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Essay about Plato's Education Philosophy

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Plato was born into an aristocratic Greek family between 428–427 BC. At the age of twenty he became a disciple of the philosopher Socrates. Socrates continued to be an enormous influence on Plato throughout his life. Plato was an idealist and believed that everything that we see in this world is a less accurate representation of what its true form should be. He believed in a world of unchanging and unrelated forms that corresponded to universal definitions. This belief led to his theory of forms and became an essential part of his philosophy. Plato demonstrated this idea in one of his most popular works entitled the Republic.
The Republic is concerned with the education of the guardians. Plato discusses the principles of state that is based on knowledge and reason and not just on opinion or ones desire for power. In the Republic Plato abolishes the family for the guardians, to avoid nepotism and amassing of private wealth (Republic, bk. 5, 464). Wives and children are to be held in common by all, and no parent is to know his own child nor any child his parents–"provided it can be done" (Republic, bk. 5, 457). Plato devotes much attention to the education of the child as a future citizen. As such, he believes that the child belongs to the state and its education is the responsibility of the state (Republic, bk. 2, 376.)
After the execution of Socrates, Plato gave up all involvement with politics and turned to writing and education. In 385B.C.E. Plato returns to Athens and founded the school of philosophy called Academy. The Academy will be recognized as the first institution of research and higher learning in the world (it existed until 529 A.D.). The Academy accepted only advanced students who possessed knowledge of geometry...


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...tion to prepare him for ruling the state. His studies would include mathematics, music, and literature. At the age of thirty he would have enough maturity to begin his study of philosophy. At thirty-five, his formal education would cease and he would enter upon a minor administrative position, prior to undertaking more important governing positions.



BIBLIOGRAPHY
Plato. 1941 [385 B.C.E.]. The Republic of Plato. Trans. Francis Macdonald Cornford. New York: Oxford University Press.
Plato. 1970 [348 B.C.E.]. The Laws. Trans. Trevor J. Saunders. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin.
Scolnicov, Samuel. 1988. Plato's Metaphysics of Education. London: Routledge.

Internet Resources
In Dialogue: the Life and Works of Plato, a short podcast by Peter Adamson (Philosophy, Kings College London).

Plato (circa 428-C.-347 B.C) Plato Page. http://www.connect.net/ron/plato.html.


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