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Lecture

Political Theory 3VV3 jan 17.docx


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLSCI 3VV3
Professor
James Ingram

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Political Theory 3VV3
January 17, 13
Plato (437-347 BCE)
Pericles represent the ideology of democracy
Pericles responding to Plato…
Important dates 404 and 399 (trial and execution of Socrates) and 380 (Plato’s
republic)
Athens in the mean time has renewed its democratic dynamic, but it does not have
as much power (and is still less democratic then before)
Plato’s ship reference:
o People don’t believe that there is anything to know that they don’t know
Plato believes there is something to know about Politics (how an
individual and society work)
o When there is something wrong with you, you don’t consult the first 5
people you see, you go to one who studies this (physicians) … etc.
o Athenians would populate the state with people selected at random
o Politician in a democracy is someone good at winning elections
He tells a story how democracy comes from another regime and how it in turn
gives rise to tyranny
o The whole of the republic is considered an analogy
o Its better be a just person than an unjust person (better to be good then
bad)
o It is a book about how you should live your life
o The way Socrates goes at this is by building a city in speech
Explains that democracy is post … regime
o Democracy in the ancient democracy some elected some just posted
How did these people live?
o Full of freedom and frankness
o Features the greatest variety of human natures
Democracy is first characterized by Freedom and morality
Poor drive out their opponents (people who have stood in their
way)
Democracy begins with courage
o He describes this regime is attractive (the diversity makes it attractive) and
on pg. 398 you can see a complete assortment of constitutions but this will
be part of the problem
The problem with democracy even in its freedom it is fundamentally
indiscriminate (middle of page 403)
o Pathology of liberty that he cannot choose (goes from this to that)
Freedom means you can be wrong in every single direction
Always with freedom comes equality
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