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PS 330: Intro to Political Theory, Week 4&5

by: Kayteeessbee

PS 330: Intro to Political Theory, Week 4&5 PS 330

Marketplace > Western Kentucky University > Political Science > PS 330 > PS 330 Intro to Political Theory Week 4 5
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Intro to Political Theory
Dr. Edward Yager

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These notes cover the lectures from the last two weeks. They cover the textbook chapters on Aristotle, Cicero, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine, and everything that Dr. Yager said about them.
Intro to Political Theory
Dr. Edward Yager
Class Notes
Cicero, Theory, Politics, St. Augustine, St. Aquinas, Aristotle
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This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kayteeessbee on Friday February 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PS 330 at Western Kentucky University taught by Dr. Edward Yager in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Intro to Political Theory in Political Science at Western Kentucky University.


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Date Created: 02/26/16
21 0 Aristotle 384322 BC Son of Court Physician to father of King Philip of Macedon Father of Alexander the Great whom he tutored Scientificallyminded Fatherly influence shaped Aristotle s frame of reference Student of Plato Believed in the concept of immanent form Lived at Plato s Academy for 20 years even though he is not Athenian but Macedonian Left when Plato died and traveled along Mediterranean Asia Minor returned to Macedonia and King Phillip hired him to tutor AtG for 6 years MentorMentee mutual respect relationship maintained for years to come Aristotle lectured at his Lyceum Became suspect when Athenian authorities began suspecting people of having allegiance to Macedonia but he fled rather than take hemlock like Socrates He died about a year later at 62 He believed change does not always unequivocally result in progress and that he was living in a period of decline with Athenians who were increasingly 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 in a period of decline and corruption Wrote two volumes about individual ethics Nicomocian Ethics about The Good Life wherein Aristotle is nostalgic for earlier period of Athenian flourishing Conservative in that he wants what had been best in earlier years of Athens His theories are in response to what he sees as this area of decline hoping to recapture a lost era Two volumes 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 lmmanent Forms teleology Teacher not an indoctrinator Had respect for Plato but was not indoctrinated by him was allowed to have his different beliefs etc He didn t see a large break between senseable forms and perfect forms and didn t understand how they were manifested by imperfect forms Revised Plato s theories antithetical version of Plato s transcendence outside above and beyond beliefimminence within Transcendent form is within observable form Observed potential of form that was programmed into the observable form after manifestation over developmentalactualizing process It realizes a purpose then If organized under certain conditions will be stabled and better to serve the people Otherwise it cannot be assessed how good it will be because it takes time to see how the government will operate and to see that it is stable and sustainable and functional Different regimes will have different teleological beliefs Is an empirical philosophical approach Was a philosopher of being and 1 believed in Plato s idea of objective moral order 2t 0 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 Philosorgthv 1 Telosljpurposes fulfill your niche 2 Moderationleolden Mean with exceptions such as don t murder in moderation buta lot of the choices that we make that should fall under principle of moderation Avoid extremes do virtuous course Habits form and character is developed and it should be one of moderation Probably most reasonably just state will be the moderate one Don t give full control to rich nor to poor for the stability of the regime Good to have a large middle class which represents a tendency toward moderation Race class warfare etcwhat Aristotle wanted to avoid by growing the middle class l profound 3 Eudaemonia Human Happiness Can be achieved by first two Aristotle agreed that end for humans was nonsuperficial happiness deep sense of wellbeing which comes about from living a good life Not upanddown happiness but a very wellsettled sense of wellbeing that lets you go through all types of circumstances in life strongly Plato and Socrates Virtuecertain kind of knowledge Stands in contrast of Aristotilian philosophy which is not elite and is centered around purposes and reaching them 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 Aristotle has been presented as bigoted oppressive and a sexist bc he disagrees with Plato on women being allowed in government He is not trying to be oppressive but his view is that women have different forms nature essence purpose than men Would possibly have agreed to a few exceptions eg Margaret Thatcher Aristotle also disagreed with Plato s second reform Advances idea in opposition communalism because of the idea of the spoils of the common Those things belonging to everyone hardly anybody takes care of it e you have a primordial sense to care for your own kids but other people do not which happens with property in general when held in common Aristotle says private property seems to be natural to the human condition Private property is analogous to technology todaycan be used for good or bad but we do not throw it away because it has the potential to be used for bad You have the opportunity to be generous with your wealth as well as to be selfish How can you grow and do good things unless you have something He has philanthropy in mind but realizes it can be a potential source of greed that can be used in an oppressive way what Marx focused on Third Platonic proposed reform only rulers had knowledge of truth 80 they should have total power History and empirical analysis important to Aristotle in this discipline of Politics not math or other sciences Alternative to Socrates and Plato s recipes for corrupt government will be his own rule of law Typology Good 1 Few Many Just rule Monarch Aristocracy Polity Bad y Unjust rule Tyranny Oligarchy DemocracyMob Rule Good Prosperous happy citizens etc governs in accordance to what public wants and needs Bad 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 When most of the people do not have wealth and they take control of government and use that power to forcefully take the wealth of somebody else who happens to be rich and maybe he will share it with his other poor friends but he is disregarding the law and has no legitimate basis for robbing people I Formula for instability Having numbers does not give anybody a right to do whatever they want Drive people out of your country and create civil unrest Issue being addressed factional government as with Socrates and Plato Revenge mentality emerges So Aristotle proposes polity Alloycombination of metals to make it stronger As such polity principle of mixed constitution according to Aristotle takes some elements of monarchy and some of aristocracy and some of democracy to make it stronger Precondition to checks and balances just balancing not just factioning 217 Marcus Tullius Cicero 10643 BC 1 Major Roman Thinker 2 Mixed ConstitutionAffirmed 3 Natural Law Tradition Differences between Classical Greek and Classical Roman civilization There are a lot of similarities ie cultural similarities such as Roman duplication of Greek Gods but also many differences In general Romans were much more practical than Greeks as evidenced by transportation roads etc Romans were engineers scientists and Greeks were simply not up to comparison in those aspects Romans also inclined more toward practicality regarding government law etc Cicero was a great political philosopher practicalitywise but was not particularly original People would read Cicero and were also indirectly influenced by Montesqieu As a major Roman thinker Born in Italy between Naples and Rome and was able to receive a quality education in Rome 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 When he returned to Rome he continued studying specifically rhetoric which would help him to review cases so he could become a great orator in tribunal settings His voice was the voice of moderation he was notably nota radical He held eclectic views pulling from different highly educated philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle and was not a disciple of any one teacher but borrowing bits and pieces from different leaders philosophies He was a practical man he was a philosopher Correlation between practical thought and practical governmental experience He agreed more with Aristotle than with Plato but found merit in both of their philosophies Mixed Constitution affirmed Preceding his birth was the growth of three major Hellenistic philosophies 1 Cynicism 2 Epicureanism 3 Stoicism Zeno Stoicism main philosophy practiced by social elites Hellenism Greece no longer had little citystates where people could meet and participate in governance and instead there was Alexander s conquest The period that followed was the Hellenistic one Everything has been centralized in empirical fashion Centralization alters citizenship Cicero warned againstempires because it altered democratic citizenship Cynicism and Epicureanism which began to influence Rome after Alexander s empire emphasize individualism making it the primary focal point There is nothing to work with there about a political theory because political theory requires social and collective life aspects Cynicism countercultural like the hippies who represented flouting authority traditional values etc It was a challenge to traditional morality and governmental authority This was represented in appearance of individuals They challenged the notion of objective truth and affirmed relative values everything is influx there are no absolute truths There are different gradations of cynicism such as skepticism David Hume is a great skeptic In regard to causation and relationships we have no way of knowing if x caused y etc Hard cynicism or skepticism is self contradictory Epicureanism also emphasized individualism possibly radical individualism Maximize pleasure and minimalize pain This is a hedonistic psychology humans are motivated to pursue pleasure and avoid pain Thomas Hobbes held this view Human behavior can be entirely explained in terms of avoiding pain and pursuing pleasure It is not only an explanation but a constitution of virtue If it comes to it it s better to avoid pain than to pursue pleasure and pleasures themselves should be moderate Stoicism Roman elites Marcus Aurelius 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 are impressed with what they perceive as the order and regularity in nature Many philosophers begin by looking at nature and trying to draw conclusions about reality Stoics impressed by order and patterns of regularity This gigantic system is not arbitrary or capricious and disorderly but there is a rationality pervading the whole universe in which humans tend to participate through their minds We are able to make sense of the order and regularity We are all part of this logos or logic cosmic rationality Humans having personality and volition all involve having rationality This implies that human beings are social in our common rationality leaning toward Aristotelian philosophy This implies that political theory will be important because it involves how human beings interactwith each other through rational discourse Our common rationality which participates in common cosmic rationality is the basis for human equality ie humans are created in the image of Godrevelation This is based upon reason alone What helps define a human being is rationality and that elevates the value of equality and makes us equal Stoicism was a cosmopolitan philosophy which was revolutionary at the timeall humans had a sort of brotherhood Application of this concept fosters all sorts of types of debates such as Lincoln and Locke We are all citizens of America but also citizens of the World characterized by our shared rationality Natural Law Tradition Stoics would agree there are universallybinding moral principles of right and wrong in the universe much like physical laws of gravity etc They can be discovered on the basis of human rationality alone it is wrong to kill arbitrarily assault people etc There is crystal clarity with some acts and not with others This informs the notion of natural law These are laws of nature Human beings can discover these through reason and submit to those laws as they would to the laws of physics and if they are violated there are certain natural consequences Humans have positivehuman law ie cases rendered by courts etc made by human beings and there is always the possibility that there will be a discrepancy between positive and natural law The degree of the discrepancythe degree of injustice The degree to which there is a divergence between natural and positive law will be the degree of injustice in a society and similarly the degree of degradation and suffering in those people Modern day examples include Syria where thousands are driven out and still more killed by their own government or Hitler s Germany These are egregious violations of natural law Many Modern thinkers have challenged this tradition but many others affirm it there is significant debate about it all of the time 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 we can t have a law making everybody tell the truth although ethically we should tell the truth It is very difficult to know where ethics ends and the law begins with this tradition Some believe we should try and get morality out of the law as much as possible A second criticism is that when we talk about natural law in general terms murder theft etc it seems reasonable but then we get to actual use it is much too broad to apply to individual cases Another criticism these universal principles are binding upon all people at all times in all places but there is an argument on diversity because people are not the same There are all sorts of ethical practices going on all over the world head binding feet binding etc How can there be a natural law tradition when there is such variation in the world and 10 the world s accepted practices Today s relativists would argue that this is all evidence that disproves the existence of natural law tradition There are different individuals that have their own moral compasses that differ from others A counterargument would be that some societies are simply closer to NLT than others Diversity and variation is not a negation of NLT but an affirmation of it St Augustine 354430 City of God and City of Earth Essential political theory power struggle and compromise on your convictions necessity involved in politics Politics are necessary evil so if you are not willing to cast your morality to the side for the sake of politicspower then stay away from politics He was a theologian not a political philosopher His thought was the exception to the rule during ClassicalMedieval time 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 Classical Republican argument JFK in his inaugural address ask not what your country can do for you Civic participation involvement not just as a voter but as a juror informed citizen etc ls participation in civic affairs ethically good or bad Augustine bad Others good Aquinas affirmed humans are stretched morally and are stressed to become who we are meant to be through reasoned speech uniquely human quality If you are not involved can you practice reasoned speech Do not be overly involved in own personalfamily 11 affairs but contribute to the community Aristotilian Cicero affirms and Aquinas does too City of God Augustine s book Context Roman empiresame structure as republic existed but as a sham not operating in same way because emperor had the power not the senate 4th century through to 5 inverse correlation seemed apparent to many Romans Christianity strengthened beginning with Constantine s edict of Milan in which Christianity became a tolerated religion and then officially the state religion under Theodosius almost 100 years later Christianity is ascending and becoming sanctioned by Rome By contrast Rome begins to go into decline until it is sacked by the Visigoths in the 5th century Inverse relationship prompts some to say that correlationcausation and Christianity has led to the decline and downfall of Rome This claim prompts St Augustine to write City of God in defense alleging that Rome and its own defects is responsible for the fall of Rome Written over a tenyear period as an apologetic against this allegation Contains his theology Mantequiean view of reality forces of evil and forces of goodness that are equivalent and opposed to one another He was from North Africa and became a leader there then became a bishop in Hippo now Nigeria Becomes a leader in the Christian church in the region and is a thinker writer early church father etc Political philosophy derived from his theology as with Aquinas Martin Luther and John Calvin Christian theology narrative based upon old and new testament scriptures that posites that there is a Creator and whether the Garden of Eden story is taken 12 literally or figuratively humans are in strange alienated form from creator Jesus Christ comes to earth to reconcile fallen estranged human beings to the creator Those who turn to God through Christ there is reconciliation so that their loyalty fundamentally changes from love of self to love of God Love God increasingly to contempt of self and become citizens of the city of God through this reconciliation Very small number move from City of Earth to City of God City of Earth individuals maintain selflove manifested through crime most egregiously consumed with selfadvancement me me me to acquire temporal goods in life such as money success fortune Augustine nothing intrinsically wrong with these things but the love meant for the Creator is being stuck to the temporal things so the love is perverted View of human nature here negative one People are driven by selfinterests even if they get along like a band of thieves or criminals Given the right circumstances peaceful and friendly people may become antisocial criminal behavior This view of most of humanity informs his political theory all political theorists DO have a view of human nature and his political theory informs his view of human nature All sorts of problems especially social ones arise in his eyes 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 politicsin the church Human condition is depraved as in radical autonomy and independence from the Creator St Thomas Aquinas 12251274 13 On Kingship Summa Theologica Eternal Law Divine Law Natural Law Human Law Joined Dominican Order of Catholics attended university of Naples when universities were just being established Goes to U of Paris for postgrad and he takes up a program studying theology Encounters a profound mind Albert the Great Interested in Aristotle s work Aquinas 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 choicesimportant element of being a human being Less harsh view of humans than Augustine Humans have generally a lot of rational power have 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 Implications for his political theory which is profoundly different in a rippleeffect type of way On Kingship Reasoned speech is an important source of morality Opportunities for citizen participation and it can be a growing and developing experience rather than a corrupting one according to Aquinas Aquinas brings us back down from overlyChristian perspective Faith and reason temporal and eternal are fused together What is going on on earth in politics etc is very relevant and important There is not such a large separation between the two realms Harmony synthesis fusion between heaven and earth affairs Best government 14 is probably a monarchybut it is probably utopian and unfeasible Aristotle monarchy best for promoting societal unity Aquinas the universe itself is governed by a monarchy MonarchGod Summa Theologica argues that he perceives three levels of law in the universe eternal divine natural and human Linkage reason logos Eternal law cosmic lawrationality Natural universal law Divine law divine selfrevelation through sacred scripture Old and New Testament Supernaturalfaith There are limits to human rationality and understandingcomprehension of these levels of the law He does not see inherent conflict between faith and nature Natural law reason alone tells us murder etc Golden rule etc Rules you do not need to read out of a scripture Human Law Nature Reason much easier to comprehend than the first two We have extreme stress about consciously breaking laws How can we advocate breaking some laws and obeying others There are two types of laws Just and unjust Break unjust laws because you have a moral responsibility to do so just as you do to obey just laws 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 EXAM 1 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 15 Part 2 5 short answer essays choose 2 each worth 20pts for 40 Le Contrast Sophists and Socrates Epistemologies AND Political Theory one on Plato one on Aristotle and one on Cicero and then compare andor 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 comparecontrast 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 16


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