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By continuing, you agree to the use of cookies. To learn more, visit our Cookies page. This page was processed by aws-apollo1 in 0. Skip to main content. Copy URL. Abstract I begin by looking at arguments that Plato seeks to positively compare Odysseus to either the just man or the philosopher of the Republic, or even to Socrates himself. Instead of the chaos created by the conflicting passions of these gods, he believed that the universe was guided by a god with a sense of purpose, a god that was the source of human consciousness and morality.

Socrates is described as hearing an inner voice that he believed was God's.

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This was not the god of Anaxagoras. Socrates, according to Plato, faulted Anaxagoras' nous ultimate mind and soul, or God as dead mechanics rather than a power with knowledge and design. Believing in a goodness created by God rather than created biologically as empathy , Socrates believed that people needed merely to match that goodness.

Plato and Homer

He believed that knowledge and obedience to truth improved one's soul and diminished the ungodliness of wrongdoing, confusion and ugliness. To help people gain knowledge and improve their soul he tried to expose their ignorance and mistaken reasoning, and he often started with the question whether they understood what they were talking about. Socrates believed that knowledge was enough to prevent people from doing wrong, that no one knowingly did wrong.

He failed to understand irrationality as Bishop Augustine would, or consider it as Shopenhauer would. He wasn't interested in the mechanics of the mind as modern psychologists are, or the mechanics of other things. According to a contemporary, the philosopher Xenophon, Socrates called people fools for studying the mechanics of nature.

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Nature, Socrates believed, was part of the divine and the divine was about good intentions. The study of natural phenomena, Socrates believed, produced nothing practical. To many in Athens, concerned as most people were with the practical, Socrates was a babbler. The result is a deception:. Plato was a playwright and his work was at least largely fictional.

At this point one can consider Plato to be a hypocrite by condemning the very medium he is using, or figure that he must not mean exactly what he is saying about fiction. As it appears, Plato is not against fiction as a whole, but rather those who write with authority on subjects which they have no mastery over.

Socrates-Homer Hypothesis - REVERSAL POINT

This could also indicate that Plato felt that he had sufficient knowledge to speak with authority on the subjects that he was addressing in The Republic. It is apparent that Plato was seeking to do away with the Homeric ideals that permeated Athens, but what exactly was he seeking to put in its place? Just as Homer sought to place himself in the center of Greek ideals, Plato is similarly seeking to show Greece that philosophy and contemplation is the only true way to operate a city.

Homer and Plato with Pierre Grimes

Plato seeks to see cities ruled by philosopher kings, who are the only ones fit to rule a city based on their unwavering appreciation of that which is good. Plato, on the other hand, has no problem explaining that in his city, people like him would be in charge. Plato believes that philosophers are the only ones qualified to rule a city because their love is directed toward wisdom.

The Big Three of Greek Philosophy: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

The politicians and rulers that exist in Athens, according to Plato, do not have their sights set on that which is true, rather the whim of opinion. Because of this, they are liable to sway from notion to notion and lead poorly. Before this point, Plato shows the philosophic power in creating and sustaining a city that is ruled by justice, along with a brief attack on the Homeric ideologies permeating Athens. Following the middle of the book Plato goes into detail about the different sorts of governments the ones that work and the ones that do not and a final attack on Homer and the poets in Book X.

While the book is varied in the arguments and philosophic endeavors politics, metaphysics, epistemology, etc. The concept of philosophy being the superior path, both politically and personally, really began with Plato but is still being suggested even today. Not much after Plato, Aristotle in Nichomachean Ethics wrote on how to achieve true happiness- according to him, philosophy is the only way to go.

This is in fulfillment of his assertion that whatever the source of happiness is, it must be both pure and unchangeable. The conclusion of the Ethics is that the only people who are truly happy are those directing their energy towards contemplation.

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Over two thousand years after both Plato and Aristotle, Nietzsche wrote Beyond Good and Evil, in which he proposes a philosophic elite rule the world to put it overly simply. He believe that there was a sort of person who was capable of excelling, and that those who are not should submit to this elite.

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This is a profoundly important concept to consider from a Christian worldview. Everywhere, in every generation there are those who are trying to define a people, some overtly, some less so. The ability to determine who is doing this, and to what end is of critical importance to Christians. It is not hard to realize this happening in the Iliad, especially if you look at Greek culture and literature following Homer.

With Plato, though, it is much more of a challenge. Plato was subtle and obviously could not be too harsh with the revered poet Homer. At the same time though, Plato is very serious about removing the Homeric ideologies and replacing them with his own. Such a concept is remarkably important to the understanding of The Republic. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that this concept is very sparsely addressed in academic culture.