Plato on Education and Art

Rachana Kamtekar

in The Oxford Handbook of Plato

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780195182903
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Plato on Education and Art

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  • Philosophy
  • Classical Philosophy
  • Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art


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The article resonates Plato's ideas on education and art. In the Apology, Socrates describes his life's mission of practicing philosophy as aimed at getting the Athenians to care for virtue; in the Gorgias, Plato claims that happiness depends entirely on education and justice; in the Protagoras and the 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 on and be acted on by which, in turn, requires knowledge of nature. The article also looks at musical and gymnastic education's effects on the soul using images from metallurgy and dyeing wool, saying that prerational souls are “most malleable and take on any pattern one wishes to impress on them.”

Keywords: Plato; education; art; practicing philosophy; justice; knowledge; soul; power; metallurgy; prerational souls

Article.  13022 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Classical Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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