Notes on The Republic Themes

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The Republic Topic Tracking: Knowledge

Knowledge 1: Older people have more knowledge about life than younger people, as they have already lived through most of life. There is much to be learned from them.

Knowledge 2: One of the excellences is wisdom, but this comes from good judgment, which is clearly a kind of knowledge. Thus, men make good judgments because of knowledge rather than ignorance.

Knowledge 3: Knowledge and opinion are both powers. Knowledge pertains to what is, and opinion to conjectures. Since knowledge is what is and opinion cannot be what is not, but also cannot be what is, opinion must be in between. Through this, it can be seen that lovers of beautiful things, without seeing the beauty itself, are lovers of opinion; whereas those who embrace each thing itself that is are philosophers.

Knowledge 4: Knowledge is greater than justice. However, it is knowledge of the good that is great.

Knowledge 5: Just as light and seeing should not be regarded as the sun, but as sun-like; knowledge and truth should not be regarded as good, but as good-like.

Knowledge 6: It is only the philosopher who combines knowledge with experience. Judgment by argument is a tool of wisdom, and thus only the philosopher will be able to practice this. Since experience, knowledge and argument are what determine what is the best life, and the philosopher practices all three, his life must be the best.

Knowledge 7: Socrates states that ignorance and lack of knowledge are an empty state of the soul, whereas nourishment and intelligence fill the soul.

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