Plato and Utopia – Book Report/Review Example

The paper "Plato and Utopia" is an excellent example of a book review on philosophy. The idea of Utopia first originated in the work of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, particularly in his book The Republic. It is in this book that Plato attempts to outline the best possible conditions for mankind to experience the perfect life. He points out how important it is for each individual to feel as if they are fully in control of their own decisions and challenges in life as well as the importance of shaping their education in such a way that they will choose to support the status quo. He argues that a person will only pursue something if they are given an opportunity to be interested in it, will only love something if they are interested in it and will only protect something if they love it. For full development, a person must, therefore, develop their physical ability, their emotional ability, and their intellectual ability. Taking this one step further, Plato applied these ideas to the greater society, dividing the classes by the physical workers, the emotional protectors or soldiers, and the intellectual rulers. Although Plato indicated that he would make the ruling class equally accessible to all, his plan to separate the children from their parents at an early age in order to give them all equal education included a suggestion that the children of the ruling class would be expected to reach these levels while the children of the lesser classes would not be expected to be up to the challenge. While this is still a seemingly bigoted approach to education, incorporating the class expectations of an authoritarian society, Plato leaves some room open for ‘wild’ talent among the lower groups while still proposing a system that necessarily weeds out all opposition to the state well before any real power is achieved.