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3/1/16- 3/10/16 Notes

by: Mary Komick

3/1/16- 3/10/16 Notes PHIL 1070 - 001

Mary Komick

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These notes cover The Republic, Book X, and Oedipus: The King Play by Sophocles
Art, Value, and Society
Keren Gorodeisky
Class Notes
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mary Komick on Friday March 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 1070 - 001 at Auburn University taught by Keren Gorodeisky in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Art, Value, and Society in PHIL-Philosophy at Auburn University.

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Date Created: 03/11/16
The Republic 03/11/2016 ▯ Is art valuable? ▯ Instrumental vs. Final Value  Final Value: value independent of anything else because of its nature  Instrumental: value of an object as a means/tool instrument for achieving something else ▯ What’s the relation between the value of art and other values like religious, moral, and social values? ▯ ▯ The Republic ▯ Is justice an instrumental or final value?  Education: upbringing for justice- forming a just character  Censorship: what stories are good to teach, which should be banned  Value of literature: content for the sake of forming just character ▯ ▯ Truth ▯ True- nonfiction/history ▯ False-fiction ▯ Noble/Good falsehood: (fine lies) and bad falsehood (non fine lies) ▯ Non fine lies are misrepresentations of the gods and heroes (our models for courage and justice ▯ ▯ Book II- principles of divine representation 1) Principle of goodness- gods must be represented as good, never as the source of evil, fight, or war 2) Principle of perfection- the gods are perfect but transformation assumes imperfection 3) Principle of truthfulness- the gods must be presented as always telling the truth a. Criticism of all Greek poetry and of Greek religion: substitute Greek religion for philosophical religion- truth, goodness, and perfection ▯ ▯ Book III- Principles of Human Representation ▯ 1) Only beautiful representations of the after life- so guardians are courageous in the face of death ▯ 2) No representation of mourning to discourage fear: cultivate autonomy ▯ 3) No representation for strong emotion at anytime- they undermine rational behavior ▯ 4) No representation of bodily indulgence (sex, alcohol) to cultivate moderation ▯ 5) Only represent people as truthful ▯ 6) Principle of justice: the just person is always happy. The unjust is always wretched ▯ ▯ Book X ▯ Justice: city order- city is ruled by reason Philosophy kings Soul-reason: guides direct behavior by ruling over emotions and desires ▯ Being guided by desires is somewhat unjust ▯ Banishes poets from the just city because poetry appeals to the worst part of the soul and its deceiving ▯ ▯ 2 exceptions/qualifications:  1) Only poetry that praises God and good men might be accepted  2) If poetry can defend itself and is justifiable with knowledge ▯ ▯ Main Conclusion (Book X): Why banish poetry? 1) Poetry has no justified claim to be true or communicate truthfulness 2) It encourages the rule of emotions over reason and therefore unjust and disorderly 3) Undermines good regime- is not beneficial but harmful to human life ▯ ▯ ▯ Main conclusion of Book X: Ban poetry from just city, it counters the main claim of the utopian city ▯ Doesn’t express standard of truth ▯ Doesn’t serve public good ▯ Doesn’t promote a good regime ▯ Promotes pleasure and pain over reason- opposite of justice ▯ ▯ Just soul is the one that guides reason, guides emotion; poetry makes us emotion ▯ ▯ Imitation – mimesis ▯ Ex: painters, poets ▯ Art is a form of imitation ▯ Greek-representation ▯ Visual representation (painting, drawing) ▯ Verbal representation (poetry, literature, speech, songs, mimicry) ▯ Bodily representation (performance) ▯ For Socrates: copying=mirroring ▯ Creation of a replica of the appearances of the things around us ▯ ▯ Idea- form ▯ Form: Essence; Nature, what the thing really is: Purpose (explains what it is) ▯ The couch in nature ▯ Couch 1: ▯ Object ▯ Maker: God ▯ Idea/Form ▯ In nature, being the nature/real being ▯ ▯ Couch 2: ▯ Physical object ▯ Maker: craftsmen/carpenter ▯ Actual couch ▯ Not as real as essence, can be physically destroyed ▯ Still needs to know essence ▯ ▯ Couch 3: ▯ Representation (of a couch) ▯ Painter/imitator ▯ Merely copies the look of the object ▯ ▯ 3 Kinds of Art ▯ Art of Using, Art of Making, Art of Imitating ▯ ▯ Art of Using:” knows” ▯ ▯ Art of Making: true opinion of essence from user ▯ ▯ Art of Imitating: has neither knowledge nor opinion, doesn’t understand what/why they are making- only a view of how these things look like ▯ ▯ Painting is 3 ways removed from what objects are- only what they look like ▯ ▯ Argument 1 ▯ P1: The painter is three ways removed from the true and real nature of what she represents ▯ ▯ PII: Poetry is analogous to painting in this regard: namely as it is also a mode of imitation, it is 3 ways removed from the true and real nature of what it represents ▯ Implicit premise- Whatever is 3 ways removed from truth cannot teach anything ▯ ▯ Reflection Question: Is that true? Are painting and poetry analogous in this respect? After all, poetry is not a visual form of representation. ▯ Support: The “Ion” argument: If poets knew the nature of their subjects, they would practice their subjects ▯ 1) Performance: Poetry still visually represents but only how human action looks like, no what it truly is ▯ 2) Why: Neither poetry nor painting explain why their objects are they way they are, they only describe not explain ▯ 3) “Mirror” ▯ ▯ Argument 1 Conclusion ▯ Poetry cannot teach anything since it doesn’t involve knowledge of truth, both 3 ways removed from real nature of representing. ▯ ▯ We know objects in paintings are not real, ours senses tell us otherwise. ▯ Painting and perceptual illusion exploits our mind- leads us to be irrational in forming our understanding of the world ▯ ▯ Argument II ▯ Also based on analogy between painting and poetry, but this time grounded in the nature of perceptual illusion ▯ 1) Painting reinforces a weakness of human beings: the tendency to form beliefs only on the basis of the senses, independently of reason- just like perceptual illusions ▯ And it even causes us to be in conflict with ourselves, to waver between what reason tells us and what senses tell us ▯ 2) Poetry is analogous to painting also in this regard: it also reinforces a human weakness- it represents characters who act on the basis of the emotions alone, independently of reason ▯ ▯ Argument II Conclusion ▯ Poetry weakens the soul by encouraging us to be irrational- to be overly emotional, like its character ▯ ▯ Argument III ▯ Poetry encourages our irrationality, not only by representing overly emotional characters, but also by getting us to feel very strong and irrational emotions when we see it. ▯ ▯ Argument III Conclusion: ▯ Because poetry weakens reasons and encourages emotional irrationality, it is morally dangerous – it leads us away from justice and good behavior ▯ ▯ Painting appeals to our senses, but doesn’t encourage us to act in any certain way (morally dangerous) ▯ Why it is not being banished ▯ ▯ Poetry and painting in ancient Greece: source of moral knowledge to become better people. Socrates- why it it’s dangerous ▯ Has a claim to become good, it actually teaches us to be bad ▯ ▯ Contest between philosophy and poetry ▯ Poetry is not right guide for good, just moral life- philosophy is ▯ ▯ Philosophy ▯ Studies the “Forms” – the essences of things ▯ Philosophy’s method is rational argumentation- it appeals to reason, not to emotions. It explains why things are the way they are ▯ It has self knowledge and the capacity to defend itself ▯ ▯ ▯ Philosophical Poetry: Socrates’s dialogues; dramatic, w/characters who have lives, use metaphors and images, poetry based on argumentation (appeals to reason) and tries to explain why things are the way they are- true moral education ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ Summary: ▯ Written in 445 BC, Republic written in 375 BCE  Plato knew tragedy of Oedipus  Plato’s criticism of poetry- Greek tragedies and what they express ▯ ▯ Starts with a plague, people are dying and they come to Oedipus ▯ He previously saved the city from Sphinx who held the city captive (p.12 lines 30-38) ▯ They thought he was chosen by the Gods, Gods were punishing the city ▯ Oracle: source f plague is pollution- murderer o former king of Thebes is still in the city ▯ Oedipus “will bring this to light again” (16)- explore the truth “For when I drive pollution from the land {…} but act in my own interest (16-17) o Irony- not helping himself but hurting himself (tragic irony) ▯ ▯ Background ▯ Sphinx says he would release city from captivity if he could solve the riddle: answer was human being ▯ Oedipus solved riddle, considered wises of all people- became king and married widow of old king. Was admired and loved, thought to be prudent king who always does the right thing ▯ ▯ Oedipus grew up as Prince of Corinth, left to escape the prophecy that he would marry his mother and sleep wit her, kill his father (from Oracle)  Killing in self-defense, killed all but 1 person on crossroads on way to Thebes, then solved riddle, became king ▯ ▯ Tiresias: blind prophet tells him nothing good will come to you from knowledge, but Oedipus wants to save his city  Prophet says that Oedipus is blind to who he is (p.24- “you blame my temper but you don’t see your own that lives within you) (p.25/6- “you do not see where you are in calamity”) (p.28- you have darkness in your eyes) ▯ ▯ Jocasta says to leave situation alone, Oedipus bring in shepherd  Shepherd took pity on baby whose feet were bound and left to die, brought him to Corinth so that he could avid his prophecy- knowing he was son of Jocasta and Lauis  Laius ordered Jocasta to kill son because he knew of the prophecy, however Jocasta gave baby to Shepherd ▯ Messenger from Corinth says Oedipus’s father, king of Corinth, died, Oedipus is overjoyed because he thinks he escaped the curse ▯ ▯ Oedipus realizes he killed Laius, his father, and married his mother, Jocasta and had 4 children with her. ▯ Oedipus discovers his identity and murder (p.70- moves to 3 person) rd ▯ ▯ Movement of ignorance to self knowledge: catastrophic- downfall  P.68- “darkness is my world”: Jocasta hung herself, he looses his kingdom because he’s the murderer and follows through by banishing himself from the city  Leaves children wit brother in law Creon.  Prosperity  Wretchedness  “But the hand that struck me was none but my own”- curse-fate ▯ Chorus: Even the luckiest people cannot escape their fate ▯ ▯ Story vs. Play ▯ 1) Story: All the relevant details are explicit vs. play- some of them are implicit and require interpretation ▯ 2) Story follows chronological order of O’s life vs. in the play- orders the events in a different way  Oedipus: emphasizes the tragedy, more engaging, identify with him  Success Misery  Flourishing Wretchedness  Prosperity Great loss: kingdom, home, wife, children, power  Ignorance  (self) Knowledge  ? Causes us to pity Oedipus more, fear the same might happen to us ▯ 3) Story uses any words to convey the words vs. Play- very careful choice of words  Irony, questions, light vs. darkness metaphors, sight vs. blindness ▯ 4) Play- developed characters ▯ 5) Play- chorus comments on the story: suggesting we should fear because Oedipus’ story is representative of human existence in general ▯ Irony increases terror ▯ ▯ Artistic Process ▯ Much more complicated than mere copying: that it includes choice of words, special narrative, construction (the ordering of events), the character development- the best form for presenting the content so that the work would effect audience in a certain way ▯ ▯ Tragic World- View ▯ Knowledge and fate/luck always intertwine ▯ Agency: the capacity to be actively responsible for our actions- intertwines with fate  What goes beyond our control ▯ Even the good, just and rational person is not immune to luck ▯ ▯ Guilt vs. Innocence ▯ Both guilty and Innocent ▯ He did kill his father and marry his mother but not under this description- not knowing that he did that ▯ Responsible for not knowing? ▯ ▯ Socrates’s World View/View of Poetry ▯ He would banish Oedipus because of portrayal of gods and because of Oedipus’s emotional reaction to misfortune ▯ The audience required emotional response (banned)- particularly fear ▯ Principle of justice: Don’t show any just and good person as wretched based on the conviction that the just life- guided by reason- cannot be harmed


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