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PS 330: Intro to Political Theory, Exam 1 Study Guide

by: Kayteeessbee

PS 330: Intro to Political Theory, Exam 1 Study Guide PS 330

Marketplace > Western Kentucky University > Political Science > PS 330 > PS 330 Intro to Political Theory Exam 1 Study Guide
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These notes outline information that will help to write strong essays in exam one.
Intro to Political Theory
Dr. Edward Yager
Study Guide
Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Politics, Theory
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This 8 page Study Guide was uploaded by Kayteeessbee on Tuesday March 1, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PS 330 at Western Kentucky University taught by Dr. Edward Yager in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 30 views. For similar materials see Intro to Political Theory in Political Science at Western Kentucky University.


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Date Created: 03/01/16
PS 330 EXAM 1 STUDY GUIDE Part 1: Identification of terms (approx. 7, select 3 to write on, each worth  10pts.) Look through glossary for Classical and Medieval Sections, plus things  written on board, and any italicized terms from the textbook. Part 2: 5 short answer essays, choose 2, each worth 20pts, for 40%. i.e.  Contrast Sophists and Socrates. Epistemologies AND Political Theory, one on  Plato, one on Aristotle, and one on Cicero, and then compare and/or contrast  thought of St. Augustine and St. Aquinas­Average of 2 sides of one Blue Book  page per answer. Part 3: Long essay, about 2 sides of 2 pages (3­4 pages, one­sided.) Worth 30  pts. Mostly compare/contrast types of questions over two or more thinkers;  broader than short­answers. Look at common themes cutting across multiple  thinkers, such as the natural law tradition (introduced with Stoics, Cicero  confirmed, and St. Thomas Aquinas also had something to say about it. Look into similarities and dissimilarities.) (How different epistemologies effect different  political philosophies [being vs. becoming, etc.]) Socrates (470­399 B.C.) Middle class family in Ancient Athens, had wife and children, and traded in  stonecutting. Served in the military.  Lived in period of direct democracy during Golden Age/Pericles. Then aftermath  of Peloponnesian War, and instability­people were scared.  Dialectic/Socratic method 1  Mission­to lead people to examine themselves, leading to his execution.  Fundamental, ultimate questions in life, “ultimate truths.”  What is the ultimate nature of the universe? (The Big Debate)  Philosophies of being and becoming: is everything changeable or  permanent?  Materialists: philosophers of becoming: things change arbitrarily.  Philosophers of being: there is change, but ultimate reality is permanent.  Ethics: morals, if an action or way of life is good or bad?  Empirical: knowledge gained by senses  Everybody agreed that the end of human action should be happiness.    “What is the human standard of happiness?”  Virtue: standard of human happiness  Sophists: radical individualism at expense of greater society.  Socrates: inclusionist. Plato (427­347 B.C.)  Socrates’ student;  Politics could be rationalized by truth.  Had very critical views of democracy  lived during a tumultuous period, at end of Peloponnesian War  Oligarchy took over: Tyrants. Corrupt. Self­rule. Used power of  government for own self­interest.  Plato perceives evils of factional government and their tremendous   writes The Republic, proposing remedy for factional government, to  promote social, economic and political stability and help society to flourish.  The remedy: 1) Metaphysics and epistemology  Theory of forms, allegory of the cave. 2) Political theory  Was a philosopher of being  Things do not simply have a human definition but have definitions in terms of the “perfect quality,” in a dimension beyond us, which can only be seen  conceptually 2  Emphasizes mind over rhetoric. Scholarly elite will be able to understand  these perfect forms of imperfect representations we have of them on this  earth.  You will be a just ruler (looking out for whole country) if you take the time  to learn about and become knowledgeable of these “perfect forms.”  3 separate social division: 1) those motivated toward monetary gain­i.e.,  the most. Entrepreneurs, businesspeople, etc. Nothing wrong with it, just  the way things are. These people are “producers,” motivated toward  profit/gain. 2) Auxiliaries: Thirst and quest for honor, military, etc. 3)  RulersThe few motivated toward acquisition of knowledge.  Specific knowledge necessary: knowledge of forms.  Have the right people ruling for the common good, and you can break  factional governance  Proposed reforms: 1) all qualified women should be allowed to rule.  Citizenship was not even granted to many but was elite and restricted.  Because so few were qualified to become rulers, so they needed to  enlarge the possibilities pool.   2) For rulers, biological family and private property should be abolished.  Rational: lets you focus on public and not your own personal gain.  Potential corruption is limited. Main contradiction: if you are a ruler  because of your knowledge, why hedge and have a default position “just  in case” you become corrupt?   3) Rulers should have absolute power because once they acquire  knowledge, they are supposed to be just. 3 Aristotle (384­322 B.C.)  Son of Court Physician to father of King Philip of Macedon (Father of  Alexander the Great, whom he tutored.) Scientifically­minded.  Student of Plato  Believed in the concept of immanent form.  Believed change does not always unequivocally result in progress, and  that he was living in a period of decline, with people who were involved in  self­indulgence, and private disputes, to the neglect of the public.  Believed citizenship and direct democracy where citizens mattered, too,  (jury, voting, military, etc.) These civic obligations were being diminished  and devalued, because people became preoccupied with selfish pursuits.  Two volumes of his books: 1. Nicomocian Ethics: Micro­version. Good  individual human life, how to live it, what are the choices that should be  made, what is the importance of moderation? Moral philosophy.   2. The Politics: Macro­version. Focuses on good state, what constitutes it, what’s the nature of the “just regime,” how do we establish it?  Metaphysics: the Theory of Immanent Forms (teleology.)  Was a philosopher of being   Believed in Plato’s idea of objective moral order to which human beings  must discover nature of morality and conform their lives, once it is  discovered.   Major divide in Western Civilization: source of morality. Epistemology:  empirical and scientific.   Ethics: Moral Philosophy: 1) Telospurposes, fulfill your niche. 2)  ModerationGolden Mean, with exceptions, such as, don’t murder in  moderation, but a lot of the choices that we make that should fall under  4 principle of moderation. Avoid extremes, do virtuous course. Habits form  and character is developed, and it should be one of moderation.  Eudaemonia”Human Happiness.”  end for humans was non­superficial happiness, deep sense of well­being,  which comes about from living a good life.  Plato and Socrates do not have moral philosophy. Aristotle: not enough to  know right thing to do; you need to practice the right thing. Will is  distinguished from cognition. Virtue­practice makes perfect.  Knowledge is necessary but not sufficient  Advances idea in opposition: communalism, because of the idea of the  “spoils of the common.”  Good(Just rule:) Prosperous, happy citizens, etc. : governs in accordance  to what public wants and needs.   Bad (Unjust rule:) Not prosperous, poverty and miserable citizens, civil  strife : governs in a corrupt manner, with own agenda in mind.  Mob rule: The many become a law unto themselves, the laws no longer  apply to them, such as in case of vigilantes.  Marcus Tullius Cicero (106­43 B.C.)  Major Roman Thinker  Mixed Constitution­Affirmed  Natural Law Tradition  After a “classical” education, he began the study of Roman Law, and  trained to become a lawyer. Then, he went to Athens to study philosophy.  . He was a practical man, he was a philosopher. Correlation between  practical thought and practical governmental experience. Preceding his birth was the growth of three major Hellenistic philosophies: 5  Cynicism: emphasizes individualism; “counter­cultural,” represented  flouting authority, traditional values, etc. A challenge to traditional morality, and governmental authority. Different gradations, such as skepticism  Epicureanism: emphasizes individualism, Maximize pleasure and  minimalize pain. It is not only an explanation, but a constitution of virtue  Stoicism; Zeno: main philosophy practiced by social elites. Roman elites;  One component was metaphysical, and another that was ethical, social  and political; Metaphysics: stoic understanding of reality and the teaching  of their assessment of reality, which shows how society ought to function.  Stoics impressed by order and patterns of regularity. Humans having  personality and volition all involve having rationality. This implies that  human beings are social, in our common rationality, leaning toward  Aristotelian philosophy. Our common rationality, which participates in  common cosmic rationality, is the basis for human equality. What  helps define a human being is rationality.   Hellenism: The period that followed Alexander’s conquest. Everything has  been centralized, in empirical fashion. Centralization alters citizenship.  Cicero warned against empires, because it altered democratic citizenship.  Natural Law Tradition: universally­binding moral principles of right and  wrong in the universe: They can be discovered on the basis of human  rationality alone; crystal clarity with some acts, and not with others.  Human beings can discover these through reason, and submit to those  laws, and have positive/human law made by human beings but possibility  that there will be a discrepancy between positive and natural law. 6  A chief objection to the natural law tradition is that there seems to be an ethical dimension to natural law, and also a legal dimension  Criticism: talking about natural law in general terms it seems reasonable,  but in practice, it is much too broad to apply to individual cases. St. Augustine (354­430)  Essential political theory: power struggle and compromise on your  convictions necessity involved in politics. Politics are necessary evil,  Theologian, not a political philosopher  He separated ethics and politics, which was not the norm at the time.  Ethical and moral development should be pursued elsewhere.  Realism, or real politique: Politics is about power, not ethics.   Do not be overly involved in own personal/family affairs, but contribute to  the community   City of God: Augustine’s book  Christian theology, narrative based upon old and new testament scriptures that posites that there is a Creator,  Love God increasingly to contempt of self, and become citizens of the city  of God through this   Very small number move from “City of Earth” to “City of God.”   City of Earth individuals maintain “self­love,” manifested through crime,  most egregiously,  the love meant for the Creator is being stuck to the temporal things, so the love is perverted.   People are driven by self­interests,   The government that arises in his mind involves maintaining social order,  primarily.  City of God individuals maintain love of God.  You can grow morally separate from politics St. Thomas Aquinas (1225­1274) 7  Interested in Aristotle’s work. Saw no contradiction between some insights found by Aristotle and Christian teachings. Wants to infuse Christianity  teaching with Aristotilian thought.   Personality, rationality and human volition: capacity to make choices­ important element of being a human being. Less harsh view of humans  than Augustine.   Humans have generally a lot of rational power­have been damaged, but  not as severely as Augustine. Human rationality generally has the capacity to provide for moral guidance and moral development.   Reason has more vital role for Aquinas than Augustine  for citizen participation, and it can be a growing and developing  experience,   On Kingship: Reasoned speech is an important source of morality.  Opportunities   Faith and reason, temporal and eternal are fused together.   Harmony, synthesis, fusion, between heaven and earth affairs.   Best government=monarchy­but it is probably utopian, and unfeasible.   Summa Theologica: argues that he perceives three levels of law in the  universe: eternal, divine, natural and human. Linkage: reason (logos.)   limits to human rationality and understanding/comprehension of these  levels of the law. He does not see inherent conflict between faith and  nature.   2 types of laws: Just and unjust.   Break unjust laws, because you have a moral responsibility to.   How do we know if it is one or other? Just law: man­made code that  squares with moral law or law of God. Unjust: out of harmony with moral  law.  8


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