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Week 2 Philosophy

by: William Bartek

Week 2 Philosophy PHIL 1000 - 01

William Bartek
General Introduction to Philosophy
Matthew McGrath

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About this Document

This week's notes cover the arguments of ancient Greek philosopher Plato by analyzing parts of his book "The Republic", as well as looking at a modern philosopher's analysis of the argument. Goes t...
General Introduction to Philosophy
Matthew McGrath
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by William Bartek on Friday September 4, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 1000 - 01 at University of Missouri - Columbia taught by Matthew McGrath in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 33 views. For similar materials see General Introduction to Philosophy in PHIL-Philosophy at University of Missouri - Columbia.


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Date Created: 09/04/15
Philosophy 1000 Plato Ring of Gvges The Ring of Gyges is a short selection from Plato s The Republic where he writes about whether or not it is good to be just moral or unjust immoral In the story given Socrates debates with his older brothers Glaucon and Ademantus on the subject Apparent Assumption We ought to be just if it s better to be just but not if it s worse to be just We should do whatever is better for us 3 Kinds of Good 1 Goods welcomed for their own sake and not because of what comes from them 2 Goods welcomed for their own sake and also because of what comes from them 3 Goods welcomed only because of what comes from them 0 The question is Where does justice fall 0 Glaucon believes justice falls under 3 Socrates believes it falls under all of them Glaucon s 3 Arguments 1 Give the common view of nature and origin ofjustice a To do injustice is good b To suffer it is worse than the act of doing it is good c 50 we set up society with laws what is in accord with the law is called just 2 Argue that we practice justice only because we can t get away with injustice a Ring of Gyges example A just person gets a ring that turns them invisible making it possible for them to get away with unjust acts b Reasoning behind this i Everyone would do the same if they wore the ring ii If we aren t unjust it s only because we can t benefit from it because we d get caught If we wouldn t be caught we d do it 3 Argue that there s good reason in this because the life of the just is better than the life of the unjust a Look at most extreme cases most unjust v most just i Ifjustice is better in itself then injustice then the life of the most just person is better than the life of the most unjust person ii The life of the most just person isn t better iii So justice in itself is not better than injustice Ademantus 0 Challenge to Socrates explain how justice itself quotbenefits its possessors because of its very self and how quotquotinjustice harms its possessors o Warns Socrates not to forget about the Gods and divine intervention Socrates RESDOHSEI 0 Look at the just state first then draw an analogy to a just individual 0 Completely unjust itself a disaster and can t get what they want 0 Just Reason leads the way Thomson Why Ought We To Do What is Right In this piece by Judith Thomson she argues to try and prove Socrates argument valid in the Ring of Gyges example This piece not only sheds light on the argument but shows how to correctly analyze someone s argument to either prove or disprove o Ought you to do what is just 0 Is this an easy question or hard one Thomson s View It s easy 0 If an act is just you ought to do it Socrates View It s a hard question 0 Why is it so hard 0 The assumption that only if profitable I We ought to do something only if doing it profits you 0 Then we must figure out if beingjust profits someone o This is why GampA and Socrates spend so much time on the question What do we mean by profit 0 Personal v Impersonal Profit 0 Personal Obtaining something for yourself that you value having 0 Impersonal Obtaining something for someone else that you value them having 0 Profit Obtaining something of value Thomson s Better Thesis You ought to do something only if it s on balance with what you want Argument 1 You ought to do something only if it s rational for you to do it 2 You are rational to do something only if it profits you 3 Thus you ought to do something only if it profits you Penicillin Counterexample o A child becomes sick and the only cure is penicillin The child will not die from the sickness However the father hears that penicillin is poisonous Then should the father give the medicine to his sick son 0 According to this argument the father ought to give the penicillin but it s not rational for him to do that because he believes it will kill his son I What is rational is based on the information you have at the time I What you ought to do is based on the big picturehindsight o This argument disproves premise 1 because the father ought to do something even though it s not rational for him because he was ill informed pun not intended Fixing Premise 1 0 You ought to do something only if it would be rational to do it were you well informed Thomson s Final Argument 1 You ought to do something only if it would be rational to do it were you well informed You re rational to do something if and only if it maximized expected value 3 Thus you ought to do something only if it maximized expected value were you well informed 4 If doing something maximized expected value when you re well informed it profits you on balance when you re well informed 5 Therefore you ought to do something only if it would profit you on balance if you were well informed


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