Book Vii of the Republic

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  • Topic: Education, The Prisoner, The Wall
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  • Published : May 7, 2013
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Book VII of The Republic
Book VII of The Republic says that Socrates says to imagine, humans living in a cave, their entrance is above them and open to the world. They have been there since they were children, their necks and legs are chained so that they can only see in front of them. There is a fire, behind them, which provides light. There is also a path behind them, a little higher than they are. Along the path there is a wall, like a puppeteer’s screen. People move along the wall, carrying models of objects and people. Some of those carrying the models are talking.| | | The prisoners can see the shadows moving along the wall, and hear the people talking. From the prisoners’ perspective, the shadows are reality.| | | One day a prisoner escapes. He looks towards the cave’s entrance. Fantasized by the sun’s light, he realizes that the objects he sees in the light are the real versions of the shadows he saw on the walls of the cave.| | | Socrates compares the visible part of the world, the world of Belief, to the cave. The prisoner’s upward journey to freedom and the things above is like the journey of the soul to the world of Ideas, including the Form of Goodness.| | | Education is the process of turning the soul around (much as the prisoner in the cave turned around to the light) and asks people to look in the right place for knowledge. The man must be taught to recognize the Form of Goodness. Then he must return to the cave that is to the world of Belief, in order to teach others.| | | The philosopher-king, with all the other children, studies music and poetry. At eighteen the best students are chosen for advanced classes in physical training and warfare for several years. At twenty, the best are again selected for more education as future guardians. The rest will become the warriors. The future guardians will study the toughest courses with the goal of reaching truth, not arguing for the sake of arguing. Only the right...
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