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The Republic

Plato

General Info

Context

Overview

Important Terms

Philosophical Themes, Arguments & Ideas

Summary & Analysis

Book I

Book II

Book III

Book IV

Book V

Book VI

Book VII

Book VIII

Book IX

Book X

Study Tools

Important Quotations Explained

Key Facts

Study Questions & Essay Topics

Quiz

Suggestions for Further Reading

How to Cite This SparkNote

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Its not about education

by Howk, January 21, 2014

The story of the cave has nothing to do with it being a metaphor about education. simple shallow thinking is all that can conclude that. its about knowledge beyond this world and the attempt by someone who has surpassed the idiocy of this world that keeps the majority in chains and darkness going back into that darkness to try to tell others to look so they too can see the way out. And is killed for his caring to try. but the arrogance in this world never ends so you get entire conflagurations and diatribes inventing oh its about this. Once ... Read more

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"Understanding" is Wrong Term

by JohnUebersax, August 28, 2014

The definitions on this list are mostly helpful, but the term "Understanding" is incorrect and misleading. The highest grade of cognitive activity in Plato's fourfold epistemological scheme is, in Greek, "noesis." In English this should be called Intellection, Higher Reason, or simply Noesis. To call it Understanding badly confuses things because of the myriad unrelated meanings and senses of "understanding" in English.

Reason

by JohnUebersax, August 29, 2014

Similarly, what the list above calls "Reason" would be better termed ratiocination, calculation, reasoning, or lower reason. To simply call this faculty Reason confounds two distinct faculties: ratiocination (dianoia) and Higher Reason (nous or Nous). Ratiocination is somewhat like the ability that animals have to think and plan. It is the Higher Reason that is associated with mans immortal soul, and on which basis, according to Plato, man may attain "likeness to God insofar as possible."

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