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PHIL 112 Week 4 Notes: 9/12/16-9/16/16

by: Hadley Ashford

PHIL 112 Week 4 Notes: 9/12/16-9/16/16 PHIL 112

Marketplace > University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill > Philosophy > PHIL 112 > PHIL 112 Week 4 Notes 9 12 16 9 16 16
Hadley Ashford
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About this Document

These notes cover the end of Phaedo and the Book 1 of Aristotle
Making Sense of Ourselves
Martin Glazier
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hadley Ashford on Friday September 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 112 at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill taught by Martin Glazier in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Making Sense of Ourselves in Philosophy at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.


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Date Created: 09/16/16
PHIL 112 Notes 9/12/16-9/16/16 9/12/16 - Soul as a harmony: o Simmias says harmony is invisible and beautiful that is created/held together by the workings of an instrument (physical thing) o Instrument (lyre) is made of physical things like the human body o The physical properties of the instrument influence/create the harmony  Even though harmony isn’t a physical things o Therefore, the soul is influenced/created by the make-up of the body (physical things) o Question how properties of the mind factor into the metaphor- thoughts, morals, values, and ideas are not really physical, but still influence soul o Socrates says with this example, it doesn’t make sense for soul to survive death, so it must be false  Harmony can’t exist after destruction of lyre - Socrates argument against harmony example: o A harmony exists in degrees or on a spectrum  Ex. two singers can be in perfect harmony or imperfect harmony  Says there are not different degrees of a soul- no soul is more or less of a soul than another o Harmony doesn’t control its physical parts- other parts control it  But, a soul controls the body because soul is able to control the desires of the body  Ex. if the body is hungry, the soul can say no we’re going to eat later o Objections:  Lyre needs someone to play it to create harmony, so harmony not solely controlled by lyre  If soul can be explained by functioning of body, there really is no need for a soul  Can’t rule out agency of body in control over its desires  Body can be more complicated- different parts of body want different things - Immortality of the soul o Two options for opposite forms:  First opposite goes away when another comes  Or first opposite is destroyed when other comes o Therefore, something cannot have two opposing forms  Ex. someone can’t be short and tall at the same time  Note that Socrates makes the distinction between relativity and absolute forms o One object can bring along a form  Ex. number 3 is also odd, so it “brings along” oddness to whatever it does o Things are explained by their forms because it shares characteristics with that form  Ex. beauty of sunset is reaching toward the Beautiful (perfect beauty)  Can also be explained by object that brings along a certain form  Ex. heat is caused by fire, which brings along the Hotness form - Summary of immortality argument: 1. A living body is considered alive because it has a soul 2. A soul brings along life (the form of life) 3. If something brings along a form, then it has to share characteristics of that form 4. A soul, therefore, must share characteristics of life 5. Things can’t share characteristics of opposite forms 6. Life and death are opposites 7. Soul has to share characteristics of life, so it can’t share characteristics of death (the opposite) 8. A soul is deathless 9. Deathless things are indestructible (can’t die) 10. The soul must, therefore, be indestructible and exist after the body dies - Objections to argument: o Life and death can’t really be forms in the same ways as other forms because there are no imperfect versions of life/death  Mortal things containing forms exist on a spectrum- things can be more or less beautiful, reaching toward the Beautiful form  Thins can’t be more or less dead/alive o No argument for why a living body is living because it contains a soul  Could be other explanations for why a body is considered living 9/14/16 - Aristotle also accused of impiety o Escaped, unlike Socrates - Aristotle and Plato have very different writing styles o Don’t have all of Aristotle’s material  Know he wrote dialogues like Plato, but don’t have them  What we do have were probably not meant for public- most likely are lecture notes, very condensed - Aristotle is very systematic- contrasts Socrates o Always looking toward worldview instead of random questions like Socrates o Takes into account opinions of other people- asks what other people think and should we agree with it? - Essential question is: How should we live? o Socrates believes best kind of life is life of self-examination and discussion of virtue o Plato seems to be live (through Socrates in “Phaedo) that best kind of life is a life ruled by wisdom o Aristotle approaches question by asking what is the highest good? - Aristotle’s highest good argument: o Many different goods: every action/decision seeks to attain some kind of good (all different) o Not all goods are equal to each other: there is a hierarchy of goods  Some goods achieved for the pursuit of even higher goods  Ex. bridle making strives to achieve higher goal of bettering the horse, not simply to make bridles o There is a highest good: all goods strive to achieve single good o Argument summary of highest good: 1. Every good is either wanted in and of itself or to achieve another good 2. If every good were only desired to achieve something else- this desire would be futile because never get to end goal a. People would never be happy 3. Desire is not futile 4. So, there must be some good that is desirable for its own sake 5. Goods desired to achieve other things are inferior to thing that is desired 6. The good that is desired for its own sake is superior to all the goods that strive towards it 7. The good that is desired for its own sake is better than ALL other goods - Happiness: most people believe it is highest good, but disagree on actual definition of happiness o Most people think happiness= pleasure  Aristotle thinks these people are “vulgar”- very dismissive of this view, doesn’t think happiness= pleasure  Prefer life of gratification  John Stuart Mill argues different kinds of pleasure that can be more valuable than simply sensational pleasure o Cultivated people (people active in politics) think happiness= honor because that is the goal of politics  Aristotle thinks this is superficial because honor depends on what other people think  Isn’t necessarily intrinsic happiness  Objection: honor isn’t always based on other people’s perceptions- could do something honorable away from people and still get happiness  Impossible to get affirmation from everyone, so highest good is completely unattainable  Highest good may not actually be intrinsic happiness, but goad you do for others  Possible for someone to have a good life but not perceive it as good/don’t get happiness from it  Aristotle doesn’t actually believe these people view happiness as honor, but actually as virtue  People want to be recognized/praised by good people  Virtue doesn’t not mean highest view because it is possible to be virtuous, but not happy  Virtue is about character/personality trait, not about emotions o Highest good can’t just be about the natural state of someone has to involve some action - Argument that happiness is the highest good: only observed it, hasn’t actually proved it yet o Highest good must be something chosen for itself o Happiness is something chosen itself  Never chosen to achieve even higher goals 9/16/16 - Function argument: can figure out the highest good for a human if know the function of the human o Highest good of anything determined by what that thing does: sculptors sculpt things, so their highest good would be sculpting well o Function of humans could be growth/nutrition  But this function is shared with plants, so isn’t something specific to a human  Objection: why does function of human have to be unique? Not explained o Another function of humans could be sense perception:  But this function is shared with animals  Like argued earlier, humans have higher good than just sensual pleasure o Function of humans must be activity of the soul in accord with reason  Characteristic of humans is ability to reason o Functions are said to be done well when they are done in accord with the virtues associated with it  So, human good must be an activity of the soul that aligns with virtue - Happiness of greatest good o Most people view happiness as an emotion- fluctuates depending on situation o Aristotle says happiness is indicator of a complete life, a life that is going really well- more stable o The classification of happiness requires a complete life: must take into account entire life to determine if someone was happy or achieved happiness  This would imply that people are happy after they die  Can’t really be true because happiness is considered activity of the soul and activities can’t happen after death  Objection: Aristotle is mixing two ideas of happiness- portrays it as a sort of achievement, not an emotion/mental state. If people are said to “achieve” happiness before death, it doesn’t matter about their emotional state after death because he doesn’t view happiness as an emotional state  Aristotle’s resolution to problem: changes view that one cannot be happy during life to one cannot know if they are happy/had happy life until the moment before they die - Good/bad fortune after death: o Fortunes of his friends/family can still fluctuate after death o Can’t really say that dead people’s conditions necessarily change after death o But, also can’t really say that things in the living world do not affect the dead at all  Ex. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t get to see end of civil rights movement, but end of movement after death would have been good for him o The fortunes of other are not strong enough to change to overall condition of the dead- happy unhappy or vice versa o The fortunes of others can make minor changes in overall happiness  Objection: if someone is right on the edge of happy/unhappy, a minor change could change overall condition  Objection: depends on whether or not happiness is considered personal or in relation to others


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