Plato’s Notions of Sophist and Statesman Applied to the Analysis of the Shakespeare’s Tragedy Julius Caesar college essay
The Sophist and Statesman are the last dialogues by Plato. They make first two parts of the trilogy but the last part was never written. The dialogues are important because they give good idea about Plato’s method and metaphysics. The dialogues introduce the transition of Plato’s political though. These dialogues make the transition between his Republic and Laws. The dialogues illustrate Plato’s growing interest to practical application of philosophical knowledge. He makes an attempt to find connections between philosophical models and real life.
In Sophist and Statesmen Plato criticizes in own Theory of Form presented in his earlier work Parmenides. These dialogues present new models which expand the author’s vision and help him to give better definitions of the objects he investigates. The dialogs are more down to earth and contain more practical knowledge.
The Stranger, the main figures of the dialogues, defines the notions of the sophist, the statesmen and the philosopher. The Sophist and Statesmen give expanded definitions of the first two notions but the definition of philosopher is not provided in great detail.
The definition of Sophist derives from the definition of sophistry. In the dialogues sophistry is defined as productive art, which consists of imitation and copy-making. In Sophist Plato explores the problem of the false statement. This problem was not solved in earlier dialogues by Plato. These helps to come up with the right definition of the Sophist. The author starts with the exact definition of sophist. He notes that it is necessary to agree on the notion before making attempts to give any definitions. Plato explains the origin of the term sophist. This term derives from the Greek word “sophos”, which stands for the “wise man”. This way sophist is defined as a person who possesses some wisdom and becomes expert in certain areas. The term implies the person’s abilities to be the expert in certain areas. The origin of the term statesmen also gives idea about the true meaning of the notion. Statesmen or “politicos” in Greek has save origin as the word “polis” or “city”. This term helps to understand the type of activity the statesmen may perform. This kind of activity is connected with the affairs of the city. The Stranger, the main figure in the dialogues, drives parallels between the statesmen and the king. This gives the reasons to think about the statesmen as about the person who has political power. Another epithet also helps to understand the notion better. Plato gives an example of Homeric Agamemnon, who is regarded as a shepherd for people. This way statesmen is described as a ruler and governor who possesses leading position in the city and rules other people. In short term the terms of Statesmen and Sophist may correspond to the figures of political leader or governor, and the image of outstanding thinker and expert in different fields. Plato uses the example of art in order to show the difference between Sophist and Statement. He shows that the division of arts is more important than the division of people who possess these arts. This means that Sophist and Statesmen may be differentiated according to the spheres of their activity. For the Statesmen this activity is ruling people and for Sophist the primary activity is making judgments about things and objects. Plato notes that at this point logical problem appears because the art of Sophist is not so easy to define. In contrast to other arts, such as angling or weaving, the art of Sophist can not described in easy terms.
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