more on Plato:
Plato (/ˈpleɪtoʊ/; Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn, “broad”; 428/427 or 424/423 BC – 348/347 BC) was a philosopher in Classical Greece. He was also a mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy inAthens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.
Plato’s sophistication as a writer is evident in his Socratic dialogues; thirty-six dialogues and thirteen letters have been ascribed to him. Plato’s writings have been published in several fashions; this has led to several conventions regarding the naming and referencing of Plato’s texts. Plato’s dialogues have been used to teach a range of subjects, including philosophy, logic, ethics,rhetoric, religion and mathematics. Plato is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy.
shared by Manish:
from almost 90 years ago…
“Our real concern is with the fallacy involved in the attachment of an absolute value to literacy, and the very dangerous consequences that are involved in the setting up of “literacy” as a standard by which to measure the cultures of unlettered peoples. Our blind faith in literacy not only obscures for us the significance of other skills, so that we care not under what subhuman conditions a man may have to learn his living, if only he can read, no matter what, in his hours of leisure; it is also one of the fundamental grounds of inter-racial prejudice and becomes a prime factor in the spiritual impoverishment of all the “backward” people whom we propose to “civilise.”
– Ananda Coomaraswamy, The Bugbear of Literacy
When we set out to “educate” the South Sea Islanders it is generally in order to make them more useful to ourselves (this was admittedly the beginning of “English education” in India), or to “convert” them to our way of thinking; not having in view to introduce
them to Plato. But if we or they should happen upon Plato, it might startle both to find that their protest, “Cannot a man remember?” is also his. “For,” he says, “this invention [of letters] will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not exercise their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without teaching, and will therefore seem to know many things [Professor E. K. Rand’s “more and more of less and less”], when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise but only wiseacres.” He goes on to say that there is another kind of “word,” of higher origin and greater power than the written (or as we should say, the printed word) and maintains that the wise man, “when in earnest, will not write in ink” dead words that cannot teach the truth effectively, but will sow the seeds of wisdom in souls that are able to receive them and so “to pass them on forever.” There is nothing strange or peculiar in Plato’s point of view; it is one, for example, with which every cultured Indian unaffected by modern European influences would agree wholly.
via Maria – Plato’s cave