Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:08 AM
Whovian (2,866 posts)
Plato on Music. Damn, he was one smart guy.
“Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.” ~Plato, The Republic
3 replies, 608 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Plato on Music. Damn, he was one smart guy. (Original post)
Response to Whovian (Original post)
Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:19 AM
KansDem (26,157 posts)
1. During Plato's time, music and gymnastics went hand in hand.
A well-rounded individual excelled in both: music for the soul and gymnastics for the body. Too much of one and not enough of the other was to be avoided.
Socrates' First Account of Education:
Aim of Guardians' Education:
The most explicit account of education arises after Glaucon questions the moderate and plain lifestyle required in Socrates' just city "of speech" (369a). Caught up in the fun of imagining the ideal city, Glaucon cannot fathom that it would be as austere as Socrates suggests and desires that it be more luxurious. As soon as Socrates allows fineries, however, the city quickly becomes rife with potential trouble. More land is needed to hold the burgeoning population and its possessions and a specialized military is needed to carry out conquests and guard the city from its neighbors. With the ever-present danger of tyranny accompanying military rule, efforts must be made to curb the guardians' natural tendency to lord over the citizens. Socrates suggests that the guardians be controlled through an education designed to make them like "noble puppies" that are fierce with enemies and gentle with familiars (375a). Education in music for the soul and gymnastics for the body, Socrates says, is the way to shape the guardians' character correctly and thereby prevent them from terrorizing the citizens. Thus, the guardians' education is primarily moral in nature, emphasizing the blind acceptance of beliefs and behaviors rather than the ability to think critically and independently.
Socrates says that those fit for a guardian's education must by nature be "philosophic, spirited, swift, and strong" (376 c). The guardians must be lovers of learning like "noble puppies" who determine what is familiar and foreign by "knowledge and ignorance" (376 b). Unlike the philosopher-kings appearing later in the book, these philosophically natured guardians approve only of that with which they are already familiar and they attack whatever is new. Although Socrates says potential guardians must have a certain disposition, the impressionability of the ideal nature suggests that they must only be bodily suited to the physical aspects of the job since they will be instilled with the other necessary qualities through education.
Oh, and while we on the subject of "body and soul":
Response to KansDem (Reply #1)
Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:29 AM
OnyxCollie (7,965 posts)
3. Socrates also believed
the guardians should not listen to certain modes of music, i.e. Phrygian, because the sadness of the music would make them weak.