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How can we cope with the idea of Plato with regard to his conception of what kind of...

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dafish | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 29, 2007 at 11:48 AM via web

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How can we cope with the idea of Plato with regard to his conception of what kind of education should we have?

In a modern world that we have now,  can we still apply this idea of Plato regarding to education? His perception about education is very intricate you know.Can we do something about it?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 30, 2007 at 12:23 AM (Answer #1)

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Ah, your comments get ahead of your question! By that I mean, it may not be necessary or desirable to apply Plato's ideas on education directly, even assuming we can identify them clearly. By that I mean, take something like his stance on poetry. He banned poetry from his ideal state, but the characters in his dialogues are clearly familiar with it. Similar observations could be made about rhetoric and the use of writing. How, then, can we be clear what Plato specifically argues for regarding education?  That said, we can and should apply the many ideas of Plato regarding education…but not necessarily completely or literally, just as they would not be applied that way in his own time. He provides an ideal, like the realm of the forms; he knows we will produce pale and distant echoes of that ideal. We can apply his ideas on education by asking the sort of questions Socrates asked. Examine our premises and our base of knowledge. Examine social assumptions. Seek truth rather than gain, and so on.


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