Writing Assignment #1 Philosophy consists of an intellectual battle of differing opinions between the ideal reality and factual thinking. Our own opinions are a way in which were explaining physical or fantastical terms. This intellectual battle rivals between Plato’s philosophy, which consists of a more abstract thinking process versus more scientific philosophers as Thales, who was a more practical thinker attempting to disentangle science and magic, and dared to think about the world without first thinking of God. Osborne, p 5) If you look deeper into this battle you see how it deals with the function of human beings. Plato and Socrates saw many of these scientific thinkers and Sophists as being scatter-brained because of their lack of aesthetic order. The Sophists were more interested in man himself and how he behaved. In this case the basic mechanics in man doing things for himself. While Socrates was left as the opponent to this Sophist way of thinking, he was more concerned with morality, discovering the just, true, and good.
Philosophy to Socrates was more then just a profession of what man can do, rather a way of life in examining ones self. By even using his method of dialect and use of irony Socrates would expose false claims of wisdom to move towards knowledge of man’s own nature, only convinced that it could be achieved through hard work. Like Socrates, Plato’s philosophy had the same intake that man had more to think about then just himself, rather the aim to use reasoning in thinking for themselves. Plato discusses how ideas are real, and the particular is only apparent through his idea about the word ‘horse’.
Plato is referring to when said something, as he said a horse, does not necessarily mean the physical animal of a horse, but more then that, more or less the idea of a horse through space and time. This theory of ideas of Plato apparently caused many philosophers to be come scatter-brained, in the sense that at that time many people could not look beyond the physical idea or reality of something or someone. Now though, philosophers like Plato or Socrates for instance, are looking beyond the physical reality and opening the doors to looking at a deeper meaning of life and man himself.
We are starting to look at patterns of thought even beyond the physical studies, a frustration with our minds, because we are so dependent on physical studies in the physical world. Everything changes in time and the physical does not allow us to have a universal, or consistency, even with the way we recollect experiences. Knowledge is remembering or anamnesis, the soul or mind has passed through a series of embodied and disembodied states, and the knowledge from these previous cycles needs merely to be awakened. Osborne, p 14) Plato insists that perception and experiences retain a realm of their own. Meaning, if you have an experience in the ideal world then you bring that experience back into the physical real world of objects, and that physical world of objects changes over time. Plato distinguished the difference between appearance and reality in his famous simile of the cave; where a man was prisoner in a cave and saw reality as what he saw in the cave, the furthest being the shadows on the walls.
Once he escapes though, he sees the real world beyond the world he saw within the shadows of the caves. Although after returning back to the cave, he sees that he is more stupid then before. That man after being exposed to the real world, beyond what he knew around him, was then overwhelmed by his surroundings, then knowing he had to revert back to his simple reality world of the cave. In order to fully understand knowledge and appearances, Plato improved the theory of hypothesis, showing that if a fact didn’t square with a hypothesis then a new hypothesis was needed. Osborne, p 15) There was always that constant search for a more general hypothesis, ultimately striving for universal truth, which explains the good. In the Republic, Plato outlines what he believes as his ideal city-state; taking three classes: the elite guardians, the soldiers, and the masses, and three structures: monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy, and puts an emphasis on social mobility amongst these groups. The individual soul is divided into three, which this structure repeats itself in the state. Osborne, p 15) Plato takes his knowledge of the structure and classes within society and applies it to the individual. In order to show where in his mind people stood based on their standing in society, regarding reason, courage, and appetites. Through Plato’s philosophy of moving towards the abstract ideal world of thought, he attempted to solve the issue of being scatter-brained, or lack of aesthetic order. By opening up the door to looking deeper amongst the physical reality of what we know to be and into a whole new dimension into an ideal world utside of space and time, Plato gives us the ability to enable ourselves to think in the light of reason. Solving the scatter-brained lack of aesthetic order, bringing each one of us to harmony. Bibliography – Osborne, Richard, and Ralph Edney. Philosophy for Beginners. New York: Writers and Readers Pub. , 1992. Print. ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Osborne, Richard, Philosophy for Beginners, page 5. [ 2 ]. Osborne, Richard, Philosophy for Beginners, page 14. [ 3 ]. Osborne, Richard, Philosophy for Beginners, page 15. [ 4 ]. Osborne, Richard, Philosophy for Beginners, page 15.
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