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Lecture notes

by: Madysin Leavitt

Lecture notes AHTG

Madysin Leavitt
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About this Document

This is important stuff for exam 1
American Heritage
Richard Kimball
Class Notes
American Heritage




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madysin Leavitt on Saturday January 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to AHTG at Brigham Young University taught by Richard Kimball in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see American Heritage in General Science at Brigham Young University.


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Date Created: 01/30/16
American Heritage Week 1 (Lecture) 2/1/16 1:52 PM  Lecture  Notes-­‐     The world is confused! Why?...This is because we don’t all have the same moral (knowing good from bad) framework. “Who we are is who we were” The ideals we are brought up with make up who we are. We have to understand who we were in order to know who we are now. This is something that is really important we acknowledge. Major themes of the course 1. American “Expectationalism”- really high standards set by the founding. Sometimes we are close to these expectations, and sometimes we are really far away 2. Art and the power of the community through the social contract- the idea of coming together and agreeing on certain rules 3. In medias res (in the middle of things)- We are in the middle of the founding (not just July 4 1776). We take principles that are good from the founding, and we understand them, use them, and then pass them on. The Human Predicament – (It’s always with us, you might as well get used to it) This is the problem we are trying to solve! TyrannyàRevolutionàAnarchyàCompeting Groups Tyranny= someone who abuses the power, getting gain by oppressing those under you. The generally take the choice away from the people. It is not always bad. An example of this is a king abusing his power. Revolution= This is when the people want a change so they overthrow the tyrant. Anarchy= There is no social contract, you do whatever you want and this results in chaos. An example of this of this is a group killing the king but they don’t have enough organization or power to do something after that. This includes all kinds of riots. Competing Groups= these come about because as human beings we care power! The groups can be religious, a tribe, a region, etc. They can be very violent and as soon as one wins they become the next tyranny and the cycle continues. Anarchy and Tyranny have characterized all of human history We get out of this predicament by building a “Good Society.” This requires a balance between tyranny (order) and anarchy (freedom). -The good society benefits society as a whole. It strives for a reasonable balance between liberty and order, offers human fulfillment—“goods of the soul” (respect), and it hinges on the tension between virtue and self-interest. Self Interest vs. Virtue Self Interest- enlightenment virtue, virtues and vices Virtue- some ancient example are classical Athens, and classical Christianity. Virtue Athenian Idea of Virtue- Seek human excellence (arête) in all things… enhanced by proper education (make yourself better at whatever you’re doing). Plato’s Cardinal Personal Virtues: 1) Wisdom- philosophers and kings 2)Temperance- or moderation example is like businesses 3) Courage- soldiers 4) Justice Well-Ordered soul created the well-ordered city (polis) and vice versa…the purpose of politics is to form good citizens and cultivate good behavior….”public virtue.” The idea of taking one for the team. Ancient Christian Virtue- examples from parables, sermon on Mount. Idea of having faith, hope and charity and to love one another. Their hopes are that the internal virtues we have will create an external good society. The problem with this is that it can cause excess zeal, social apathy (doesn’t do anything to help world because they are too deep into religion) Can people really live virtuous lives outside of the movies?? A lot of times movie heroes give something up for someone else. Self Interest Enlightenment Virtue- this is the modern idea that humans act out of self-interest. For example, I want to be rich, so I am going to act a certain way to get that way) Virtue is great….but it is not reliable! Enlightenment thinkers believed what they saw around them. Use the example of wonders of wonder bread (you dig through and get the best piece and then you are happy). Virtues and vices of Self- Interest -reliable -induces cooperation -degenerates into selfishness, self-deception, and narcissism Example of virtue- Mr. Rogers Example of Self-Interest- A little boy who doesn’t want to share By the power of self-interest Structure: rules and processes designed to promote virtuous behavior. Counterpoise: balancing one person’s self-interest against another’s in formal, structured relationshipsà you split and I choose.  


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