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Episteme

Abstract

The author investigates the two most explicit educational methods and lessons found within Plato’s Republic. One, the allegory of the cave, represents Plato’s genuine thoughts; the other, the remarks on the education of the guardian class, ought to be read ironically. Early on, the paper includes an introduction to irony (conventional and mimetic) and how it relates to the dramatic context of Plato’s intertextuality. Following that, the author provides an analysis of Glaucon’s luxury suggestion, Socrates’ asceticism, and the dog analogy—how they all contribute to the education of the guardians. Later, it is argued that the preface to the allegory of the cave, the hesitant response of Glaucon, and parallels in the progressive nature of paideia—for the student and the teacher—all support a reading of the allegory of the cave as a genuine, straightforward lesson on education. Each method, the ironic and the genuine approach, can be effective educational strategies.

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