First few lecs on Plato

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21 Jan 2011
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PHL100Y LEC 1
Beautifully
The love of wisdom- philosophy
Portal. utoronto.ca
Bob miller book room (180 Bloor street W.)
Practical wisdom, practical judgement, prudence.
Truth, reality, morality, and beauty- Platos republic
Not about ethics but about human life and flourishing-Aristotle
Explicating about a passage- first paper
Analyze an argument- second paper
Comparing views on the same subject-third paper
Philosophy paper-fourth paper.
Why are YOU here?
Thieves- stealing time that they spend here from themselves. Looks at the course as a game to be
won.
Brokers- self-conscience about what they are up to.
Lovers- Listen, think, respond to the ideas. Deeper human concerns.
Philosophy -philein Sophia (“love of wisdom)
Intellectual masturbation, arguing about the nature of knowledge, reality , and value.
Anybody can argue anything if there cleaver enough.
Sophistry, not philosophy. One of philosophies central concerns in distinguishing true
philosophers from false ones.
The Oracle at Delphi is inscribed “Know thyself put yourself in question.
Drawing distinctions and defending them, relating class and instance, joining specific to general.
Thats part of the method of philosophy. The way it gets closer to knowledge and wisdom.
Socratic Method (via Plato)
Basic Principles
1. Irony - distance or gap- there is some gap between what it says and what is meant. Socrates
would appear to prefence something to advance a discussion
2. Doctrina Ignorantia- Socrates would pretend not to know anything. Because when he goes to
the oracle they said he was the wises.
3. Dialectic argument- Moves by conflict, energy comes from disagreement.
4. Maieusis- means bringing forth, Socrates was not a generated, he helped to bring out the
knowledge. Socrates asthe midwife of ideas
Basic Mechanism; Elenchus
General definition requested (not instances) “if this than what
(Socrates wants exact answers,
Definition offered
Definition fails- counter- example or similar objection.
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Improve definition is offered
Conceptual relations queried: is conditional relation sufficient (good) ex, if its raining the
pavement is wet necessary (better) ex. Its not necessary that the pavement is wet because of the
rain, it states something without reach the consequence is not stated. , or both (best) Giving a
sufficient and necessary definition, ex. Hydrogen and water need to be sufficient for the
necessary H2O,
Repeat as necessary-
Philosophical definition found: general category; independent standard
Socratic Method uses questions, Socrates never asserts but always ask.
PHLLEC 2 September 15
Example: Platos dialogue Euthyphro. Asked what a pious action is, Euthyphro repliesA pious
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 (being
loved by the gods does not seem a sufficient condition of piety).
2. Disagreement: The gods seem to love different things at different times (being loved by the
gods does not seem to be a necessary condition of PIETY). We cant know what the gods love,
even if its sufficient and necessary what they love is beyond us.
3. Ignorance: We cannot know what the gods love!
4. Conceptual priority: is a pious act pious because the gods love it, or do they love it because its
pious?
5. Independent standard needed. With stated sufficient and necessary conditions of piety, or
confusion will reign. We need to know what piety is in itself.
Socrates v Plato? - cf. Umberto Eco on Thucycdides’ Peloponnesian Wars - the Athenians invade
Melos. The Athenians invaded Melos and killed all the men on the island. There intention is to
exercise their power.
Why Plato?
Force: Power (might)
Persuasion
Seduction: The seducer brings you over,
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Document Summary

bob miller book room (180 bloor street w. ) not about ethics but about human life and flourishing-aristotle. comparing views on the same subject-third paper. Thieves- stealing time that they spend here from themselves. Looks at the course as a game to be won. Brokers- self-conscience about what they are up to. Intellectual masturbation, arguing about the nature of knowledge, reality , and value. Anybody can argue anything if there cleaver enough. One of philosophies central concerns in distinguishing true philosophers from false ones. The oracle at delphi is inscribed know thyself" put yourself in question. Drawing distinctions and defending them, relating class and instance, joining specific to general. The way it gets closer to knowledge and wisdom. Basic principles: irony - distance or gap- there is some gap between what it says and what is meant. Socrates would appear to prefence something to advance a discussion: doctrina ignorantia- socrates would pretend not to know anything.

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