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POLI 365 - Lecture: Pericles and Plato (Jan. 14)

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Political Science
POLI 365
Jason Scott Ferrell

Benefits of Democracy − provides military discipline, based on habits of ease − equality of opportunity − dilution of envy − naturally cultivated courage − time for leisure − opportunity to pursue private ventures There is no apparent tension between the duties to the community and the interests of the individual. The way this potential tension is reconciled is to assert that communal obligations prompt individual desires. Citizenship is the overriding good for the individual. People who are not interested in politics are regarded as useless. If there are certain national characteristics that are necessary for democracy, it may be that not everyone is 'suited' for democracy. − significance of polis − morally good life identified by the city − assumption that there is an innate capacity among citizens to be able to participate in politics − obedience to the law is hallmark of civilization − freedom is the ability to do what the laws allow Plato − born in wealthy family − critical of democracy − could this be attributed to his high socio-economic status? The Republic − what is the nature of justice? − virtue is knowledge − good is something we can know as opposed to something we can just have an opinion of − truth is objective and universal − 'if you know what's good, you'll do what's good' − the good of the individual is that of the polis − there are natural differences between individuals − justice is understood as a form of harmony − analogy between the soul and the city − each has different parts − justice is a harmonious arrangement between the parts of the city; it is hierarchical − thus, justice is everyone knowing their place − it's wrong when your passions overwhelm your reasons − simi
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