Socrotes Plato

short reading with 2 questions

Often we take an idea that is presented to us and due to our questions and use of logic and reason and expand that idea. This occurs with Socrates idea of soul. Plato changes it somewhat. Later Aristotle does. And, even later Thomas Aquinas, a Christian theologian, does.

For Socrates and Plato we come in with knowledge. (look at forms) There is the world of forms (perfect ideas) and our world that is imperfect. We see shadows of the perfect. Our psyche is the soul/mind that creates action.

We all ask who am I? Plato sees the self as divided.

Plato used an analogy to define soul. Envision a chariot, a soldier driving it and two horses are attached.

The Charioteer is reason, One horse is appetite and the other is passion.

We use reason to drive the chariot. We get the horses to work together. Yet, they may pull us in a direction.

Example: In a relationship we are looking for an intellectual companion. We can be pulled by love on one side (passion) and sex(appetite) on the other. We use reason to make the best choice. We control it, not the horses trying to pull us in a certain direction.

He would argue that if we have two conflicting desires regarding the same object at the same time, then there must be two unique things generating the conflict or desire because the same thing cant have conflicting desires at the  same time. Example: I go to a movie (Don’t I wish I could in the pandemic) I want to get an extra large soda. If I do I will have to go to the bathroom during the movie.  What should I do? Appetite should say one thing while reason would say another. (I would forgo the soda)

The spirited horse: does not use reason. This is the will of the person  to act. It is the seat of emotion. Allows us to act our desires or refrain from them.  Loves wining, gets angry at injustice. loves to overcome challenges.

The appetite horse: does not use reason. Forms desires based on the disposition of  the body.  Example is hunger. Looks at pleasures, comforts and physical satisfaction.

Charioteer: is the reasoning part of the soul. uses rationality to determine what to pursue and how to pursue it. Makes a judgment of what is good or bad. Weighs options. Analysis of options.

The symbol for the charioteer is the head, the spirited horse is heart and the appetitive horse is the gut/genitals.

Question 1. If you saw a  person being mugged by three people ( big strong men), what would you do? You are on your way to Trocaire for your final exam. It is your last semester before graduation. You have been told that if you are late you won’t be allowed in and if you miss the exam you must take the class over. Explain you answer and your reasoning.

Question 2. There is a vice attached to each part. For the charioteer it is pride, for the passionate horse it is anger or envy, for the appetitive horse it is gluttony, greed or lust. Does this seem realistic to you. Explain what makes each realistic or unrealistic.

Socrotes Plato

Two questions paragraph short answers

Question 1. Socrates and Plato were good teachers. They engaged their students curiosity. If you were to name an outstanding teacher you have had, who would it be? How did that person engage your curiosity? Describe that person and their impact on you as a learner. You might want to describe an actual class or situation. 

Question 2. Plato believed society should help people achieve a life based on eudaimonia rather than a life based on doxa. This occurs as we do philosophy and examine our ideas. We change our values. I had a friend who worked hard to help her son get through medical school. She envisioned him being successful. She envisioned him having a thriving practice, making a lot of money and “living the good life.” She had worked hard to support him through medical school. He joined the Peace Core after medical school. She was devastated and angry. She did not speak to him for a long time. He had developed a different idea of what would make his life successful. When you look at how doxa is described, do you agree or disagree that those are the wrong values? Every aspect of life in another Greek city state, Sparta, was geared to producing strong soldiers. The purpose of life was to win. If a battle was lost you did not come home defeated. Plato believes society should help people want the “more” in life, not just to win. Is it possible for someone to develop a life of eudaimonia and have some of the aspects described as doxa as a result of that life decision such as wealth or popularity? 

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