Plato’s “The Republic” is the first written attempt at designing a “utopia” i.e. a perfect society. As such, it is represents the beginning of Political Science. The first section deals with trying to define “happiness.” Plato’s inquiry is the starting point for the American founding fathers’ creation of a new system of government. Jefferson’s use of “pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence is related to the educated people of the time having read and pondered Plato’s work. In the end, the discussion admits that perhaps the realistic goal is to try to create a society that provides for the greatest amount of happiness for the largest number of citizens. Perhaps the most important section as it relates to the mystery of perception is the Allegory of the Cave.
Research the Allegory of the Cave and read the attached section on music from Plato’s “The Republic” and respond to the following questions in essay form (800 words maximum, please double-space):
1. Describe the Allegory of the Cave. How might this be related to the modern theoretical physicists’ theory of there being perhaps 11 or 12 dimensions?
2. What is Plato’s attitude toward music that would make you cry?
3. Which two qualities of character or spirit does he wish to foster with the use of music?
4. Is Plato advocating censorship of the Arts?
5. What qualities does he say should be instilled by the Arts?
6. What parts of his argument do you agree with? Disagree?
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