Plato divides reality into two realms, that is, sensible world and intelligible world
Sartre believed that human beings are free and that there is no specific design of how they should be in life; with nothing to restrict people, they have the choice to take actions and make decisions that will shape their lives, determine who they want to be and live the lives they want to live. In other words, Sartre declares that man cannot be sometimes free and sometimes bound; he is always and entirely free or he is not.
Question 3Plato divides reality into two realms, that is, sensible world and intelligible world
Plato divides reality into two realms, that is, sensible world and intelligible world. According to Plato, knowledge only exists in the intelligible world of the forms and not in the sensible realm since the latter is not only changing but is also a source of illusion, error and ignorance unlike the former that is unchanging and the source of all true knowledge and all reality.
Based on Aquinas’s apologetics or philosophical theology, even though human reason through investigative and demonstrative efforts may confirm that God exists, it is not able to fully prove God’s existence for example in three divine persons. As a result, pure truth and unshakable certitude regarding God’s existence requires that people avail themselves to truths that can only be revealed through faith.Plato divides reality into two realms, that is, sensible world and intelligible world
After questioning men highly esteemed for wisdom such as politicians, poets and skilled craftsmen, Socrates found that they were inflated by a false sense of their own great wisdom while they knew nothing. As such, Socrates denies any expertise and prefers to remain as he is rather than claim to be the wisest when he does not know everything; instead, he asserts that the wisest person is he who humbly accepts that his wisdom is deficient.
Unlike Sartre who believes that what is essential to people, that is, what makes them who they are, is not fixed by their type, but by what they make of themselves or who they become, Young disagrees with “existence precedes essence” philosophy by stating that it does not account for the difference in men and women. As such, Young argues that in contemporary Western societies, women bodies are subjected to certain pressures and limitations that end up shaping their bodily existence in ways that are quite discordant to those of men.Plato divides reality into two realms, that is, sensible world and intelligible world
Plato’s Republic talks vastly about Mathematics. In Plato Republic, it is revealed that rulers undergo intense training in Mathematics from infancy all through to adulthood. There is no doubt that rigorous training in mathematics helps in imparting transferable skills and training the mind. However, why does Plato put so much importance on Mathematics? Plato proposes a curriculum for mental discipline, as well as, the enhancement of abstract thought. He is of the opinion that no individual can become a saint or moral hero devoid of discipline in sheer hard reckoning (Plato). As such, Plato advocates mathematics since it not only entails turning away from sense perception but also fosters constructive reasoning.
Extensive study of Mathematics is also emphasized by Plato because it brings about the unity of the five mathematical disciplines, that is, plane geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, solid geometry and harmonics. This is because all angles, segments and numbers are contingent on the concept of “one). That is why Plato insists on comprehensive study and training in mathematics. In addition, Plato also advocates mathematics as good for the soul. According to Plato, good is brought about by the unification of every value in a manner that is similar to mathematical unity “is there any greater evil for a city than what tears it apart and makes it many instead of one.” As such, the study of attunement and concord within harmonics results in knowledge of the Good since the former focuses on balance between parts. In this regard, the fact that unity underlies the concept of the Good and all mathematical concepts is why Plato believes that mathematics is a vital part of the Good, that is, by studying mathematics, an individual essentially studies the Good.Plato divides reality into two realms, that is, sensible world and intelligible world
Socrates believed that essence is that which makes something what it is. More specifically, Socrates believed in the unity of both virtues and vices as what constitutes essence in an individual.
Plato attempted to capture essence is a discordant way. He is of the opinion that what people see in the physical world is but a dim reflection of the true ideal thing. For instance, circular objects are otherwise mere approximations or estimates of the perfect circle. The objective of Platonic philosophy is to discern reality in form of the ideals that capture the real essence that is otherwise a dim reflection in physical existence. In as much as a perfect or ideal circle cannot be captured, mathematics comes close to capturing essence for Plato through properties such computation of the area covered by a circle with desired accuracy.
According to Sartre, essence refers to the antique philosophical concept that all things possess an ideal and predefined set of features. For example, the essence of a chair is that it possesses a back, legs and individuals sit on it. This meaning is closely associated with Plato’s philosophy of essence, only that Plato describes it using mathematics. Nonetheless, Sartre believes that not everything matches its essence, for example, one might have a chair lacking a back, with only three legs and which cannot support a person. As such, the actual details of a certain chair are the ones that constitute its existence. Sartre expounds this idea in his version of existentialism by stating that existence precedes essence, that is, there is no predefined characteristic or pattern that people must fit into. They define who they are and live their lives without basing them on any idealized set of features.Plato divides reality into two realms, that is, sensible world and intelligible world
According to Young (1980, p. 138) the denial of the real distinctions in psychology and behavior between women and men can be explained by certain eternal and natural “feminine essence.” Young further states that every individual is defined by situations of which the existence of a female individual is no less defined by the cultural, economic, historical and social limits of her situation. As such, the condition of women is reduced merely to unintelligibility if it is described by appeal to certain ahistorical and natural feminine essence. In as much as there is no eternal feminine essence, there is a common basis which underlies every female existence in the present state of custom and education which disputes the concept that existence precedes essence given that men and women are subject to discordant features or characteristics that affect their existence (Young, 1980, p. 139).
In his arguments regarding freedom, Sartre brings to light both essence and subjectivism when describing the exercise of one’s freedom. On one hand, Sartre puts every individual in possession of his or her freedom and himself or herself and places the entire responsibility of their existence and exercise of their freedom squarely on their own shoulders On the other hand, Sartre asserts that in as much as freedom of an individual does not depend on others, as soon as there is involvement an individual is obliged to will the freedom of others at the same time as he or she wills his or her own freedom (Sartre, 2007, p. 82). What Sartre introduces in this counterargument is the concept of subjectivism in freedom.
Subjectivism can be discerned in two senses, that is, the freedom of a person is subject to that of others and an individual cannot pass beyond human subjectivity. The latter explanation provides a deeper meaning of existentialism in that when a person chooses himself, it means that every individual must choose himself or herself, but it also means that in choosing for themselves they also choose for others. The point that Sartre is putting across is that people always choose what is better, but nothing can be better for them if it is not better for all. As such, the responsibility of an individual to exist and at the same time create an image of who he or she is based on the concept of “existence precedes essence”, but he or she must take into contemplation that that image is valid for all and for the entire era in which they find themselves.
According to Young (1980, p. 138), the source of many women’s bodily demeanors and physical delicacy is not in physiology, anatomy or a mysterious feminine essence. Instead, the source of feminine bodily behaviors is in the particular situation of women in a sexist oppressive society. This is because women in modern society learn to adapt and live in accordance with the definition of their existence that the masculine culture assigns them. This means that the society does not give girls and women the opportunity to utilize their full bodily capacities in open and free engagement with the world. Moreover, women are not encouraged to develop bodily skills in the same capacity that men are encouraged since they are not asked to perform tasks that demand physical fortitude and effort while men are asked required to perform physically demanding tasks more and more. As a result, women present their bodies and move in a manner that is feminine, as well as, actively hinder their movements so that they conform to the feminine aesthetic.
As Young argues, female inadequacy emanating from an oppressive society is also fostered by the fact that the female body is frequently objectified. This means that in a patriarchal or oppressive society, women are often defined or viewed as objects, that is, the prospective object of other people’s manipulations and intentions. Since women are exposed to this situation, they actively absorb this attitude of their bodies being objects. However, Young asserts that in order for women to take control of their essence and lives, the society must view female bodies as subject, that is, active rather than objects since these issues are still present in most societies in a negative sense.
Socrates presents the concept that philosophy calls on individuals to care for the soul by giving it the opportunity to know, discern that there is room for growth and explore the truth. For Socrates, truth is something that should not only be discussed but also embodied, lived and practiced. He fathomed the care of the soul as the principal task of philosophy and refuted assertions made my moral relativists, for instance, the Sophists. Socrates advanced the care for truth through his dialogical method whereby he understood that his role was a helper tasked with leading a partner in dialogue to self-realize the truth in his or her soul. By engaging in a series of inquiries and responses, a helper leads a partner to the point whereby he or he sees the truth within themselves. As such, Socrates believed that eternal truth is inscribed in an individual’s soul and true knowledge is unchanging.Plato divides reality into two realms, that is, sensible world and intelligible world
Sophists held relativistic views regarding knowledge and cognition, that is, absolute truth does not exist and two points of view can be acceptable at the same time. The Sophists also held skeptical views regarding morality and truth, with their philosophy often containing criticisms of law, religion and ethics. They not only challenged but also criticized and destroyed the foundations of traditions and moral and social order while presenting nothing to supplant it or care for truth. On one hand, Socrates looked for eternal truths and objective. On the other hand, the Sophists promoted concepts of subjectivism and relativism whereby each individual decided for himself or herself what was true, beautiful and good. In as much as the concepts of subjectivism and relativism appealed to the crowds, it is not ideal approach that provides a good foundation for common life, since conflict resolution requires more than might and the quest for wisdom by the society cannot be satisfied by the philosophy put forward by the Sophists.
Plato was dismissive of the Sophists’ philosophy as that which perverted truth because it placed great emphasis on practical rhetoric rather than virtue and taught people to argue any side of an issue. Plato’s arguments in favor of the objectivity values of truth, beauty and good were inspired by Socrates who challenged him to seek truth and find answers to questions through the Socratic method of inquiry that he used to advance the philosophy of idealism and refute the concept of relativism put forward by the Sophists. As an alternative to relativism, Plato developed the dual conception of reality. In as much as people are limited in space and time and their intellect and perception are subject to error, they can still form ideas of the whole, eternal, infinite and true universe. In the Republic, Plato introduces the powerful images of his concept of the dual level reality whereby one side consists of relative reality and the other side consists of objective reality. In as much as the human condition is characterized by the relative reality, humans have the capacity to seek objective reality. It is because of this reason that Plato contemplates philosophical relativism as a confusion of people’s limitations to eternal truths.
When it comes to truth, Aquinas espouses Plato who in rejecting the sentiment put forward by his teacher Socrates asserted that people should care more for the truth than anything else including friendship. This means that in as much as Socrates utters various views and presents prominent and valuable philosophies, both Aquinas and Plato believe that people should care for these views and philosophies, but not as much as they care for truth. Aquinas argues in Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics that unless an individual prefers truth to his or her friends, it follows that he or she will bear false witness in their defense and make false judgment. Failing to uphold truth is contrary to virtue since truth is a divine thing and is found chiefly in God. As such, honoring truth above friendship is not only virtuous but also evinces veneration to God’s existence and precepts-Plato divides reality into two realms, that is, sensible world and intelligible world
Based on Sartre’s Existentialism is a Humanism, existentialism is a doctrine that renders human life or existence possible and also a doctrine that every truth and action imply both a human subjectivity and environment. Sartre introduces the concept of subjectivism by stating that one’s freedom is subject to that of others and an individual cannot pass beyond human subjectivity. Similarly, one’s perception of truth is also subject to other’s interpretations of truth and as such, it cannot pass human subjectivity. This argument is contrary to the relativistic view held by the Sophists that truth is what one considers it to be and that there is no absolute truth. One’s essence must be based on certain truths and these truths must resonate with the opinions of truth held by others and the society as a whole which people should care for in their lives.
Young’s perception of truth lies in the ability of people to accept that men and women are subject to discordant conditions and situations in the society that determine existence. It is for this reason that Young refutes the “existence precedes essence” concept put forward by Sartre on the basis of the truth in the society.
Doxa can be defined as a popular opinion of common belief. It was utilized as a tool by Greek rhetoricians to formulate an argument through the use of common opinions and also by the Sophists to persuade individuals. Socrates’ main concern with doxa is that it was manipulated by the Sophists for persuasion purposes only and not for the advancement of justice and knowledge. Since doxa was based on popular or common opinion, it did not necessarily have to the truth; all it required was for the opinion to be popular or common. As a result, many individuals were persuaded by the Sophists by manipulating popular opinion to follow a belief, commit certain acts or lead a certain lifestyle that was not necessarily true or moral. This inability to exercise free thought resulting from persuasion is what often led to the perpetuation of error in the society which Socrates and Plato opposed.Plato divides reality into two realms, that is, sensible world and intelligible world
The Sophists mostly held no values other than succeeding and winning and they did this through rhetoric. In response to Plato’s criticism of rhetoric, the Sophists assert that rhetoric is an inclusive power that is capable of persuading other occupations and activities. Moreover, it was concerned with the greatest good for man, particularly in the speeches that enabled an individual to acquire freedom and rule over others such as in political settings. Nonetheless, the capacity to persuade others was a precondition of individual and political success. As such, the idea that the Sophists put forward that success, winning and ruling others was only made possible by one’s ability to persuade other people. As such, they utilized various ways of manipulation to persuade people into letting them rule without facing scrutiny.
Plato’s claim that images are the least reliable forms of reality is best illustrated in the Allegory of the Cave. The cave represents individuals who believe that knowledge comes from what they hear and see in the world, that is, empirical evidence, but they actually prisoners in “cave” of misunderstanding. The shadows represent the views of people who believe that empirical evidence proves knowledge. If a person believes that what he or she sees should be perceived as the truth, then that person is only seeing a shadow of the truth. The game portrays how individuals believe that one individual can be a leader or master when they have knowledge of the world while he or she actually knows no truth. The prisoners who escaped portray philosophers seeking knowledge outside the senses. The rejection of the claims of reality by the returning escapee by other prisoners since their only perception of reality is based on the shadow-puppet entertainment they are used to represents most individuals in the contemporary world who are afraid of truths. Hence, they do not trust those with this knowledge and remain prisoners of a fake reality shown to them through entertainment.
According to Sartre, a person can choose and make himself, but at the same time he is incapable of transcending human subjectivity. This means that in making the choice, a person also chooses other people, that is, in creating the person that he or she wants to be, there is no single act which does not at the same time paint a picture of the person he or she reckons they ought to be. And this image of what we ought to be emanates from what the society feeds us. Thus, is as much as one is free to become who he or she wants to, he or she is also pressured to conform to the society’s view of what they ought to become.
As Young (1980, p. 154) asserts, when women are preoccupied with their looks, they treat and portray themselves as things to be gazed upon and decorated. As a result, objectification of women in the society also emanates from their preoccupation with their appearance. As such, when women grow up they came to terms with the objectification of their bodies that exists in the society be it through music videos or movies whereby they are portrayed as sex symbols and conform to this notion or norm by preoccupying themselves with their appearance; a trait that results in the suppression of the body potential of women.
Grube. G. M. A. Plato Republic
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Existentialism Is A Humanism. Yale University Press, 2007.
Young, Iris Marion. “Throwing Like A Girl: A Phenomenology Of Feminine Body Comportment Motility And Spatiality”. Human Studies, vol 3, no. 1, 1980, pp. 137-156. Springer Nature, doi:10.1007/bf02331805.