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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Intro to Plato's Republic

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Daniel Kofman

Jan. 9, 2014 • Avalue: something of importance. The term has often been used in describe “the good.” The term values as a plural, only is a very recent coinage. We are looking at value objectively, in theAristotelian sense. Not like plurality of values. This course is normative inquiry, what is important, objectively? Of course, your objective view could be that there are no objective values. • The relation between values and principles - issuing a directive about how to act, ought, should, etc. • Typically, values/goods can be denoted by a single nominative phrase/word (justice, liberty, social harmony). • Aprinciple is typically denoted by a full sentence (one ought to..., one should...) Promoting a value, directing you to realize a value… Plato’s Republic Basic structure of the book: 1. Glaucon &Adeimentus challenge Socrates to show that justice is an intrinsic and instrumental good, and not only instrumentally valuable (because of the reputation for being just). • (But Plato conflates intrinsic goodness with: advantageous to the just person). • Challenge to Socrates: prove that the just person with a false reputation of being unjust is better off than the unjust person with a false reputation of being just. • Glaucon &Adeimentus: Instrumental advantage of justice: to avoid (anachronistically) Hobbes’war of all against all. But not intrinsic good (ring of Gyges). (Beware: JuliaAnnas confuses instrumental view with consequentialism) Notice: Plato could have defended moral realism - it’s wrong to do injustice - independently of whether being really just is advantageous to just
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