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(4,783 words)

Author(s): Brown, Robert F. | Nagl-Docekal, Herta
1. Introduction In the Republic of Plato (427–347 b.c.) the ideal ruler excels at philosophy, or love of wisdom (Gk. philosophia, from philein, “to love,” and sophia, “wisdom”). This love comprises knowledge of what is highest and best, as well as wisdom in living one’s life well. Its enduring symbol is the owl associated with the goddess Athena. In the popular mind authentic philosophy is wisdom in living, more so than a highest knowledge. Misconceptions and caricatures of philosophers and philosophy abound. Philosophers are held in awe yet said to be inept in every…
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