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Monthly Archive for May, 2014

In Book X of Plato’s Republic, Socrates finalizes the discussion of the soul with an analogy of “nesting bowls”, which in many ways is strikingly similar to the analogy of the divided line. Socrates tells us in Book VI “‘that for the four segments of the line there are these four kinds of experiences that […]

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Plato’s Republic closes not with an argument but a myth. While this choice may seem odd, it serves to bring a balance and unity to the dialogue as it reflects back to the interaction with Cephalus in Book I along with other myths and images throughout the dialogue. The connection to Cephalus is particularly noteworthy […]

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Socrates asserts that naturally, men are physically stronger than women, which would lead one to believe that he held the beliefs of the typical Greek man of his time. However, he also asserts that men and women can both be philosopher kings and queens, which would lead one to believe that he believed in equality […]

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Lindsey Pelland Professor Honeycutt Roots of Western Thought May 13, 2014   What is it with couches and tables? In Books II and X of Plato’s Republic couches and tables are specifically used as examples. These items are used specifically and intently as examples in the feverish city and of imitation. It seems as though […]

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In Book Nine Socrates opens the discussion by explaining to those around him how a tyrant comes into being, and how erotic passion and the desire for unnecessary things play a role in this.  He starts by returning us to the idea of the democratic man who now has a son, this son who is […]

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Plato believes that education is a cycle. One who is perceived as an educator or a philosopher teaches his students, and in turn, he is educated by them as well. This is exemplified in the allegory of the cave. The teacher goes into the cave in order to allow the student to come into the […]

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In the preface Machiavelli states that “It is not impossible to bring the military back to ancient modes and give it some form of past virtue.”(preface. 10) In the Art of War the two men who are speaking, Fabrizio and Cosimo pay every close attention to the differences between infantrymen and cavalrymen, both ancient and […]

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The Myth of Er

In the final paragraphs of The Republic, Socrates concludes with a religious and philosophical picture of the afterlife. The myth is about a “stalwart man,” Er, who was killed in a war (but doesn’t really die) and taken out of this world to witness the journey of departed souls. He watches an eschatological system which […]

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Keeping the Mode

Fabrizio and Cosimo have a conversation in Book I where they discuss how to build and control a good army. Cosimo questions Fabrizio on how he would rebuild and create a new army; what kind of people would be best, what ages they would be, what skills they would have, and so on. Fabrizio seems […]

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In Machiavelli’s Art of War we are told of the good man, who seems to be one that practices war, but does not make it his art.  We are also told that the current time is one of great corruption, so it would seem like one that had practiced war enough that it had become […]

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