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Plato

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ervic gavieres

on 24 November 2013

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Transcript of Plato

pleɪtoʊ
Prof. Valentine G. Baac, Ph.D.
Philosophy of Public Administration
Graduate School
University of Santo Tomas
Philosophical Thoughts
Relevant to
Public Administration
Ervic S. Gavieres, REE
Objectives
Who
Plato was
What
he had authored
How
he had written them
Relevance
of his works to Public Administration
Discussion

"I know that I know nothing."
Napoles, 2013
Biography
"The greatest metaphysical genius whom the world has seen."
- Institute of Development of Human Potential, 2002

"Plato (429–347 B.C.E.) is, by any reckoning,

one of the most
dazzling writers in the Western literary tradition and one of the most penetrating, wide-ranging, and
influential authors in the history of philosophy
. An Athenian citizen of high status, he
displays in his works his absorption
in the political events and intellectual movements of his time, but the
questions he raises are so profound
and the
strategies
he uses for tackling them
so richly suggestive and provocative
that educated readers of nearly every period have in some way been influenced by him, and in practically every age there have been philosophers who count themselves Platonists in some important respects."

- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2013
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”
-Plato
Real name: Aristocles
born in Athens or
Aegina
between July 428 and July 427 BC
died: 348-347 BC (Approx. 80)
in his bed, while a young Thracian girl played the flute
Parents & Siblings:

studied grammar; music; painting; gymnastics; philosophy
"hard-working"
"loved to study"
wrote of "Atlantis" in his dialogues
Critias
and
Timaeus
Socrates' student
the philosopher was named Aristocles after his grandfather, but his wrestling coach, Ariston of Argos, dubbed him Platon, meaning "broad," on account of his robust figure
bees settled on his lips while he was sleeping: an augury of the sweetness of style in which he would discourse about philosophy
Plato,
Apology
, 399 BC
Socrates
Sōkrátēs; 469 BC – 399 BC
Charged of impiety and sentenced to death
Plato's definitive mentor
Plato adopted his philosophy and style of debate, and directed his studies toward
the question of virtue
the formation of a noble character
Plato's dialogues are the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity
Plato
Aristotle
Aristotélēs; 384 BC – 322 BC
At the age of eighteen, he joined Plato’s Academy in Athens and continued to stay until the age of thirty-seven, around 347 BCE
Shifted from Platonism to Empiricism after Plato's death
Influence extended into the Renaissance
Alexander the Great
was in the military service from 409 BC to 404 BC during the Peloponnesian War
had plans of entering politics
Socrates' death convinced him to leave Athenian politics
traveled for 12 years to Megara, Italy & Egypt
studied the philosophy of his contemporaries, geometry, geology, astronomy and religion
returned to Athens and founded the Academy where subjects like astronomy, biology, mathematics, political theory, and philosophy were offered
Style
Substance
by
Speusippus
"The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life."
-Plato
Plato's biography is drawn mainly from the work of other ancient writers and a few of Plato's presumed letters.

- gradesaver.com, 2013
Plato's best-known work and has proven to be one of the most intellectually and historically influential works of philosophy and political theory.
Alcibiades
Apology
Axiochus
Charmides
Clitophon
Cratylus
Critias
Crito
Definitions
Demodocus

Epigrams
Epinomis
Eryxias
Euthydemus
Euthyphro
Gorgias
Halcyon
Hipparchus
Hippias Major
Hippias Minor
Ion
On Justice

Laches
Laws
Letters
Lysis
Menexenus
Meno
Minos
Parmenides
Phaedo
Phaedrus
Philebus
Protagoras

Republic
Rival Lovers
Sisyphus
Sophist
Statesman
Symposium
Theaetetus
Theages
Timaeus
On Virtue

Early Dialogues
387 B.C.E.
(after Socrates)
Transitional & Middle Dialogues
387-360 B.C.E.
Later - Transitional
360-355 B.C.E.
Late
355-347 B.C.E.
Of Doubtful Authenticity
Apology
Charmides
Crito
Euthyphro
First Alcibiades
Hippias Major
Hippias Minor
Ion
Laches
Lysis
Cratylus
Euthydemus
Gorgias
Menexenus
Meno
Phaedo
Protagoras
Symposium
Republic
Phaedrus
Parmenides
Theaetetus
Clitophon
Timaeus
Critias
Sophist
Statesman
Philebus
Laws
Axiochus
Demodocus
Epinomis
Epistles
Eryxias
Halcyon
Hipparchus
Minos
On Justice
On Virtue
Rival Lovers
Second Alcibiades
Sisyphus
Theages
The Dialogues of Plato
Phaedrus
Style
&
Substance

Dialogues
(i.e., Platonic Dialogues)
the artistry that suggests rather than impose
"Socratics" - genre form
other "Socratics":
Antisthenes; Eucleides; Xenophon ; etc.
"Debates" or philosophical discussions where each character has his own level of perspective and intellect


Philosophy/Philosophical Doctrines
Ethics, political philosophy, moral psychology, rationalism and realism, epistemology and metaphysics into an interconnected and systematic philosophy
Associated with the influences on Plato
Heraclitus - philosophy
Parmenides and Zeno - Metaphysics
The Pythagoreans - politics
Socrates - "The justest man alive (Plato, 7th Letter)."

Platonism
the view that there exist such things as abstract objects, i.e., non-physical and non-mental

Theory of Forms
source: Internet Encyclopdeia of Philosophy, 2013
The Theory of Forms refers to the belief that the material world as it seems to us is not the real world, but only an "image" or "copy" of the real world
Forms are the only true objects of study that can provide us with genuine knowledge (as according to Socrates); a possible solution to the problem of universals.
there are objects, i.e., mimics;
Exemplars
there are Forms, i.e., ultimate examples
one unique entity of Perfection
ex.
Numbers; colors
Shapes: circle
Love; happiness; beauty; justice

The Allegory of the Cave
Where the Leader "Form" is presented
Metaphor:
Allegory of the Cave
Main Points
:

Enlightenment & Misconception, Freedom, Knowledge, Truth, Acceptance and Denial, Deception, Ridicule;
Leadership
The Republic
Book I
Book II
Book VI
"
Dialectics
" or the art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions; ex. Allegory of the Cave
process of eliciting the truth by means of questions aimed at opening out what is already implicitly known, or exposing contradictions of an opponent's position
"
Heuristic
" - stimulating interest furthering investigation.


Kraut(2004) suggests:
allowed Plato to awaken the interest of his readers and therefore to reach a wider audience
interest in pedagogical questions
Pedagogy - science and art of education
"how is it possible to learn?"
enjoys creating a sense of puzzlement among his readers

fire
shadows
puppeteers
prisoners
roadway
Plato's Argument:

"…you have been better and more thoroughly educated than those others and hence you are more capable of playing your part both as men of thought and as men of action."
vision of what a
solid leader ("Form")
should be

sun
the enlightened one
one of the rest of the prisoners
reality
World of Opinions
World of Facts & Reality
Book III
Book IV
Book V
Book VII
Book VIII
Book IX
Book X
Cephalus
Polermarchus
Glaucon
Thrasymachus
Adeimantus
debate on nature & meaning
Socrates
vs
helping out friends & hurting enemies
unable to live a righteous life because of wealth
avoiding lies, following the law & returning what one owes is not a just act
Polermarchus's definition is problematic
definition will lead to injustice
Justice is the advantage of the stronger
Justice is illegitimate;
artificial limitation on human desires
Injustice is better than justice
Injustice is good & natural
Justice is for the people rather than the rulers
Injustice is against wisdom; injustice is ignorant
Justice is following rules that benefit the majority
people are just out of:
self-interest
fear of punishment
reputation for being just is more important than actually being just
justice is celebrated for the good it brings, not for the idea of it
challenges Socrates to defend that justice is good on its own sake
Socrates
vs
Two types of Justice
Political
Individual
because people cannot survive alone
people perform basic duties
Luxury follows an advanced society
WAR
usually a result of advancement
class of soldiers
defend from war that resulted from luxury
Should possess positive traits
Should possess positive traits
should be philosophical
should be educated from childhood
should avoid religious stories that inaccurately portray gods, etc.
not afraid to die
ban stories that would harm their ideals

aid the rulers
function as enforcers
acting as warriors
Society
Guardians
because people cannot survive alone
people perform basic duties
Luxury follows an advanced society
war usually a result of advancement
class of soldiers
defend from war that resulted from luxury
Should possess positive traits
should be philosophical
should be educated from childhood
should avoid religious stories that inaccurately portray gods
Society
Guardians
Rulers
Auxiliaries
"Build a state and see where justice comes into play"

should be philosophical
should be educated from childhood
should avoid religious stories that inaccurately portray gods, etc.
"Build a state and see where justice comes into play"
state
rulers
Myth of the Medals
Guardians should all:
live together communally
own no private possession
to prevent
dictatorship
supported through taxation
Nature and meaning of Justice
Nature of Injustice
Types of Justice & the
Ideal Society
Ideal Rulers, taxation & dictatorship
Wisdom
Courage
Moderation
Justice
Adeimantus
Guardians won't be happy because:
have no possessions
lack the freedom to have normal lives
Socrates
vs
Objective:
Society happy as a whole;
No financial gain spells success
Four Virtues of a Perfect City
Guardians
Auxiliaries
Balance of Power
Separation of Social Class
Political Level of Justice
Individual Level of Justice
Appetite
Reason
Spirit
simple
desires
control
desires
desire for honor
"When desires are not controlled, injustice results"
controlling Injustice
Adeimantus
Guardians will share everything including their wives
Socrates
vs
On
Feminism
treating women equally is the best way to produce the best citizens
Is this Society possible?
On the
Ideal Society
not a question of whether it is actually possible, it is simply the ideal
The Rulers must learn
Philosophy
Philosopher Kings

"Philosophers are the ones who can have true knowledge, because they are the only ones to seek the
Ideal Forms of things
"
Feminism, Ideal Forms & Philosopher Kings
Adeimantus
Philosophers don't do anything for society & are awful rulers
Socrates
vs
Metaphor On Democracy
Ship of State
Philosophers:
only one capable of steering the ship
Metaphor of the Sun and of the Form of Good
sun
- illuminates objects
Form of Good
- source of intellectual illumination
Metaphor
: Allegory of the Cave
Metaphors & Ideal Forms
Socrates
Four Types of Unjust Governments
Timocracy
Oligarchy
Democracy
Tyranny
On
Nepotism
authoritarian regime
to vindicate "manliness"
rule of a small band of rich people, millionaires that only respect money
susceptibility to being ruled by unfit "sectarian" demagogues
the whimsical desires of the ruler became law
there is no check upon arbitrariness
Tyrannical
Man
Philosopher
King
most unjust/
miserable man
happiest man
Polar Opposites
Balance
On Justice
good for man
during his life & after his death
The Just Man rewarded;
The Unjust Man punished
Myth of Er
You are quite right, he replied.
But then, I said, speaking the truth and paying your debts is not a correct definition of justice.

Cephalus - SOCRATES - POLEMARCHUS

Quite correct, Socrates, if Simonides is to be believed, said Polemarchus interposing.

I fear, said Cephalus, that I must go now, for I have to look after the sacrifices, and I hand over the argument to Polemarchus and the company.

Is not Polemarchus your heir? I said.
To be sure, he answered, and went away laughing to the sacrifices.

Socrates - POLEMARCHUS

Tell me then, O thou heir of the argument, what did Simonides say, and according to you truly say, about justice?

He said that the repayment of a debt is just, and in saying so he appears to me to be right.

I should be sorry to doubt the word of such a wise and inspired man, but his meaning, though probably clear to you, is the reverse of clear to me. For he certainly does not mean, as we were now saying that I ought to return a return a deposit of arms or of anything else to one who asks for it when he is not in his right senses; and yet a deposit cannot be denied to be a debt.

True.
Then when the person who asks me is not in his right mind I am by no means to make the return?

Certainly not.
When Simonides said that the repayment of a debt was justice, he did not mean to include that case?
Four Types of Unjust Governments
In Brief:
What is Justice?
Relation of Justice to Happiness
Political level
Individual level

Misconception:
not a legitimate reading as a political treatise
neither a set of guidelines for good governance
Intentions:
a psychology and moral philosophy work
genuine connections of political causes and effects in real life
perhaps a practical form of government during Plato's time

Monarchy?
The Laws

Greek word "
nomoi
", meaning "law" and "songs/musical tunes"
one of Plato's last dialogues, his longest & most difficult
consists of 12 books
Plato sketches the basic political structure and laws of an ideal city named Magnesia
treats a number of basic issues in political and ethical philosophy as well as theology
it has suffered neglect compared with the Republic
“good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws”
-Plato
A classic of political philosophy
Looking at Plato's works in their original scroll form, it was noticed that every 12 lines there was a passage that discussed music
World of Reality
World of Illusion
The Laws:
The Setting

Main interlocutors:
Three Old Men
Athenian "stranger"
Megillos
- Spartan
Clinias
from Knossos
- Cretan politician and lawgiver

Overview:
Megillos and Clinias were joined by an Athenian stranger on their pilgrimage to the Cave of Zues. The entire dialogue takes place during the journey. Not long into the journey, Clinias admits to creating laws for a Cretan colony and asks for the stranger's help. The rest of the dialogue proceeds with the three old men, walking towards the cave and making laws for this new city which is called the city of the Magnetes (or Magnesia)
“I'm trying to think,
don't confuse me with facts.”
-Plato

Book 3
Origin of the Society
Aims
of the State should be
good
or they may be ruinous to themselves
The
powers
of the State should be
balanced
; while the excess of tyranny and the excess of liberty can be destructive
Laws must be definite
should create in the citizens a predisposition to obey them
The legislator will teach as well as command;
with this view he will prefix
preambles

to his principal laws
Book 4
On the Formation of States
Book 6

The Laws
The Constitution of the State
Appointment of Officers
explains the manner in which guardians of the law, generals, priests, wardens of town and country, ministers of education, and other magistrates are to be appointed
in what way courts of appeal are to be constituted
omissions in the law to be supplied
enactments respecting marriage and the procreation of children;
enactments respecting property in slaves as well as of other kinds;
enactments respecting houses, married life, common tables for men and women
Book 8

contains regulations for civil life, beginning with festivals, games, and contests, military exercises and the like
agriculture, of arts and trades, of buying and selling, and of foreign commerce
discusses the relations of the sexes, the evil consequences which arise out of the indulgence of the passions, and the remedies for them
The remaining books of the Laws, ix-xii:

chiefly concerned with criminal offences
Book 9
various modes of purification or degrees of punishment are assigned,
and the terrors of another world are also invoked against them
Books 11 & 12
There are laws concerning:
deposits and the finding of treasure;
concerning slaves and freedmen;
concerning retail trade, bequests, divorces, enchantments, poisonings, magical arts, and the like.

Tripartite Theory of the Soul
Justice on the Individual Level
In the twelfth book the same subjects are continued. Laws are passed concerning violations of:
military discipline,
concerning the high office of the examiners and their burial;
concerning oaths and the violation of them, and the punishments of those who neglect their duties as citizens.

Foreign travel is then discussed, and the permission to be accorded to citizens of journeying in foreign parts;
Laws are added respecting sureties, searches for property, right of possession by prescription, abduction of witnesses, theatrical competition, waging of private warfare, and bribery in offices.
Rules are laid down respecting taxation, respecting economy in sacred rites, respecting judges, their duties and sentences, and respecting sepulchral places and ceremonies. Here the Laws end.
Lastly, a
Nocturnal Council
is instituted for the preservation of the state, consisting of older and younger members, who are to exhibit in their lives that virtue which is the basis of the state, to know the one in many, and to be educated in divine and every other kind of knowledge which will enable them to fulfill their office.
Final Thoughts:
Close Enough

"Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something."
"Democracy... is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder; and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike."
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
"Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil."
Plato, as one of the Fathers of Philosophy, has immortalized himself through the genius of his writings. His dialogues, like The Republic and The Laws, are so craftily written that they serve as sensible references that transcend the boundaries of philosophy.

With regards to Public Administration, however ideal his teachings were, the question of practicality and antiquatedness of Plato's thoughts in terms of adaptation could always be easily raised; for the simple reason that there is no such thing as an Ideal State and that there is no Ideal Form of Public Administration to be utilized. This is the type of mentality that help us deny ourselves the opportunity to leave Plato's proverbial Cave and willingly live in the darkness of ignorance and denial.

Come to think of it, perhaps it is that same form of practicality that can help us achieve that form of Public Administration Plato had intended for us; one that is not built around philosophical idealism or the axiomatic perfection, rather the one with the sincerest intentions to come close to it.
"In contrast to the
Republic
, which presents an abstract ideal not intended for any actual community, the
Laws
seems to provide practical guidelines for the establishment and maintenance of political order in the real world."
- Bernadette, 2001

one of the most important innovations in the political theory of the Laws
the requirement that good lawgivers try to persuade the citizens
law without persuasion is condemned as mere force

not simply issue commands by means of laws
the person who is to be persuaded is asking to be “
educated
” or “
taught
”;
to be given good epistemic reasons for thinking that the principles lying behind the legislation are true.

Plato compares the lawgiver to a free doctor treating free people. Slave doctors who treat other slaves merely give them orders and then rush off to other patients. Free doctors treating free people must explain to their patients the condition they have and the rationale for treatment before prescribing
Preludes should have the following features. 

can be characterized as “
teachings
,” that is, giving reasons to the citizens and bringing it about that they “learn”

designed to
be instances of rational persuasion
attempts to influence the citizens' beliefs by appealing to rational considerations
They are not intended to inculcate false, but useful beliefs, or to effect persuasion through non-rational means

meant to
provide quite general ethical instruction
The lawgiver is to be a primary source of instruction about what is fine, just and good
The citizens will learn why the laws are fine and just and should also learn why following the laws and, more generally, acting virtuously is good for them
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