Essay about Education in The Republic of Plato

Essay about Education in The Republic of Plato

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The educated have a duty to help the less educated in a respectful way.
Education, Every society throughout history has respected their scholars and scientists, but what responsibilities do the educated have? Some might argued that the educated must take care of the less educated or that they have no civic duty, however according to the famous Greek philosopher Plato this is simply not true. Plato was born around the year 428 BCE in Athens and was one of Socrates students; Socrates being another very influential Greek scholar laid the foundations for many of Plato’s theory’s that appear in his famous work “The Republic” (http://www.egs.edu/library/plato/biography/). One specific part of “The Republic” is the analogy of the cave. This analogy describes the path to enlightenment, higher education, and the responsibilities that go along with it.
Every day the human race is enlightened by new information that challenges the way people operate. The philosopher Plato observed the natural human reactions to new information and used a perfect analogy of a “cave” to describe human tendencies to fall back on old habits and beliefs but also how this can change overtime. Plato describes a situation where prisoners have been kept in a cave there since their earliest memory. These prisoners are chained to one another in such a way that forces them to look at a wall. Behind the prisoners toward the entrance of the cave is a big fire; in front of the fire is a small wall that creates a projection on the far wall that the prisoners can see. Throughout the day guards hold puppets and objects that cast shadows on the far wall; these projections would be the prisoner’s world, and overtime become their truth as it would be all they had ever known...


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...hild is brought up with a given belief system; however at some point in their life they will need to gaze into the fire for the first time. This is often difficult as most will spend their whole life glimpsing the edge of the fire. What separates the educated form the uneducated is the ability to process new information, because as Plato said “The right sort of ruler can only be produced by careful and systematic education”( Kozlovic, Anton K.). Ultimately however Plato states that it is the educated minds responsibility to ascend to learning see the good but then descend to those less fortunate, give help to the community and share their truths, share your truths but respect their customs. Plato emphasizes that the educated mind must not look down on others even if their customs seem unworthy, even if faced with the prospect of death (The Allegory of the Cave).

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