Student of Socrates As a result of being a student of Socrates, Plato copied his style of dialogues . He also uses Socrates as a main figure in his dialogues. Plato’s masterpiece was a dialogue with Socrates as the main character: The Republic.
The Republic is a dialogue between Socrates and various friends of his. The dialogue began with a question. What is Justice?
Arete is the Greek word for virtues. Socrates described to his friends the various aspects of the virtues of Justice. He also connects these aspects to the corresponding aspects of human life.
The first virtue that he talks about was SOPHIA. This means wisdom. To Plato, wisdom was the determining feature of the rulers of the ideal state The rational aspect. Will own no possessions of their own so commoners do not get jealous.
The second virtue was ANDREIA. This means courage. Plato thought that courage was the exemplary factor in the soldiers of the ideal state. The spirited source of action. Will be allowed money and some decoration, but once again will live with minimal possessions in a communist setting to dispel the idea of greed.
The third virtue was SOPHROSUNE. This meant moderation. Moderation was exemplified by the masses of the ideal state. The appetitive, animal side. Art was not allowed in the ideal state because it appeals to this appetitive side and not the other two.
All together, these virtues made up the perfect state. Not only this, but also the perfect person. He then decided that by taking away various virtues that lesser states and people would become the result.
Shadows are cast by a fire that burns on a ledge behind the prisoners
People walk around carrying things on their head which cast shadows on the wall
The prisoners hear the voices and see the shadows and accept this as reality
One prisoner escapes!
He turns around and looks at the true source of his “reality”
The fire burns his eyes and he prefers the pleasant deception of the shadows Why?
Beyond the fire is the entrance of the cave with the sun outside
The prisoner is forced to leave the cave “up the steep and rugged ascent” What does this represent?
He begins by looking at the shadows of the trees, then the tress themselves and finally the sun What does the sun represent?
Conclusion “Plato did not live to see the inauguration of his ideal state, nor to see the installation of a Philosopher King who would know the Good, but the legacy that Plato left is still very much with us, for better or for worse. The eminent British-American Philosopher Alfred North Whitehead one said that the history of philosophy is merely a series of footnotes to The Republic.”
Work cited I haven’t quite finished this yet, but I will by the time that I present. I just want to give you an idea of what my presentation will be. Also, on the slide where I have the same information but missing the titles [aristocracy, democracy etc.] I am going to play a game where the students will have to get into prearranged groups and ask questions to figure out who each person in the group is [an aristocrat, a democrat, a tyrant]. I emailed everyone the assignment, which you can find in your email.