Blair Khoker Philosophy 101 Education? How?
Having knowledge is important in every society, whether it be a totalitarian society, or a democratic society. In Plato's Republic, Socrates and his interlocutors discuss how to educate children. Is it right to keep them censored, or should they be allowed to study all and every subject(s). The education of children is very important because they are the future of the society. They are the possible rulers, philosophers, guardians, and so on. So, it is important to shape them wisely. This concept is no different than what shapes our society today. It is well known that one of the many qualifications of a good leader is that who can improve the country's educational system. Why?, because the youth are our future leaders and teachers. A parent would rather pick a private school over a public school, and a job interviewer would look more highly on a private school graduate over a public school graduate. You can say that education is important in today's society, as well as Plato's society.
The youth can be educated in many different ways, either by keeping them in the shadows, or exposing them to the light. this means that the future of the society can be either ruled by a person who is oblivious to the society's past, or by a person who has been fully exposed to the society's history. If a person is censored from education, then they love their life as a perfect world. this is best described when Socrates says that a Guardian should be a person who "must be gentle to their own people and harsh to the enemy." (375b-c). Socrates wants to educate these Guardians to be noble, righteous, and tentative to their every word, like a robot. He wants to educate them by making them obedient. He also believes that repressing their knowledge of music/narratives, and physical strength will make them grow into smarter adults.
Socrates believes that a censored society is a better one. He believes that the city will prosper if it is concealed and trained. He says that people are most limber in their youth. So, he goes on to show that music/stories, and physical training are all things that are stressed in the youth of children. Music begins with stories or tales. "We won't admit stories into our cities- whether allegory or not.", this shows that he wants to cut down the telling of tales because he says that children absorb these tales in a literal sense rather than a hypothetical one. He says "You know, don't you, that the beginning of any process is most important, especially for anything young and tender. It is at this time that it is most malleable and takes on any pattern one wishes to impress on it.". (377b) It's not that he wishes to rid off all stories, but just censor them so that they all depict a good message, and show no violence or hate. Also, he believes that only moderate melodies are acceptable. (399d) Socrates goes on to say that music and poetry are important, but should only be taught when a person is old enough to tell the difference between right and wrong. After his discussion about music and narratives, he goes on to discuss the physical body, and how it affects one's mind. "...a fit body doesn't by its own virtue make the soul good, but does the opposite." (403d) This is exemplifies that being having a good soul will make a good body, and that a healthy body leads to a good intellect. This was achieved by gymnastics at the time. So, all in all, a good education can consist of gymnastics and good music. But, isn't society today based on telling the whole truth and learning everything possible?
Our society in the Unites States is democratic, which means that we choose our leaders. To do this, we have to be well-educated in our...