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.
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
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
Socrates, Adeimantus, Glaucon
2) Method of Dialectic and the contrast with competitive or
dialectic: discussing something in order to find truth, an
argument. Should be done if you have the right skills and
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
Chapter 5: What is the character of the moral state that
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