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Know Thyself Essay

When early Greek philosophers developed theories in the premodern period, they challenged many dominant assumptions of this period. Socrates and Plato were two of the most influential early philosophers who addressed the issue of the good life. For these two philosophers, the good life was an ethical life. Socrates was famous for his statement “Know thyself.” Psychologists throughout history have echoed this. Plato had some revolutionary ideas on what it means to be human. He was responsible for bringing dualism into popular thought. This had a profound influence on religion, philosophy, and Western thought as a whole. What implications does the statement “Know thyself” have, along with other ideas of Socrates and Plato, for the process of human change? How is this related to achieving the good life?

How will this impact the evaluation of a person’s degree of living the good life?
What was Plato’s understanding of human nature?
How did dualism influence this understanding?

Be sure to support your conclusions with information drawn from the online content, the textbook, and other credible, scholarly sources to substantiate the points you are making. Apply APA standards to for writing and citations to your work. Submit your response to the M1: Assignment 3 Dropbox by Wednesday, November 13, 2013. The paper should be 3-5 pages, double-spaced 12-point typescript, Times Roman font, with 1-inch margins all around, and free from grammatical errors. This page count includes the title page, text, and references.

In life the Socrates’ famous statement “Know thyself” has great meaning to the lives of people today. Implications certainly come with this type of statement and Socrates and Plato provide ideas of how a human can change in order to under who they really are. While many think the “good life” is reachable so many do not know how to get to that point in their lives. Plato’s own understanding of human nature introduces dualism which shows another option to living the good life.

Life has key goals in it and in order to understand a person’s purpose it has to be understood what Socrates meant when he said the statement “Know thyself”. To Socrates that meant a way of achieving the good life. His two primary points of the good life were being ethical and having self knowledge; the most important tools to have. The statement “Know thyself” has conclusions such as how one should live and what they should seek. The answers to these questions come from seeking God and pleasure and living a moral and tempered life (Argosy, 2013).

Socrates believed that humans obtain knowledge through analysis of concepts and rational process will bring objective truths. Additionally, he believed that with increase in knowledge comes increase in virtue (King, 2009). Half truths lead a person to a road of not knowing themselves fully but when they use the social, mental and physical knowledge they have together they can learn who they truly are. Human change cannot come without a person realizing a change is needed.

Plato’s beliefs were more on rational beliefs than on sensory beliefs and a theory of forms. In the theory of forms he believed souls were reincarnated into another body and the new body may still have recollections of the past body making it difficult for the soul to comprehend (King, 2009). He had his own metaphor “the eye of the soul” where he felt the world was perceived through memories, images that keeps the soul from seeing the true reality form. Also, there were three types of souls; rational, appetitive and affective. The rational is in the head, appetitive in the gut and affective in the chest. He also believed that we are all chained inside a cave unable to see the outside world because we rely on senses instead of forms but we can overcome this by escaping captivity through reason.

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