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China Notes - Plato defined a philosopher firstly as its...

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Plato defined a philosopher firstly as its eponymous occupation – wisdom-lover. He then distinguishes between one who loves true knowledge as opposed to simple sights or education by saying that a philosopher is the only man who has access to forms – the archetypal concept which lies behind all representations of the form (such as a table as opposed to any one particular table). It is next and in support of the idea that philosophers are the best rulers that Plato fashions the ship of state metaphor, one of his most often cited ideas (along with his allegory of the cave ). "[A] true pilot must of necessity pay attention to the seasons, the heavens, the stars, the winds, and everything proper to the craft if he is really to rule a ship" ( The Republic , 487e). Plato claims that the sailors (i.e., the people of the city-state over whom the philosopher is the potential ruler) ignore the philosopher's "idle stargazing" because they have never encountered a true philosopher before. The
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2008 for the course HNRS 2013 taught by Professor Wei during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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China Notes - Plato defined a philosopher firstly as its...

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