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Notes for PHI1104

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University of Ottawa
Paul Forster

PHI1104a sept 20 Rulers (wisdom), auxiliaries (bravery), crafts folk (justice, PDL) Consent = moderation ­> self­discipline  If triangle was flipped, there would be an internal strife, auxiliaries wouldn’t know when  to fight when not to fight, wrong laws would be enforced, no self­discipline because the  wise people would not be in charge, the inferior part would be ruling and guardians  would not have consent of this so there would be problems. And the least qualified people  would be ruling so no PDL.  The Guardians are needed to ensure justice. Guardians should live modestly, their salary  comes from taxes and they do not get more than what is considered necessity.  The soul:  Nothing can do opposite things or be in opposite states in the same part of itself at the  same time in relation to the same object. Ex: Thirsty, but I refuse to drink.  I want something and don’t want it at the same time.  (opposite things at the same  time) so there must be different parts to the two things.  Desire and reason.  Thirsty – desire I refuse to drink – Reason  Reason, Spirit, Desire ­> three parts of the soul  ­If desire wins, spirit is angry. Spirit and reason always line up against desire.  ­children don’t have reason ­reason is the knowledge of the good,  sense of right and wrong ­reason condemns spirit as irrational, ex: getting overly angry about something. Reason: wise – knowledge of the truth and what is good.  Sprit: courage – knows when and how to fight and defend, and protect the soul Desire: better part rules over inferior part with the consent of all parts. The desire doesn’t  overpower reason.  Justice­ each part serves their function, reason rules, spirit fights ­ implements, and desire  obeys. And this results in good.   If the soul functions this way, then you will know the good and you will be fulfilled.  Straying of the three parts creates cowardness, ignorance, all forms of evil.  Coming to terms with who you are, who you aren’t Excel by being good. 4 virtues: Wisdom, bravery. Self­discipline and justice Philosophers must rule ­Political power plus philosophy (love of truth and wisdom) philosophers have the wisdom to rule.  From Prof’s email: 1) Main characters of the dialogue—traits, role in the dialogue Socrates, Adeimantus, Glaucon 2) Method of Dialectic and the contrast with competitive or political debates dialectic: discussing something in order to find truth, an argument. Should be done if you have the right skills and intention. 3) Origins of the city division of labour, specialization 4) The Principle of Division of Labour 5) The TRUE city—what is needed, how it is organized, what it does not contain 6) The Luxurious/feverish (ideal) city—why Plato considers it, what is needed in it, how it is organized and why, the origins of war, the traits of guardians (rulers and auxiliaries), the role of education in it, how guardians and rulers are selected, how rulers live luxurious city is for ppl who want to live with more than the necessity in order for them to be happy, and we want those to be happy. So we have to make the city bigger and have more retailers, and include art such as pottery, artists, and linguists, and the new luxurious city needs soldiers because now it can be a threat to others. 7) The Noble Lie—what it is, what it is used for, how lying is justified because it is for the good of the city and therefore the people in it. 8) Objections and Replies to Plato’s theory: i) the rulers are unhappy, we cannot foucs on the happiness of one group we have to look at the happiness of the city as a whole. This is more important, if we take away the selflessness of the auxiliaries then they are no longer auxiliaries and will not be able to defend the city. We should not change something that is natural just because it sounds better, we have to look at the bigger picture. (ii) the ideal city it is vulnerable to wealthy cities, the ideal city is not vulnerable because it will be perfect and wise, and brave so it will be able to fight of an army even twice its size since any other army will not have as much skill and ability. And since we do not care for riches other cities will be happy to come to our aid if they know they will receive all the spoils. iii) rulers are given too many instructions to enforce in the ideal city the rulers will not have to enforce too many laws because the people will know them and follow them without being instructed to. 9) The Four Virtues: what they are and how each is defined wisdom- knowledge good judgment of the city regarding relations, health, truth bravery- self-preservation in the face of threats, pain, bribes and pleasure. self-discipline/temperance- mastering over ourselves, the control of the less and good part of ourselves over the bigger and bad part. Justice-the better part rules the worse part, people realize their own talent that nature gave them and principle of division of labour. 10) Where the virtues are found in the ideal state—in virtue of what is the ideal state brave, wise, moderate and just brave because of the auxiliaries who are devoted to the preservation of the state, the city is brave because it is able to defend itself. Wise because it is able to make good decisions based on truth and knowledge Moderate because of the potters, farmers, crafts folk (working class) since they allow to be ruled by the smarter higher class people (the guardians) Jutice because of principle of division of labour. 11) Theory of the soul: argument for its three parts, what the parts are, the moral vision of a healthy vs unhealthy soul There are three parts because sometimes e feel opposite things at the same time, therefore we have more than one part to us. Healthy soul brings fulfillment, makes you excel, is good for the individual and therefore good for the city as a whole. Without healthy soul you become coward, evil, not good for the city. Reason: Spirit: Desire: 12) Where the virtues are found in the ideal soul—in virtue of what is the ideal soul brave, wise, moderate and just Reason: the ability to make knowledgeable and truthful decisions Spirit: the ability to know how to defend one self, when to fight when not to fight Desire: moderate because desire is being ruled by the smaller better part, with consent of all parts. Desire doesn’t overcome reason. 13) The lovers of wisdom vs the lovers of spectacles: what are the differences between them (Knowledge vs opinion: knowledge is to know something directed to what it actually is whereas opinion is where someone opines and knows something which is not actually directed to the what they are thinking about. reality vs appearances, sensible particular of a subject, or the actual form. Forms vs their instances, sensory knowledge vs knowledge by reason) 14) Theory of Forms: What are they? How are they known? The differences between forms and sensory objects forms are only one and completely true. Sensory object could have aspects of the form but are not completely true, they can always be something and something else. 15) The role of the theory of forms in Plato’s theories of the state and the soul only philosophers can know and understand forms, where people use opinions and sensory knowledge to understand aspects. 16) The Cave Allegory—what the allegory is, what points it is used to make or illustrate: being in the cave is in the early stage of life, gaining knowledge is the struggle you have to go through to gradually climb out of the cave towards the form of good. Which is knowledge, wisdom, ability to be heading in the right direction, not any form of wisdom. 17) General objections and Plato’s replies: (i) There is no individual choice in Plato’s state. (ii) There is no freedom since everyone is subordinate to the rulers. (iii) There is no democracy—rulers are not answerable to the will of the people (iv) There is no change or progress in Plato's ideal Oct 2 Virtue and vice (Aristotle) Moral states = disposition, character trait. Behaving a certain way for the right reasons, to  the right degree, towards the right person/thing  Deliberate rationally about ends and means Virtuous­> living excellent­>Happiness is ultimate end  Virtue isn’t an emotion, its a moral state  Ex. Sacrificing self for a good cause, you will have lived a good life and achieved that  kind of happiness (living a good life)  How do you acquire virtue, we all have the capacity for virtue, but not everyone grasps  this and learns the virtues. You acquire the knowledge of virtue and then practice it.  Virtue is not just actions, it is who you are, the action is a part of your life and its  repetitive, a habit. From Prof’s Emails ARISTOTLE “The Ethics of Virtue”: A Study Guide: General Problem: The Nature of the Good life, the role of virtues in it, the nature of virtue and how it is acquired. BOOK I Chapter 1: The good is that at which all things aim. All human activities aim at some good. There must be some good that is ultimate—we do not desire it for the sake of anything else, and anything we desire we desire for the sake of it. The study of the good belongs to the study of politics. Chapter 2: The highest of all goods is happiness or living well—this is generally agreed. However, there is disagreement about what constitutes happiness. Chapter 3: Our conception of the good is evident in the lives we lead. Some identify happiness with pleasure. Others with honour. Neither of these two is happiness. Virtue is not the ultimate end either. Making money is not the end of life either. Chapter 4: No selection from this chapter Chapter 5: What is the good? It is that for the sake of which everything is done. The distinction between means and ends. The ultimate end: must be final, valued for its own sake, rather than as a means to something else, and self- sufficient—it must make life desirable and complete. Happiness meets all these criteria. Chapter 6: Clarification of the nature of happiness. Happiness defined by ascertaining the function of human beings. This function is not life alone. It is not the life of sensation either. What set human beings apart is reason. So the function of man is activity of the soul in accordance with reason. Fulfilling one’s proper function is good, so the good life is a life of virtue. Book II Chapter 1: The importance of action in learning virtue. Virtue is acquired by habituation. It is not just the acquisition of true beliefs. Chapter 2: There are not any exact rules for right action, scientific exactitude is impossible. The notions of excess and deficiency are introduced. Chapter 3: How virtues are acquired: The importance of action and habituation over and above propositional knowledge of virtue. Chapter 4: The Nature of Virtues: Virtues are not faculties. Virtues are not emotions. Virtues are moral states. Chapter 5: What is the character of the moral state that is virtue? Virtue puts that of which it is a virtue into good condition and enables it to perform its work well. Virtue as a mean between excess and deficiency. Chapter 6: Virtue is a state of deliberate moral purposes in a mean. It is relative to ourselves (which dos not mean it is not objective) and determined by reason. But not every emotion of action admits of a mean. Chapter 7—no selection from this chapter Chapter 8: People in the extreme states denounce the mean. The coward thinks the brave person foolhardy. The foolhardy person thinks the brave person cowardly. The mean is less than excess and more than deficiency. Chapter 9: Virtue is a mean between excess and deficiency. It is hard to find this mean—fo
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