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Life

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Definition of the Philosopher (474b-480a)

It should be pointed out that Plato has a very specific idea of what a philosopher is. He begins his attempt to define the philosopher in the following way(474c-475c):

A lover of X loves not juts a certain kind of X, but all X

[e.g., a lover of food loves all food, a lover of wine loves all wine]

Philosophers are lovers of wisdom

The Philosopher therefore is that person who loves all wisdom and learning, not just wisdom and learning of a certain kind.

Glaucon objects (475d-e) that according to Socrates' definition lovers of sites an sounds (e.g., those who love festivals and spectacles) would be considered philosophers.

"Glaucon here makes a somewhat complex mistake, which Socrates then endeavors to combat. Part of his mistake is to take the term 'philosopher' in Plato's sense as including people with various specialized enthusiasms, such as those who ignore "serious discussions" in order to attend festivals. The other part of his mistake, which is much more important from Plato's viewpoint, is to think that the love of wisdom or learning or knowledge involves the love of information and experience of sensible matters rather than the intelligible ones..." (White 154-155).

The philosopher, responds Socrates is a lover of true knowlege. (475e-476d)

The love of true knowledge is related to an understanding of the "forms"

This is what makes a philosopher fit to rule.

In response to Glaucon's objection, Socrates argues that those who love sights and sounds (476d-480a), are not philosophers (lovers of wisdom and knowledge), but are lovers of opinion.

PHILOSOPHER NON-PHILOSOPHER

LOVES KNOWLEDGE (Gnosis) =

infallible

concerned with "what is"

BEING

...

...

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