Monday, September 12, 2016
Plato's Simplistic Description of the Citizen's Duty (H2)
I've mentioned in class that I find it odd that Plato's description of the duty of a citizen is so simplistic. "Mind your own business, do your work, don't be a busybody." This sounds like the Southern wisdom of a perceived sage who many believe to be of equal caliber to the philosophical legends such as Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and so forth. Many may find this underwhelming as it presents a less intricate aspect of Plato's philosophy as one of the giants of critical thinking, however, I find it absolutely fascinating. Many perceive Philosophy as the stoner's subject. The invalid cousin of education that surprises people who wonder why we still install its lessons in our students. We hold philosophy to such a meticulous standard that it's impressive that Philosophy is the cornerstone of education and higher thinking that it is. Someone may look at Plato's "Mind your own business, work, and don't be a busybody," and suggest that this is proof that Philosophy is an illegitimate subject as his grandpa could summon the same wisdom; however, if Plato had have given his advice a verbose spin, i.e.: "The duty of a citizen with respect to himself and the connection to those around him is to maintain an emotional, financial, and physical stability in the same way that the complexity of a mountain is reliant upon the intricacy of the valley. One must surrender his hopes and dreams to the axis which the planet spins on, thus weaving a quilt of imperfect remedies," then he would be ostracized for his pretentiousness, and as philosophers, we are simply too common-sensical and undisciplined to see through the lie. I think Plato's Description of the Citizen's Duty is fascinating in that it proves that although philosophy sometimes launches questions up into the air that scientists never thought to ask, it also launches answers in the air to questions that society never thought to ask, and often, if we just listen, it isn't as complicated or "pretentious" as we would expect from a philosopher.