The Role of Education in the Republic

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The Role of Education in the Republic

Plato wrote the republic in the form of dialogues between Socrates and other citizens of ancient Athens. In this series of conversations Plato through Socrates describes his ideal state. The Republic is a place where philosophy rules and the pursuit of wisdom drives everyone. It is a place of class order, where each person performs the task in which he can do best. However, this state can not exist unless everyone is sure of there position. That is why education is important to the Republic. There are other reasons why education is important and because education is so vital Plato elaborates on the education process, what should be taught, and describes the didactic method to finding the future leaders of the Republic.

Education is important to each person in the Republic because it is the means through which they are able to discover their role in the ideal state. For example, a craftsman would have never known that he is good at his skill unless he were properly educated. When someone know their skill that was only what they should. Plato believed people exchanging jobs or meddling in others business "would be ruin for the city," (233). Plus, Plato adds, education along with nurture is part of a process that will ensure a wholeness of vision, that is, the creation of a just citizen in the just state. In-other-words, if you educate people they will do the right thing. This follows if people know what the good is then they will seek the good. Consequently, there will be no need for laws in the Republic because no one would be doing harm.

Plato insisted that children begin education at an early age. He suggested that until children reach eighteen they should be schooled in gymnastics, the arts, and elementary mathematics. After that, people would be organized into groups according to their skills and then work to become great at their skill. Each person doing their techne, or specialized skill, is, according to Plato,...
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