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PHIL lecture, sept.29.doc

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Peter King

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The Republic (lecture on book 2) *Rest of book is based of this…so study!!* • Big question: what good does being moral give you? • There are three kind of goods (357A-358A) o A) Those that are welcome for their own sake, such as joy and ‘harmless pleasures’ o B) Those that are welcome for their own sake and for their consequences, such as knowledge and health o C) Those that are welcome for their consequences alone, such as going to the dentist • Socrates classifies justice under (B) whereas, most people would put it under (C) as only instrumental value • The challenge of Glaucon and Adeimantus (brothers of Plato): Why be moral? • Three arguments against justice: o Injustice is the natural human condition  Justice has been devised as a conventional means to avoid the evil of suffering injustice  As a consequence of weakness • Weak unite together to avoid the consequences  Hence, there is no motive to be just if one is powerful enough to not require such conventional protection  Justice is present mainly because of the fear of getting caught o The Ring of Gyges: the story is meant to show that no one is just willingly, but rather anyone who acts justly doe so under compulsion. In the absence of compulsion or sanction, no one would willingly choose to be just (359B-360D)  Gyges was a shepherd  Finds a ring that makes him invisible  Gets inside the palace to seduce the queen to kill the king  Becomes a ruler  Shows in the absence of sanction, no one will choose to be just o Putting aside the good consequences of justice and the evil consequences of injustice, the life of the totally unjust man is better than the life of the totally just man.  Imagine a totally unjust man who appears to all to be just, and a totally just man who appears to all unjust  This is to sharply distinguish wh
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