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Plato moved from the Secratic dialectic to the theory of Ideas. He contrasted the world of existence with the world of appearance, which is only a manifestation of Ideas.

Plato divided the cosmos into 2 parts. The world of being, like the utopian world of Thomas More, and the world of becoming. The world of being was perfect, unchanging and contaneid the Ideas that were the essence of life. All the values like virtue and justice existed in perfection in the world of Ideas. To Plato the world of Ideas was the real world, instead of the material world that was only an illusion.

In the "Allegory of the cave" Plato sums up his views in an image of ignorant humanity, trapped in a cave. The rare individual escapes the limitation of that cave and through a long journey, discovers a true reality and the origin of everything that exist. This individual is the best equipped to rule the society, having a knowledge of what is most worthwhile in life; but this person will be frequently misunderstood by the other people in the cave who haven't seen like him the true reality.

The essential point is that the prisoners in the cave are not seeing reality but only a shadowy representation of it. The importance of that allegory lies in Plato's belief that there are invisible truths under the apparent surface of things which only an individual like the philosopher can see.

To Plato the education is not a process of putting knowledge into empty minds, but of making people realize that which they already know, because the human mind is not a tabula rasa.


In early 19. century England was considerably influenced by Franch Revolution, which started in 1789. The "Declaration of the rights of Man" and a constitution made France a constitutional monarchy and abolished the claim of kings to rule the country by divine rights.

In 1793, King Louis XVI was executed and France became a republic. Then followed a period of Terror and in 1804 Napoleon became Emperor.

The French ideas of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity affected english life. Protest of labourers and a growing demand of manhood suffrage spread in many industrial cities.

The Romantics were attracted by the ideas of freedom expleined by Rousseau in his works like the Novelle Eloise in which he spoke about the inportance of feelings like spontaneity oppossosed to discipline. In an other work "the social contract" he expressed the same values and ideas of the frenche Revolution.

In England the forst step to limit the power of the king was the Magna Carta Libertatum" in 1215. then, with the civil war England became a republic from 1649 to 1660. In 1660 there was the Restoration of the Stuart's dinasty but everything was changed because the power of the king was no more absolute.

In 1688 with the Glorious Revolution England became a constitutional monarchy.


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