First Paper: Conceptual Reconstruction (Allegory, Euthyphro, Apology)
Plato can be identified not only as a man at his prime but the, most openly looked upon and the most universally praised influential philosopher of all time. Among the three juggernauts of philosophy were his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, and himself. Plato was able to provide the strong and essential groundwork of Western Philosophy. Not only that but in his many concepts and dialogues, he was well able to incorporate core components such as metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, and ethics into an interconnected and systematic philosophy. But what is most interesting about Plato is his perspective on his system of philosophy which includes some of his most important concepts such as The Allegory of the Cave, The Euthyphro, and The Apology.
Today, we will be attempting at reconstructing Plato’s conception of philosophy and the philosophical way of living by isolating and weaving together passages that explicitly or implicitly address Plato’s concepts. An allegory could be defined as a sensory image type of image that provides a hint, or clue. The Allegory of the Cave is an allegory that originates from Book VII in Plato’s The Republic. Plato had four stages of this allegory, the first stage called “being shackled” which could be interpreted as the shadows of the objects the prisoners see. The second stage is “False Liberation” in which it describes the people themselves seen in the dim brightness of the cave. The third stage,“Genuine Liberation”, is that the people unlock the ability to see in clear daylight.
Finally, the fourth stage is “Return As Liberator” which can be summarized as an return and examination of the prisoners of the cave. The Allegory of the Cave utilizes a metaphor of which you could say prisoners trapped and kept shackled in a dim cave to explain the struggles of peaking and maintaining a fair intellectual spirit. Plato tries symbolize the people being shackled as being cooped up in the darkness of a cave, with only the illusion of light of a fire close behind them. “Light is provided by a fire burning far above and behind them. Also behind them, but on a higher ground, there is a path stretching between them and the fire. Imagine that along this path a low wall has been built, like the screen in front of puppeteers above which they show their puppets.”.
Basically, the “prisoners” ability to understand the skin of the outside of the cave entirely by looking at the shadows on the wall protruding themselves before them, not realizing that this perspective of existence is restricted, wrong or in any method lacking due to the reason that it was all they ever known. If a number of the enslaved men were suddenly released from their shackles and released toward the outside, to encounter the divine blessing of the sun and attempt to understand “true” reality, some individuals would want to retreat back to the cave, whereas the more enlightened would explore the sun and at last would be able to perceive the outside as it truly is. If they were then to come back to the cave and attempt to explain the outside world, they would most likely be looked down upon and appear aggressive.
Within the allegory, the shadows on the wall represent our planet in which we inhabit, which we assume to be real, however that if truth be told could be a mere imitation of the real thing. Now allow me analyze The Euthyphro which commences with Euthyphro meeting Socrates. Euthyphros main goal is to press charges against his father for the death of a servant. Socrates is onroute to answer charges of ‘impiety’ brought against him by three younger fellows. Euthyphro claims he claims to have knowledge of the gods, the gods wishes, and the general topic of piety. However, Socrates then asks Euthyphro to define piety. With each successive definition, Socrates finds a flaw and asks him to define it again.
Euthyphro is unable to correct his faulty reasoning. The first definition of piety revolves around the idea that piety is to prosecute the wrongdoer of murder, robbery basically crimes. Socrates wants a more clearer definition, to tell him the form itself. The second definition is what is pleasing to the gods. A flaw with this definition is that the gods themselves are conflicted and dispute can still arise among the gods, so this doesn’t fully define piety. The third definition is all callback from the second; “what all the gods love is pious and what all the gods hate is impious.”Socrates encourages Euthypro to “examine”also.
Euthyphro responds with a fourth that piety is the part of the just that is concerned with the care of the gods but Socrates again rejects his definition. The concept of looking after the gods suggests that people’s acts of piety make the gods better, which confuses Socrates. Euthyphro’s final offering is a definition that states piety is the art of sacrifice and prayer which again inst the case. My perception on this is, of course, that perhaps the dialog is about defining piety, but the true theme of the dialog leads to the allegations toward Socrates. Plato’s exchange portrayal leaves the discussion open and unconclusive.“
Tell me more clearly don’t tell me one or two of the many pious actions 2.tell me the Form itself a. one Form b. what the Form itself is 3. a model that allows us to determine whether any action is pious or impious” This is ironic, given that Socrates was eventually executed for impiety charges. If there’s no set piety definition, there is no set impiety definition. How can a individual be attempted and executed without any definition for said crime? The dialog implies that we cannot connect what is religious to the will of the divine and that debts are petty based exclusively on the divine. Since Plato knew Socrates well, I realize the dialog serves to exempt his teacher from the accusations that inevitably resulted in his death.
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