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PHL237H1 (10)

1st Term

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Vincent Shen

Philosophy th Lecture 2: Sept 15 /09 Basic Mechanism: Elenchus 1. General definition requested (not instances) 2. Definition offered 3. Definition fails > counter-example or similar objection 4. Improve definition offered 5. Conceptual relations queried: Is conditional relation o sufficient (good) o necessary (better) o Both (best) 6. Chemical formula is the same as the conceptual relation sufficient and necessary 7. Repeat as necessary 8. Philosophical definition found: general category independent standard Ex. Platos dialogue Euthyphro asked what a pious action is; Euthyphro replies A pious act is what the gods love Possible Objections: 1. Counter-example: theres at least one act the gods love that does not appear to be pious o (being loved by the gods does not seem a sufficient condition of piety) It is not enough Sufficiency is not present 2. Disagreement: the gods seem to love different things at different times o (being loved by the gods does not seem to be a necessary conditions of piety) Not a stable category Necessary condition not present 3. Ignorance: we cannot know what the gods love o What they love is beyond us 4. Conceptual priority: is a pious act pious because the gods love it, or do they love it because it is pious? 5. Independent standard needed, with stated sufficient and necessary conditions of piety, or confusion will reign o No philosophical definition only the destruction of Euthyphro -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 1. Socrates v. Plato? 2. Why Plato? Cf. Umberto eco on Thucydides Peloponnesian wars the Athenians invade Melos FORCE: Making them do something PERSUASION: Reason behind the force SEDUCTION: The seducer brings you over -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - Republic Book 1: The basic Socratic assertion: The unexamined life is not worth living The basic Socratic question: What is the life worth living? The scene: Piraeus, port of Athens, on the street Do you see how many we are? then in the house of Polemarchus and Cephalus, his father Plato wanted to see how the people perform the festival flaming torches on horseback (the spectacle instead of the Religious purpose < two may be pulled apart) Cephalus: Householder and older male presence Mad masters of desire (Thought of as something of an enemy) Afterlife bargain (cf. Pascals Wager) o Good time to observe religious disciplines in case there is an afterlife Honesty and freedom from debt o Honest with every man and leaves with no debts He says that when a man reached old age, he begins to think of all injustices he has done in his life, and begins to worry about dying and being punished for them J1 (331c): Pre-reflective Definition: Counterexample: sword < tell the truth and pay back what is owed> J2 (331e): Formal Definition: No content no critical purpose in actual context of the world Excessive abstraction: no critical purchase Craft analogy (craft = techne) Virtue is a practice; every practice is a form of knowledge or know-how o (The kind of knowledge used to get things done) J3 (332d): Aristocratic Definition: 1. Problems of end (end or purpose in life or anything = telos) 2. Knowledge of the good -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - th Lecture 3: Sept 17 /09 Sidebar: Socrates on moral psychology (NB v. PLATO) Virtue is a form of knowledge Knowledge brings virtue dynamic relation between the doing and the thinking Knowledge is embodied within the action Therefore, is it impossible to know the right and not do it There is no possible conflict between what I know what to do and I know what to be the right thing Thus, for Socrates, no akrasia [lacking command (over oneself)] or weakness of the will: nd - N 2 *(knowing what is right) ---------------------------------------- - Y 1 *(desire) First order is a desire, second order is knowing what is right In weakness of the will you cannot bring the two levels into congruence Knowing what is right doesnt seem to be what Socrates claims to be right Plato always barriers the premises within the conversation (Inductive vs. Inductive reasoning) Conflict between parts of the soul (Plato) < psychological conflict L3 prime (335a): K-Aristocratic Definition: 3. Harm - Never harm (Socrates) Enter Thrasymachus of Chalcedeon, a Sophist J4 (338a): Political Realist Definition: A realist believes that power is everything, right makes right Five False Moves: 1. Error (339c) 2. Belief (340b-d) 3. Craft (341a) < virtue, no non-virtuous crafts
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