In Republic, Plato creates a clear distinction between true knowledge, characteristics of an unchanging and perfect world, and opinions, manmade approximations of our world which could change depending on one’s perception. When Plato discusses the act of an individual studying the truth of the world, he means the former type over the latter. This true knowledge has and will always exist throughout time, and it is imperative to discover this information on the ‘perfect world’ in order to develop a good society. Plato valued learni...
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...rld, but to Plato this guidance came from the philosopher-kings, fellow members of society. Incidentally, St. Augustine criticized Plato for his failure to accredit God as the creator of the wisdom and true knowledge we discover as humans, posing the question “for what does a man have that he has not received as a gift?” these gifts naturally being the creations of God. He goes on further to state that “books of the Platonists tell nothing of this” (Book VII, Chapter XXI), which results in him rejecting many of the considerations posed in Plato’s works.
Plato and St. Augustine both heavily value the importance of learning about true knowledge and garnering wisdom, which are key proponents in the development of a good and just society. For St. Augustine though, God is a necessary part of this journey toward the truth, while for Plato, mankind must rely upon itself.
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