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Book Summaries Philosophy

The Sources of Plato’s Opinions (A History of Western Philosophy)

Plato held the aristocratic opinion that only those who were relieved of having to worry about their daily subsistence were capable of gaining wisdom.

Who are they? The wealthy and the political elite. But what is wisdom? And how can someone gain political power through wisdom? Perhaps some kind of training is necessary, but what kind of training necessarily leads to wisdom? 

Russell thus questions Plato’s basic assumption that wisdom is something that can be gained at will, and that it can be easily translated into political power. There are many cases of those who were born poor and later became wealthy, and those who were born wealthy but later became poor in every age, to make us question Plato’s assertion. There is infinitely more wisdom in the human organism than there can possibly be within any individual

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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