Plato's 'Republic'

Posted by seanho on Wed 02 May 2007

These past few weeks have piled up so intensely that I still can't believe the school year is really over today! It's taking me a little while to transition into summer-mode. So tonight I indulged in a little leisure reading!

So much of our modern thought process can be traced back to Plato and Aristotle, but in the past century's postmodernity we have also flown far from them in many ways. I loved reading about specialization of roles within the integration inherent in the word techné (τεχνη: encompassing skill and craft in arts, science, business, administration, etc.). But I was also surprised at how many gaping holes in logic there are in some of Plato's developments, especially in the various ancillary discussions on justice, government, and education.

Here's a quote which I thought was rather sweet:

"Is not the fairest sight of all," I asked, "for him who has eyes to see it, the combination in the same bodily form of beauty of character and looks to match and harmonize with it?""It is indeed."

"And what is very beautiful will also be very attractive, will it not?"


"It is, then, with people of this sort that the educated man will fall in love; where the harmony is imperfect, he will not be attracted."
(Plato, 'Republic', Part III, §1, 402(d))

Aww, isn't that sweet? :) Of course, he then goes on to assert that true love ought not to have any contact with sex! *sigh* Plato didn't read God's design in Genesis about being "one flesh" as husband and wife. The foolishness of God is still wiser than the wisdom of man!