Send the link below via email or IMCopy
Present to your audienceStart remote presentation
- Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
- People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
- This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
- A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
- Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article
Do you really want to delete this prezi?
Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.
Make your likes visible on Facebook?
You can change this under Settings & Account at any time.
Plato: Republic, Books 1 & 2
Transcript of Plato: Republic, Books 1 & 2
(~ 380 BC)
July 10, Thursday
Republic: Greek original Politeia ~ Constitution (of the ideal city)
Republic as "Res Publica" ~ Republic/Public Affair
Book 1 -- the arguments:
justice as truth-telling and paying one's debts (328b-331d)
justice as helping friends and harming enemies (331e-336a)
justice is the interest of the stronger (338a-340c)
justice as a means?
socrates says no: justice is useless but useful in its uselessness (332d)
[Q]: justice: a human excellence or virtue? (335c)
contra polemarchus' claim about harming enemies:
if justice is a virtue, then it cannot make a person worse off, whereas people who are harmed become more unjust. -- it is not a work of the just man to do harm (335e)
[Q]: punishment? does a person become better if she is punished justly?
is it always in the interest of the individual to be just?
NEXT CLASS: Republic, Books 3 & 4
creation of the perfect polis and the education of its leading members --
the myth of the three metals: nature & law/norms brought together.
what is the question?
-- the question of justice --
how do we understand justice?
-- rule out the conventional claims;
-- arrive at the philosopher's relationship to the political:
-- the knowledge of "justice" --
-- knowledge of "what" -- i.e., the "essence" of justice which manifests itself in different instances in the world. we can only know the "essence," that which is unchanging. [opinion versus knowledge]
the objectives in reading this text:
[Q]: is it just to obey those who rule?
-- if the rules are to the advantage of the rulers, who are the stronger, is it just for the weaker to obey what is commanded?
-- that is, do what is not to their own advantage?
thrasymachus: ruling as an infallible art (340c-342e)
[Q]: no defect in knowledge?
the ruler, insofar as he rules, does not make mistakes.
. he enacts what is best for himself --
socrates: how does he know what is best for himself?
[Q]: knowledge of the forms? // philosopher guardian
thrasymachus changes ground (343a-345e)
-- a just man everywhere gets a
than an unjust man (343d-e)
[Q]: consequentialist argument? would this lead to dissatisfaction?
-- when people denounce injustice, it is
because they fear doing unjust things, but because they fear suffering them.
example: let there be an unjust man, and let him be able to do injustice either by escaping detection or by violence // gyges' ring
(345a cf. book 2: 358a-360d)
Allegory of the Cave:
1. The ascent from a lower reality to higher reality, from a lower kind of knowledge to a higher kind of knowledge.
2. The difference between what can be learned from others and true education which can only be acquired by oneself.
-- what is just is the advantage of the stronger. --> laws to one's own advantage (338e)
-- what rules in each city is the strongest.
[Q]: the problem of factions?
the divided line:
the allegory of the cave:
ex. a circle:
-- particular --> (participates in) universal (causes to be) <--
-- the DEFINITION of a circle:
a line forming a closed loop, every point on which is a fixed distance from a center point.
[Q]: so would your knowledge vanish if we erased the circle?
we understand the idea of a circle, or a triangle and the idea is:
-- intelligible, incorporeal, unchanging,
self-identical, one over/in many.
Book 2: glaucon versus socrates
glaucon's defense of injustice (358e-362c)
~ good for its own sake? (intrinsic)
~ good for its consequences? (instrumental)
how about a square/triangle:
[Q] so if i wanted to make up another square that is twice the area of the above one, what would i do?
[first social contract idea] --
-- the rules of justice arise out of convention.
-- because human beings are afraid of being harmed by others, they create laws, and punish those who violate them.
--> morality is artificial, it is a human invention.
[Q] who is happier? (361d)
*** 3 kinds of good things: (357b-358a)
(1) things we find desirable in themselves
(2) things we find desirable in themselves and for their consequences
[ex. knowledge? health?]
(3) things we find desirable only for their consequences
[ex. working for a living? studying for an exam?]
plato: functionalist theory of value.
virtue ~ excellence at a thing's function.
ex. the virtue of a shoe?
socrates: just > unjust life
the just man is wise and good (349b)
injustice produces internal disharmony (351b)
virtue is excellence at a thing's function and the just person lives a happier life ~ functions of the soul (352d)
[Q] HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT THIS IS A CIRCLE?
the form (idea/eidos) of a circle is unchanging;
-- you know the "form" of a circle.
-- the form, then, comes first.
and the form, is what is
-- you can only know "what is."
-- we cannot provide a direct definition of the good.
-- the good is like the sun: it makes the forms intelligible --> sheds
"justice" is also an idea like the good: you cannot draw justice in the world, but you can recognize its instances if you understand what it is in its essence.
[Q] how is this related to the idea of the GOOD?
socrates: why do people live together?
-- need ~ lack of self-sufficiency?
City #1: "city of pigs" -- necessary bodily desires.
[Q]: why is this city not satisfactory?
City #2: "city of luxury"
-- unnecessary bodily desires
-- results in war --> need for soldiers
[Q]: current example?
the school of athens, raphael (1509-1510)
a treatise on education
. an understanding of the kallipolis ~ ideal city
. the connection between nature & law/norms --> the hierarchical cosmos
. the character of the just city-state and the just man.
. the equation between virtue and knowledge -- philosopher's virtue -- wisdom -- knowledge of the truth (of justice)
. to have an understanding of how we should govern ourselves.
. conclusion: better to suffer evil than to do evil ~ being just for its own sake.
. just society --> just individual.