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by: Sierra

Republic PHIL 110H


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Notes on Republic by Plato
Intro To Philosophy-Honors
Jacqueline Marina
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 51 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sierra on Sunday March 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 110H at Purdue University taught by Jacqueline Marina in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Intro To Philosophy-Honors in PHIL-Philosophy at Purdue University.

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Date Created: 03/06/16
+ The Republic Justiceand its Consequences + What is Justice? Initial definitions:  Justice is “to render every man his due.”  Justice means doing good to friends and harm to enemies. + Socrate’s critique One can mistake an honest person for a rogue, and vice versa. And misjudge friends and enemies. Problem of reality and appearance. + Revision  Justice is doing good to friends who are good, and harm to enemies who are wicked. + Critique Since justice is a peculiar human excellence, to harm a man is to make him less just. If so, then “the good are to make men bad by exercising their virtue.” + Thrasymachus  Justice is the advantageof the stronger.  Criticisms? + Socrates’ rejoinder to Thrasymachus  Does the despot really know what is to his advantage?  Socratesgets Thrasymachus to admit that rulers sometimes mistake their own best interests. Well, that amounts to admitting that it is right to do what is not to the interest of the rulers of the stronger party. They may unwittingly enjoin what is to their own disadvantage; and you say it is right for the others to do as they are told. In that case, their duty must be the opposite of what you said, because the weaker will have been ordered to do what is against the interest of the stronger (715). + Thrasymachus  “Right”actually means what is good for someone else, and to be “just” means serving the interest of the strongerwho rules, at the cost of the subject who obeys; whereas injustice is just the reverse, asserting its authority over those innocents who are called just, so that they minister solely to their master’sadvantage and happiness, and not in the least degree to their own. Innocent as you are, Socrates, you must see that a just man always has the worst of it.” + Socrates’ rejoinder to Thrasymachus  The application of justice is an art or craft, and a craft never profits the practitionerof the craft. (719).  “No form of skill or authorityprovides for its own benefit…. Because if he is to do his work well, he will never, in his capacity of ruler, do, or commandothers to do, what is best for himself, but only what is best for the subject….” + Socrates’ rejoinder Justice is necessary for common action “Indeed without justice men cannot act together at all; it is not strictly true to speak of such people as ever having effected any strongaction in common. Had they been thoroughlyunjust, they could not have kept their hands off one another;they must have had some justice in them, enough to keep them from injuring one another” (721). + Socrates’ Rejoinder  The virtues are excellences necessary to the functioningof some thing. “A thing’s function is the work that it alone can do” (722).  “I am only asking, whether it is true of things with a function–eyes or ears or anythingelse–that there is always some specific virtue which enables them to work well; and if they are deprived of that virtue, they work badly.  The soul itself has its virtues, that which enables it to work well. + Glaucon’s Challenge  Some things are valued for their consequences only.  Some things are valued for their own sake.  Some things are valued both for their consequences and for their own sake.  Given these distinctions, Glaucon demands to know “what each of them really is [justice and injustice], and what effect each has, in itself, on the soul that harbors it, when all rewards and consequences are left out of account. + Glaucon on common justice  It is desirable to do wrong.  But not desirable to suffer wrong.  Social contract theory: “Consequently, when men have had a taste of both, those who have not the power to seize the advantageand escape the harm decide that they would be better off they made a compact neither to do wrong no to suffer it. Hence they began to make laws and covenants with one another; and whatever law they prescribed they called right” (724).  Justice stands halfway between being able to do wrong with impunity and suffering wrong without the power to retaliate. + Glaucon on common justice  People practice justice against the grain.  Justice is like going to the dentist: an unfortunate necessity. No one would be just unless she had to. + Glaucon’s Experiment: The Ring of Gyges. + The Ring of Gyges  How to judge between two lives:  A. The individual with full license to do evil and a great reputation. (Has a very nice ring and is also very smart). Has “secured a spotless reputation for virtue while committing the blackest crimes” (724).  B. The just person in simplicity and nobleness with a bad reputation. “He must be stripped of everything but justice, and denied every advantage the other enjoyed. Doing no wrong he must have the worst reputation for wrong-doing, to test whether his virtue is proof against all that comes of having a bad name” The just person will be “thrown into prison, scourged and racked, will have his eyes burned out, and, after every kind of torment, be impaled” (725). + The problem with status and stuff  “There must, indeed, be no such seeming; for if his characterwere apparent, his reputationwould bring him honors and rewards, and then we should not know whether it was for their sake that he was just or for justice’s sake alone. He must be stripped of everything but justice, and denied every advantagethe other enjoyed. Doing no wrong, he must have the worst reputationfor wrong-doing, to test whether his virtue is proof against all that comes of having a bad name; and under this lifelong imputationof wickedness, let him hold on his course of justice unwavering to the point of death” (725). + The problem with status and stuff  Only if in our thought experiment the just person is stripped of all the consequences of justice (for instance, those that come with a reputation) can we be certain that the just individual persists in being just because she values it for its own sake and not for its consequences.  Our thought experiment allows us the see whether justice can itself be an incentive to action;  As Kant would later put it, we need to know whether it is possible to act not merely “in accordance with duty,” but “for the sake of duty.” + Glaucon and Adeimantus  It is much better to seem just than to be just.  If you have a reputationfor justice, this brings all sorts of social advantages. You can hold office, marry well, and become a partner in business.  Will have lots of money to help friends and harm enemies.  Will have lots of money to bribe the gods (Adeimantus).  Wrongdoing, afterall, “may be absolved by means of sacrifices and agreeable performances” (726). + Adeimantus on moral motivation  “He will know that, here and there, a man may refrainfrom wrong because it revolts some instinct he is graced with or because he has come to know the truth; no one else is virtuous of his own will; it is only lack of spirit or the infirmity of age or some other weakness that makes men condemn the iniquities they have not the strengthto practice. This is easily seen: give such a man the power, and he will be the first to use it to the utmost” (727). + The Big and the Small Letters  “Imagine a rather short-sightedperson told to read an inscription in small letters from some way off. He would think it a godsend if the same inscriptionwas written up elsewhere on a bigger scale, so that he could first read the larger characters and then make out whether the smaller characterswere the same” (728).  There is an analogy between justice in the state, and justice in the soul. + Three groups of people in the state  Statecomes into existence “because no individual is self- sufficing”(729).  Three kinds of persons in the state: Producers, shopkeepers, traders…. The Guardians The Rulers + Producers, shopkeepers, traders Mostly concerned with bodily needs and comforts. + The Guardians or Auxiliaries Full of zeal to do whatever it is they believe is for the good. Have the right temperament and the right education. Spirited disposition. Full of true belief. “Take the color of our institutionslike a dye” + Rulers Those full of zeal to do whatever they believe to be best for the commonwealth (733). Resists enchantments; Has Knowledge rather than just true belief. + Virtues of the state: Wisdom  Rulers: Understand best possible conduct of the statein its internal and externalrelations. + Virtues of the State: Courage  Power to preserve, in all circumstances, a conviction about that sort of things that it is right to be afraidof (735). + Virtues of the State: T emperance A kind of harmony The better part rules the worse The desires of the inferior multitudewill be controlled by the desires of the superior few. Governors and the governed agree on who is to rule (736). + Virtues of the State: Justice Everyone ought to perform the one functionin the community for which is nature has best suited him. This principle, or some form of it, is justice. “Justice admittedlymeans that a man should possess and concern himself with what properly belongs to him” (737). + The argument for parts of the soul “…the same thing cannot act in two opposite ways or be in two opposite statesat the same time, with respect to the same part of itself, and in relationto the same object. So if we find such contradictory actions or statesamong the elements concerned, we shall know that more than one must have been involved” (739). + The story of Leontius Donato Creti, Achilles Dragging the Corpse of Hector, ca. 1714. “There you are, curse you: feast yourselves on this lovely sight!” (741). + The three parts of the soul Appetitive Spirited part Reasoningpart Each of these parts has its characteristic desires + Appetite Desires having to do with food, drink, and sexual appetite (needs of the body and bodily appetite). These desires have to do with our animality Irrational Largest number of our desires stem from appetite + Spirited or honor loving part  Seat of anger  Desires stemming from the fact that we are social beings, desire for honors and recognitionfrom others.  Desires stemming from our need to be perceived in certain ways by the others.  Absorbs beliefs “like a dye,” that is believes things because everyone else does.  Cares about defending the group and what it believes because its main concern is recognitionfrom other members of the group. + Reason loving part The reasoning part has desires of its own. This is the highest part of the soul, and only if this part of the soul “gets its fill of true realities” can the soul flourish. Desires to understand. The soul is virtuous if the reason loving part of the soul is in control. + The three parts of the soul + Justice in the soul “each part of his nature is exercising its proper function,or ruling or being ruled” (743). Each part receives its due. Reason must be in control. Differences from the understanding of the soul in the Phaedo. + Injustice in the soul  The disordered soul exists when either appetite or spirit has enslaved the reason loving part.  When the reason loving part is enslaved, it cannot get its “fill of true realities.”  The unjust person is like a sieve: she can never be satisfied. The objects of appetiteand spirit can never satisfy the soul. + Has Socrates answered Glaucon’s challenge?  What is justice?  Can justice be desired for its own sake?  The latter question drives Socratesto answer the question of what is justice in terms having to do with the interior structureof the soul itself. “But in reality justice, though evidently analogous to this principle, is not a matter of external behavior, but of the inward self and of attending to all that is, in the fullest sense, a man’s proper concern. The just man does not allow the several elements in his soul to usurp one another’s functions; he is indeed one who sets his house in order…by bringing in to tune those three parts…. Only when he has linked these parts in well- tempered harmony and has made himself one man instead of many will he go about whatever he may have to do….(743). + Plato’s allegory of the cave  + Plato’s Theory of Forms Logical Statements presuppose metaphysicalones. + Plato’s Theory of Forms  Logical Statements presuppose metaphysicalones.  There exists an incorporeal, immutable, intelligibleobject named for example, “Squareness” or “Beauty,” in which corporeal, mutable, sensible objects occasionally participate, and, when they do, are rightly called Square or Beautiful. “Each of the Forms exists, and it is in virtue of participating in them that other things are named after them” Phaedo. “You do not know how else each thing can come to be except by sharing in the particular reality in which it shares, and in these cases you do not know of any other causes of becoming two except by sharing in twoness” Phaedo. + Three Elements in the Relation of Participation  Forms are immutable, incorporeal, divine; they cannot be known by sense experience, but only throughrecollection. + Three Elements in the Relation of Participation  Forms are immutable, incorporeal, divine; they cannot be known by sense experience, but only throughrecollection.  The individual persons and objects of ordinary experience, designatedby proper names and definitedescriptions + Three Elements in the Relation of Participation Forms are immutable, incorporeal, divine; they cannot be known by sense experience, but only throughrecollection. The individual persons and objects of ordinary experience, designatedby proper names and definitedescriptions The immanent characters(properties) of these individuals, designatedby adjectives, abstract nouns, and common nouns. These very same words also name Forms. Though closely connected, they are ontologically distinct. + The Relation of participation The theory asserts the following: “for any characterF, of any individual, x, there exists a homonymousForm, ø, and x is F (i.e., has the character, F) if, and only if, x participates in ø. + The Relation of Participation  The theory asserts the following:  “for any characterF, of any individual, x, there exists a homonymousForm, ø, and x is F (i.e., has the character, F) if, and only if, x participates in ø.  Participationis a one way relationof ontologicaldependence between temporalthings and eternal Forms.  Nothingcan exist in space and time with a definitecharacter, F, if there did not exist a corresponding ø. + The aitia Aitia = the because of something. Plato’saitia are logical ones. What makes an x a such and such? Why do we classify it as a such and such? Definition of a concept = the account of the essence of its form. + Aitia X is F in virtue of ø. Things are one by participating in unity, two in virtue of participating in the dyad. The answer to why 1 + 1 = 2 cannot by physical!! Answering why 1 + 1 = 2 must be extractedfrom “accountsof the essence” of the numbers one and two. + The Clever aitia Here we have relationsof entailments among the forms. “x is F because it participatesin W, and W, and entails ø. More elaborately: “x is F because, being G, it must participatein W, and since W entails ø, x must also participate in ø, and hence, x must be F. The form of Snow entails the form of cold. + Plato’s divided line


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