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Plato’s book seven of “The Republiq” talks about education generally. Education he tells is necessary for man’s living and especially, learning. This is what it deals more, signifying some symbolisms and metaphors in describing what it’s like to have education and to what extent should education be given. Education discussed here was done by laymen and by wise men. It also discussed here the education of all the kinsmen and especially the elite class. However, we should be talking about Republiq’s metaphors and symbolisms. Two of these are the Cave and the Sun.

Normally, in philosophy, the cave symbolizes the part of the mind that a person does not necessarily use due to its lack of research and discovery. Some philosophers say that man is hidden inside a cave and does not want to come out of it. He only enjoys the fact that he sees the shadows, through the sun. This was a kind of symbolism that is very questionable in its interpretation. Does man really know how to learn? And does he really know what he should learn?

How to learn? Many students nowadays have grown lazy and stupid. Many factors affect this. One would be technology, where internet is everywhere. Just one click away and you’ll know already the answer. Books become useless nowadays. Another factor could be the teachers. Some do not grade the students through their perseverance to learn, and if they really learn from them. Only two of the factors will I cite since some of the factors also fall down to these two.

In the book, Plato expresses that if education was not founded, people will only be inside the cave enjoying the light. With bare feet and no clothes to wear, there would be nothing to talk about since there were no ideas. If man would only be curious enough to discover things he wanted to know and answer the questions in his mind, then he’ll be able to learn. This is what Plato wants to happen. He wants people to see for themselves what they want and what they could learn.

What to learn? People are compelled to learn nowadays. They do not even know why they should learn. What should people learn is that life is continuing learning which is answered by education. According to Plato, the power to learn lies on our souls. It is inherent in every person. Therefore, what should every person do is to develop that power to learn in aiding the education they have. As for the symbolism of the cave and the light, instead of people enjoying watching the shadows, they should turn around, go out of the cave and see what really reality is.

Education is very important. This not only means that we should always rely on books. This also means that we should also have to apply this in real life. We should think outside the box. To end this workpiece, I will cite what Plato said in his book regarding education, “Education is the craft concerned with doing this very thing, this turning around, and with how the soul can most easily and effectively be made to do it. It takes for granted that sight is there but that it isn’t turned the right way or looking where it ought to look, and it tries to redirect it appropriately.”


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