Plato on education

Julia Braun Inventing America
9/21/01 Professor Hunter
Education:The Foundation of a Republic
In wake of our recent tragedy, Americans all over seem to be pulling together to support the U.S. and its actions.They are flying their flags and pledging allegiance with devotion.This display is about more than showing pride in our country.Americans are showing pride for democracy, which is perhaps what makes our country so strong.Democracy thrives off of its citizens involving themselves in their government.Whether it's by lobbying, protesting to make social changes, or simply by voting, people have always played an extremely important role.However, if the citizens were unable to comprehend the workings of their government, then the foundations of our country would begin to crumble.Without education of the masses, democracy would cease to exist.When Plato was forming his ideal society, he stressed the importance of education for several reasons.Most importantly, educating citizens led to a peaceful, well-run republic.For Plato, education was not about information intake and data storage.Rather, education was a necessity for a well governed state.
Perhaps the best known aspect of Plato's educational thought is his portrayal of the ideal society in The Republic.In this, he sets out in some detail the shape and curriculum of an education system.Plato wrote that "[If] you are better and more completely educated than the others [you] are better able to share in both types of life" (pg. 192, 520 b).By saying,'both types of life', Plato is referring to the practical life of ruling the city and the theoretical life of studying the good itself.In the ideal state, matters are overseen by the guardian class.Change is to be avoided (perfection having already been obtained), and slaves, craft…

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