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Plato, The Republic & Allegory of the Cave

The very nature of current political and moral philosophy is often inexorably tied with the name and philosophies of the fifth century Greek known to the modern world as Plato. Although Plato had prodigious interests, and his life ended in the middle of the fourth century, the rich nature of Greek culture at the time is not particularly forthcoming regarding his biography. One of the reasons for this is that the code of the time warned against making explicit mention of living contemporaries. The famous orator Isocrates, who was Plato's contemporary, does not mention him at all. Aristotle, who was in his late 30s when Plato died, only alludes vaguely to the philosopher "Plato." In some places, he even refers to Plato as Socrates, and Socrates, Plato's teacher, as the author of such works as the Republic (Edwards, 1967, p. 314).

It is, however, that same work, Plato's Republic, upon which this paper will concentrate. That seminal work, so tied up with the basis for modern political philosophy, contains Plato's basic ideas of forms and the way societal and moral laws should be organized. The paper will begin with an brief biography of Plato, turning to an overview of the Republic itself, including some of the most basic premises included, and scholarly commentary on the same. It will move to a brief analysis and explanation on the famous "Allegory of the Cave." The bulk of the paper, however, will deal with Plato's theory of forms, and the way that ideology was expressed in the Republic. Finally, the paper will conclude with an analysis of some of the basic moral theories implied by the work, as well as an explanation of the modern relevance of Plato.

When dealing with moral philosophies, most thinkers believe that one of the seminal questions revolved around the contrast between the individual's personal interests and his or her moral obligations. Plato was such a thinker, and the bulk of his works deal with that very q...

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Plato, The Republic & Allegory of the Cave. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:17, July 14, 2020, from