Plato's Viewpoint on Imperialism During WWII Term Paper

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Plato's viewpoint on Imperialism during WWII

It is highly important to examine Plato's work, because much of what he looked at with ethics and other issues relates to Imperialism and the way that the issue was handled during WWII. Plato's writings will be addressed thoroughly, and along with those writings imperialism and WWII will be discussed as well. Later in the paper, imperialism will be somewhat further addressed through the work of Emanuel Wallerstein and it will be shown how this also relates to the work that Plato created.

The way Plato looks at ethics is somewhat confusing, because he often talks about them in a very abstract way and uses allegorical methods to discuss them. This can be difficult to follow, especially when Plato uses dialogues between himself and others to discuss how people react to outside influences. According to Plato, the nature and origin of justice is such that men who are able to do wrong to others will often do so, and men who do not have the strength to keep themselves from harm will not do harm to others. What Plato is trying to say is that human nature often makes people get away with what they can, and the people who cannot defend themselves often do not try to harm others because they know that the reciprocal harm they could come to would not be worth what they could gain from harming someone else, even if the desire to do so is there.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Term Paper on Plato's Viewpoint on Imperialism During WWII Assignment

Plato's argument makes people sound as if they are not very nice, but yet that is not entirely what he means. What he actually means is that men who are more able to fend for themselves will not be as concerned about how others perceive their actions. This is not due to a lack of ethics, but rather due to the fact that human nature does not make everyone perceive ethics in the same way. This is also very important with the concept of imperialism and what took place in WWII. Others that dealt with philosophy at that time, such as Dietrich von Bonhoeffer and Elise Wiesel, would likely not have been looked upon that favorably by Plato because their opinions of what was appropriate philosophy differed somewhat.


Where Plato is concerned, ethics are also considered in 'The Allegory of the Cave.' The people who are suddenly released from the cave would not know how to react in the sunlight, because the world that they found themselves in would not seem real to them. Their ethics would not be the same as those people who have always lived in the sunlight, because their perceptions of the world and how it works would not be the same as theirs.

Because of the differences in perceptions that many people have, it cannot be said that someone who has come from another place has worse ethics, or better ethics, than others. Often, their ethics can only be perceived as different. Many people agree with Plato's argument on these points, because the ethics of people in one culture are often different from the ethics of people in another culture. This does not make them right or wrong, but only reminds them that they are different from each other.

The main conclusions that Plato comes to in his writings are that people perceive ethics differently, and those that come from other cultures and places are often seen as having different ethical opinions because of the way they look at the world. In some ways, this ties into the opinions of other philosophers, such as Descartes, who believed that perceptions of the world were flawed due to the inability to rely on one's senses.

Plato's arguments are hard to dispute. Most of his opinions about human nature and ethics are very solid, and they cannot be destroyed by mere speculation and light discussion. What he believes about human nature can be seen by observing people and watching what they do in relation to specific events. Because of this, many individuals today agree with Plato and think that his beliefs will continue to stand the test of time as they have ever since he made them public.

The conclusions that Plato reached have held up because they are honest and true, and because human nature has not changed since Plato's time. Technology and many other things have advanced far beyond what Plato could have ever imagined, but the intrinsic nature of human beings has stayed the same, and will continue to do so. This is what makes Plato's musings continue to be studied and believed by many.

The Allegory of the Cave

Plato wanted to give a clear explanation of how he felt human beings learned, and "The Allegory of the Cave" is by far the clearest of all of his work. Not only does he discuss education, but philosophy, political life, and human life in general. A lot of what Plato pointed out through the dialogue of Socrates and Glaucon is still accurate today. Many people still do not wish to look at other ways of doing things, or seeing things, and they are content to sit and stare at whatever they are used to seeing.

They do not see much as necessarily bad or good, and simply go through their day-to-day life without realizing that there is so much more out there to be seen. If only they would break the chains that enslave them in that cave, and climb up into the light where they can truly see, they would be aware of all the beauty and wonder in the world.

Unfortunately, they choose not to, and because they do not strive to see and learn more, they do not teach their children to see and learn more, and the cycle perpetuates. If only one person would believe the man who came back to the cave and said "Guess what I saw? You have to see what's out there!" If only one person would go out there with him and take a look, maybe they would tell others, and others would come, and the chains could finally be broken for everyone.

Plato's "The Allegory of the Cave" is a somewhat confusing piece of literature to those who are not familiar with the older speech that Plato used, but it has great merit, and is one of his clearest works. The language used is very stilted compared to our modern English today, and the ideas he expressed are shrouded in a lot of other wording that may seem foreign and unfamiliar, but once that wording is peeled away, what Plato is trying to say becomes clear. He is making comments about life, education, and politics, and also giving his opinion as to how humans learn.

Also interspersed in the discussion of the cave are references to Plato's 'theory of forms' and the 'divided line'. This area of the paper will explain "The Allegory of the Cave" as well as discuss the thoughts and perceptions on the human condition that are expressed in it. A discussion of how this relates to the theory of forms and the divided line will also be covered, as these are important concepts when it comes to imperialism.

In "The Allegory of the Cave," Plato uses a dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon, where Socrates describes the cave and then talks to Glaucon about what the cave represents. Socrates starts the dialogue by saying "go on to compare our natural condition, so far as education and ignorance are concerned, to a state of things like the following."

Socrates wants Glaucon to be aware of the fact that he is not just telling a story, but asking him to think about what is being said. Glaucon needs to look at the story being told to him about the cave, and compare it with human life today, so that he really sees what Socrates is attempting to point out. They also discuss the other things included in the allegory, such as the prisoners, the fire, and the sun. Socrates is trying to explain to Glaucon his theory of "the good and its place in human understanding."

The "good" that Socrates describes is a concept that can be derived from Plato's theory of forms. Good has its basis in one of the arguments for the existence of forms that Plato makes. He states that forms provide a basis for moral concepts, but they must correspond to Socratic definitions. A definition is only correct if it accurately describes a form. For example, the definition of good is a statement that correctly tells us what 'good' is.

Plato's forms are not really mental ideas, nor are they mind-dependent. He sees them as entities that exist independently, and whose nature and existence can only be grasped by the mind, even though they do not depend on the grasping of the mind to exis.

In explaining the Allegory of the Cave to Glaucon, Socrates describes the prisoners in the cave.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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