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The Republic "Book 6"

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Carleton University
PHIL 1610
Iva Apostolova

Knowledge What is knowledge? What is knowledge for Plato? Why are philosophers best as rulers. Knowledge is Capacity. It's the capacity to recognize what there truly is. Guardians' knowledge is not factual or specialized of reality. They posses general knowledge of forms/ ideas or principle of reality, such as justice. For Plato, Knowledge is a capacity to know what is, as it is (the truth of certain things) Opposite of knowledge is ignorance. Opinion and belief (Subjective) lie between knowledge and ignorance (objective). Knowledge is about the forms, the principles, the sources of all things, the perfect ideal forms of all things. Philosophers do not need to know the specifics of a fact but the method of verification. Beliefs and opinions are about imperfect things in our everyday life. True opinions and beliefs are partial and do not connect to give universal true knowledge. Opinions and beliefs confuse reality with a sensible appearance. Why are philosophers to rule the polis? Philosophers are useless vs. philosophers are not useless. The true job of philosophers: to contomplate the forms What is the right philosophical education that will produce rulers. It should follow the stages of life. The philosopher-king does not engage in worldly affairs; the eye of a philosopher-king is fixed on a higher reality. Plato's theory of forms: What is a form/ idea for Plato? The form is what there is. Ex. All beautiful things have something in common: beauty. All good things have something in common: good. All just things have something in common: justice. All true beliefs have something in common: truth. In other words, all individual beautiful things, or good things, or just things or true things pertain to an idea entity, the entity of beauty, good, justice and truth. These 4 forms make the ultimate good in Plato's philosophy (which is the highest form) These ideal forms are also called by Plato ideas, because we don't have them in experience and they exist only at the level beyond experience. Philosophy deals with these ideas, it explores what beauty or truth or etc, is in itself, as such apart from beautiful, truthfull things that we see in everyday lives. But these ideas are also called forms because they are the real things, they give shapes to all things that we have in our imperfect, physical world. All other beautiful or truthfull etc, things are what they are be wise these forms exist. The form is one thing and the individual (beautiful, truthfull, etc.) things are the many that partake in that 1 form. The forms are ideal, never-changing entities All specialized types of knowledge partake in this universal and truthfull knowledge. Philosophers are in possession of this very general principles of knowledge. If a citizen is uncertain of whether to call something a belief, an opinion or just a gossip, he will turn to the gardian/ philosopher for an answer. The philosopher will know because be knows about the form, about the principles of how things are. Even of the philosopher doesn't know the particular fact, he knows the principle which will eventually lead him to knowledge about the particular thing. Three myths/ parables/ allegories The parables: 1. Parable/ myth/ allegory of the Sun: Visible world
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