This essay gives a detailed presentation of arguments, which bring out the challenges that educated and uneducated people face. Moral issues such as difficulty to adhere to justice and goodness are portrayed as affecting both the educated and the uneducated. It is as well difficult to introduce them to new knowledge. The essay also discusses expertise at length and concludes that for one to be considered an expert, his works must be evident. Poets are among the experts that have contributed greatly to shaping society positively and therefore poets and poetry should be encouraged. In addition, living a balanced life is essential for all people.
The first argument concerns the point of view of two people: those who have education and those who lack it. This is an allegory and the light represents exposure and intelligence, the gaining of which is represented by the upward journey towards the surface of the earth. The author acknowledges that at the realm of intelligence, one does not go wrong. This means that the author (Plato) believes in education despite his comment that only God knows whether that is true. He argues that the region that is last and hardest to be seen in the realm of knowledge is goodness. He adds that the sight of the character of goodness causes one to conclude that it is responsible for everything that is right and fine in all circumstances (Leitch 66). It proposes that in the visible realm, goodness is the progenitor and source of light, and in the realm of intelligence, it is the source and provider of good and knowledge. The sight of the character of goodness is a requirement for one to possess intelligent conduct, be it in public business or in one’s own private affairs (66).
The author argues that the ascent to the intelligence realm does not necessarily cause goodness in one. He says that it is not surprising for intelligent people not to lack goodness. The process of enlightenment is hard because the people involved find it hard to adjust to conditions that they were not used to before. The transition from one level of knowledge to another may elicit anger from those affected as they try to adjust to the new conditions. It is equally destabilizing for those who have been enlightened to go back to the way of life of the enlightened. He claims that those who are educated and decide cases in courts do themselves not know morality, since their conception of morality is skewed and misguided.
In the second argument, from Book X, the author fronts that poetry founded community on absolutely right lines. He argues that truth should be valued more than any person. It is argued that there are three types of people; the manufacturers, progenitor and the representer. Painters and playwrights are examples of represent since they do not do the actual things but only represent what others have done or created. But God and a joiner qualify to be the progenitor and manufacturer respectively because they make real or true things. The author concludes that whatever the object, there are three areas of expertise: usage, manufacture and representation (Leitch 74).
The author claims that expertise is just an illusion. He asserts that a poet should know what he is writing about. The author is assertive about the outcome or contribution of an expert is critical in deciding the whether to classify him as an expert or not. Socrates, Creophylus and Homer are known because of their works and contributions in their various areas. Protagorras, Abdera, Prodicus and Ceos had exclusive tuition for their students to make their contemporaries believe that they could manage their own estates and that of the public (Leitch 72). He claims that those who are not experts but mere representers take advantage of the ignorance of the people (76). The author sys that as far as badness and goodness is concerned, a representer doesn’t have either knowledge or true beliefs about whatever he is representing (74).
Admittedly, the way we look at things may be straight or bent depending on whether it is in water or not and our minds are susceptible to such confusion. However new methods to combat these confusion such as measuring, counting and weighing. He argues that the part of the mind that accepts measurement is best while that which does not is low grade. The author agrees that people have in themselves contradictory views and that faced with grief like the loss of a son, a good man can better fight and resist distress when his peers can see him (Leitch 76). It is notable that there is a part of us which wants to make people laugh but your reason restrains it. The author concludes by saying that some poetry can be good and instill virtue and godliness while others can cause pleasure and pain (79). He argues that poems should not only be designed to give pleasure and rational argument for inclusion in their well governed community (80). The author concludes by urging that poets and poem lovers should be left to champion poetry, and that balance in life is essential because a person can only be either good or bad. He adds that people should not be distracted by wealth, political power even poetry in their quest for goodness and morality.
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