PHL100Y1 Lecture Notes - Tyrant

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5 Feb 2013
The Republic Book 9
- Plato tells us that the life of the perfectly just man is 729 times better than
the unjust man
- Plato gives us three types of arguments that are known as:
- political proof: Plato takes the analogy of a tyrant and his soul (appetite
- tyrant is a slave to his desires
- Plato says that if you are a slave to your desires, you are easy to control
because they know how to push your buttons; you are at the mercy of your
- the bulk of your desires will go unsatisfied because you can't satisfy them
all at once and you will be unhappy
- anyone in whom reason doesn't rule, that isn't someone who isn't a
uniformed whole, they are a scattered self
- Plato asks which part of your desires is you?
- if you had reason ruling your soul speaks with one voice because your
desires (appetite and honour) are all kept in line by reason
- there is just disharmony and reflexes responding to external stimuli
- one with reason can pick and choose their desires and control them
- How do you decide which life is the best?
- Plato's common sense approach: try each life out and decide
- talking to people to find which is the better life: the only way to do this is
to be philosopher because they are the only ones with the "proper tools"
(cross-examinations, know what an examined life is)
- according to Plato, the philosophical life is the best life
-it's only a person who uses reason to dominate their lives and only
philosophers know what each is life is like and they will tell you that the
philosophical life is the most pleasant
- metaphysical proof: often when we say we pursue pleasure, we are
actually pursing the avoidance of pain to find that middle ground
- most bodily pleasures are like freedom from pain
- bodily pleasures are not rewarding, they are just sensations of pleasure
- pleasures of the mind are rewarding
- Challenge 1: justice is merely conventional and put together by the weak to
avoid pain
- Plato's answer: justice is not conventional; the principle of specialization is
in some important sense deeply natural and NOT conventional
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