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Lecture 8

Lecture 8

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University of Toronto St. George

NOTE: Only clarifications, otherwise consult lecture slides Plato • Begins fairly ordinary, and then delves into more meaty dialogue of stories • E.g., Gyges is a humble shepherd, he stumbles on to a tomb, finds a ring, finds it renders him invisible • Uses ring of invisibility to spy on people and connive and plot his way from shepherd to king • So he uses the ring for evil • Asks if there is any reason for a just man to stay just if he has a magic ring to exempt him from consequences • Plato’s entire republic deals with this question “is it worth it to stay just?” • The whole ideal society in the republic is obsessed with education • Teaching value of myth - Compare Hesiod’s myth • Truths vs Plausible Lies • Story telling behind earlier than physical training • Plato is adherent to the plank late view that the child is raw material and you can shape them by moral instruction: the story makes the child • Plato gives an outline of moralist instruction he likes • Plato wants to get rid of false stories - these misrepresent the gods, and then also propagate bad actions as leading to success • If you prevent kids from hearing the wrong stories you can get rid of the strife of competitions • Plato does not want to rescue the myths, he wants to eliminate them • All the sorrows that fill that pages of Greek mythology have to either be eliminated, or presented as not the work of the god, or that if they were the god, the sufferers were better for being chastised • Heaven is only responsible for the good • But the gods are not examples for humans - not role models (at least in Homer and Hesiod) • Ahomeric hero does not look to the gods for exemplary models of good conduct, but to their own father • E.g.,Adultery on a human level is bad, but for gods its just pleasure and merriment • Humans feel consequences, gods don’t • Hesiod’s Works and Days = anti-escapist • Theogony = escapist • But Plato doesn’t seem to get this • Perhaps t
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