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Plato and his ethical theory, by Is truth the end of itself or is journey to the truth more important? Plato and his ethical theoryPlato’s ethical theory rests on the assumption that virtue is knowledge and can be taught, which has to be understood in terms of his theory of Forms. One of his famous arguments is that to “”know the good is to do the good”". Along with that he states that anyone who behaves immorally does so out of ignorance. He also says that a truly happy person is a moral person and they become individuals and always desire their own happiness. They always desire to do that which is moral. (Dolan p.76) Plato illustrates truth by telling the well-known story of Gyges. Gyges one day stumbled upon a chasm in the opening of the earth after a heavy rainfall. He came upon a horse made of bronze which had a door on the side of it. He opened it up and saw the body of a man of superhuman stature, wearing a gold ring. He took the ring off the finger of the body and placed it upon his own. He later realized that if he turned the bezel of the ring inwards in the direction of the palm of his hand he would become invisible. He would use the ring to his advantage many a time. He would kill off anyone that stood in his way and he got whatever he wanted without anyone suspecting him. He even quickly rose to be the King of Lydia. Now, think of the same ring in the hands of a wise man. He would not consider that it would give him the right to do wrong any more than if it did not belong to him. For to act secretly is not what a good man aims at, it is what he wants to do to act rightly. (Grant 172,173) +++++++ Philosophy is a vast field.++ It examines and probes many different fields.+ Virtue, morality, immortality, death, and the difference between the psyche (soul) and the soma (body) are just a few of the many different topics which can be covered under the umbrella of philosophy.+ Philosophers are supposed to be experts on all these subjects.+ The have well thought out opinions, and they are very learned people. Among the most revered philosophers of all time was Socrates. Living around the 5th century B.C., Socrates was among the first philosophers who wasn’t a sophist, meaning that he never felt that he was wise for he was always in the pursuit of knowledge.+Unfortunately, Socrates was put to death late in his life.+One of his best students, Plato, however, recorded what had occurred on that last day of Socrates’ life. On that last day of his life, Socrates made a quite powerful claim.+ He claimed that philosophy was merely practice for getting used to death and dying. +++++++ At first, the connection between philosophy and death is not clear. However, as we unravel Socrates’ argument backing up his claim, the statement makes a lot of sense.+ In order for Philosophers to examine their world accurately and learn the truth accurately, they must remove them selves of all distractions. These not only include physical distractions, but they include mental distractions and bodily distractions as well.+ Philosophers must get used to viewing and examining the world with out any senses. Senses merely hinder and obscure the truth. Sight for example can be fooled easily with optical illusions which occur normally in nature. Sound can be very distracting as well when a philosopher is trying to concentrate.+All of these cloud the judgment, and must therefore be detached from the soul.+Socrates argues that philosophers must view the world around them with their souls in order to accurately learn about it.+However, by detaching their souls from all bodily functions, philosophers may as well be in an induced state of death.+In mortem, the soul wanders free and there are no bodily hindrances. +++++++ Socrates also believed that philosophers look upon death with good cheer and hope. This I find hard to believe because if this were true, the philosopher would not be able to love life, and without the love of life, there is no life to examine and learn about.+ It is understandable however from another point of view to understand why the philosopher would look forward to death with good cheer.+ Once the philosopher is dead, his soul is free to roam around without hindrances forever, and all the worlds secrets shall be revealed to him.+ In fact, Socrates’ sees his death as a liberation from the shackles of life for his last wish was for Crito to sacrifice a rooster to Asclepius.+ This god was normally given sacrifices to free the sickly from the grips of a virus or illness. Perhaps Socrates saw the body as a sickness that fed upon the soul.+ If this were the case, then indeed Socrates would be happy to leave the bonds of life, for then he could have an eternity to seek out his answers, all without the diversions and distractions of a body. +++++++ Socrates believed that it was this search that was important, even more so than the answers them selves.++ Socrates believed that the journey toward the answers is where most of the learning takes place, and it is this journey that truly integrates the answers as part of your very own being. +


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