Essay about Socrates and Plato's The Republic

Essay about Socrates and Plato's The Republic

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Socrates and Plato's The Republic


Throughout his life, Socrates engaged in critical thinking as a means to uncover the standards of holiness, all the while teaching his apprentices the importance of continual inquiry in accordance with obeying the laws. Socrates primarily focuses on defining that which is holy in The Euthyphro – a critical discussion that acts as a springboard for his philosophical defense of the importance of lifelong curiosity that leads to public inquiry in The Apology. Socrates continues his quest for enlightenment in The Crito, wherein he attempts to explain that while inquiry is necessary, public curiosity has its lawful price, thus those who inquire must both continue to do so and accept the lawful consequences of their inquiry. Each of the above values, holiness, inquiry, and just lawful obedience, interlock under what Socrates describes in The Republic as, “the very cause of knowledge and truth, [it is also] the chief objective in the pursuit of knowledge,” (Sterling & Scott 198) – the good. The good embodies each Socratic pursuit: it acts as an umbrella for all things perceived in what Socrates names, “the intelligible sector,” (Sterling & Scott 199).

Socrates devotes a generous amount of The Republic to creating a Utopian society wherein philosophers rule. As he believes that philosophers ought to lead a city, Socrates first defines a guardian by unmasking elements belonging to philosophers. Above all, philosophers have a hunger for wisdom, and are individuals, “capable of comprehending what is eternal and unchanging,” (Sterling and Scott 174). Additionally, Socrates categorizes truth, pleasures in the soul, generosity, magnificence, courage, grace and temperance, (Sterling and Scott 174-177)...


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...njust: Socrates realizes that he, by free will, chose to live in a community wherein inquiry about the intelligible realm is punishable by death. He never attempted escape from the city, and thus finds no reason to escape prison as an old man. This higher understanding of justice comes only from a higher understanding of the good.

Socrates speaks at length throughout his three works, the Euthyphro, the Apology and the Crito, about both the importance of and the true nature of holiness, inquiry and justice; however, these philosophical investigations lead Socrates to one unifying truth as concluded in the Republic: the source of holiness, inquiry and justice, as well as the source of all things perceived, is the good. Its essence touches all aspects of both the visible and intelligible realms, and its power is unmistakable, particularly to those outside the cave.

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