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Alcibiades Plato Analysis

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Socrates in the dialogue Alcibiades written by Plato provides an argument as to why the self is the soul rather than the body. In this dialogue Alcibiades and Socrates get into a discussion on how to cultivate the self which they both mutually agree is the soul, and how to make the soul better by properly taking care of it. One way Socrates describes the relationship between the soul and the body is by analogy of user and instrument, the former being the entity which has the power to affect the latter. In this paper I will explain Socrates’ arguments on why the self is the soul and I will comment on what it means to cultivate it. Alcibiades and Socrates try to figure out what the self really is because in order to cultivate it they would have to know what it is. As mentioned…show more content…
Through self-control. In this dialogue, Socrates explicitly states that the skills used to take care of what belongs to our bodies such as ring-making, or weaving do not make any of us self-controlled. Furthermore, someone who takes care of his body is taking care of something that belongs to his soul, and not himself (Plato, 131c). What Socrates is trying to do in this dialogue is help Alcibiades by teaching him that gaining self-control is to know himself, and before delving into the realm of politics it would be wise to know yourself in order to be a good politician. When you know yourself you are in full control of your actions which will guide you towards what is right and keep you away from what is wrong. That is because knowing yourself is akin to having self-control and when you have self-control you have virtue, and a virtuous person is a person who will do well as a politician because they will not be caring for what belongs to the state but rather the state itself. Just as we would be cultivating ourselves, namely, our souls, the politician would be doing the same for the state, which is the path Alcibiades will
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