Playing With Plato Essay

2123 words - 9 pages

In a discussion with one of his interlocutors, Adeimantus, regarding guardians and education in the ideal city that they are hypothetically forming to determine the nature of justice, Socrates states:
For the young cannot distinguish what is allegorical from what is not. And the beliefs they absorb at that age are difficult to erase and tend to become unalterable. For these reasons, then, we should probably take the utmost care to ensure that the first stories they hear about virtue are the best ones for them to hear. (Republic, 378d)

In order to assure the greatest education of the city’s youth, Socrates suggests an almost complete reformation of certain aspects of Greek theology, specifically regarding the bad characteristics of gods, their changing of forms, telling of lies, and the afterlife. Because the aspects that are reformed can also be found in parts of the Hebrew Bible, Socrates would likewise find it necessary to reform its teachings and stories to fit into his and his interlocutors’ ideal city.
Socrates believes that the storytellers in the city must be supervised, and that they should only tell stories that will positively affect, rather than harm, the city’s youth. He asks, “Shall we carelessly allow our children to hear any old stories made up by just anyone, then?” (Republic, 377b). Socrates is especially critical of Homer, Hesiod, and other poets, who he claims create falsehoods without good features in their stories and poems. Just as television and movies can have an extremely large, generally negative impact on youth today, Socrates believed that poems and stories could also negatively affect the youth of his time. Socrates says, “But even if these [negative] stories were true, they should be passed over in silence…and not told so casually to the foolish and the young” (Republic, 378a). Socrates is concerned about which stories the youth are receiving during this especially important time of their development.
One such falsehood that Socrates believes Homer, Hesiod and other poets tell about the gods is concerning their negative characteristics. Because gods are considered truly good beings, Socrates argues, they must not do bad things and must be the cause of only good things. Socrates says, “No young person should hear it said that if he were to commit the worst crimes, he would be doing nothing amazing…[and] would only be doing the same as the first and greatest of gods” (Republic, 378b). Instead, Socrates proposes to indoctrinate the youth that “no citizen has ever hated another, and that it is impious to do so” (Republic, 378e). More appropriately, perhaps, Socrates could instead propose that because no gods have hated another, hatred is impious, as it would be nearly impossible for no citizen to hate another. One example that Socrates wants excluded from the education of youth is the warring of the gods found in Homer’s Iliad. Certainly, he would also exclude a specific scene from Book 14 of the Iliad,...

Find Another Essay On Playing with Plato

Plato’s Theories on the Immortal Soul

1810 words - 7 pages , like the notes of the scale… will in the truest sense set his house in order and be his own lord and master, and at peace with himself when he has bound these elements into a single controlled and orderly whole, and so unified himself, he will be ready for action of any kind…” In this passage, Plato explains that creating the perfect society relies on each group of people playing their part in harmony with each other. He uses the word dikaiosune to

Aristotle vs Plato Essay

1089 words - 4 pages One of the most fundamental questions of moral philosophy as it applies to our everyday lives is the relationship between truth and philosophy, and as such, it is appropriate that Plato, as one of the founders of Western philosophy, attempts to deal with them. Before one can fully comprehend how Plato understands this interconnection, it is imperative to understand how Plato understands truth and happiness as separate entities—that is, what is

Plato's The Republic – Should We Search for the Truth?

765 words - 3 pages " would equip one with the necessary virtues, qualities, skills and knowledge required to act in a responsible and reasonable manner. This would encompass "all things beautiful and right" and the "source of reason and truth". The former most probably refers to virtues like piety and compassion, while the latter includes wisdom and the ability to think logically (both of which are prerequisites for making informed decisions). In fact, Plato has so

The Platonic and Aristotelian Conception of the Soul

2456 words - 10 pages individual and the state are evident throughout the books of The Republic. Plato examines the theory on the soul and the interrelations between the soul and justness. In his other dialogue Phaedo, Plato examines the immortality of the soul and its relationship with the body. Aristotle's book On The Soul examines many of the topics addressed by Plato and offers new insights and opposing theories on Plato's conception of the soul. One may perhaps view

Machiavelli: The Realistic Philosopher

1188 words - 5 pages prince should live in order to maintain power. He believed that giving the Medici family an idea of how to gain and keep complete authority would be very useful in affecting the politics in Italy of the age. Although Plato allows us to see how justice should be the main admiration of a ruler, Machiavelli’s Prince provides a more realistic explanation of the better ruler because power is gained through balancing empathy with fear, strong arms, and

Can Justice in the State Exist in the Individual? Plato

3039 words - 12 pages Plato (427-347BC), along with Aristotle, is one of the most influential thinkers in western history, having written numerous works on politics, ethics, and metaphysics - the study of things that transcend the physical world. In The Republic, Plato aims to give an account of the ethical life. Themes such as knowledge, the well-ordered life and wisdom are interwoven into the discussion of the ethical life, however, the principle of justice and the

The poet and the society

1936 words - 8 pages active study and practice a new way of academic study which is to taste the art and criticise it , just as the true artist approaches every thing in life with a distinct sensibility , expressing his feelings and emotions in his work and shows in what he represent there , we can criticise them and interpret them according to our own perspective . Plato thinks that emotions and feelings are bad , because emotions may control people , thats why he reject

Democracy

1559 words - 6 pages . One day his pleasure may be flute playing; the next, studying philosophy. Unlike the other constitutions, the democratic state and man are not hostile to philosophy, they are simply indifferent. Plato's democracy is a "do your own thing" society. If your thing is to read philosophy, fine; if not, that's okay, too. Is Plato suggesting that philosophy is among the

Comparing Plato and Aristotle

2127 words - 9 pages Comparing Plato and Socrates Plato was among the most important and creative thinkers of the ancient world. He was born in Athens in 428 BC to an aristocratic and well-off family. Even as a young child Plato was familiar with political life because his father, Ariston was the last king of Athens. Ariston died when Plato was a young boy. However, the excessive Athenian political life, which was under the oligarchical rule of the Thirty

The Republic by Plato

657 words - 3 pages virtues Plato give his city, which create the three classes, make his city comparable to an individual because individuals have souls that divide into three parts as well.On BookVIII, page 197, Plato might looks playing with number, but seriously he uses Pythagorean marriage number to mean that the laws of the university can be expressed mathematically. He uses it not in first hand; just by his knowledge in math explain that: "this whole

Taking on an Adolescent Mindset in Rebel Without a Cause

2273 words - 10 pages drunk, promiscuous and psychotic, respectively. Jim, the drunk, gets into trouble and acts out against his peers because he wants anything but to be compared to his father, an ineffectual coward. Judy, the promiscuous one, overreacts hysterically to her father’s disapproval of her budding sexuality and says “I’ll never get close to anybody.” Plato, the psychotic one, says “Nobody can help me” after shooting several puppies with a handgun on

Similar Essays

Plato Essay

1049 words - 4 pages throughout the Greek colonies (O’Conner). One of which had a great impact on Plato’s philosophy and beliefs. Pythagoras’s theory that “numbers held the understanding to the universe” intrigued Plato (Friedlander 24). Plato explained life in the form of an image. Plato explains that “most humans live as if in a dim cave. We are chained, he says, and facing a blank wall, with a fire at our backs. All we see are flickering shadows playing across the cave

A Comparative Study On The Philosophies Of Plato And Aristotle

1803 words - 7 pages facts. His theories were based on empirical facts. He places reason above all other institutions of the state. He only believed in scientific and proven knowledge. Plato did not have any affliction towards science, facts and enquiries on facts. There is a visible difference between the Prose style of Aristotle and Plato. While Plato had mastered the art of playing with words and delivering his message subtly, Aristotle never cared for the

The Mask Of Apollo Review

940 words - 4 pages mask begin calling on Apollo to help them win the battle. In the end they are successful in their fight. From this point forward Nikeratos carries the mask with him and defers to it when he needs guidance. Accounts of Greek history are dispersed throughout the book with the politics of the ancient Greek world of Syracuse playing a major role in the story. Nikeratos attempts to ignore politics as he sees himself as an actor who is separate from

Arguments Of Plato In The Republic And Aristotle In Poetics

1195 words - 5 pages are guilty of telling stories that represent the Gods and Heroes in inappropriate ways, which encourages evil habits in children. He says of poets that ‘they must not try to persuade our young men that the Gods are the source of evil, and that Heroes are no better than ordinary mortals; that, as we have said, is a wicked lie, for we have proved that no evil can originate with the gods’ Plato sees the gods as good, perfect beings who will do