Barriers to Wisdom

All four ancient philosophers (Socrates/Plato, Buddhism, Confucius, Al-Ghazali) challenged the world around them and attempted to find a new path towards wisdom. Please respond to both prompts below.
(A) Briefly explain what each thinker saw as the primary barrier to true wisdom and how they attempted to overcome those barriers.
(B) Which philosopher do think offers the most relevant response to the barriers to wisdom in our present society? Please explain what you think those barriers are and what the particular path to wisdom prescribed by your chosen philosopher would look like in the modern world.
1. You must demonstrate some understanding of the different philosophies from each lesson, and you must creatively apply them to some aspect of present society.
2. You cannot quote, cut and paste from, cite, or in any way refer to the powerpoint slides from this class. The slides are only there to help you focus on what is important in the readings and videos. You will be penalized and asked to rewrite a paper that heavily relies on the slides.
3. Do not use outside sources. The point of these assignments is to examine your ability to understand and synthesize the materials from this class. Therefore, outside sources will be seen as irrelevant. See more details at

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4. You may use any citation system you like (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). I find the easiest system to be to use a parenthetical “author-date” system for in-text citations with a works cited page. In other words, after a direct quotation (using quotation marks), place the name of the author of the quotation, the year of publication, and page number in parenthesis at the end of the sentence. See the examples of quotation and paraphrase below:
a. Plato says that “present in every person’s soul” is the capacity to “contemplate reality, and the brightest of all realities, which we say is the Good” (Plato 1993, 119).
b. Plato believes that within the soul of each person is the ability to understand the nature of true reality, including the foundation of all things which he calls the Good (Plato 1993, 119).
5. The length requirement is 3 pages of your own words (approximately 950 with 12 point standard font, double spacing, 1 inch margins, and no extra spacing between paragraphs). Direct quotations will not count towards this word count. All direct quotations should be cited. Paraphrases will count towards this word count. Paraphrases should also be cited.

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