Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!

Philosophers v. Poets in Plato's The Republic - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare
Author : danykakirlin

Summary

The Republic is a philosophical treatise concerned primarily with the question of justice and with the living of a just life. Its principal emphasis, then, is on the conduct of individuals. In contrast to poets, philosopher possess wisdom in the sense that they are masters of their craft, though they go wrong in thinking that their special expertise extends to matters outside the scope of the craft…

Extract of sample
Philosophers v. Poets in Plato's The Republic

In contrast to philosophy, poetry does not imply self-knowledge and self-control. If the disavowal of knowledge is in fact the disavowal of wisdom or expertise, we can see how that disavowal is compatible with the particular claims to knowledge which Socrates makes. Socrates identified wisdom first with self-control and then with justice and the rest of virtue. On questioning poets about their expertise, "'Until philosophers are kings, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside, cities will never have rest from their evils" (Plato 123). Plato found that poets in fact lacked the wisdom which they claimed, and were thus less wise than Socrates, who was at least aware of his own ignorance. Socrates had a divine mission to show others that their own claims to substantive wisdom were unfounded. "Behold, he said, the wisdom of Socrates; he refuses to teach himself, and goes about learning of others, to whom he never even says Thank you" (Plato 12). ...
Download paper

Related Essays

Philosophy: Plato's Republic
In the Republic, justice is explained as a thing one ought to do and does ones best. Plato portrays that the ideal city consists of three social groups: workers, guardians and philosophers. Each of them hands certain natures that they cannot alter. Plato explains that attempting to do what people are not fitted to do by nature will only make them miserable. On the other hand, the tools people are handed at birth are not sufficient to guarantee that they will excel at the particular function nature assigns people. For that, education and training are necessary. Human natures must be nurtured if…
8 pages (2008 words)
Plato's The Republic Essay
Plato was the most famous of Socrates' pupils, who after Socrates' death carried on most of his work and eventually founded his own school, the Academy, in 385. We know much about Plato's teachings, because he wrote dialogues between Socrates and others that would explore philosophical issues. These dialogues would be used in his school as starting points for discussion; these discussions and Plato's final word on the dialogues have all been lost to us. However, Plato later began to develop his own philosophy and the Socrates of the later dialogues does more teaching than he does questioning.…
3 pages (753 words)
Plato's The Republic
At the very onset, Socrates expounds on the evils of imitative art, which is "thrice removed from the truth". He sets out to prove his point by saying that anything with a common name is believed to correspond with the same ides. He elaborates using an example - there are plenty of beds and tables but the idea behind the use of the same belongs to one only. It is the same person who makes "not only vessels of every kind, but plants and animals, himself and all other things" he is the maker. It may be possible for anyone to do the same by holding up a mirror, but that would merely be…
6 pages (1506 words)
Plato's The Republic College Essay
A certain amount of property is needed to hold office. There is a strong military undercurrent to Timocracy, with courage becoming more important than wisdom. Knowledge is not a requirement for ruling in this government. Socrates questions how a Timocratic government is negated. In answer, political change is caused by disagreement of the ruling class. Wealth begins to become more important than honor, causing change. "The ruin of Timocracy is the gold that accumulates in the coffers of private persons" (241, 550d). Timocracy becomes Oligarchy.…
2 pages (502 words)
Plato's The Republic Criticism of Democracy
Instead, Plato favored the Republic as the best form of government. His depiction of a Republic was one where it was ruled by the lovers of wisdom and/or the lovers of honor. This is quite contrary to today's belief that democracy is the best and the only fully justifiable political system. Today's concept of democracy has been popularized specifically with the American view of democracy as a government of the people by the people and for the people.…
5 pages (1255 words)
Plato's Republic
In this sense, justice is instrumental to both ethical and political philosophy—the practical sciences—and guides them both. However, the inevitable question comes about from Thrasymachus, who asks “what if one can get away with being unjust?” Socrates answer essentially comes in the following: “those who practice justice do it unwillingly, because they lack the power to do injustice.” To rephrase, because justice is a virtue, it is a characteristic of one’s psyche, or a way of perceiving the world, and it simply comes naturally when one reacts to certain situations. Accordingly,…
4 pages (1004 words)
Philosophy: Plato's Republic
Describing an the ideal city, Plato underlines that people are all born with physical and intellectual equipment that makes them suited to perform some tasks better than others. The model of the ideal city involves ideas of justice and nature, human relations and labor relations.…
8 pages (2008 words)