An overview of platos views on evil

Sophie grace 1 Socrates and Plato on evil 1. Perhaps it is better just to conclude that someone is in a muddle. Either the lexicographer is giving a muddled account of the lexicographical data, or the data themselves are muddled.

An overview of platos views on evil

Louis Markos 10 Plato never cared much for the sophists, viewing them as amoral peddlers of a relativistic kind of wisdom with the potential to corrupt the souls of those who hired them. It is therefore not surprising that when they appear in his dialogues, they are generally treated in a negative or at least suspect manner.

In Protagoras, however, Plato treats the sophist of the title with considerable respect. He even has Socrates debate with Protagoras—on fairly equal terms! Although the more elitist Socrates begins the dialogue by asserting that virtue cannot be taught, as the dialogue proceeds, he slowly adopts a position concerning the nature of virtue that drives him—almost against his will—toward the necessary conclusion that virtue can be taught.

In striking contrast to the Christian doctrine of original sin, Plato argues in Protagoras—and elsewhere—that human evil is not the result of rebellion or disobedience.

Later in the dialogue, Socrates explains more clearly what the cause is of this involuntary evil: If we knew of another, better course of action, we would take it.

How wonderful it would be if these assertions were true. Imagine a world in which all who truly understood virtue were thereby empowered to become virtuous.

The father need only educate his children well, and he will be guaranteed virtuous progeny. As a pre-Christian thinker, Plato did not place himself in knowing opposition to the doctrine of original sin.

Plato | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

For Rousseau, man in his An overview of platos views on evil state was both free and innocent. It was external social corruption—not an internal state of rebellion—that was holding man back from his full potential. Man is born free, he cried out in the famous opening sentence of The Social Contract, but is everywhere in chains.

It is only by throwing off the chains of convention and false hierarchy that man can return to his original state of purity: For Rousseau and his heirs the vehicle for freeing humanity from its chains was not so much spiritual as educational. Rousseau, though he would have disagreed with Plato in most other areas, agreed wholeheartedly that ignorance was the cause of most evil and that education was therefore the key to reforming the world.

Liberals, on the other hand, nurtured a very different vision of government as an engine for the reforming and reshaping of man and society. Can there be any nobler goal than that of eradicating ignorance?

An overview of platos views on evil

I know that I was motivated to pursue a career in education by the promise that I could use my gifts to help draw students up to higher levels of understanding and, by so doing, empower them to live lives of greater purpose and virtue. But then, I also knew that this promise was as exciting as it was illusory—that a man with a sixth grade education can be a saint, while a PhD can be both self-centered and immoral.

And I knew—or learned—a third thing: Here is how it happens in totalitarian states.

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The state begins by positing, as both Plato and Rousseau do in slightly different ways, that evil lies outside the individual, rather than within. This gives it the rationale and justification for eliminating that external evil—whether it considers that evil to reside in a social class the aristocracy or bourgeoisiean economic group kulaks or bankersa political group communists or fascistsor an ethnic group the Jews or Armenians.

Once it has eliminated the identified group, however, the state—which by now has come to identify itself with God or history or both—finds that there are still a large number of people within society who have been so corrupted by the evil elements that they are themselves a part of the external threat.

So the state feels justified in eliminating them as well for the promise that those who remain can be reeducated into pure and perfect citizens is so tantalizing that it alleviates the consciences of those the state appoints to neutralize the threat.

If the state and its agents succeed in this double liquidation, then they will be especially careful that those who remain are all educated in the same way, lest new evils spring up and demand a renewed purge of undesirable elements. Besides, any state that sets itself on this path to perfection will, of necessity, be dedicated to order, efficiency, and regimentation—and it will find that the best way to achieve such things is to carefully remove from the people all socioeconomic differences, cultural distinctions, and personal eccentricities.

After a while, the state will come truly to believe that only when all are the same will all be truly free. The result is a state that should be—but alas is not—a logical impossibility: Here is how the same scenario plays out in more democratic states.

Beginning with the belief that knowledge is virtue, the state will filter this belief through its devotion to liberty, equality, and fraternity so as to come up with three corollaries:idea that Plato's theory of good and evil is rational.

Chapters 1 and 2 examine the plausibility of Plato's theory of knowledge. Chapter 3 states briefly his theory of Forms, Chapters 5 and 6 consider Plato's theory of soul and conclude that, although some of his beliefs in this area lack credibility, his interpretation of the nature and. Plato's Ethics: An Overview First published Tue Sep 16, ; substantive revision Wed Dec 6, Like most other ancient philosophers, Plato maintains a virtue-based eudaemonistic conception of ethics.

Afterlife In philosophy, religion, mythology, and fiction, the afterlife is known as the concept of a realm, in which the necessary part of an individual's identity continues to live on after the death of the body. Belief in the afterlife, which may be naturalistic or supernatural, is in contrast to the belief in nothingness after views on the afterlife derive from religion.

Plato’s Life and Works – Plato “was born into an influential family of Athens.” Athens was at the center of the Greek miracle, the use of reason to understand the world. Athens was at the center of the Greek miracle, the use of reason to understand the world.

An overview of platos views on evil

Plato’s third premise is that since badness cannot be God, it is an illusion. From this it follows that evil represented in art is an illusion. It is not God, it is not real and .

1 Socrates and Plato on evil 1. Our concepts of good and bad and evil, and the ancient Greeks’ “Evil” is a word of fluid meaning. The Oxford English Dictionary begins by defining it as the “antithesis of ‘good’”.

pretty clearly just a philosophical extrapolation from the intuitive views of their own culture.

Plato's Argument: Art is an Imitation of an Imitation