Monday, November 21, 2016
On the question about how we can apply Plato's teaching to our lives, I believe the answer lies in Goldstein's assertion about what he has taught us: to never rest assured that our views are completely sound. We can apply this teaching to everything. We can challenge the ideas presented to us, as Plato has done many times in his journey through the modern world, no matter how stupid we are deemed for them. The opposite is true as well: we can surrender our own certainties to the ideas of others, even if we have been sure in the past that our views are as solid as diamond. Keeping this open-minded attitude will allow you the greatest exposure to both information and knowledge. This is another thing we have learned from Plato that we must be willing to apply to our lives: the difference between knowledge and information. It's important to know that when you are told a piece of information, it does not simply become knowledge. Being informed does not equate to knowing. For example, a mathematician could inform me about a formula he has just devised, but until I perceive the formula for what it is, for what it means, - until I truly understand it - I do not know it. And even when I do know it, I must be open for another mathematician to challenge the formula with one of greater truth and accept his instead, regardless of how well I know the first one. These are the teachings of Plato that can be applied to my life: the teaching of an open mind, and the importance of turning information into knowledge through the process of contemplation.