Semester part 1 Review
Semester part 1 Review PLS 170
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Notes PLS 170 Sep 3 Liberal Education Core of political philosophy: how should we live our lives? Career and liberal education o Liberal education is necessary but blocked Blockages We are socialized o Our lives are influenced by society Moral/Historical relativism o There are no true answers to how we should live Depends on where we live and from what time we are from (relative to the person) o The opposite side says the answer is simple (American dream for us) o Both sides say don’t worry about the question Steps to unblock Liberate yourself from society o Foreign travel to see other societies o Interact with those of other societies Read about old philosophers and see what their society was like o “time travel” o Task of liberal education: use reason to answer the question and not our customs Question our beliefs and customs to figure out how to live our life o Liberal: educate not for a job but just to educate Purpose: to figure out how was should live our lives Humans only have liberal education Our instincts don’t dictate our education (Freedom of choice) o Nature doesn’t tell us how to live our lives o We can overcome our instincts Instinct for sex: celibacy We all live differently depending on location, time and culture o The way of life of animals rarely change over location and time Plato: what makes life satisfying o All humans are born into a cave of illusions We follow customs but we don’t know where they came from What is the “good” for human beings? The “good” is not a set way to live life. We can still choose Self preservation Everything seems to revolve around this Pleasure Getting hurt is not pleasure but you may need to get hurt to become victorious o Football, boxing, etc. Victory and Honor Justice rather than pride The moral life Love The religious life Bringing ourselves to our peak Aristotle o We are rational animals o Our peak is what makes us “us” Knowledge o Knowing the most and being the most aware of our surroundings Humans are the ignorant animals o Every animals knows how to live but we don’t o We are dysfunctional (crime, murder, etc.) o “Most men live lives of quiet desperation” Thoreau We have many problems that we want to get out of but don’t do anything about it Humans are rational o Use our reason to overcome the lack of instinct to figure out how to live How to answer the fundamental question There is a penalty for not trying to answer the question o You will fail in life 2 possibilities o If you DO get a liberal education then you will live your life based on YOUR own decision o If you DON’T SOMEONE ELSES decision We are afraid of answering it o We think we already know the answer on how to live This is because we are all from the same society We have been socialized by our society so we are ignorant on how to live so we don’t feel it Custom and Tradition guide us in life o They are set by society and culture o Reason and rationality develops slowly so we follow customs Society tries to make you a customary person and they socialize you o We end up forgetting the question given by nature and thereby blocking liberal education o Things wrong Customs are not made by smart people Even in the best circumstances we wouldn’t know why the customs are good We should think about the customs we are following o Ask questions not to over throw but to find out why they are good o Reasons can become customs Key Points o No instinct=ignorance o We have reason to guide us on how to live o Custom and Tradition guides us in life Notes PLS 170 Sep 5 Political Philosophy is o Equivalent to a liberal education o Necessary by nature because we lack instinct o It is also blocked by nature (socialization) Makes us think that we already know THE answer o It is also blocked by relativism Aristotle said we have the CAPACITY for reason but ALL of us are NOT reasonable People that are smart don’t always follow reason o Have high IQ so we know things then follow what we know (wisdom) Since we can’t follow reason at an early age we must follow social tradition Universal problem in getting a liberal education o When reason arises it doesn’t see a problem that must be answered We don’t feel THE question Says we already know the answer (obvious answer) In the last century we face one major problem from getting a liberal education o Relativism (characteristic of our time) The view that different cultures have different answers so there is NO truth to THE question Relative to our society Says there is NO answer What relativism argues o There is NO truth so don’t worry about finding it o Not everyone agrees about what makes them happy (Diversity disagreement argument) Due to diversity in thoughts, culture, etc. Evaluation of argument It is a bad argument There is no diversity in disagreement o EX: Murder is a crime but killing is not (if you are being killed then trying to kill your killer is justified) Every society has this core agreement o EX: Theft is wrong in all societies but its boundaries might be different. o EX: Gratitude and revenge are universal If someone does good to you, you do good to them Opposition to relativism o There IS a truth but finding it is hard o There is less diversity than relativists claim but there is some diversity o There is disagreement in diversity, but what does this diversity prove? EX: People disagree on what the moon is made of (not relative, its scientific) What is the truth within all the guesses o Though there are a lot of guesses, it doesn’t mean one is NOT true Notes PLS 170 Sep 10 Relativism o What the relativists argue EVERYTHING is relative (radical) People agree to it due to the diversity disagreement Since everyone agrees, then there is no answer They say we have NO human nature Everything is nurture and NOT nature It is a view that is not usually proved Non relativists o Argument Doesn’t say everything is absolute (no exact answer) There are SOME thing that are NOT relative Coke vs. Pepsi (relative) What the moon is made of (not relative) Basic/core things are relative Murder is wrong but killing in self defense is fine Both arguments are wrong o If that is true, then why are the arguments so popular? People don’t want to question it because it is easier Relativism is very relaxing It is a “whatever” lifestyle There are no standards in life (no need to be shameful) o There is guilt and shame for things you do wrong if you are not a relativist We want to be liked o People don’t like judgmental people or people with strong beliefs We can be non judgmental by saying “whatever” Relativism is politically correct People think it is useful, but it is NOT o Relativism is actually harmful It leads to a weakening of morals People are made less judgmental Might lead to social decay We lose our passion in life IT KILLS LIBERAL EDUCATION There is no reason to think about an answer to THE QUESTION Non relativism is very intolerant People think that non relativists will persecute people Non relativism leads to homophobia, colonialism, imperialism, etc. We can’t make generalizations on what makes people happy o Premises: Everyone desires something different People are made happy by getting what they desire Desire wont mislead you (FALSE) o Life would be too simple Relativists would be right We would become like animals with instincts o Nothing is more common than for desires to mislead us After getting what they desire, the happiness goes away o LIFE IS DECPTIVE o The beginning of wisdom is knowing not the trust out desires People think that if there is an absolute truth then the government should enforce it Guilt in America is racism o We did bad things because of non relativism This is the reason why we try to embrace relativism Should we embrace relativism to avoid intolerance and persecution? o We should NOT Does non relativism have to lead to persecution and intolerance? It does not have to but it can If you think you know the truth then the truth can lead to actions o Persecutory truth: you think blacks are better than whites o Humbling truth: color of your skin doesn’t matter We need it to get rid of some persecution o Slavery in the past was ended by non relativists Does relativism have to lead to tolerance? It does NOT o A nation of relativists during the civil war time could have led to this: The north thinks slavery is wrong, but the south can do what they want with their life. Slavery would not have ended o This would be TOO tolerant Political Philosophy notes for 9/5 Political Philosophy is equivalent to a liberal education Necessary by nature A pursuit that is blocked and obstructed by nature. For no other animal, is it a question of how to live. Instead of instinct, we have reason. We are able to ask, “What are we supposed to do?” with this life we have been given. We are rational, but not very rational. We have the capacity for reason. It is clear that reason takes a very long time to develop in human beings. Development of reason is a long process. Some people only become partly rational. A high IQ does not necessarily lead to a reasonable person. A reasonable person is intelligent and that you are guided in your life by the things that you do know. For these two reasons, it is not possible for any individual to use reason to select a way of life. That is nature’s fault, not ours. Must we follow something else? What is it? Something between reason and instinct; social convention or, social convention. This custom rules our life. We don’t make these choices most times. They are decided for us. Everybody is at one point a slave of society. When reason does arise, it usually doesn’t see an issue or question. Most questions have been answered for you by society. Custom hides the issue that we are ignorant animals and that it is essential for us to think about how we are to live. Political philosophy is not only naturally necessary, but it is naturally obstructed. It is necessary to fight against this obstruction. It turns out that this first obstacle is universal. The second obstacle is fairly unique to our time. The new obstacle is relativism or the view that different cultures and different individuals have different answers to these questions and that there is no universal answer. The prevailing view is post-modernism or post socialization. One way or another, this is embraced. All the questions, there is no universal answer, they are dependent on the time and place. You ignore the question because you do not seek the answer. “Forget the questions, forget liberal education, there are no answers.” Conduct study throughout history to find answers that escape from our time and society. Is it possible to answer these questions for all people? An answer that is not relative to only your own society. Are there no absolutes? Neitschze is the one great source of relativism for this course. What is the argument of relativism? How do you know that there are no answers to these questions? There are too many different people and places. The world is too diverse for there to be any universal answers. Good things can be considered evil in other societies. Is it true that we don’t agree on anything in the question of morals? How much real disagreement in the world is there on the answers of these questions of morality? There seems to be a moral prohibition on murder. Killing is allowed in societies, however murder is not. Unless there is a justifiable reason, then killing is unjust. Every society considers murder as wrong. There is a basic core of agreement as to what murder is and how it is defined. Some societies condone capital punishment, while others have abolished this practice. Concept of property is universal. Institution of marriage is fairly universal as well. Gratitude and revenge are universal concepts. If someone does you good or wrong, you owe them either good or wrong. Notes PLS 170 Sep 5 Political Philosophy is o Necessary by nature because we lack instinct o It is also blocked by nature (socialization) Makes us think that we already know THE answer o It is also blocked by relativism Aristotle said we have the CAPACITY for reason but ALL of us are NOT reasonable People that are smart don’t always follow reason o Have high IQ so we know things then follow what we know (wisdom) Since we can’t follow reason at an early age we must follow social tradition Universal problem in getting a liberal education o When reason arises it doesn’t see a problem that must be answered We don’t feel THE question Says we already know the answer (obvious answer) In the last century we face one major problem from getting a liberal education o Relativism (characteristic of our time) The view that different cultures have different answers so there is NO truth to THE question Relative to our society Says there is NO answer What relativism argues o There is NO truth so don’t worry about finding it o Not everyone agrees about what makes them happy (Diversity disagreement argument) Due to diversity in thoughts, culture, etc. Evaluation of argument It is a bad argument There is no diversity in disagreement o EX: Murder is a crime but killing is not (if you are being killed then trying to kill your killer is justified) Every society has this core agreement o EX: Theft is wrong in all societies but its boundaries might be different. o EX: Gratitude and revenge are universal If someone does good to you, you do good to them Opposition to relativism o There IS a truth but finding it is hard o There is less diversity than relativists claim but there is some diversity o There is disagreement in diversity, but what does this diversity prove? EX: People disagree on what the moon is made of (not relative, its scientific) What is the truth within all the guesses o Though there are a lot of guesses, it doesn’t mean one is NOT true Notes PLS 170 Sep 10 Relativism o What the relativists argue EVERYTHING is relative (radical) People agree to it due to the diversity disagreement Since everyone agrees, then there is no answer They say we have NO human nature Everything is nurture and NOT nature It is a view that is not usually proved Non relativists o Argument Doesn’t say everything is absolute (no exact answer) There are SOME thing that are NOT relative Coke vs. Pepsi (relative) What the moon is made of (not relative) Basic/core things are relative Murder is wrong but killing in self defense is fine Both arguments are wrong o If that is true, then why are the arguments so popular? People don’t want to question it because it is easier Relativism is very relaxing It is a “whatever” lifestyle There are no standards in life (no need to be shameful) o There is guilt and shame for things you do wrong if you are not a relativist We want to be liked o People don’t like judgmental people or people with strong beliefs We can be non judgmental by saying “whatever” Relativism is politically correct People think it is useful, but it is NOT o Relativism is actually harmful It leads to a weakening of morals People are made less judgmental Might lead to social decay We lose our passion in life IT KILLS LIBERAL EDUCATION There is no reason to think about an answer to THE QUESTION Non relativism is very intolerant People think that non relativists will persecute people Non relativism leads to homophobia, colonialism, imperialism, etc. We can’t make generalizations on what makes people happy o Premises: Everyone desires something different People are made happy by getting what they desire Desire wont mislead you (FALSE) o Life would be too simple Relativists would be right We would become like animals with instincts o Nothing is more common than for desires to mislead us After getting what they desire, the happiness goes away o LIFE IS DECPTIVE o The beginning of wisdom is knowing not the trust out desires People think that if there is an absolute truth then the government should enforce it Guilt in America is racism o We did bad things because of non relativism This is the reason why we try to embrace relativism Should we embrace relativism to avoid intolerance and persecution? o We should NOT Does non relativism have to lead to persecution and intolerance? It does not have to but it can If you think you know the truth then the truth can lead to actions o Persecutory truth: you think blacks are better than whites o Humbling truth: color of your skin doesn’t matter We need it to get rid of some persecution o Slavery in the past was ended by non relativists Does relativism have to lead to tolerance? It does NOT o A nation of relativists during the civil war time could have led to this: The north thinks slavery is wrong, but the south can do what they want with their life. Slavery would not have ended o This would be TOO tolerant Notes PLS 170 Oct 1 Character excellence o Courage We have insecurity so we need to be courageous o Discipline How much to desire and what to desire o Practical Wisdom We are not told by nature (ignorant) on how to live o Justice We are social beings We don’t have the correct relationship between other people o A person who is fully developed in these 4 virtues is a gentleman Character criticism o People criticize other people’s character o We judge character based on the bodily goods We judge by strength of character By having the 4 virtues, one is known as a strong person We judge by health of character or mind By having the 4 virtues, one is known as a healthy person We judge by esthetics and beauty of character By having the 4 virtues, one is known as a beautiful person Happiness = having virtues and using the virtues o How to use the virtues To engage in leadership in politics (highest form of activity) Ultimate contribution to society o This is because you can bring people to the right way of life It will also bring out the highest form of yourself (actualize your virtues) o Your soul and reason o You need to be challenged to bring out the best of yourself It brings out honor and fame How do you make people with perfected natures? The job of politics is to perfect humans by perfecting their characters and not worrying about smaller goods Society has to be structured so people with virtue have the ability to participate in politics o Dictatorship and monarchy are not good because there is only ONE person in politics o You need a republic A form of government where society is participating o You need a small society States/nations can become too big (especially in the modern world) You get a real sense of community You know somebody who knows somebody Happiness can’t be found with a large community People attain character through education that molds them to a good form o Education is the key part in life (needed to form character) Family is the first educational institution Religious institutions The state tries to get the schools away from character development o We get our character from our society There are many parts of society that mold character Marx: capitalist (economy) society molds us Aristotle: politics molds us Regime = political structure o This is the aspect of politics and society that molds us o What is the regime? Central concept of political thought Each government differs depending on who is ruling the government What type of person is ruling? o Oligarchy: rich rule o Aristocracy: noble rule o Monarchy: one person rules o Democracy: rule of the poor o Theocracy: rule of religion There is no government without rule There is no government where everyone rules o Certain forms of soul follow certain forms of government o How does the regime mold character? Regime connects the political and character structure o What is the best form of government (one that makes humans with good character)? Notes PLS 170 Oct 8 Philosophical life is the best o Hard to live this life Most people should live a life based on character excellence o We gain this excellence through education We obtain it fundamentally from our society Marx thinks it’s from economics Aristotle thinks it’s from a political structure o We must focus on politics to fulfill this life and be truly happy This is how we use our soul and our character excellence Can’t have a dictatorship or a monarchy to be happy We need A small community that knows and care about each other o A city-state We need a regime (form of government) to rule us o What types of people are ruling our society There are different parts to society so there are different forms of government The type of government depends on how we become socialized and how our character is molded How a regime molds us o What is a way of life? (what makes you who you are?) You are your job (Marxist view) Aristotle says you are what you live for we are what we admire o Where is the education to attain character from? What your society admires shapes what you admire You attain the education to know what to admire from society every society has a social hierarchy which becomes our hierarchy o societies differ in what they admire due to different hierarchy so different people admire different things o we understand a society by knowing who is on top of society ex: in high school, being popular is the top of society either through sports, education, artistic talent, etc. o What determines social hierarchy? The type of government that is ruling determines our social hierarchy This in turn develops our character and how we live our life Political hierarchy determines social hierarchy which determines how we develop our character which determines how we live our life and attain happiness (Applies to small city-states according to Aristotle) A close knit community tries to follow the leader of the community Which type of government should rule the community? o The best people should lead The people we admire o The majority (the common man) should rule society o The regime molds our way of life because it answers which type of person is ruling. The type of person that rules claims legitimacy by claiming to follow the best way of life. Once they become legitimate, then their way of life becomes the most important way of life to all citizens. o Every form of government brings a way of life Governments are judged based on the value of the way of life than is produced o Modern politics tries to separate who rules from who is good o Books; Plato’s republic book 8, democracy in America Notes PLS 170 Oct 10 We can’t live a philosophical life so we need to live a life of character excellence o The main way to develop character excellence is education Society educates us The form of government molds us (applies only to small city-states) o What we look up to is the kind of person we are o The political hierarchy determines the social hierarchy o The government must be legitimate for it to mold us Aristotle thinks the key part of society is the type of government o Which type of government is the best? The best type produces happy humans Absolute rule of Philosophical kings is the best rule Not very probably The most rational regime is the rule of the most rational Premise: human life is filled with illusions, only a philosopher lives without illusion o To live without illusion, we must live under the rule of philosophers We also need this rule to be happy Issues o How do you know who is a true philosopher? It is even harder to know if you are not a philosopher yourself (it takes one to know one) If people were wise enough to know who the philosophers were then they wouldn’t need the philosophers Wisdom is invisible to those who are not wise o The people don’t want to be ruled by philosophers The unwise naturally hate the wise even if they could recognize them The irrationality of the world resists rationality A pleasing lie is what some people look for over the truth o The philosophers don’t want to rule They just want to know and not rule A philosopher has not figured everything out in life By thinking what is perfectly rational, and showing that we can’t get it and why we can’t get it shows just that the world is irrational o There is no perfection in politics o Every society has injustice We need wisdom and moderation to accept this Aristocracy is the second best (the only one that is truly possible) People who have moral excellence rule o It will still be irrational and unjust Book 1 Aristotle defines the city, as a political association, and he asserts that all associations, are formed with the aim of achieving some good. He adds that political association is the most sovereign form of association o incorporates all other forms of association and aims at the highest good. Associations: Household is the basic unit Village Ultimate association is the city o Humans seek the city to attain the highest quality of life Aristotle concludes, "man is by nature a political animal." Only as part of a city can people fully realize their nature; o Separated from the city, they are worse than animals. Household Aristotle identifies the three kinds of relationships that make up the household: o masterslave; o husbandwife; o parentchild. fourth element of the household, which he calls the "art of acquisition." Aristotle views slaves as the means by which the master secures his livelihood. Nature generally consists of ruling and ruled elements: o Some people are slaves by nature, while others are masters by nature. o Unjust to enslave, through war or other means, those who are not slaves by nature. o Slavery is just only when the rule of master over slave is beneficial for both parties. Aristotle likens the relationship between master and slave to that between soul and body: o The master possesses rational, commanding powers, o Slave is only fit to carry out menial duties. He also likens the relationship between master and slave to that between a monarch and his people and that between a statesman and free citizens. Aristotle examines the art of acquisition, o The satisfaction of basic needs distinguishing between natural and unnatural acquisition. Different people go about satisfying these needs in different ways, depending on their mode of life: o some are farmers, o some huntergatherers, o and some pirates or freebooters, etc. This securing of food, shelter, and other necessities is called natural acquisition because it is an indispensable part of the management of a household. Unnatural acquisition consists of accumulating money for its own sake. Aristotle observes that food and clothing have not only a usevalue, but also an exchangevalue. In societies where trade is common, a monetary currency naturally arises as a facilitator of exchange. o The aim of exchange is the accumulation of such currency— i.e., the production of monetary wealth rather than the natural acquisition of goods. Aristotle dislikes accumulation of currency because there is no limit o Creates excess of enjoyment Husbandandwife relationship resembles that of the statesman to his people o The husband and wife share the same free (i.e., not slave) nature Male, by his nature, is more fit than the female to command, Justifies the fact that it is the husband, not the wife, who rules the household. The father andchild relationship resembles that of the king to his subjects o The father rules by virtue of his children's love for him and their respect of his age. The respective virtues of master, wife, child, and slave vary in aim and measure according to the different roles these individuals fulfill. Book 3 Book III is concerned with the nature of different constitutions Nature of citizenship. o Citizens are not just people who live in the city or has access to courts of law o A citizen is someone who shares in the administration of justice and the holding of public office. This definition is limited to individuals in democracies, by stating that a citizen is anyone who is entitled to share in deliberative or judicial office. Citizenship is often reserved for those who are born to citizen parents, o The hereditary status becomes irrelevant in times of revolution or constitutional change, The body of citizens alters. This raises the question: to whom may citizenship be justly granted, and can the city be held accountable for decisions made by governing individuals if these individuals have not been justly granted citizenship? Further, if the city is not identical to its government, what defines a city, and at what point does a city lose its identity? o Aristotle suggests that a city is defined by its constitution, A change in constitution signifies a change in the city. He does not, however, resolve the question of whether a city should honor debts and obligations made under a previous constitution. The difference between being a good citizen and being a good man: o A good citizen upholds and honors the constitution Because there are different kinds of constitutions there are also different kinds of good citizens. Perfect virtue is the only standard for being a good man o Can be a good citizen without being a good man o A good ruler who possesses practical wisdom can be both a good citizen and a good man. Can manual laborers be citizens? o Not everyone who is necessary to a city can be a citizen good citizenship requires that the citizen be free from the necessary tasks of life. o In oligarchies, citizenship is determined by wealth, a rich manual laborer may qualify for citizenship. The different kinds of constitutions that exist o There are just constitutions geared toward bringing about wellbeing for all of their respective citizens, o Unjust constitutions geared toward the benefit of those in power Constitutions vary in the size of the governing body: o a single person; o a small, elite group; o The masses There are six kinds of government: three just and three unjust. Just government: o by a single person is kingship, o by a small group is aristocracy, o by the masses is constitutional government, reserved for those who possess arms. Unjust government: o A kingship directed toward the sole interest of the ruler is a tyranny; o an aristocracy directed toward the sole interest of the wealthy is an oligarchy; o A constitutional government directed toward the sole interest of the poor is a democracy. PART 2 All constitutions are based on a notion of justice; o Notion varies between constitutions. Oligarchs say it is just to grant benefits in proportion to a persons wealth Democrats claim that all who are equal in free birth should be granted an equal share in the wealth of the city. Difference in distribution of wealth results from differences in the end goals of the city o If the end goal of a city were property and wealth, then the wealthiest members would contribute the most to the city/ deserve the majority of the benefits. o If the end goal of the city were simply life or security, then all would be equal partners in this enterprise, and all would deserve an equal share of benefits. But associations based on wealth and security are not cities. The end goal of a city is life of good quality for its citizens o Benefits should be extended to those who do the most to contribute to this end by encouraging civil excellence, regardless of their birth or wealth. Number of issues regarding sovereignty o If the governing body is allowed to determine what is just, then democracies, oligarchies, and tyrannies would then be just. o Aristocracies and kingships may rule justly, but deprive the rest of the citizens of the honor of holding civic office. o Laws cannot be allowed to determine automatically what is just, since they may be formulated unjustly. Political institutions can overcome the difficulties regarding sovereignty o The populace as a whole is less susceptible to error and should share collectively in the judicial and deliberative offices of government The collective populace is wiser than any individual expert o Also a better judge of whether the people are being governed well Wellconstituted laws should ultimately be sovereign o Governing bodies should deal only with particular cases not covered by general laws. Merit Justice is the end goal of politics o Benefits are granted in proportion to merit Merit is determined by one's contribution to the functioning and wellbeing of the city, o Not clear how one can determine who contributes the most o Separate arguments can be made in favor of the wealthy, the nobly born, the good, and the masses. Kingship Aristotle argues on behalf of the masses but, If an individual is superior to everyone, they should be king Kingship ranges from being a military commander to being the absolute sovereign in every matter. Aristotle concerns himself with the issues of absolute monarchy o A king is more adaptable than laws to particular circumstances, but a single person cannot possibly deal with all the city's affairs o a single individual is more susceptible than a larger body to corruption. The need for impartiality makes a larger body preferable to a king in making daytoday decisions If one individual clearly outstrips the rest, it may be just to grant that individual absolute kingship. A. Inequality- Not unjust if they are unequal, equality in the same sense can be unjust a. True equality requires Aristocracy. The rule of the better over the worse. i. The best are the virtuous b. The purpose of gov. is to produce happy (virtuous) begins. Aristocracy is best form. B. Hereditary Aristocracy a. Because of scarcity, lack of wealth, no wealth leisure or b. education exists Few % of society can afford education c. Invisibility of virtue- Can’t legitimately chose virtuous leader C. Democracy a. Meant majority b. Majority is poor and uneducated D. Characteristics a. 1) Politics must aim at happiness or virtue b. 2) Aristocracy is best form. Is in favor of political inequality c. 3) Closed society – the question of free speech i. Virtue as means to non-oppression ii. Religion what god wants us to do – strengthens proper goal in life iii. Need religion iv. Need censorship d. In modern society people avoid 2 nd and 3 characteristic, st yet still strive for 1 i. Aristotle says you need all 3 E. Without Characteristics Regime and Virtue (2 & 3) what happens to human character? a. 1517 Start of modernity, creation of the modern world i. influence of revolution- philosophers 1. Machiavelli published 1517 b. Reverse classic/Ancient goals/characteristics i. Lower goals of politics, too broad, limit gov. 1. Provision of security and freedom and prosperity only ii. Equality and democracy – in favor of iii. Open society c. Why did this change occur? Why chose lower goals? i. It’s easier ii. Unrealistic 1. A danger/risk to aim high. Puts lesser goods in jeopardy 2. It’s “rational” to give up F. Certain goals are necessary a. b. Goods of mere life – need things for a happy life Good life goals (don’t sustain life) – philosophy, moral excellence: Aristotle G. Modernization a. Based on realism – understanding virtue, divided go instability, secular and religious gov. b. Conflict of church and state c. Solution: new king of politics i. Renounces question of virtue and religion in politics ii. Aim lower to achieve this d. One more point to risk aiming high: High goals make people intolerant and fanatic “starry eyed” i. Also higher likelihood of success ii. Peace, stability, prosperity to a way never experienced thru political restructuring with lower e. goals Humanism- mentality/motive of enlightenment i. Turning away from after life to this one ii. Enthusiasm what humans can do for themselves (w/o god) H. Are our mere life goods threatened? Is the world safe or dangerous? a. b. Deciding how to live isn’t only human nature but the world Origins? i. What is our situation as humans in the world? ii. What was it like at the beginning? 1. origins were perfect, needs and goals were provided for (garden of Eden) 2. Origins were dangers, war not love (jungle) iii. If origins are good, mere life goods are taken for granted – aim high, nature takes care of you iv. If origins are bad, we’re in danger, aim low, we must attend to our own needs 1. we tend to think nothing bad can happen to us I. State of Nature i. Replaces origin idea of garden of eden/Christian ideal ii. Life is poor, brutis, short – ex) lord of the flies b. No talk of virtue, happiness, Locke speaks of self- preservation i. External life, mere goods c. Is the purpose of the state only to preserve the state of life before nature, chaos etc? i. False sense of security w/ gov. ii. Where there are humans there is government Book 4 Aristotle asks What sorts of states are the most practical for existing circumstances? o What constitution suits what kind of civic body, o Best way for a constitution to be maintained o The constitution that is best suited for contemporary cities Every city has different constituent elements: o The number, diversity, wealth, skill, etc. o The classes of society vary Allows for different kinds of constitutions Aristotle defines democracy as a state in which the freeborn are sovereign, and oligarchy as a state in which the rich are sovereign. Nine constituent parts of a city: 1. Farming class; 2. Mechanical class concerned with the arts and crafts 3. Merchant and retailer class 4. Hired laborers 5. Soldiers 6. Wealthy patrons 7. The executive 8. The deliberative 9. Judicial branches of public affairs. Many categories overlap, but no one can be rich and poor o There will always be 2 distinct class in society o 2 Basic forms of government Democracy and oligarchy Form of government depends on which class is in power 5 different forms of democracy: 1. Everyone is equal by law, regardless of wealth 2. An individual must meet a modest minimum property qualification to hold public office 3. Only the nobly born may hold public office, but the law remains sovereign 4. Anyone can hold public office, but the law remains sovereign 5. Anyone can hold public office and the public, rather than the law, is sovereign The 5 form is susceptible to the onset of demagoguery o A popular leader can sway public opinion to the extent that he can do as he wills without repercussions Four different kinds of Oligarchy: 1. There is a property qualification for holding public office 2. There is a high property qualification for holding public office and the current officers select new officers 3. Public office is hereditary 4. Dynasty, in which public office is hereditary and the officers, rather than the law, are sovereign. Aristotle notes that a state with a democratic constitution is often ade facto oligarchy, and vice versa. When people have wealth and hence leisure sufficient to devote a great deal of time to public office, states tend toward the more extreme forms of government in which officers, rather than the law, are sovereign. An aristocracy accords public office primarily on the basis of merit, though some regard may be paid to the wealthy or the masses. Constitutional government is a mixture of oligarchy and democracy that confers benefits both on the masses and on the wealthy, but it does not discriminate on the basis of merit. A constitutional government can mix democracy and oligarchy in one of three ways: o (1) a combination of the two; (2) a mean between the two; or (3) a mixture of elements taken from each. In a healthy constitutional government, it is essential that everyone in the city be content with the constitution. Three kinds of tyranny: 1. That among barbarians 2. That once existing in Greece 3. A tyrannical and entirely selfinterested rule exerted over unwilling subjects. 2/9 What is the good form of character that enables us to be happy? Moderation - Is similar to courage because there is a strength to resist desires - Self control and discipline in the face of passions Can a person be happy if they don’t have moderation? - (Can a person who lacks impulse control be happy) - NO, you can’t be happy because they are at the mercy of their impulses A spoiled child - There is a constant feeling of want/ unmet desire - Must be able to handle not getting what one wants - Knowing what you should want There are consequences for not being able to rule oneself - You ruin your life without control - Enslaved by their momentary impulses o Can’t be a free person Moderation is something people admire and respect - Because we are rationale animals, we have a desire problem o We have very few instincts/ instincts select desires o Instinct moderate’s animals - We don’t have nature to clarify our desires/ moderate us o Desires easily go astray (advertising) o Humans are vulnerable to manipulation - Humans have a desire problem and a fear problem o Humans are naturally out of control Humans have to exert control Prudence “practical wisdom” Is it possible to be happy if one is a total fool? - No, one needs to be smart about life in order to be happy - Everybody admires wisdom o We all face times when we are uncertain and lacking direction, and wisdom helps to give guidance - Prudence is knowledge of the world - Primary thing is not knowing how to get what one wants o The key is knowing what to want o Ability to see through all the delusions and deceptions of life and can see the good of life - Prudence is perfection of reason o Happiness is found in the perfection of our reason - Humans have an ignorance problem o Humans are the only animals that are ignorant to how we should live o Must be able to evaluate experiences and life Are minds trick us into believing that we will be happy if we continue on with what we were doing Prudence requires honesty and strength/ a strong mind Justice - Virtue that concerns human- human relations - One can’t be happy from a solitary life o Need a virtue that puts one in right relations with others o Virtue that is directly rooted in our nature - Rationality is a highly socialized phenomenon o Feral children don’t develop their language or reason o Rationality is a feature of sociality o Reason in Latin is Locos (speech) - If we are rational, then we are going to be social o We are very attuned to other humans o Virtue that perfects human relations - Because we are rational animals, we are able to perceive that another human being might be a competitor o The more intelligent a human, the more conflict surrounds them Wars, slavery, genocide, mass murderers, serial murderers - Humans have a social problem o We need justice to prevent human conflict (ripping each other apart) - All 4 virtues are useful and admirable/ pleasant or make us feel better - This the natural form of character excellence that must be met in order to be happy - The virtues perfected character is good for the soul o It’s the health of character and the beauty of character o If does not have a health of character, they would be neurotic/ own worst enemy o Integrated personality in the right proportions/ is at peace with oneself - Image of psychological health - Also they have a strength of character and soul o High functioning/ can handle anything - A beautiful person is admirable, noble, and a sense of greatness o Great nasis for self respect and esteem Aristotle’s response to what is a good life? - Uses inner experience - We are rational human beings - There are two kinds of rationality (reason) o Pure Reason Strive for pure reason because it’s the most important (rare to achieve) o Practical Reason 1. Reason is to manipulate and control 2. Reason is to try and rule/ guide soul Character Excellence: - Moral perfection and character excellence is important - Relativists think they have a strong case for moral excellence o Ideals of morality vary across cultures o There is no universal or objective truth - If relativism is true, then Aristotle’s responses should not make sense/ he does make sense - Aristotle elaborates moral excellence over everything else o In ethics, he claims that there are 11 virtues of character excellence o He narrows down the 11 virtues to 4 virtues that represent the essence of good character o Four virtues: 1. Courage 2. Moderation 3. Prudence 4. Justice - Aristotle claims that a happy person brought the 4 virtues to the highest perfection o Valid argument because all the virtues are found in human nature o The 4 virtues are all forms of rationality/ led by reason (strong evidence against the relativist) - One needs to be strong in order to be rational o Self mastery is at the core of all 4 virtues 1. Courage a. Courage is strength and rationality in the face of fear and danger (ability to keep one’s head) Can a human being be happy if they are a coward? One cannot be happy if they are a coward because they live in constant fear On a hedonistic level, fear is pain b. Courage is Naturally useful o Cowards do not function properly They are unable to go after the goods that is desired Courage gives us the ability to do what we need to c. Courage is impressive/ admired o Courage is pleasant, useful, and beautiful o Courage is sought after across all societies - Each of the 4 virtues has a mean o Courage is the mean of being reckless or a coward - There is a universal view because there is an objective basis - The human body can be vulnerable because it is part of the human condition - Fear is a fundamental part of life / all animals experience fear o Human beings are the only animals aware of their vulnerability - Courage
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