Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Collin Hamilton: Young vs. Old Philosophers

Collin Hamilton
September 6, 2005
Plato class
Paper 1

When considering if it is more advantageous for older individuals to teach or younger persons, one needs to consider the points in which each can contribute to the student. Because older people have had more experience they have more insight and experience to contribute. On the other hand young people can add their pure opinions that have not been tainted by the world’s bias. Younger people can offer a viewpoint that has not been altered by outside sources. But instead is very pure and strictly from the persons mind as they think. An older person will teach things based on the way that they have live and what influences have been in their life. Therefore what they teach can be influenced by other factors. It is also important to be specific when making the delineations between a younger, middle and older individual.
Knowledge is also crucial when determining a better teacher. In most cases and older individual will have had the time to become more learned and therefore the better teacher. However this can be confusing when trying to determine delineations between what is young and pure and what is considered and older individual. In an ultimate setting the most advantageous teacher would be both, pure and experienced.
A younger person can have stages in which they go from a pure state of opinion to a state that is a combination of purity and other’s influence and then to an older individual who has become influenced and is no longer pure. To be pure would mean to have your own opinion based on no knowledge that has been acquired elsewhere. When a young child is asked a question the answer most often does not have a lot of research put into it. The answer is based around that child’s view about what is right and wrong.
Teachers who are in that middle stage, having pure thoughts combined with some of life’s experience. This type of teacher would be the best because they will be able to relate to both groups of people, both the young and the old. This middle stage would also be the best teacher because that person would have enough experience to relate to the older people and understand their thought process. Meanwhile they will still have retained enough pure thought to understand and manipulate the thought process of a younger person. In addition to these attributes, a middle person should have enough knowledge and understanding of current events and fads, therefore also contributing to their teaching ability.
Socrates and his friends are young and are able to use the experiences that they have to teach each other. And yet they still have their own pure views of the would that they argue with each other.
If an older individual was asked the same question they would put a lot more thought into the answer and draw on their experiences through out life to answer the question. In most cases because of the people’s multitude of experiences they will have a very opinionated answer. Their answer can also be affected by where they live, how they were brought up, and among other thing their financial status.
In Plato Cephalus considers old age as a classical older individuals would. When asked about his view about old age he recites what his friend Sophocles had said. That “…old age brings great peace and freedom from such things. When the desires cease to strain and finally relax, then what Sophocles says comes to pass in every way.” This is a combination of Cephalus’s experiences, and the opinion of Sophocles; using those tools that old age can provide Cephalus is able to teach about old age.
To look at all of these age groups in comparison one would see that those considered younger can be classified as children, those who are middle would be younger, and those who are older individuals are correctly named. Therefore, younger individuals are most capable at teaching all age groups.


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