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Intro to Political Philosophy

by: Fabian Hills

Intro to Political Philosophy PLS 170

Marketplace > Michigan State University > Political Science > PLS 170 > Intro to Political Philosophy
Fabian Hills
GPA 3.93

Arthur Melzer

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Arthur Melzer
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Fabian Hills on Saturday September 19, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PLS 170 at Michigan State University taught by Arthur Melzer in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see /class/207457/pls-170-michigan-state-university in Political Science at Michigan State University.


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Date Created: 09/19/15
PLS FINAL Aristotle We look for aristtole to answer these cues without moral relativism people live for different things he sees that immedaitly distinction between happiness and contentmenteveryone can be content to be happy but you cant be happy without being content Reasoning makes us rational animal The three goods 1 external good like keeping us alive 2 health or internal goods of the body 3 beauty and goods of the soul you mind people look for external top one but the real importance is the third to top not the other way around Like we should look for external goods as the best but we look for beauty as the best there is the rational part of the soul and the non rational part of the soul the non rational is desire hunger and thirst and the rational part of the soul pure reason look at reality for its own sake and practical sake which is using reason for ends of other than knowing and morality where you use ur reason to control your desires the best life is to be a philosopher the second best is the perfection of pratical reason aristocracy the common man because they are ignorant is the worst he ends the section the four cardinal virtues l courage keeping you head In the face and danger because a human cannot be happy if there coward and in order to be ahppy you need inter confadaince from courage being a coward makes you feel insecurity feeling you with bad things and stops you from doing things that will make you happy and we admire courage moderation self control from discipline which is the opposite of courage it handles the positive things and desires as courage deals with negative you cannot be happy if you live by the whims EX spoiled child is a good example because even when they get what they want there still sour and bitter and want something else and become a slave to a whim and desires prudence you cannot be happy if you re a fool you have to be smart about life because we are the ignorant animal and don t know how to live and that why we use reason to overcome our natural ignorance 4 justice that it s the only that deals with others we in our nature have social needs and cannot be happy without proper nature from others and lastly we need proper relation with family love and friends and community we need justice to make ensure that everyone safe and we can make eachother happy and our social needs N V L V happinessvirtous activities the first best life is one of a philosophers because you a closer to the truth the second best life is to be an aristocrat gentlemen because he loves the beauty in the world and the beauty in human charcter and he wants to beautify himself and perfect 4 virtues the aristotcrate gentlemen should strive for leadership because it suits him the best and lets him do virtuest activites His political activity will affect the most amount of people purpose of poltics in aristotles view is to make people happy how does the government make people happy Ruling or participating in ruling like in a 40 person society everyone included in and it should remain small so most of the population parcipates Like in America we are so large we don t all have voice because we are so large 2 thigns we need a republican government and a small society These virtues are developed throught education and formation of charcter We get education from our government and community society forms charcter Form of government also known as regime What is he talking about regime Regime equal the type of ruler What is the regime that will make peplople happy aristocracy Way of life is not determined by any external factor like job skin gender We strive for something we admire that is you way of life that the aristocracy wants Society determines our way of life There is a hirreacrcy and depending on the ruler what type of regime as in if priset ruling than you want ot be a preist Philosophers kings That wise people rule and our most rational Is it possible Its not possible 4 reasons philosophers in someone search of the truth but they don t think its possible no one is perfectly rational 2 you cant recognize a wise person unless your wise ITS LARGELY INVISBLE FOR THOES WHO DON T POSSES IT 3 most poepe don t like the wise and don t wanna obey philosophers 4 philosophers don t wanna rule they just wanna think its an inconvince to rule why do we have to know this What is perfect and why we cant have it The 2quotd best life is in aristocracy Aristotle says were not equal hes absolutist were not equal in our traits EX Michael Jordan will always better at basketball than melzer Aristocracy is the rule of the best the goal of the govermet is to make happy not safe And the rule of the state is for people to live the best form of life purpose of the government is to rule with virtue like why they rule with virtue steps to rule of virtue 1 government to rule virtuously cause we look up to the government last time of the herditery but virtue is not herditery through history poor people didn t have lesirue and couldn t get education and the high aricacy did so they got education 4 so virtue is found in the rich because they have the lesirue to get education LAN VV REVIEW OF ARISTOTLE politcs need to aim high for one goal happiness The best form of government is aristocracy due to inequality hes in favor of a closed society with censorship Why does he favor a closed society Censorship is needed for this system to work dosnt want to people to attack fundamental ideas like virtue and relgion MODERN POLITCS Why did this change take place from ancient to modern To know this we must know problems of odl ways Why would someone wanna to pursue something less good Because its more realistic and easier to achieve and realism is one of the movitves that leads to change Realismhigher things are not possible and waste of time it is dangerous to aim high and fail Aristotle view of the good the mere life goods are nessesities to live and the high life goods are things like virtue You can only puruse one because if u try both they will counteract and not get it done Why is pursing higher goods dangerous 1 Aristotle wants small society but your militarily weak 2 Aristocracy has few virtioues individuals but eventually curropt 3 Aiming high increases chances of anarchy and civil war though greatest thing is virtue State of nature HOBBES Economic competitionwhere good life goods are not important and now the mere life goods are Because of economice competiion disturst starts forming Because of competition you use fear and reasoning because you fear being attacked so you try to attack rst Most people care about safty and being alive Most people just care about being alive but some few care about honor and hobbes calls them ambitious Because of this state this is the rst step from fudmental poltics Going form Aristotle to modern They perfered inequality BUT we don t caere about virtue and know only caer about safty so inequality is irrelavent Because virtue is gone censorship and closed society aren t needed except for censoring against rel gion Locke tries to explain that there is no right to rule god or nature cant tell us who to rule by virtue is gone and we care about safty now only The right to rule comes form the people over the people Social contract theory or popular sovemity all right of the governments come from the people there governing if you rules us well then we shall obey if done shitty we can over run theory How is it the regime promotes people character Regime forms government way of life John lockeiliberal stateorginal meaningia state that didn t do much less intervening with people lives Its like the orginal sense of a liberal than t0daysunlike modern liberalism it provides ther meir life goods security peace PURPOSE secrutiy for each individual everyone provides there own happiness for themselves Locke says we have 3 states of nature 1 distrust 2 fearful of others 3 ambitious these collate with eachother because they use others and are scared of pre emptive strikes What do people do in the liberal state We make money materialism is the leading characteristic of the modern state but it is not the leading idea Locke knew and wanted to this happen and knew he was promoting materialism because he think it s a good basis for stability nad peace which is modern realism Younger people are more wild with less stuff so we are more wild but as you get older and get more stuff you want there to be more peace and you become more materalstic cause you don t want your stuff ruined Where does con ict come from It comes from ambitious people looking for trouble We channel there ambition through economics and not polics Materialism you want to get as much as possibly can in material goods We wanna kill ambition in poltics by saying you can keep as much as you make and make public servant jobs less glamerous without this make and keep mentality How do u make economic man How is it benifcial It ben ts other by creating others as most people just search for jobs Without economic man we will not have chains such as wal marts cause no one is ambtiots enough to create the jobs There is a struggle between richer and poor closer togther in wealth because the rich will ben t from the business and the poor will ben t from the jobs that the rich have made for them Locke dosnt feel that this will make everyone equal but na1row the gap People who are materaltic engage into peaceful lives and materaist are not to fanatically religious people because there caught up in materialismwho are into there stuff want law and order Locke says channel the ambitiouts to want to make money because not only is it ha1mless but helpful all Since the ambitious make the economy better This solution of making people less political and more economic is how modern politcs work It may not be a nobel way of life but it works well Private vice equal public vi1ture which means if you seek money and live for money it makes a sense of public virtue The new modern era is now about econmics and not the govermenet as the government stay out of the economy and the people run a free market economy thtat is powered by the pro t motive Captalist arguments Pro t motiveit where you rely on the private property The rst aspect of good is that it is produced by labor second aspect is that it has to have a use and needs to be consumed Two rival principles of ownership and distrubition capitalist you make it its yours Communistsyou need it its yours To nish lockehes making government based on security and economic growth by individuals not the governments If aristtole were to use democracy as it his time it would be the poor ruling the rich and back then everyone was poor and ignorant Locke writes a document called the right to rebel if a king is a abusing his power the people can rebel against him Some argue that this can lower security but you can only rebel when life and the economy are in danger as locke tries to get rid of relgion with materialism Step 1 you own your body Step 2 you put urself into your labor what you make you own Locke wants sepreate powers to make thigns balance MARX Calls this the bourgies refers to the capitalist state and looks at the ambitious that are in the middle class Marx agrees that locke way was the best way to start but locke destroyed traditional society locke removes things like duties to you family relgion and community which in result has made people sel sh Once everything else is removed all that it leaves it duties to economics pretty much if u remove community you remove us being social beings Marx argues that capitalist will eventually cause such shitty work conditions that it will cause to rebel against there owner and the have nots with beat the haves Locke thinks everyone ben ts but in reality most people loose ccasue when a business goes under it creats more of the working class and the big tycoons ben t and become richer and richer as the working class gets bigger and bigger Marx wants to create communism and have communal ownership to the mean of production and not private ownership He was a philosopher and economic thinks if u understand economics you understand everything and calims that his theory are scienti cally proven Marx feels that communism is the nal step after capitalism has made a large working class and shows the evil of competition Marx feels that different governments have and failed and the communist is the nal step in the nd perfect govememt 4 points of marx theory of history 1 marx thinks that there are neccassary stages that they need to go in the right order there are 5 stage stage 1 trival stage his stage people live in small tribes with hunting and shing this is a primital stage of live Stage 2 is a more productive way of life and land is owned communally this is known as the communal stage Stage 3 is the fuedeal stage which agriculture still involved but it is not owned communally Stage 4 captalism where argicultre shifts to industrial society Stage 5 commiunsim where all industarail but everything is owned comnually and is perfect They msut all be done and in order to achiever perfection 2 these changes from state to state are automatically done they just happen not by the will of the poepl but in a state of basic human nature 3 these changes may come automatically but they do not go smoothly and are violent in changes for everything is economic The more of capitalist progress the workers get more and more fucked over which leads to the working class rebeling 4 econmics is all and everything is determined by econimcs How does he prove this theory in three steps 1 he says it explains it more than any other theory 2 marx disagrees with airstotle we are not the rational animal but a producing animal and we are ourselves when we produce for the love of labor Are true essence that we take pride in what we are makin class struggle He has this theory that history has pushed forward throughout the stage that in capitalism there is a huge gap between the working class and the rich and through communism the class struggle is now dissolved for everyone is equal E 1 marx moral critigque of if your not a 39 by 20 you have no heart if vou re a still a 39 bv 40 vou have no mind 3 elements of the critqe l the problem with poverty or the unjust distribution of goods in a capitalist society Example A guy has 100 that means nothing to him and theres a guy who has nothing and needs it Good are given to those who produce not the ones who can use them Example the rich guy buy nice paino for decoration as the great painst because we should be giving it to painst to hear beautiful music than look at it as decorations The whole distbutuino of a capitalist society is unjust and irrational Marx solution is to make a new society is what one receive is not based on what one produces The common objection is where is the incentive to produce because in captlist society people are motivated with pro t motive In theory it is just but without incentive the economy will not last His reply that people love to work for the love of work Capitalist will say we say if ur not going to pay then I wont work but marx argues that in capitalist society destroys the love of labor because of the competion and greed 2 the 2quotd way that capatlism ruins work is due to alientation In capitalist labor u sell your labor and time to somoen else and working for another The work of your body is not of your own as you sold so it becomes meaningless the min we sell our labor and work we alienate ourselves from the love labor which in turn alienates ourselves from our own love One of the reasons we are so into consumer good because the true love of labor is blocked 3 were alienated from others because we are social and communal and when its is competive and we sell our labor loose of communites of social and communial People are naturally social capitalist enforces comptivness sel shness and individualism and this takes away from love of labor and being social Marx solution The abolishment of private property In a communist society you can your own food there are things that are private postions but only for basics like food due to consumption There is a distbution of things that we need Solutions to problems of capitalism l undistributed goods in capitalist so in communist due to everything being equal this problems solves it self 2 in a communist you own your labor so your labor is not taken away from you and your love of labor is back you don t work to get your need there given to you you overcome the alinetation people don t have to remain in the same jobs and they can switch around so they don t get bored it is solved because you get what you need so that gets rid of competion The ambitious people will no longer be a problem and the dangers of society are gone because you are nto ghting for what you need REREVOLT ofthe masses Reply to marx claims 1 marx would say that income level is distbuted properly for all to be equal but it kill insentive to work and kills the economy We know that marx says there is the love of work but we have no evadince that this is true Some people will n work L V for joy but most wont because they don t nd it good like aristists will work for joy but not an accountant wont Its implasuable to think everyone will work without insentive For the sake of argument that lets say the insentive wont be a problem we run into another problem of is it right to not to award people for there work and only give them what they need Yes it is right there no reason for reward when you get what you need but is it not clear what people need You don t know these people so you don t know what they need and there are some needs that cannot be satis ed How are you going to know what everyone needs when there are ambitious people that feel there always in need of new and better things Ifhuman nature dosnt change which it dosnt which will eventually lead to tyranny which marx is against 3 reason why it will lead to tyranny channels ambitions back to polticls which leads to tyranny these ambitious people will create domincance and there no government to prevent there domination 2 not all jobs are entertaining is capitalist progressed work week got shorter and working condtions got better Marx solution of jumping jobs to job this helps but excellence reached if your not through with one job and are always switching The idea that were alinated from human society is wrong because with communism there is no religious no family or nothing to bring us together All of these arguments show that communism cant work because there is no comption no motive no excellence no devotion no drive marx removes the everything that gets us going that is the critique of communism L V We begin with ORTEGA He thinks there is to much equality in the world or revolt of the masses marx feels there is to much inequality To understand Ortega point we need to know 4 things 1 what does he mean by the mases He is talking about the mass man he is the unambitious man like everyone else and this dosnt bother him there is something new about the mass man except that he has revolted 2 What does he mean by revolt The mass man has taken over political power he wants to be everything to be catered to his will The revolt means a fundmental change in his attitude They are no longer willing to admire that there is anything better than them there has been a dumbing down of the world as there are not used to be a respect for the better people What is the cause of this revolt Answer 1 the coming of democracy the society dedicated to equality and tried any inequality the power is in the hand of the majority which is the masses Democracy seems to be the only just government and the only government that is the rule of all However that is not true because everyone need to agree that is a true majority and that is not possible when everony only thinks of themselves Answer 2 change in the attitude the masses don t look up to the leaders or respect them the leaders have lost confadince in themselves and advocate for themselves and cant rule well 4 Whats so bad about the mass man in revolt 1 It is bad for society and 2tis bad for the invdiudal LA V 1 how its bad for society The mass man being spoiled he takes all ofthe goods for granted He does not know the interworking of things or how to improve things and looks down ambitious people who do with labels like elitists We all need certain virtues but the mass man rejects that and feel that life should be easy and not stride for greatness We live in a complex world that needs education to keep it going but the mass man dosnt want to do it The ultimate revolt of the masses will lead to tyranny This is the last thing they want but Ortega says that it will eventually happen because the mass man is impatitent and wants to be taken care of that he will look to the government to take care of his problems and putting so much power into government hands leads to a state of tyranny Its nto nessarily a violent tyranny but a big government is a part of the revolt of the masses The mass man loves freedom 2 why is it bad individual A The pre condition of all higher activies are not possible without discipline Much disapline is to get higher things like learing to play paino and the mass man will not commit to strideing B spoiling makes the mass man incapable of higher things When spoiled you have no impulse you have no concentration or they are not commited or devoted to anything The change in attitude for the masses themselves When things are to good they become spoiled People become spoiled because they are born into safty and prosperity people who come from bad times are good people casue they witnessed shit and those who come from good times are spoiled because they don t see what they got till its gone Spoildness it is based off the nature we were born into The life we were born into is very safe and easy and is the easiest life seen in 150 years Ortega says that we live in such great conditions of safty and properity so we are spoiled The spoling leads to the revolt of the masses Spoiling means that your full of your slef and you cant acknowledge anything better than you Because you cant respect that anything can be better than you so people become naturally arrogant Ortega argues that its bad to not have any adversity because we become spoiled because there is no adversity and we don t realize how good we have it Niche He praises things like suffering because it betters people what does not kill me makes me stronger the left wing watns all problems to go away as niche argues that the bad things help show the good things in life and is against facism and communism and socialism for it will turn people into a cow Human life is better when your striving and bettering yourself and spoiling negates that


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