Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
In this essay, I will explain about my truth and will compare it with Plato’s theory of truth. You might ask, why Plato in particular? Well, to tell you the truth, since week four of our reading and work assignments, I could not put away the troubling thoughts about how Plato had described in his work titled “Republic” the ideal city that he called ‘Utopia”. To find his theory of truth made me look further trying to understand it, which I will explain further in this essay. Additionally, I would describe some of the differences or similarities between our truths, providing a couple of examples of the arguments from my point of view against Plato. Finally, bringing reasonable argument for why my truth is more valid one of the two.
As stated by Glanzberg in Stanford Encyclopedia, the Correspondence Theory of truth is a relationship between thoughts or assertion on one hand, and things or objects on the other. This theory holds that the truth or the falsity of a representation is determined in principle entirely by how it relates to an objective, by whether it precisely describes the mentioned objective (2018).
And according to Marian, Plato’s theory of truth was correspondence theory, but it was mentioned unclearly in his earlier works. For Example, Plato’s description of truth in “Sophist” states “The true statement as a whole complex and its structure corresponds to the structure of the fact. Truth means this correspondence”. However, Aristotle’s words were remembered by many and he has taken a leading role in correspondence theory formed from his words “To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true” (2015).
Young Plato aimed his thoughts toward the question of virtue. The way we think and what we acquire to be real encompasses importance in how we act. As a result, he came to believe that a philosophical approach toward life would lead a person to be just and, in due course happy. In his book Hestir stated that Plato’s truth theory depends on being; the declaration is right in virtue of the world being a certain way, in virtue of highly intricate metaphysical formation and associations. (2016). Plato understood that a ‘good society’ must be established on knowledge resulting from truth and reality.
Both of our theories of truth similar but based on different knowledge. My truth relies on correspondence theory of truth too; the only difference between both is that my truth is based on logical knowledge. Plato based his truth on Idealism; his main studies were concentrated on superior truths, in search of ethics, virtues, and justice. And in search of these qualities he wrote about an ideal state that would be perfect in its government structure and people’s attitude; his famous work “Republic”. Reading through his “Utopia” my logical mind continued to shake its head, and saying multiple NO’s: 1.) NO to women living in separate dorms, 2.) NO to children being separated from parents plus living and studying in groups, 3.) NO to citizens without self-choice who would have no choice of where and how to live. According to Levin, Plato’s idea in creating this perfect state was to arrange citizens into three classes depending on the qualities of their natural character. He divided citizens into three classes (people were born with gold, silver or bronze in their system) and no one allowed to be involved (intimate intermingling) from other classes (2012).
One of the reasonable arguments why my point of view is more valid than Plato’s is based on practicality. Hypothetically, if Plato’s Republic’ were created somewhere on the island, far away from the mainland. The teacher, for example, Plato himself, would have a group of children averagely ten years old to teach them of various disciplines (as he had mentioned in the Republic). It would not work, because every child is different, no matter how young they are to be separated and formed into groups, eventually, kids would begin showing their own personalities and curiosity would lead to question every situation they would face. The same circumstances would occur in the adults’ world; they would simply get tired of living by rules, being denied freedom of choice and instigate a rebellion. There are many examples in the modern time that have proved that Plato’s “Ideal State” is a wrong one since numerous countries around the world tried to create a similar government. So told governments sooner or later ends up turning into a dictatorship country and others into communism. But not for long, because sooner or later the citizens would get tired of being oppressed, the mutiny would lead to rule being overturned and the new, more suitable government is assembled.
Another example would be when Plato describes a “cave allegory” with three men chained up who can see only the shadows on a wall thinking it is a real truth. Hypothetically speaking, these shadows are the things (materialistic reality) that we see around us; the chains are related to our traditions, customs, habits, etc. And since we are so preoccupied with the shadows of truth, we (people) ignore the real truth. I have the same opinion of his idea of the cave and us being ensnared by our materialistic thoughts. According to Shah and Adolphe, it is been four hundred years since the first group of slaves was brought to the United States. In the southern states of the country were many various plantations that required lots of work and many owners thought the best way to profit from the land is to get cheap labor workers. And 1619 was the first time slaves were brought into the country (2019). Every plantation owner had his own “Utopia” where he was the king, teaching his sons and grandsons that this is the right way to live.
In the end, it is clear that Plato’s idea of a ‘Perfect Republic’ was an illusion. Being an Idealist at heart he tried to imagine the ideal state where people would leave in harmony, but knowing human beings’ nature we recognize that it would be hard to create such an idea into reality.