By relying so rigidly on early education to produce a just society, and prohibiting future innovation in the program, Plato stifles individual potential and prevents society from adapting to new situations.
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Plato’s Just Society and Education
According to Plato, justice means to focus on one’s matters without interfering with other people. Justice refers to improving oneself without infringing on the rights of other people in society. Plato employs the concept of justice to define a just state. He asserts that when people adhere to their societal duties, there is great peace and harmony among them. Excellent citizens are rewarded while substandard citizens are punished accordingly. In fact, the main message in Plato’s “Republic” is about the just state and its characteristics. It is, however, unfortunate that Plato relies on early education in his just society. As a result, he prevents future innovation regarding education. The philosopher stifles individual potential and prevents society from adapting to new situations. Most of the Platonic ideas are well incorporated into the current educational systems. This paper will succinctly explore Plato’s educational system and its role in the just society.
In the “Republic”, Plato reckons that an ideal system of education is requisite for a just society. The philosopher defines education as the process by which children acquire certain virtues. Also, he believes that the concept of education is necessary for assisting them to understand their feelings and emotions. Education is an important part of the society as it greatly impacts the growth of individuals and the state. Plato clearly gives insight on the concepts and tenets of public education. He offers fine and formidable information about public education; as seen in the current systems. Often, individuals gather solid details before enrolling in educational institutions. However, Plato does not endorse extreme progression in the educational system. He believes that people should only have enough education.
According to his early education, Plato holds the belief that education is meant for certain groups of people. Today, a distinct part of society believes that education should be given to specific classes of people. They assume that people from the lower classes do not require education to better their living standards. The philosopher endorses the need for potential leaders and statesmen to acquire education. He emphasizes that lack of education may negatively affect their influence on the state bestowed upon them. These uneducated leaders may give rise to anarchy in the state. Plato’s system of education hinders an individual’s progress because it aims to benefit the society. He advocates for leaders’ education to avoid bad leadership. Plato upholds the interests of the state rather than those of individuals. The current governments often sacrifice individuals’ rights for their betterment.
Moreover, in the “Republic”, Plato does not focus on the academic nature of the educational system. The philosopher’s ideas on the diversity of education are similar to the current educational system. Often, educational institutions focus on other areas apart than academics. They observe co-curricular activities as well as morals and ethics. Plato’s sole concern is about life, the soul, and the state. The philosopher reckons that the goodness of the state is dependent on a proper education system. Through education, the statesman learns the good nature of the state. When the statesman does not realize the importance of the state, he fails to lead the state. Plato’s education system is also necessary for men to appreciate their fellow men. As a result, this ensures that they lead good lives that create peace in the state.
Plato’s education system incorporates benefits to the state. He outlines that the education earned by men is important to create a just society. As earlier mentioned, justice involves the act of citizens performing their responsibilities to the letter. With education, they learn and understand the importance of handling their responsibilities. Adherence to those duties assists the individuals in securing and protecting the state. Plato also creates emphasis on the quality of his education system. He believes that a just society should incorporate a system of education that is real to create a good state. Plato outlines the existence of various forms of education; and settles on a distinct one for the good of the state.
Plato’s just society also integrates an education system that is not only intellectual but, also moral. The instances of physical experience are also necessary for understanding the philosopher’s idea of education. In the “Republic”, he discusses that there are certain experiences required before men qualify to offer service to the state. It is mandatory for them to have served in the government for a minimum of fifteen years. Plato explains that the experience helps potential statesmen to rule the state accordingly. With this experience, they have tactics that are necessary for evading problems within the state. Today, some employers not only focus on education but, also experience and exposure. The concept of morality is also primary in Plato’s system of education. He believes that immoral men are prone to wrongdoings in comparison to men of morals. The philosopher asserts that immoral men are rendered to be selfish and narcissistic. They may succumb to wrongdoings and temptations hence deterioration of the state. Plato understands that immoral men often sacrifice the state for their personal benefits and gains.
Clearly, Plato also stifles individual potential by his opinion on the functions of education. He believes that education is necessary to improve a person’s productivity in the society. The philosopher does not consider future innovation for the benefit of individuals. He also outlines that education is necessary to ascertain that the ruler is ready for leadership. With education, the ruler comprehends different perspectives of the world. The statesman is required to distinguish between superficial worlds from the real world. Additionally, the education assists the rulers to understand the difference between knowledge and opinions. The current education system ensures that both the state and the individual benefit from the experience. Regardless of its drawbacks, there are also perquisites of the current education system.
It is also necessary to note that Plato acknowledges the importance of education to individuals. The philosopher understands that education enhances creativity in society. Education also initiates cultural relationships thus improving the lives of individuals. As prior observed, he vouches for enough but, not too much education. There should be restrictions and limits when individuals acquire education. For this reason, he negatively affects individual potential thus preventing invention and innovation. Plato’s early education elevates both the state and the individual. Howbeit, according to Plato, the main focus is on improving the state.
In summation, Plato depicts irony regarding early education and his just society. He asserts that ideal education is required to achieve a just society. However, the educational information disseminated, often has more benefits to the state. A just society should also function in upholding the interests of the citizens. Irrespective of his focus on individual interests, he outlines the instances of restrictions. Plato asserts that fictitious content may encourage the concept of falsehood. For this reason, governments censor and restrict various contents to avoid ignorance of the truth. They use these limitations to divert individuals’ minds from reality thus; they do not appreciate their worth. Apropos of Plato, the problems in educational systems are often caused by the government. They solely focus on educating the citizens about their benefits. As observed, Plato depends on the education system to improve his just society. In fact, some educated individuals may fail to sustain their living standards. The education is solely for the betterment of the state thus; it does not enhance the individuals. Irrespective of the necessity of education, there are uneducated people that are successful.
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