The Ideal of Winter

 

In order to help us understand what he calls the Ideal or the Good, Plato uses several different analogies in his book The Republic. The one I’d like to discuss here has come to be known as “The Divided Line,” and I’ll have to ask you to bear with me if it takes a while to get to the point. Plato describes a four-part hierarchy of Reality, if you will, with things that are transitory and illusory at one end, and that which is permanent and true at the other. For example, reflections and shadows are illusory in the sense that they are dependent on a physical object to exist. We can see the sun reflected on the ocean, but if it goes behind a cloud the reflection goes also.  Read more…

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