Sunday, December 29, 2019

Knowledge of Good in Platos The Republic Essay - 984 Words

An Intellectual Knowledge of Good in Plato’s Republic Socrates might be a wise philosopher but one of his ideas strikes me as particularly naive. In the allegory of the cave, he tells Glaucon that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort [ ·] and that this is the power upon which he [the intellectual] would act rationally (517b-c). In other words, he seems to be implying that knowledge of goodness is a sufficient condition for being good. A person who has seen what goodness is will henceforth act in a way that is good. Is this belief justified? For instance, we sometimes do things that we know are not good but we do them nonetheless and feel guilty after that. If, as such cases†¦show more content†¦In the sentence preceding the quote, he referred to the journey of the prisoner out of the cave as the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world (517b; emphasis mine). What he means is clearly an intellectual understanding of the idea of good and not a mysterious understan ding of any other sort. Why would Socrates think that an intellectual knowledge of good is a sufficient condition for being good? Well, Socrates also seems believes that goodness is innate in human beings and that people who have seen what goodness is will want to be good. According to him the power and capacity of learning exists in the soul already and there is some art which will effect conversion in the easiest and quickest manner; not implanting the faculty of sight, for that exists already, but has been turned in the wrong direction (518c-d). So the prisoner is not blind although he lives in the darkness of the cave. In order for him to be able to see the sun, all that needs to be done is for him to be rescued from the underground den. Similarly, the capacity for goodness is innate in human beings and there is no need to implant this quality into their souls. The art which will effect conversion is the philosophical art of helping them attain the idea of good (518d). Upon attaining this idea of good, they will be like the freed prisoner who would felicitate himselfShow MoreRelatedPlatos View in Human Knowledge Essay examples1392 Words   |  6 PagesPlatos View in Human Knowledge Plato presents three different views about knowledge in Meno, Republic, and Theaetetus. In Menos case, Plato believes knowledge as something innate in us when we are born; in his later view, in Republic, Plato believes we perceive things and gain knowledge; and from the last view, in Theaetus, Plato believes knowledge is the combination of a true opinion and a rational opinion. Strangely enough, Platos views in Meno, Republic, and Theaetetus are similar,Read MorePlato And Plato s Republic1119 Words   |  5 Pagesfinding the ideal government. In Plato’s Republic, he discusses his ideas and views of how this ideal government would function. 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