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The Kallipolis

2019-05-31 来源: 51due教员组 类别: Essay范文

下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文- The Kallipolis,供大家参考学习,这篇论文讨论了卡利波利斯概念。在《理想国》中,柏拉图引入了他的卡利波利斯概念,这是一个希腊术语,意指柏拉图心目中理想的公正城市。虽然柏拉图的卡利波利斯概念在社会和谐稳定方面提出了有效的观点,但这些观点并不适用于当代社会。科学技术、互联网赋予人们的力量、以社会进化为目标的教育体系以及以经济为驱动的社会,是阻碍现代城邦建立的主要因素。

In The Republic, Plato introduces his concepts of “Kallipolis,” a Greek term for the just city that is the ideal in Plato’s mind (Smith, 1999). In this essay, the historical background and the major beliefs of the Kallipolis will be discussed, followed by a comparison with the modern context. Although Plato has raised valid ideas in terms of social harmony and stability, these ideas do not apply in the contemporary society. Science and technology, people empowered by the internet, an educational system aiming for social evolution, and an economy-driven society are the major factors to prevent the modern Kallipolis to be created.

The discussion of Kallipolis should not be separated from its historical background. The ancient Greek geographical environment determined the country to be equivalent to the city-state. This had led to the fact that Western traditional political science is also about city-state politics (Smith, 1999). Plato was in an era of slavery decline and collapse. The old system was greatly affected and destroyed because it failed to meet the needs of the development of productive forces. The democratic politics that were once the Pride of Athenians were no longer flourishing with the end of the Peloponnesian War. Plato's had great political aspirations in his youth, he traveled three times to Sicily but still failed to achieve his political ideal.

This historic background of Kallipolis is drastically different from that of the modern era. Firstly, the scale of political system has been significantly diversified, with countries ranging from as small as cities to as large as continents. With the industrial revolutions, humans have developed the capabilities to overcome geographic obstacles already. This expansion and diversification make it much harder to practice Plato’s Kallipolis in the modern world. In addition to the failure of anticipating technological revolutions, the Kallipolis ideal also fails to align with the internet culture, educational system, and the economy-driven modern society.

As a student of Socrates, Plato inherited and carried forward his teacher's point of view on the human nature (Russell, 2004). In The Republic, Plato pointed out that just as there are rulers, warriors, workers and peasants in the country, there are also three parts of an individual's soul, namely, reason, passion and desire (Smith, 1999). Among them, reason is wisdom, plays a leading role. Passion obeys reason, becoming its assistant. Desire occupies the largest part of the soul, it is insatiable, and must be controlled by reason and passion. If the three parts of reason, passion and desire are in harmony with each other, the soul is in the best condition and the person is a self-controlled person. Therefore, Plato believes that when reason, passion and desire work in harmony and coordination, the soul can be the master of itself.

Since Plato faced the political situation of moral degeneration and the decline of the city state due to the chaos of democracy, Plato's task was to restore the moral foundation of the city-state in order to save the decaying system. In ancient Greece, the city-state was autonomous organizations run by free Citizens. They were the political carrier of citizens' sharing of rights and obligations (Smith, 1999). Therefore, Plato started from the theory of justice and regarded morality as the goal and means of politics, attempting to justify and construct an ideal city, the Kallipolis, from the perspective of morality. Its core content of Kallipolis include social classes, rule of philosophy, egalitarianism, educational and legal sysms.

According to Plato, justice is not only about personal justice, but also the justice of the city (Plato, 2008). In the Kallipolis, the two kinds of justice should be essentially identical and mutually reinforcing in functions. Justice is the supreme standard of human morality because it can command such virtues as wisdom, courage and temperance. The principle of political life and the purpose of establishing political order lay in establishing a harmonious moral order. Therefore, justice is a law that sets the social strata in the position and responsibility that are determined by their natural talents (Plato, 2008). By doing so, the society thus functions under harmony and order. Under this law, the three classes of the ideal city-state, the thinkers, the military, and the laborers, are in accordance with the moralities of wisdom, courage and temperance. These three classes are responsible for managing, defending and producing for the country, in collaboration with each other.

Based on the social stratification and classification beliefs to maximize efficiency and maintain order, Plato also proposes the ruling class of the Kallipolis society to be composed with philosophers. Plato believes that an ideal state must have a group of professional rulers or managers (Plato, 2008). Only the most talented, and well-trained philosophers are capable of ruling. Although Plato believes that people have different temperaments and talents, not all people with a certain gift can take full advantage and realize the whole potential of it. This makes education not only a necessary tool for self-improvement, but also crucial instrument to maintain social stratification. Through education, people do learn about the society and the world. But more importantly, they learn about themselves: the positions in the society and corresponding capabilities and responsibility in these positions. by establishing comprehensive self-knowledge, members of the society can have a better understanding of their purpose in society and fulfill their duties with a higher sense of achievement.

From the modern perspective, such a view of social stratification of Plato is quite backwards. The majority, or the laborers and producers, have not remained static in history. Instead, they have been the active factor in driving social revolutions and change. In the modern society, the characteristics and behaviors of the masses have changed. They have been empowered with the internet and the flow of information. Although social stratification is still the case in the modern society, it should not be considered as a product of human desire and greed. With knowledge and information, the masses also have a voice in choosing their leaders, as the modern form of democracy (Rheingold, 2002). The idea of education for Plato is also drastically different from the modern education system. The purpose of education should not be to encourage individuals to remain in their respective social classes. Instead, it is to encourage them to achieve greater things that used to be impossible due to the limit of their social classes. With the gradual force of education, the entire population can be equipped with more advanced level of knowledge, leading to social revolution. Bound by the pursuit for harmony and peace, Plato emphasized too much on stability and overlooked the forces of change.

Plato is also a firm believer of egalitarianism, also sometimes mistaken as an early form of communism. Plato holds that the root of selfishness and greed is private ownership. The competition for private property leads to the loss of morality and the decline of the city-state (Plato, 2008). In order to foster the good moral character of citizens and realize the unity within the city and the prosperity of the state, Kallipolis should abolish private ownership, even families. By eliminating the small family units, the city-state integrated into one single community with shared purposes (Plato, 2008). In the economy-driven world nowadays, such beliefs no longer apply. Most of the traditional communist countries in the world have recognized the importance of the market. In such a world, economic development is the new rule and supremacy. Egalitarianism may be the next form of human society evolution, but it cannot be achieved in the foreseeable future. Overall, Kallipolis is an ideal state that requires static social classes and stability driven ideologies. Both of these are not present in the mainstream of the contemporary society.

References:

Plato. (2008). The Republic. Digireads.com.

Rheingold, H. (2002). Smart mobs: The next social revolution. Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Pub.

Russell, B. (2004). History of western philosophy. New York: Routledge.

Smith, N. D. (1999). Plato's analogy of soul and state. The Journal of Ethics, 3(1), 31-49.

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