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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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).
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Plato defines ‘able’ men in his Allegory of the Cave. A man who sees the light of knowledge and understands fully the truth (reality) is fit to rule people who are in living in darkness. This ruler, of Plato, will have seen the good and will be capable of ‘real’ good.
He creates a way of a utopian group, in his guide The Republic, out of his disregard for the pressure of government life. Plato preferred to cure the circumstances of both personal group and personal personality. Generally what Plato wants to accomplish is a perfect society.
The author states that the story compares to the story of the developing world. Most of the developing world faced colonialism, an era that oppressed the people. The people decided to rise against the colonial powers and drove them out of their nations. The people were enthusiastic that better days were on the way.
What never ceases to capture my attention with Plato is how often quotes from Republic appear from time to time in everyday life from father-to-son advice to advertising slogans. The timelessness of this work is a wonder, since the very fabric (pathos) of humanity is explored and appears to be relatively unchanged over the span of two millennia when Republic is read with a relaxed mind.
During its onset it did not force anyone to believe in its ideologies in as far as spiritual matters were concerned. Instead it gave people a new appeal and perspective to view spirituality. This was mainly to those who did not find total satisfaction in the already existing religions at the time such as Christianity.
The ideas spawned by him were given further life and shape by his bright pupil Plato, who also documented much of what Socrates orated to his audience. Although he was a prominent member of the Aristocratic class, his lack of deference to authority would ultimately lead to his tragic end.
general definition, one might begin to understand the complexities involved in studying philosophy as it seems to encompass just about all knowledge pursuits. One of the earliest individuals to try to bring sharper definition to our deeper thoughts was Plato.
It is through
These include the schools, community and homes. For example, in American society, elementary schools relate to Plato’s cave because most of children from grade 1 to 6 lack information about life. They spend most of their time playing, acting crazy and they fail to
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