Human Nature in Plato's Philosophy

Keywords: Socrates, Plato, philosophy, state, human nature


Plato argued that knowledge of human nature can be reached through dialogue and dialectical method in accordance with the Socratic heritage. In his philosophy, man can be defined as being capable of rationally answering a rational question. By giving rational answers to himself and others, human also becomes a moral subject. In Plato's philosophy, we see a clear program based on human nature. Issues related to human nature are discussed in the process of applying Plato's theory of ideas to the field of morality, art, politics and education. What emerges in practice, for example, right and fair behavior is a manifestation of the principle of truth and justice. According to Plato, man reflects the character of the state he lives in. To understand a person, it is necessary to consider the society in which he lives. The state is not an institution that people come together and establish with their own will, but an organism, a whole. According to Plato, in order to grasp the true meaning of human society and to arrange it properly, one must first comprehend the astronomical cosmos. Because, knowing the meaning of the concepts of harmony and order is possible only by understanding the astronomical cosmos, which is the expression of an eternal order. While studying the astronomical cosmos, a man comes to the idea of harmony and order itself. Indeed, the infinite canonical and harmonious movements of the stars in this pre-eternal order on their perennials lead to the concept of law itself. People who admire this harmony and order in the sky want to realize a model of it on earth. He concludes that the laws that will rule over the human world must be continuous and compatible, just like the laws in the world of stars. Thus, the state must be an earthly model of the astronomical cosmos. If a person lives in the state, he should realize this harmony and order in the state in his own spirit.

How to Cite
Özkan, Fatih. 2020. “Human Nature in Plato’s Philosophy”. Entelekya Logico-Metaphysical Review 4 (2), 155-72.