Plato's Writings

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Plato's Writings Plato's profound early writing on politics, ethics and education discussed in the Republic are the foundations of today's governments, nations and discourses. At least that is what I am told. Plato's ideology and reasoning are not always the most believable and desirable, it makes me wonder which part of today's government practices must give due to the Republic (to be discovered in Gov 101). While it is easy to be disgusted with Plato's idealism and philosophy, which seems to deter any type of an acceptable nightlife, it does leave the reader with a desire to keep trudging through endless mounds of self-indulged prose to discover Plato's reasoning. One such view, that I've been asked to dissect, is Plato's idea of justice. Before I read the Republic justice always seemed like such a simple thing, what is right, however now it's more than that. I shall examine Plato's description of a discussion between Socrates and Thrasymachus on justice in order to understand some of Plato's views. Thrasymachus defines justice as "nothing other than the advantage of the stronger" (Book I, 338c). This bold ignorant statement causes Socrates to spring in and draws Thrasymachus into a debate on what true justice entails. Thrasymachus expands his statement with the example of tyranny; the tyrant, the strongest, is able to enforce all their wants on the citizens, the weaker. Therefore the tyrant will always get what he desires, justice for himself, and injustice for the weaker. Socrates envisions justice as something more than the advantage of the stronger and pulls Thrasymachus into a lengthy argument on the subject. Socrates' arguments usually involve a large amount of word twisting and manipulating Thrasymachus'... ... middle of paper ... ... The truth is, at least virtually, there is a difference between my soul and my body, and so Plato is right too. But that is the extent to which their philosophies make sense to me. To me it does not matter whether a rock is really a rock, if the true rock exists in some distant plane, or even if it is part of my being. My own spiritual exploration is limited to the nature of my interactions with other people and to the earth. So long as its not about people, Heraclitus and Parmenides can argue over inertia all they want, and Plato and Aristotle can wrestle out the definition of form. The nature of being is a philosophical debate which will continue as long as there are people to think about it. I am aware of my own identity, and I am also aware that my connection with everyone on this earth is so intricate and inextricable, that it is like we are all one.

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