Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||Concern with education animates Plato’s works: in the Apology, Socrates describes his life’s mission of practising philosophy as aimed at getting the Athenians to care for virtue (29d-e, 31b); in the Gorgias, he claims that happiness depends entirely on education and justice (470e); in the Protagoras and Meno he puzzles about whether virtue is teachable or how else it might be acquired; in the Phaedrus he explains that teaching and persuading require knowledge of the soul and its powers, which requires knowledge of what objects the soul may act upon and be acted upon by, which in turn requires knowledge of the whole of nature (277b-c, 270d); in the Laws the Athenian Stranger says that education is the most important activity (803d), and that the office of director of state education is the most important office of the state (765d-e). Each of Plato’s two longest works, the Laws and Republic, tirelessly details a utopian educational programme. And Plato’s outlook on the arts (poetry, theatre, music, painting) is dominated by considerations of whether they help or hinder correct education.|
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