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Plato's Analogy Of The Ship

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    I was just wondering, could anyone give me their interpretations of this analogy in Plato's "The Republic".
    We learnt that the captain who is partially deaf and unable to steer and take charge of the ship represented the general public- they are easily persuaded and are not able to see and understand the problems within society or how these could be solved.
    However, I was just reading the textbook and it says the captain represents the position of power which the crew (politicians) are all fighting for.
    Did anyone learn either of these, or did you learn a different interpretation?
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    The captain represents the ignorant mass of people in a democracy, the crew represnt the politicions who want to win his favour and let them steer the ship (society) but they are no wiser than the captain. The true navigator is the true philosopher who knows how to guide society - but no one listens to him.
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    Thanks, that's what I was taught. It's odd that the book says differently. If it comes up I'll use the explanation which you said- i understand that one more too! XD

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Updated: June 4, 2007
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