Plato's Theory Of Knowledge Essay

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Plato, a philosopher born around 428 B.C.E, is held in high esteem for a few reasons, including being born into wealth and political power (Solomon pg 5). A product of ancient aristocracy, Plato descended from Codrus, a king of Athens, and Solon, a notable improver of the Athenian constitution. In addition to his family’s notoriety in their time, Plato created a famous Academy and produced a remarkable student scholar know as Aristotle. In the modern world, his ideas are credited as the foundation for widely held philosophical beliefs and political theory. Korab-Karpowicz of the University of Prague labels Plato’s “greatest achievement” as bestowing his political ideals and belief in virtue as a solution to restore a declining Athens. Plato…show more content…
Plato also believes that this knowledge is that of “eternal values” which are universal between all mankind and is not subject to subjective opinion, impressions, senses, or culture. Plato classifies knowledge as being unfailing and “of what is”. “Those who know better do better” (look this up).
Plato describes knowledge in terms of what it is not. Knowledge is not content, as defined in Theaetetus. In this example, Theaetetus doesn’t quite understand what knowledge is and when asked by Socrates describes knowledge as science, geometry, etc. Socrates tells him that his answer is what knowledge is of, not what knowledge is (McMahon). Knowledge is also not perception. Knowledge is defined as being infallible and therefore cannot be defined by perception, which focuses on subjective appearances, not truth of what is. Perceptions vary from man to man and one perception cannot be deemed superior or wiser to another man’s perception because each man’s perception is his subjective “truth”. Therefore, perception is not knowledge. Knowledge is also defined by Plato as not being judgement. In Theaetetus it is revealed that knowledge of tangible objects is impossible and that “true” or real knowledge must be universal and unshakable. Universal knowledge must be stable, unchanging, and must be able to be understood in a clear and scientific definition. Scientific knowledge aims to describe
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This includes an important principle concerning conflict between desires, stating that opposite actions or states cannot be assigned to the same thing, in relation to the same object, at the same time. Therefore, desiring something and being opposed to it are opposites. This means that parts of the soul can conflict. In order to conflict because they cannot coexist in the same “state”, this is evidence that the human soul is composed of at least two distinct parts. One part can experience desire for something, while another part experiences aversion to it. For example, the “appetite” component of the soul can desire physical pleasures such as gluttony with food and sex, while “reason” knows that a ravenous desire to consume extravagant amounts of food and sex is not socially acceptable in society and will most likely lead to other problems as well. The Republic breaks down the tripartite soul further, assigning reason as knowledge and truth, for the purpose of guiding and regulating life. Reason is informed and can assess all parts of the soul individually and collected to make good decisions. Appetite is the “voice” of the body’s needs including safety, comfort, sex, food, and water. The appetite focuses on immediate gratification and pleasurable feelings. Plato believes that if an individual’s appetite’s basic
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