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Compare between Plato and Karl marx on the topic of human nature - Essay Example

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Compare between Plato and Karl marx on the topic of human nature

Similarly, it will be somewhat more difficult with respect to Karl Marx, not due to the fact that Marx had no opinion on the issue (quite the opposite in fact), but rather due to the fact that Marx himself never specifically sought to engage on the topic. Rather, Marx would periodically discuss tangential manifestations of human nature with respect to “essence” and “biological definitions of man” within his works. To this end, I will seek to synthesize these tangential manifestations as a way of understanding what this author believes to be Karl Marx’s approach to the issue of human nature within his writings. Firstly, when one considers Plato, they necessarily consider his inspiration and teacher – Socrates. Socrates himself was highly interested in the notion of human nature as he so often came at odds with prevailing notions of his time while attempting to break through such staunchly, albeit blindly, held beliefs that the men of his time clung to with such fervor. Accordingly, due to the fact that Socrates had such a profound impact on Plato, it is not beyond logic to assume that many of Plato’s own views of human nature were themselves borrowed or at the very least inspired from Socrates. One such view of humanity is of course distinctly related through Plato’s allegory of the cave (Plato 44). Although a host of Plato’s writings deal with the topic of human nature, for purposes of this brief analysis, the author will only consider the allegory of the cave due to the length limitations that a more full and complete analysis might entail. It seems to me that such an approach is useful due to the fact that Plato can provide a well reasoned and differentiated view of reality and its relation to the constructs of human nature. Within this work, Plato introduces the reader to a situation in which allegorical prisoners are chained to a cave wall for their entire lives – never seeing anyone or the light of day. Rather, all the prisoners are able to discern is the flicker and the shadows of figures that the moving individuals and torches behind them portend. The allegory goes on to explain that if one of these creatures was taken out into the light of day to see the sun, to view the skies, and to feel the warmth of the air, they would likely run frantically back into the bowels of the cave to escape from such perceptions that they might deem as unsavory and wildly foreign. In this way, Plato exhibits an example to the reader in which the reality/nature of the individual is uniquely born out of the perceptions/environment in which they have grown accustomed (Fromm 24). As such, Plato illustrates that encouraging such an individual to action outside of their comfort zone or to think outside of the means by which they have grown accustomed very rarely yields a positive result. In this way, Plato exhibits a very traditional view of human nature as something that is ingrained from the early experiences and years of an individual’s life and seeks to define and corral the ambitions, thoughts, dreams, and goals, of the individual for the remainder of the life. As this can be understood as a traditional approach to human nature, it must also be understood as ...Show more


Name Date Course Section/# Comparison and Contrast of the Differing Ways in which Karl Marx and Plato Approach the Issue of Human Nature within their Writings It is not often that the names of Karl Marx and Plato are found within the same sentence or even the same context…
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Compare between Plato and Karl marx on the topic of human nature essay example
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