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Ewrt 2 class 16 p lato

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  • 1. EWRT 2 CLASS 16
  • 2.  Introduce Section # 4: Privilege and Perspectives  Discussion: Plato's "Allegory of the Cave"  Bio  Rhetorical Strategies  Questions for Critical Reading  Introduce Essay #4 AGENDA
  • 3. WHO WAS PLATO?
  • 4. • Plato was born around the year 428 BCE in Athens. Plato's birth name was Aristocles, and he gained the nickname Platon, meaning broad, because of his broad build. His family had a history in politics, and Plato was destined to a life in keeping with this history. A Brief Biography
  • 5. According to Aristotle, Plato developed the foundations of his metaphysics and epistemology by studying the doctrines of Cratylus, and the work of Pythagoras and Parmenides. When Plato met Socrates, however, he had met his definitive teacher. As Socrates’s disciple, Plato adopted his philosophy and style of debate, and directed his studies toward the question of virtue and the formation of a noble character.
  • 6. Plato was in military service from 409 BC to 404 BC. When the Peloponnesian War ended in 404 BC he joined the Athenian oligarchy of the Thirty Tyrants, one of whose leaders was his uncle Charmides. The violence of this group quickly prompted Plato to leave it. In 403 BC, when democracy was restored in Athens, he had hopes of pursuing his original goal of a political career. Socrates’s execution in 399 BC had a profound effect on Plato, and was perhaps the final event that would convince him to leave Athenian politics forever.
  • 7. After 399 BC Plato began to write extensively. The order in which he wrote his major texts is also uncertain. However, most scholars agree to divide Plato's major work into three distinct groups. The first of these is known as the Socratic Dialogues because of how close he stays to Socrates’s teachings. The period from 387 to 361 BC is often called Plato's "middle" or transitional period. The major difference between these texts and his earlier works is that he begins to establish his own voice in philosophy. Plato's most influential work, The Republic, is also a part of his middle dialogues. It is a discussion of the virtues of justice, courage, wisdom, and moderation, of the individual and in society. It works with the central question of how to live a good life, asking what an ideal State would be like, and what defines a just individual. The dialogue finishes by reviewing various forms of government and describing the ideal state, where only philosophers are fit to rule. The Republic covers almost every aspect of Plato's thought. Book VII of The Republic is “The Allegory of the Cave.”
  • 8. Plato founded a school of learning which he called the Academy. Plato's school is often described at the first European university. Its curriculum offered subjects including astronomy, biology, mathematics, political theory, and philosophy. Plato hoped the Academy would provide a place where thinkers could work toward better government in the Grecian cities. He would preside over the Academy until his death.
  • 9. It was around 365 BC this time that Plato's famous pupil Aristotle began to study at the Academy. In 347 Plato died, leaving the Academy to his sister's son Speusippus. The Academy remained a model for institutions of higher learning until it was closed, in 529 CE, by the Emperor Justinian.
  • 10. A GROUP PROJECT
  • 11.  Together, draw a picture of Plato’s Cave.  Label the significant aspects of the cave.  See pages 445-46 THE TASK
  • 12. IN GROUPS, DISCUSS “THE ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE” FROM PLATO’S REPUBLIC CONSIDER HIS RHETORICAL STRATEGIES, THE ALLEGORY ITSELF, AND THE “QUESTIONS FOR CRITICAL READING” (PAGES 453-54)
  • 13. WHICH RHETORICAL STRATEGIES DOES PLATO USE?
  • 14. Allegory: a story in which the characters and situations actually represent people and characters in another context. Dialogue: Asking questions that require simple answers. Slowly, the questioning proceeds to elucidate the answers to complex issues. Clarity Simplicity Directness Rhetorical Strategies
  • 15. 1. Describe how the people in the cave are situated in Plato's parable. Why can't they move their legs or necks to take a look around? What is the only thing they are capable of seeing? What is their only source of light? 2. What do these prisoners trapped in the cave believe is real? 3. How does the prisoner react when he first sees sunlight? Why? The Allegory
  • 16. 4. What are the stages of the liberated prisoner's experience outside the cave? 5. What is the response of the prisoners to the news of the man who has escaped about the world outside? Why? 6. Compare the perspective of the freed prisoner with the cave prisoners.
  • 17. Questions for Critical Reading
  • 18. QUESTIONS What is the relationship between Socrates and Glaucon? Are they equal in intellectual authority? Are the concerned with the same issues? How does the allegory of the prisoners in the cave watching shadows on a wall relate to us today? What shadows do we see, and how do they distort our sense of what is real?
  • 19. Are we prisoners in the same sense that Plato’s characters are? If Plato is right that the material world is an illusion, how would too great a reliance on materialism affect ethical decisions? QUESTIONS
  • 20.  What ethical questions are raised by Plato’s Allegory?  In paragraph 49, Plato states that the virtue of wisdom “contains a divine element.” What is a divine element? What does this statement seem to mean? Do you agree with Plato? QUESTIONS
  • 21.  What distinction does Plato make between the public and the private? Would you make the same distinctions (see paras. 53-55)?  What does Plato’s allegory of the cave tell us about how we recognize the world? QUESTIONS
  • 22. According to the allegory, how do cave prisoners get free? What does this suggest about intellectual freedom? What does the allegory suggests about the process of enlightenment or education? QUESTIONS
  • 23. According to The Allegory of the Cave, what is the main task of the philosopher? Who are the “guardians” or philosopher-kings? Why should philosopher-kings rule? Do you agree?
  • 24. OPTIONS: ESSAY # 4 WILL BE AN IN-CLASS ESSAY IN RESPONSE TO EITHER PLATO’S “THE ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE” OR WOOLF’S “SHAKESPEARE’S SISTER
  • 25. HOMEWORK • Read A World of Ideas: • Virginia Woolf "Shakespeare’s Sister" (761-776) ) • Post #30 Questions (TBD) for Critical Reading: (page 776) • Post #31 QHQ Woolf