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177. Book Review | Plato’s Republic

Plato, one of the best known Greek philosophers, was a student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle. He’s notable not only for his tremendous insight into philosophy, but his style as well. Instead of explaining his ideas in a long soliloquy, he used dialogue to teach. For his dialogues, he uses Socrates and what we now know as the Socratic method to extract ideas from his characters. In Plato’s Republic, we take a look at what he thinks the ideal society would be. So, let’s take a look at what Plato has to say about his ideal political situation.

“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.”

Plato

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Socratic Method

For starters, it’s important to understand how Plato writes, like what I mentioned above. He uses his teacher, Socrates, and a dialogue to extract ideas from his characters. In order to do this, he has to use students of Socrates to ask questions. By doing this, he allows readers to enter into the story and see different points of views answered. Rather than reading a long explanation of an idea, you can see how the ideas clash and follow the tension between them. So, you are pulled in more like a story than a philosophical treatise.

More about Plato’s Republic

What does Plato prescribe for the perfect society? Well, we may not find it ideal based on our modern ideas, but he raises many interesting points about human nature. At the beginning, the characters are discussing morality with Socrates. Questions arise about what morality is and whether or not it is a good thing to be moral. After that, we look at an extended allegory of the perfect society that leads us to an understanding of morality. In this work, he shows that morality is something noble and worth pursuing, and that it is good in and of itself.

Plato and Aristotle talking - Republic by Plato

188. Finding Unity and Mending a Divided Nation Conversation of Our Generation

Our country is obviously divided, politically, culturally, and religiously. Despite living in the same country under the same laws, we have two separate nations in our country. In this episode, I'll discuss mending a divided nation and how we find unity amid all the chaos. How We're Divided We have divided ourselves in many ways across this country. We've separated ourselves into religious and secular, conservative and liberal, coastal and heartland, and in numerous other ways. With all of these differences, how can we even say we're one country? Discussions of secession come up on both sides of the political aisle, and many take it as an inevitability. What is dividing us? Mainstream Media, politicians, educational systems and numerous institutions seek to tear us apart instead of bringing us together. "Even if a unity of faith is not possible, a unity of love is." -Hans Urs von Balthasar Methods for Mending a Divided Nation I've spoken previously about what we need to come together, but I'm going to recap some of those thoughts. Basically, I think we need to first see each other as fellow human beings, fellow citizens. Rather than seeing political opponents as evil or vicious, we should see our friend or family member who holds those views in each person. We easily jump to conclusions about people instead of trying to understand them. So, if we are to have a healthy political and cultural life, we need to be able to discuss politics well. This means we have to know our own beliefs and biases, and discuss ideas with knowledge of our own potential pitfalls. We need to learn the lessons of the past and seek to mend and understand each other without wanting to dominate or control each other. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
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