Analysis of Plato's The Republic

Essay add: 20-04-2016, 19:19   /   Views: 55
Analysis of Plato's "The Republic"

I am going to describe Plato’s theory of justice and sophist theory of justice in relation to a happy life. I will describe Plato’s theory on form and how things derive their “being” or “essence” from it and an analysis of the Allegory of the cave.

Plato says that justice, in short, is a virtue, a human excellence. His next point is that acting in accordance with excellence brings happiness. Then he ties excellence to one's function. His examples are those of the senses -- each sensory organ is excellent if it performs its function, as the eye sees, the ear hears. Therefore, the just person is a happy person is a person who performs his function. Since these are tied together, injustice can never exceed these virtues and so justice is stronger and is the good. Justice is coupled with the virtue of temperance, the harmony and self-mastery that results when all elements agree as to which should do what. Thus the rule of reason is not a tyranny but the harmonious rule of the happily unified individual and society. The Sophist shows how a proper understanding of appearance depends on an account of being and nonbeing and of the relation between particulars and Forms. I agree with Plato’s opinion on justice how all the body must come together as a whole and be just for example if all you do is see and hear bad thing then that is what you will do and act out on.

The Form is introduced as a principle explaining individual instances of being X, the very thing itself that is meant by the name X and that is the transcendent object of understanding what it is to be X. The Forms constitute a realm of unchanging being to which the world of individual changing objects is subordinate. The Form of good enjoys a unique status, responsible for the being and intelligibility of the world as a whole. Plato sees the world of being itself governed by the Form of the good, as also the source of value and the object of proper desire. The philosopher is thus pictured as in love with the Forms, that is, in love with the world as it truly is. His wish to see through the world of flux to the true principles of its being is thus basically an act of love. This love is not simply an attraction to the good but a creative force for the procreation of the good. Directed toward others, it is the power of education, the bringing to birth of understanding and virtue through the process of dialectic. An example would be that the body may only be a garment for the soul. The garment will wear out eventually and the tailor that made this garment will also expire at some point. Suggesting that the body is a garment and the soul is a tailor, it may be the case that although the soul may exist after death, it may not exist infinitely, and eventually expires.

"The Allegory..." symbolizes man's struggle to reach understanding and enlightenment. First of all, Plato believed that one could only learn through dialectic reasoning and open-mindedness. Humans had to travel from the visible realm of image making and objects of sense to the intelligible or invisible realm of reasoning and understanding. "The Allegory of the Cave" symbolizes this trek and how it would look to those still in a lower realm. Plato is saying that humans are all prisoners and that the tangible world is our cave. The things, which we perceive as real, are actually just shadows on a wall. Just as the escaped prisoner ascends into the light of the sun, we amass knowledge and ascend into the light of true reality: ideas in the mind. Yet, if someone goes into the light of the sun and beholds true reality and then proceeds to tell the other captives of the truth, they laugh at and ridicule the enlightened one, for the only reality they have ever known is a fuzzy shadow on a wall. They could not possibly comprehend another dimension without beholding it themselves therefore; they label the enlightened man mad. An example would be how every one has a t.v. and sit around watching it blindly without looking at what is around them but will think a person who doesn’t have a t.v. and reads books or dose other things is weird and condemn them as being odd.

In conclusion justice is a virtue, which must be connected to the function of efficient and healthful cooperation. Justice is in one sense the greatest virtue for it is key to making the other virtues work together for the common good. The Forms are the essences of things, and they are superior to anything in the sensible world. Without the Forms, we are limited to opinion, because our senses are not reliable to give us true knowledge about anything. In "The Allegory of the Cave." Plato's parable greatly symbolizes man's struggle to reach the light and the suffering of those left behind who are forced to sit in the dark and stare at shadows on a wall like zombies never questioning or searching for the truth.

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