The Meaning, Purpose and Function of Higher Education for Plato Essay

Plato believed in an ‘ideal province. ’ the Republic. which is ruled and sustained by an ‘ideal’ group of people whose chief aim should be to seek their highest good for the benefit of both the province and the society. “Only those who know what the good is are fit to rule” ( Oxford Companion to Philosophy. 1995 ) . To cognize what is good. one has to “undergo long and strict rational preparation that will give this knowledge” ( p. 1541 ) . Plato believed that the map of instruction is to assist people embody their true nature of good because they will go the fuel that will maintain the Republic running.

Here. higher instruction is meant to pave the manner for the development of the person because it is important to the Republic’s being. The failure of an person to make his highest good. albeit in theory of a secondary importance. would be the failure of the province as a whole. In Plato’s position. it is the development of the person. supported by instruction. which serves as the basis of the Republic and ensures that the latter does non fall in. One can state that it is truly instruction which holds the state’s hereafter in its custodies.

The true intent of Higher Education is best depicted in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. The Allegory of the Cave represents the different degrees of cognition that adult male must travel through in order to accomplish enlightenment. Work force were depicted as cave-dwellers in the deepnesss of void where there is a entire absence of cognition. “Most world dwell in the darkness of the cave. It is the map of instruction to take work forces out of the cave into the universe of the shadow” ( Tulio. 2005 ) . Those who are able to get away the parturiencies of the cave would able

Meaning. Purpose and Function of Higher Education for Plato to get the cognition that will take to their development and organize the opinion elite who will prolong the Republic.

Harmonizing to Kemerling ( n. d. ) :

“The highest end in all of instruction. Plato believed. is cognition of the Good ; that is. non simply an consciousness of peculiar benefits and pleasances. but familiarity with the Form itself. Merely as the Sun provides light by agencies of which we are able to comprehend everything in the ocular universe. he argued. so the Form of the Good provides the ultimate criterion by agencies of which we can grok the world of everything that has value” ( Kemerling. n. vitamin D ) .

Plato believed that instruction is a right given to a few. He saw society as a conglobation of persons organized into different categories “according to the value of their function in supplying some component portion of the common good” ( Kemerling. n. d. ) . In this set-up. it is the person’s societal category which determines whether he should be educated or non. Plato thought that the philosopher-class should hold the right to have instruction because “it is the philosopher above all others who excels at look intoing serious inquiries about human life and at judging what is true and best” ( n. d. ) .

Dillon ( 2004 as cited inPlato’s Republic) besides added: “…those tantrum for a guardian’s instruction must by nature be “philosophic. spirited. Swift. and strong. ” The defenders must be lovers of larning like “noble puppies” who determine what is familiar and foreign by “knowledge and ignorance” ( Dillon. 2004 ) . The job with this sort of set-up is that merely a few are permitted to better themselves while the remainder of the universe is forced to carry through the functions that society has imposed upon them.

Meaning. Purpose and Function of Higher Education for Plato Kemerling ( n. d. ) explained the importance of the future function of philosophers:

“Thus. despite prevailing public incredulity about philosophers. it is to them that an ideal society must turn for the wisdom to carry on its personal businesss decently. But philosophers are made. non born. So we need to analyze the plan of instruction by agencies of which Plato supposed that the future philosopher-kings can get the cognition necessary for their map as decision-makers for the society as a whole” ( Kemerling. n. d. )

Plato viewed the development of the person as functioning an bossy societal utility every bit far as instruction is concerned ( although most believe that Plato advocated democratic rules in his theory of instruction ) . Education for the popular mass was ne’er Plato’s political orientation. He advocated educational reforms intended merely for the philosopher and the warrior category. “Plato believed that the involvements of the province are best preserved if kids are raised and educated by the society as a whole. instead than by their biological parents” ( Kemerling. n. vitamin D ) .

The true kernel of self-actualization. therefore. was merely a privilege given to this opinion category because of their entree to instruction. It did non hold any self-seeking involvements even if self-development was an initial pre-requisite for the success Plato’s ideal province. Education is entirely for the intent of the good of the Republic. Oxford Companion to Philosophy ( 1995 ) stated:

“They will regulate with a position to maximising the felicity of the province as a whole. but Plato thinks that the manner to accomplish this is to enforce a rigorous censoring to forestall incorrect thoughts being expressed. to guarantee that each individual sticks to his

Meaning. Purpose and Function of Higher Education for Plato ain allotted occupation. so that he does non tamper with personal businesss that are non his concern. and so on. Plato was steadfastly against democracy. and seems to hold seen no connexion between felicity and single liberty” ( Oxford Companion to Philosophy. 1995 ) .

But every bit much as instruction serves a province map. it can non wholly detach itself from its secondary purposes of self-development. Harmonizing to Scolnicov ( n. vitamin D ) in his paperPlato on Education as the Development of Reason.“the ultimate educational aim. so. is to convey about a revolution in the educand’s perceptual experience of the function of reason” ( Scolnicov. n. vitamin D ) . He continued. “Plato’s theory of instruction purposes at stipulating the conditions of the growing of the Socratic adult male. whose psyche is free from contradictions and whose excellence is justified knowledge” ( n. vitamin D ) .

For Plato. man’s reason can be shaped through an educational course of study that teaches these specific topics: music. story-telling and gymnastic exercises. Musical instruction should be started in childhood because it is an age where kids are still ‘pliable. ’ There should be censoring in the relation of narratives because kids still do non possess the quality to spot what is good and bad. It is Plato’s position that kids have no moral nature when they are born. but instruction will transfuse in them virtuousnesss of bravery. moderateness and justness that will assist them seek the nature of good. “Through the relation of carefully crafted narratives. female parents and nurses will determine their children’s psyches ( Dillon. 2004 as cited inPlato’s Republic) .

Meaning. Purpose and Function of Higher Education for Plato

The narrative manner of narratives is the 2nd portion of the ‘philosophical instruction. ’ Imitation or Mimetic poesy is merely acceptable if the person will copy virtuousnesss that were taught to them in childhood. Crafting of narratives are of import “because they are the most effectual method of educating guardian’ souls” ( Dillon. 2004 ) . Here. one can see that reason does non merely refer to ground ( of the head ) but besides of the psyche.

Acrobatic instruction. on the other manus. affirms the symbiotic relationship between the head. the organic structure and the psyche: all the constituents that lead to the entire development of the person. For Plato. “that a good psyche produces a good organic structure. and that a healthy mind ensures a healthy body” ( Dillon. 2004 as cited inPlato’s Republic) . One constituent losing will finally ensue in the death of the other.

Dillon ( 2004 ) stated:

“Although music is the most of import constituent in the guardians’ instruction. equilibrium between music and gymnastic exercises is of import for the production of moral defenders. Because a entirely acrobatic instruction causes savageness and a strictly musical instruction causes softness. the two must be balanced” ( Dillon. 2004 ) .

The educational demands of larning music. story-telling and gymnastic exercises would find who will finally go the defenders of society. Those who are able to possess the nature of good throughout the educational procedure will win over those who “will arise against the city’s ideology” ( Dillon. 2004 ) .

Meaning. Purpose and Function of Higher Education for Plato


Cornford. F. ( transcriber ) ( 1945 ) .The Republic of Plato. London: Oxford University Press.

Dillon. A. ( 2004 ) .Education in Plato’s Republic. Retrieved December 25. 2007 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. scu. edu/ethics/publications/submitted/dillon/education_plato_republic. hypertext markup language

Honderich. T ( ed. ) ( 1995 ) .Oxford Companion to Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.

Kemerling. G. ( n. d. ) . Plato: Education and the Value of Justice:Plato Life and Works.Retrieved December. 25. 2007 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. philosophypages. com/hy/2h. htm.

Tulio. D. ( 2005 ) .Historical. Philosophical. Legal and Technological Foundations of Education II.Manilas: National Bookstore Publication.

Scolnicov. S. ( n. d. ) .Plato on Education as the Development of Reason. Retrieved December 25. 2007 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. bu. edu/wcp/Papers/Anci/AnciScol. htm


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