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Platonic Philosophy in Contemporary Culture - Essay Example

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Primarily, the book combats various forms of immorality and selfish pursuits in the society from Socrates’ perspective. Throughout the dialogue, Plato acts as the mouthpiece of…
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Platonic Philosophy in Contemporary Culture
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Download file to see previous pages As a philosopher, Socrates was afraid that subjectivity and skeptic beliefs that were prevalent in the society would undermine the ethical construct of young people (Plato 161). As a response, Socrates differed with the ruling class, and independently portrayed his vision of ethics. In Plato’s dialogue, detailed elaboration of Socrates’ philosophical education is portrayed through contextual analogies, specifically in the analogy of warrior guardians.
Observably, Socrates separates motivation and desires into three distinct groups; appetitive desires like sex and money, spiritual desires like honor, and rational desires like objective knowledge and truth. In practical contexts, independent pursuit for these three desires often overlaps with each other (Lindsey and Wyse 70). In the context of philosophical education, Socrates mentioned that an overlap occurs when the pursuit for objective knowledge overlap with that of appetitive desires and lusts like sex. In his warrior guardians’ analogy, Socrates discredits that erotic attraction and relationship between a boy and a man. According to Socrates, “A mutual attraction and love between a boy and a man is necessary for objective education to materialize” (Plato 206). Apparently, heightened senses of love motivate a young learner to pursue knowledge with the help of his older teacher. However, sexual desires occasionally infiltrates into the boy-man relationship in philosophical education. Plato mentioned that when pure love is transformed into an erotic love, the intended purpose of an educational relationship fails. This is more so when erotic love is homosexual in nature.
In this context, it emerged that erotic homosexual desires are not only selfish but also unethical. According to Socrates, erotic heterosexual desires are ethical and natural because they lead to procreation. However, Socrates mentioned that homosexual acts are purely useless ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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