two things fill my mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the reflection dwells on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.
- Morality is not properly the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness.
- Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.
- The people naturally adhere most to doctrines which demand the least self-exertion and the least use of their own reason, and which can best accommodate their duties to their inclinations.
Our age is the age of criticism, to which everything must be subjected. The sacredness of religion, and the authority of legislation, are by many regarded as grounds of exemption from the examination of this tribunal. But, if they on they are exempted, they become the subjects of just suspicion, and cannot lay claim to sincere respect, which reason accords only to that which has stood the test of a free and public examination.
One who makes himself a worm cannot complain afterwards if people step on him. Skepticism is thus a resting-place for human reason, where it can reflect upon its dogmatic wanderings and make survey of the region in which it finds itself, so that for the future it may be able to choose its path with more certainty.
If the truth shall kill them, let them die. It was the duty of philosophy to destroy the illusions which had their origin in misconceptions, whatever darling hopes and valued expectations may be ruined by its explanations. Look closely. The beautiful may be small.
- Innocence is a splendid thing, only it has the misfortune not to keep very well and to be easily misled.
- As nature has uncovered from under this hard shell the seed for which she most tenderly cares – the propensity and vocation to free thinking – this gradually works back upon the character of the people, who thereby gradually become capable of managing freedom; finally, it affects the principles of government, which finds it to its advantage to treat men, who are now more than machines, in accordance with their dignity.
For peace to reign on Earth, humans must evolve into new beings who have learned to see the whole first. In all judgements by which we describe anything as beautiful, we allow no one to be of another opinion. How then is perfection to be sought? Wherein lies our hope? In education, and in nothing else.
- Man must be disciplined, for he is by nature raw and wild.
- Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.
- Space and time are the framework within which the mind is constrained to construct its experience of reality.
- Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.
Nothing is divine but what is agreeable to reason. A man abandoned by himself on a desert island would adorn neither his hut nor his person; nor would he seek for flowers, still less would he plant them, in order to adorn himself therewith. It is only in society that it occurs to him to be not merely a man, but a refined man after his kind (the beginning of civilization).
- For such do we judge him to be who is both inclined and apt to communicate his pleasure to others, and who is not contented with an object if he cannot feel satisfaction in it in common with others.
- Again, every one expects and requires from every one else this reference to universal communication of pleasure, as it were from an original compact dictated by humanity itself.
Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt. : Immanuel Kant: Greatest Quotes
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Is The Republic Plato or Socrates?
The Republic is a dialogue by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato that dates from his middle period. It features the character of Socrates. The Republic is among Plato’s masterpieces as a philosophical and literary work, and it has had a lasting influence.
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Did Plato or Socrates write The Republic?
Around age 20, Plato became a student of the philosopher Socrates. Socrates taught by asking his students important questions, such as “What is honesty?” When students responded, he kept questioning them, using reason to examine all possible answers. Through his Socratic method or dialogue, he got students to question their own beliefs and assumptions and to use reason to seek the truth.
- In Athenian democracy, all male citizens directly participated in making laws and deciding jury trials.
- Citizens were also selected by lot to hold government posts, usually for one year.
- By Plato’s time, even poor men could take time away from work to attend and speak at the lawmaking Assembly and jury trials, because citizens were paid for their service.
Socrates often criticized Athenian democracy. He especially criticized it for the selfish individuals who gained power and wealth by using speech-making tricks and flattery to gain the support of citizens. Much of his criticism took place during the 27-year Peloponnesian War between Athens and its great rival, Sparta.
The city-state of Sparta was devoted to military honor, patriotism, and war. In Sparta, wealthy landowners elected about 100 men for life. These men held most of the political power. Sparta was an oligarchy, or “rule by the few.” The state took both boys and girls from their parents at an early age to train them to become physically tough and obedient.
Each youth was educated to develop skills to serve the state. In 404 B.C., the war ended when Sparta finally defeated Athens. Sparta imposed an oligarchy on Athens by appointing 30 wealthy Athenians to rule. A leader of the oligarchy was Critias, a former student of Socrates.
- But the oligarchy ruled brutally and did not last long.
- A rebellion erupted, and Athens restored its democracy.
- After democracy returned, Socrates resumed teaching his students to think for themselves.
- This often led to dialogues that criticized Athenian democracy and its politicians.
- He relentlessly questioned the honesty of Athenian politicians whom he called “pretenders to wisdom.” An increasing number of Athenians viewed Socrates as a threat to their city-state.
The Trial of Socrates In 399 B.C., Athens put the 70-year-old Socrates on trial. Three prosecutors accused him of not accepting the gods of Athens and of corrupting the young. The prosecutors proposed a penalty of death. The only records of the trial come from Socrates’ supporters (like Plato), so it is difficult to assess what actually took place.
The religious charge against Socrates seemed trumped up. Other famous Athenians had made fun of the gods without being charged. Socrates was more pro-reason than he was anti-religion. His enemies, however, must have feared that Socrates was likely to foment discontent among young people against the fragile Athenian democracy.
Socrates’ trial lasted one day and was heard by 501 jurors. He spoke in his own defense and even cross-examined one of the prosecutors. Socrates stated that there was “nothing real of which to accuse me.” But the jurors found him guilty. A second vote sentenced him to death by poison.
Friends offered Socrates a chance to escape Athens, but he refused. He argued that it was the duty of every citizen to obey the state that had educated and sustained him. He believed it was better to suffer an injustice than to commit one. He then drank the poisonous hemlock. At the death of Socrates, Plato concluded that democracy was a corrupt and unjust form of government.
He left Athens and traveled for a few years before returning in 387 B.C. to establish a school of philosophy. The Republic Known as the Academy, Plato’s school aimed to educate future Greek leaders to use reason and wisdom in ruling. Shortly after he founded the Academy, Plato wrote his most important work, The Republic,
- In this work, Plato attempted to design an ideal society and government that were free of injustice and conflict.
- Plato wrote his work as a dialogue among characters.
- The main character was Socrates, who voiced Plato’s ideas.
- The real Socrates never wrote down his ideas.) Through the dialogue, Plato was trying to duplicate the way Socrates taught philosophy by engaging his students on a significant question.
The Republic is set in a private home where a small group of Athenians have gathered to have a philosophical discussion with Socrates. The dialogue focuses on two questions: What is justice and why should an individual act justly? Thrasymachus, a character who teaches politicians, declares that justice is whatever is in the interest of the powerful who rule the state.
In other words, he claims that might makes right. Socrates disagrees and argues that justice requires rulers to act in the interest of their subjects like a doctor and his patients. Justice brings harmony to a society rather than conflict, Socrates concludes. Another character, Glaucon enters the conversation.
He argues that people only act justly out of fear. To illustrate his point, he tells the story of Gyges, a shepherd who discovers a ring that makes him invisible. Given this new power, Gyges sneaks into the palace, seduces the queen, and murders the king.
Gyges continues his life as a just person when visible, but also benefits from his unjust acts when invisible. Glaucon concludes that given the chance, most men would act in this way. He says that they would reap the benefits of injustice and of being seen as a just person. Socrates answers that such a man would not be at peace with himself.
He would have lost his most precious possession—his integrity. He would, in short, have harmed his soul, which is the worst thing that can happen to a person. Socrates says it might be helpful in thinking about justice to look beyond individuals and look at the bigger picture of what makes a “just state.” Socrates begins to explain his ideal state.
Socrates argues that a just society would be composed of three classes. First are the rulers, the wisest and the best. Next, are the auxiliaries, the police and military who along with the rulers make up the Guardians of the state. Finally, the farmers, merchants, and other producers control the economy and provide food, clothing, and other necessities.
Plato based this social structure on a story called the “Myth of the Metals.” In this myth, the Earth god added gold to those wise fated to rule, silver to the auxiliaries, and bronze to the producers. These metals signified their nature and destiny in life.
- Socrates reasons that individuals will be the happiest if they use their natural talents and abilities (as signified by their metal).
- Such a society, concludes Socrates, would be harmonious and peaceful.
- Next, Plato, continuing to speak as Socrates, says the Guardians must be carefully trained to be “philosophic, spirited, swift, and strong.” Borrowing from the Spartans, he insists that both men and women who have the aptitude should train together in athletics and for combat to become the Guardians of the ideal state.
Plato argues that as children, the Guardians must be exposed only to stories and myths that demonstrate goodness, courage, moderation, and obedience. Stories and myths that fail to do this must be censored. Later in The Republic, Plato declares that most poetry, music, and drama have no place in the ideal state.
- They are all pretense and illusion that corrupt society.
- Once the young Guardians have completed their elementary physical and moral training, Plato explains, they would be tested and divided into two sub-classes.
- First, the future rulers, called philosopher-kings, are selected for their superior ability to reason.
The rest of the Guardians become warriors who assist the rulers. Plato made clear that women could become either rulers or warriors, depending on their natural abilities. All those in society who are not in the two Guardian classes, the vast majority of people, own all the land and control all the wealth.
- But they have no role in governing.
- The philosopher-kings and warriors are not permitted to own property, accumulate money, or even have a family.
- Plato did not want them distracted from ruling and defending the state.
- The Guardians live in barracks, eat together, and share possessions.
- The ruling philosopher-kings secretly select Guardian marriage partners for the purpose of breeding the best children.
After conceiving, the parents go their separate ways. Once they are born, the children are taken from their mothers and placed in common nurseries until they are ready for their elementary state training. Deformed or weak infants are allowed to die in the wilderness.
The end result, according to Plato, is a society where everyone happily knows his or her place in a city-state that is free of conflict. Plato calls this a just city-state. The Philosopher-King Plato goes on to explain why philosophers make the best rulers. He tells a story about a ship of fools who all think they know how to navigate the vessel.
In the dialogue, Socrates says: “Sometimes one party fails but another succeeds better; then one party kills the other, or throws them overboard, and the good, honest captain they bind hand and foot.,” Little do the fools realize that the captain must know all about the position of stars, winds, currents and other matters of the sea to steer the ship safely to port.
So too must a wise ruler know all about philosophy in order to create a harmonious and just state. Those selected to be future rulers undergo advanced training in mathematics and philosophical reasoning. At age 35, they become trained philosophers, whom Plato describes as lovers of the truth, wisdom, and all knowledge.
They clearly see what justice and goodness are, while others see only shadows and illusion. Plato illustrates the role of the philosopher-king by telling his most famous story, “The Myth of the Cave.” In this myth, humans are chained in a cave and can look only at the wall in front of them.
- They can talk, but not see one another.
- There is a fire behind them, and some other humans pass between it and the human prisoners, casting shadows on the cave wall.
- The prisoners believe these shadows are reality.
- One prisoner is released and walks out of the cave.
- At first confused, he finally sees the light of day and the real world, which Plato equates with goodness, truth, and justice.
When the enlightened prisoner returns to those in the cave to tell them that the shadows they see are not reality, they laugh at and even threaten him. Thus, Plato sees the purpose of the philosopher-king as bringing enlightenment to the ignorant to increase their happiness.
- This will often be a thankless job, Plato notes, because the ignorant sometimes reject wisdom and even attack wise people, as in the case of the real Socrates.
- At age 50, the philosophers are ready to rule the ideal state.
- The philosopher-king rules reluctantly, but with a sense of duty to do what is best for the common good.
He or she rules with absolute power for life. There is no need for laws, argues Plato, since they would only get in the way of the philosopher-king exercising his wisdom. People will know their place in society and live in harmony in this aristocracy, or rule by an elite.
- Toward the end of The Republic, Plato describes and ranks four “unjust states.” Plato says that the best of these is a timocracy,
- Modeled after Sparta, this warrior state is based on military honors and ambition.
- Gradually, however, the warriors accumulate wealth, which becomes more important than the welfare of the citizens.
Greed takes over and the state turns into an oligarchy, In an oligarchy, only the rich rule. The majority become impoverished and have no role in government. The rich and the poor plot against each other. Finally, the poor overthrow the rich, confiscate their property, and establish a democracy,
Plato finds many faults with democracy. Any male citizen can vote and hold office, even if he is ignorant or incompetent. Freedom is supreme, but the laws are not obeyed and chaos results. Leaders pander to the wants of the people, whom Plato refers to as the “beast.” A few people take advantage and accumulate great wealth.
To restore order and put down the rich, the citizens in a democracy vote a tyrant (dictator) into power. But the tyrant grabs power for himself and destroys anyone who opposes him. Fear rules the city as the tyranny steals the freedom of the people. At the end of The Republic, Plato returns to answering why it is better to act justly than unjustly.
The answer, in short, is that acting unjustly harms one’s soul and acting justly nourishes it. Plato tells one last story about just and unjust persons. Er, a soldier killed in battle, travels to a place between heaven and earth where judges decide the fate of just and unjust souls. Er sees how the just are rewarded for their good lives while the unjust are punished for their evil ones.
After their rewards and punishments, all souls get another chance for a mortal life. Each soul must choose a just or unjust new life. While some choose wisely, others prefer to become a tyrant or some other unjust character, condemning themselves to misery after death.
Pericles, probably the greatest democratic leader of Athens, once said in a speech before the Assembly that he regarded “the man who does not participate in affairs at all not as a man who minds his own business but as useless.” Would Plato agree or disagree with Pericles? Why? Do you agree or disagree? Why? How was Athenian democracy different from today’s American democracy? Do you think Plato would have liked American democracy? Explain. What do you think are the positive elements of Plato’s ideal state? Negative elements? What do you think is the strongest argument for Plato’s ideal state? What is the strongest argument against it?
For Further Information Background on Ancient Greece Ancient Greece A comprehensive history of ancient Greece. To get started, click on “Contents.” From Richard Hooker. Ancient Greece A wide variety of information about ancient Greece, including history, people, art, and wars.
- From Universal Artists Inc.
- Lectures from the History Guide : The Athenian Origins of Direct Democracy Classical Greece, 500-323 BC Greek Thought: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization From PBS.
- Greece Primary sources from the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook.
- Ancient Greece Large collection of links to great sites.
From Best of History Websites. Peloponnesian War Peloponnesian War Details the causes and events of the Peloponnesian War, in which Athens battled the Peloponnesian Confederacy. From Laconian Professionals. Peloponnesian War A summary of the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens.
It also includes links to other universities’ sites and links to sites on Greek drama. From Indiana University Bloomington. Athens vs. Sparta A printable chart that compares society and government in Athens and Sparta. From Discovery School. Comparing Athens and Sparta A lesson comparing the city-states.
From Discovery School. Athens vs. Sparta The story of conflict between Athens and Sparta. From Hendrik van Loon. Athens vs. Sparta An essay on the governments of Athens and Sparta. From Studyworld. Socrates The Suicide of Socrates, 399 BC Plato describes the execution of Socrates.
- Famous Trials: The Trial of Socrates By Douglas Linder.
- The Last Days of Socrates Socrates A history of Socrates’ life and philosophy.
- From Richard Hooker.
- Socrates A biography of Socrates’ life.
- From LoveToKnow Corp.
- Socrates From Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Socrates Links from Open Directory Project.
- Philosophy Resources on the Internet: Socrates Links to many, many resources on Plato.
From EpistemeLinks.com. Plato The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy : Plato—General Overview Tells of his life and basic teachings. Plato’s Political Philosophy Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Plato Ethics and Politics in The Republic Plato A discussion of Plato’s life and works.
- From Garth Kemerling Plato A discussion of Plato’s life, works, and views on nature.
- From Prof.
- Fred Wilson.
- Plato Plato’s philosophies and works.
- From Richard Hooker.
- More biographies of Plato: Plato By J J O’Connor and E F Robertson.
- Plato By Garth Kemerling.
- Plato By Richard Hooker.
- Plato From Microsoft Encarta.
Plato Also from Microsoft Encarta. Plato and Platonism From the Catholic Encyclopedia. Plato From Blupete. Plato From Columbia Encyclopedia. Plato From Malaspina Great Books. Plato From Wikipedia. Plato From the Free Online Dictionary of Philosophy. Plato By Tad Beckman.
Who Is Plato? From the Sophia Project. About Plato From Classic Notes. Plato Links from Open Directory Project. The Republic Complete work. The Republic Translated by Benjamin Jowett. The Republic —An Excerpt A short section on the philosopher-king. “The Ring of Gyges” From The Republic, Plato’s Republic —Text and Reader’s Guide From S.
Mayo and M. Russo. ClassicNote: The Republic Plato’s Republic By Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. The Republic of Plato By James Adam Philosophy Resources on the Internet: Plato Links to many, many resources on Plato. From EpistemeLinks.com. A C T I V I T Y Democracy British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965) once said, “Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried,
Find at least three criticisms of democracy by Plato in the article. Examine whether each criticism is valid of American democracy today. Think of things that American democracy could do to protect itself from this problem. Prepare to report to the class.
Hold a class discussion on each criticism that the groups report.
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What did Aristotle say?
, (?) Quotes are added by the Goodreads community and are not verified by Goodreads. (Learn more) Showing 1-30 of 910 “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ― Aristotle “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ― Aristotle, Metaphysics “What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” ― Aristotle “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” ― Aristotle “Hope is a waking dream.” ― Aristotle “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” ― Aristotle “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” ― Aristotle “Excellence is never an accident.
It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” ― Aristotle “Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” ― Aristotle “A friend to all is a friend to none.” ― Aristotle “Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.” ― Aristotle “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” ― Aristotle “Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.” ― Aristotle “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” ― Aristotle “Those who know, do.
Those that understand, teach.” ― Aristotle “He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.” ― Aristotle “To perceive is to suffer.” ― Aristotle “The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.” ― Aristotle “Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.” ― Aristotle “I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self.” ― Aristotle “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” ― Aristotle “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” ― Aristotle “It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.” ― Aristotle “The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend.” ― Aristotle “The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.” ― Aristotle “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” ― Aristotle “One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.” ― Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics “To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man.” ― Aristotle “Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human.
Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. ” ― Aristotle, Politics “Learning is not child’s play; we cannot learn without pain.” ― Aristotle Welcome back.
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What is Plato’s most famous theory?
He is best known for his theories of Forms, known as Platonism. In this philosophy, Plato rejected the materialism common to ancient philosophy in favor of metaphysics. He believed in the existence of an immaterial world of perfect objects and Forms (ideas).
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What is Plato’s most theory?
Plato is one of the world’s best known and most widely read and studied philosophers. He was the student of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle, and he wrote in the middle of the fourth century B.C.E. in ancient Greece. Though influenced primarily by Socrates, to the extent that Socrates is usually the main character in many of Plato’s writings, he was also influenced by Heraclitus, Parmenides, and the Pythagoreans.
There are varying degrees of controversy over which of Plato’s works are authentic, and in what order they were written, due to their antiquity and the manner of their preservation through time. Nonetheless, his earliest works are generally regarded as the most reliable of the ancient sources on Socrates, and the character Socrates that we know through these writings is considered to be one of the greatest of the ancient philosophers.
Plato’s middle to later works, including his most famous work, the Republic, are generally regarded as providing Plato’s own philosophy, where the main character in effect speaks for Plato himself. These works blend ethics, political philosophy, moral psychology, epistemology, and metaphysics into an interconnected and systematic philosophy.
- It is most of all from Plato that we get the theory of Forms, according to which the world we know through the senses is only an imitation of the pure, eternal, and unchanging world of the Forms.
- Plato’s works also contain the origins of the familiar complaint that the arts work by inflaming the passions, and are mere illusions.
We also are introduced to the ideal of “Platonic love:” Plato saw love as motivated by a longing for the highest Form of beauty—The Beautiful Itself, and love as the motivational power through which the highest of achievements are possible. Because they tended to distract us into accepting less than our highest potentials, however, Plato mistrusted and generally advised against physical expressions of love.
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What was Plato’s main philosophy?
Like most other ancient philosophers, Plato maintains a virtue-based eudaemonistic conception of ethics. That is to say, happiness or well-being ( eudaimonia ) is the highest aim of moral thought and conduct, and the virtues ( aretê : ‘excellence’) are the requisite skills and dispositions needed to attain it.
If Plato’s conception of happiness is elusive and his support for a morality of happiness seems somewhat subdued, there are several reasons. First, he nowhere defines the concept or makes it the direct target of investigation, but introduces it in an oblique way in the pursuit of other questions. Second, the treatment of the human good varies in the different dialogues, so that readers find themselves confronted with the problem of what to make of the discrepancies in different works.
This touches on a fundamental problem with Plato’s work – namely whether to follow a ‘unitarian’, ‘revisionist’, or ‘developmentalist’ approach to Plato’s writings. Whereas unitarians regard the dialogues as pieces of one mosaic, and take the view that Plato in essence maintains a unified doctrine from his earliest to his latest works, revisionists maintain that Plato’s thought underwent a fundamental transformation later in his life, while ‘developmentalist’ hold that Plato’s views evolved significantly throughout his career.
While revisionism has lost its impact in recent years, developmentalism has gained in influence. Although there is no unanimity, few unitarians deny nowadays that the character of Plato’s early, middle, and late works differ in style, language, scope and content, as is to be expected in a philosopher who worked for more than fifty years.
Most developmentalists, in turn, agree that it is impossible to line up Plato’s works like pearls on a string and to reconstruct his progress from dialogue to dialogue; for example, where the views expressed in different dialogues seem to disagree there may be complementation or supplementation at work, rather than divergence.
Given that Plato never speaks in his own voice, it is important to take note of who the interlocutors are and what role is assigned to Socrates, if he is the main speaker. Plato’s dialogues should never be treated in isolation when it comes to the reconstruction of his doctrine; but even the comparison and contrasting of ideas presented in different dialogues is not a sure recipe for interpreting this elusive thinker’s views.
Plato’s so-called ‘Socratic’ dialogues share certain characteristics as a group. They are short interrogations by Socrates of the kind indicated in his explanation of his divine mission in the Apology, They seem designed to undermine unquestioned traditional views and values rather than to develop positive accounts, although they sometimes contain indications that seeming dead ends are not real dead ends.
The positive accounts contained in the middle dialogues – the so-called ‘Platonic’ dialogues – that are grouped around the Republic – treat happiness in different ways as a state of perfection. The exact nature of this state is not easy to pinpoint, however, because it is based on metaphysical presuppositions that are, at least prima facie, both hazy and out of the realm of ordinary understanding.
There is not, as there is in Aristotle, an explicit determination of happiness as a self-sufficient state of the active individual. Instead, at least in some texts, Plato’s moral ideals appear both austere and self-abnegating: The soul is to remain aloof from the pleasures of the body in the pursuit of higher knowledge, while communal life demands the subordination of individual wishes and aims to the common good.
- The difficulties of assessing Plato’s ethical thought are compounded by the fact that the metaphysical underpinnings seem to have changed during his long life.
- In the Socratic dialogues, there are no indications that the search for virtue and the human good goes beyond the human realm.
- This changes with the middle dialogues, which show a growing interest in an all-encompassing metaphysical grounding of knowledge, a development that leads to the positing of the ‘Forms’ as the true nature of all things, culminating in the Form of the Good as the transcendent principle of all goodness.
Though the theory of the Forms is not confined to human values, but encompasses the whole of nature, Plato in the middle dialogues seems to assume no more than an analogy between human affairs and cosmic harmony. The late dialogues, by contrast, display a growing tendency to assume a unity between the microcosm of human life and the macrocosmic harmonic order of the entire universe, a tendency that is displayed most fully in the Philebus and the Timaeus,
While these holistic tendencies appeal to the imagination because they rely on harmonic relations expressed in mathematical proportions, the metaphysical status of the Forms is even harder to make out in the late dialogues than in the middle dialogues. Though Plato’s late works do not show any willingness to lower the standards of knowledge as such, Plato acknowledges that his design of a rational cosmic order is based on conjecture and speculation, an acknowledgement that finds its counterpart in his more pragmatic treatment of ethical standards and political institutions in his latest politcal work, the Laws,
Finally, at no stage of his philosophy does Plato go into a systematic treatment of, or and commitment to, basic principles of ethics from which rules and norms of human interaction can be derived and justified. Instead, Plato largely confines himself to the depiction of the good soul and of what is good for the soul, on the assumption that the state of the soul is the necessary and sufficient condition for the good life and its moral precepts.
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What did David Hume say about education?
Hume claims that education is ‘disclaimed by philosophy, as a fallacious ground of assent to any opinion ‘ (T 220.127.116.11) and that it is ‘never. recogniz’d by philosophers’ (T 1.3.
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What did Thomas Aquinas say about education?
For Aquinas, God is the central aim of education and He is at once our Teacher. This does not mean that human beings cannot teach each other, but it shapes what we understand by knowledge and what we mean when we say that someone has learnt.
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What is the main topic of Plato’s Republic?
The Republic is about justice. In this dialogue, Plato undertakes to show what justice is and why it is in each person’s best interest to be just, and he does so in both an ethical and a political context.
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What is Plato’s greatest contribution to education?
Philosophy of education is a branch of applied philosophy that deals with the nature and aims of education. – In this blog post and two other blog posts that will follow, we shall discuss about some philosophers; their theory and practice that have contributed to the growth of education. Our focus in this post is on Plato. It is stated that Plato was born around 428 BC in Athens, the ancient Greece. His parents were wealthy. At first, he wanted to be a politician but was later influenced by Socrates teachings and he became Socrates’s disciple. Here are some of his major contributions to education: • Plato sees education as a means of attaining individual and collective justice. • Plato groups knowledge development into three stages – Knowledge of one’s own job, self-knowledge and knowledge of the Idea of the Good.
- Plato believes that education should be state controlled.
- Every individual in the state must have access to free and quality education.
- The main function of education, according to Plato, is to bring out the latent talents in every individual.
- He mentions in The Republic, that only through education can an individual realize his true function in the society.
• Plato emphasises on a hale and healthy environment for children. He insists that the atmosphere must plant the ideas of truth and goodness in children. • Plato established the Academy, which is believed to be the first university in Europe. The Academy was a school outside the city walls of Athens.
This was where Aristotle studied. • Plato’s ideas are about creating an ideal society. The ideal in Plato’s sense is a society where there is social progress and stable government. Do you agree with some or all of Plato’s ideas? Do you believe that free and quality education will help to attain individual and social justice? Share your opinion in the comment box.
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How does Plato’s view of education differ?
Plato’s Theory of Education – Historians cannot find any evidence on Plato’s early education as a child, but seeing as he belonged to an influential aristocratic family from Athens, it’s assumed that he went through the Athenian form of education that was oriented towards culture, arts, academics, and intelligence.
However, some sources claim that Plato was a bright student who was given the best teachers of his time, at one point learning philosophy under another great Greek philosopher Socrates. Plato valued education and the way it changes people. He was known for thinking about an ideal government and society and believed that to maintain a stable state, it was necessary that all citizens were educated.
Plato was known for having ideas about a perfect state, and he believed that education was one of the keys to eradicating evil and achieving this. Because if people were educated and sound, then the need for establishing laws were unnecessary; but if they were uneducated, then the laws were useless.
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What does Plato mean when he says education should be a cure?
Plato’s Theory of Education Education for Plato was one of the great things of life. Education was an attempt to touch the evil at its source, and reform the wrong ways of living as well as one’s outlook towards life. According to Barker, education is an attempt to cure a mental illness by a medicine.
The object of education is to turn the soul towards light. Plato once stated that the main function of education is not to put knowledge into the soul, but to bring out the latent talents in the soul by directing it towards the right objects. This explanation of Plato on education highlights his object of education and guides the readers in proper direction to unfold the ramifications of his theory of education.
Plato was, in fact, the first ancient political philosopher either to establish a university or introduce a higher course or to speak of education as such. This emphasis on education came to the forefront only due to the then prevailing education system in Athens.
Plato was against the practice of buying knowledge, which according to him was a heinous crime than buying meat and drink. Plato strongly believed in a state control education system. He held the view that without education, the individual would make no progress any more than a patient who believed in curing himself by his own loving remedy without giving up his luxurious mode of living.
Therefore, Plato stated that education touches the evil at the grass root and changes the whole outlook on life. It was through education that the principle of justice was properly maintained. Education was the positive measure for the operation of justice in the ideal state.
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