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Category Archive for 'Roots of Western Thought 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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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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The Myth of Er in Book X of the Republic talks about the rewards and consequences of living a just or unjust life. Though it seems to differ throughout the Republic, life, at least in Book X, seems to based entirely on choice. Not only does life seem to be based on choice, the rewards […]

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The Process of Transitioning from Ignorance to True Knowledge Plato’s Republic illustrates the educational process in which people attain the knowledge of virtue, and in discovering this truth people are able to live a happier life. This is displayed through the allegory of the cave, which presents the painful but enlightening journey in finding the […]

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In Book 7 we are introduced to the Form of Good and the idea that people have to be uncomfortable and out of the norm to see things in their real forms and to be able to learn from them. “The ultimate goal of education was described by Socrates in Book VI as a bringing […]

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