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Comparison of Plato and Confusius and Their Contemporary Relevance - Essay Example

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Comparison of Plato and Confucius and their Contemporary Relevance Your name Name of Professor Section Number Date on which submitted Word Count: 1717 Comparison of Plato and Confucius and their Contemporary Relevance Plato and Confucius are two of the world’s most important philosophers…
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Comparison of Plato and Confusius and Their Contemporary Relevance
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Download file to see previous pages This opposition is important as they can be contrasted to see the differences in the worldviews that were held in these civilizations at that point of time. Both these philosophers offered different viewpoints to the existing ones and they served to challenge the existing hierarchies in certain ways. They were however, used later on, to enforce the hierarchies that were practised by the state. Thus, even though they are separated by a great geographical and cultural distance the two works do exhibit certain similarities that place them together as two of the most important philosophical treatises to have come out of the ancient world. This paper shall seek to compare and contrast the works of both these philosophers and analyse their contemporary relevance. The paper shall also seek to analyse the different emphases of the two authors and how the ideas that the two philosophers talk of is relevant even for the people of today. This, the paper shall argue is the main reason for the timeless appeal that is a characteristic of both the works of philosophy. The paper shall look at the Apology, Crito and Gorgias by Plato and the Analects of Confucius for a discussion of the views of the two philosophers. Plato placed great emphasis on the life of the human being as an individual. He sought the development of the individual. He did not propose the development of the individual at the expense of the state. He however, did propose a certain degree of independence as far as mental activity is concerned when it came to the individual and the state. This can be seen in his mockery of the apparatus of the state when it came to his trial. These events are talked of at great length in Plato’s Apology. In this tract, he laments the lack of individual freedom that is provided by the state to its citizens. Such a lack of freedom would result in the intellectual stagnation of the people. This is what had happened to people of Athens, according to Socrates. They had become used to the ways of Athenian society and were reluctant to change themselves. The people had forgotten to question traditions. Such questioning was what would lead to a better society and better individuals, according to Socrates. This is what he seeks to covey to the court when he talks of how it would be futile to look for men who are more knowledgeable than him since he was one of the few people who had accepted the fact that he was not wise. By this he seeks to make it clear that what he knew was not sufficient but only a beginning. His attempt is to make clear the infinite nature of knowledge and expose the hollow claims of knowledge that were made by his contemporaries. He thus, seeks to say that knowledge should bring in people a recognition not of their worth but of their worthlessness. This, according to him would be a true lesson in humility. He explains this in this passage, where he describes his encounter with a person who was considered to be very wise- So I left him, saying to myself, as I went away: Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is - for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him. Then I went to another, who had still higher philosophical pretensions, and my conclusion was exactly the same. I made another enemy of him, and of many others besides him (Plato). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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