Platos Republic Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:25:56
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This paper will discuss the aspects of B. F. Skinners book Walden Two and the implications toward determinism or free will implied through his characterizations and ideologies. The debate in this paper will present the dichotomy of free will and determinism and will end with support on the side of free will. Definitions for either ideal will be discussed in the paper as well as a presentation of Walden Two being a parody of Platos Republic which in turn will also give a succinct definition as to whether or not the book was written in a free will aspect or that pertaining to determinism.

The connections between Skinners concepts of free will and determinism are rampant throughout the text, and the fashion by which the book exemplifies Platos Republic is striking in its context. Platos Republic exerts diatribes and discussion between his protagonists match exactly those ideologies presented in altercative fashion in Skinners text. Points are present in Skinners Walden Two through the debates or seeming debates between the protagonists. The underlying idea behind each writing is that of discovering and reinforcing utopia.

Through this paradigm of utopia Skinners book reflects that his proposed society is naturally satisfying to all its inhabitants (Skinner 1948: 195). Thus, whether the society is representational of free will or determinism, Skinners book will be persistent in the individuals ideology through utopia. Thus, when free will is achieved by the composite population of Walden Two then a utopian society is formed. Thus, the role of utopia, as designed through free will is presented in societys codes in Walden Two.

The codes presented by Frazier in the work recite societys mores, norms, and values that should be secured through these prerequisites. The subject that is broached for the manifestation of free will is involved in the behavior codes: everyone in the society must adhere to physically hard work (Skinner 1948: 50), avoid possessions (57), express no gratitude (75), and individuals are furthermore instructed to not compare themselves with each other (117).

Furthermore, the society is controlled through avoiding gossip (128), the adjudication of spending less time with ones own children (132), avoiding talk about the society with outsiders (150), there will be no heroes and no personal competition (156), if any problems arise in the society, members are to address these problems with managers and not with each other (152) and the community is not to act with regard for any one else such as favors or preferential treatment (220).

Thus, the design of utopia is presented as free will with the codes because the members are society become focused on their own means and suggestions and less with others opinions as well as the pressures of maintaining a society as it exists outside of Walden Two are no longer validated which leaves room for personal freedom and self fulfillment as well as self gratification and as Skinner states through Frazier, Each of us has interests which conflict with the interests of everybody else.

Thats our original sin, and it cant be helped. Now, everybody else we call society. Its a powerful opponent and it always wins (95). With the inception of the code then, society is no longer based on the intermediate collectivities which require man in society to contrive an individual to maintain societal standards. With the instatement of the above codes, members of Walden Two become more centralized to their own ego wherein cultural deficiencies of societies outside of Walden Two become inconsequential.

Free will is found in Walden Two strictly upon the remarkable basis by which the society functions. Thus, if people are found to not cooperate within the paradigm of the society, as Frazier states ambiguously, Poor work by a capable man is a form of illness and if switching a job does not aid in repairing the man to the conforms of the codes then Frazier states further, Its more likely that he would long since have gone of his own accord (159-160).

Therefore, free will exists with a person choosing to stay or choosing to leave. Although at times Skinners work hinges upon the concepts of determinism as in the statement, ¦in the long run man is determined by the state (257) there is also the dialectical approach which would state that the society or the state in this reference would first have to be formed by the collective of free wills in order for a system of codes to be first instated.

The viable principles of this code remark on the importance of salubrious living which is also dominated by general tolerance (148). The subject of utopia evolves in his work through the process of avoiding interpersonal conflict; therefore the free will which so dominates the literature cannot in this utopian state dominate the free will of other societal members and in this paradox is found several conundrums.

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