Although, Plato’s “Republic” is
customarily known to be a testimonial and definitive defense for justice, it
also covers and incorporates an equivalently compelling and powerful defense
for philosophical education. Due to complex intricacies within the dialogue, of
“The Republic”, Plato’s perspectives and views on education, are hard to
discern. However, according to Plato’s ideal state theory, where all men are
entitled to happiness and a good life it is clear that education can be
understood to be vital within its political and ethical context Furthermore, by
using Socrates as a mouth piece, Plato manages to theorise two distinguishable
visions of education, the first is to do with the education of the warrior
guardians and the second involves the education of the philosopher king. Not
only this, but Plato manages to deliver a subtler exposition of education
through the apprenticeship technique he uses with Glaucon and Adeimantus. Although
the dramatically pronounced framework of the dialogues is quite complex to
comprehend, the function of education in the Republic, is to aid in one’s understanding,
locating, and recognizing Socrates’s true perception of education. According to
the progressive, philosophical education suggested by the cave analogy, and the
philosopher kinds’ education, Socrates can be seen to use a number of
conflicting ideas and images, to eventually and gradually guide his disciples
towards their own personal realization of knowledge and philosophy. Therefore,
in this paper I will be first examining the two accounts in the dialogue that
depict an explicit account of education, and address the similarities and
differences that lay between them. After a thorough comprehension of the two
accounts I will then analyse them in relation to Socrates’ own pedagogical
method, and thereby unveil the ideals of Socratic education, and in turn the
functional purpose of education in Plato’s Republic.