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Lecture 1

POL200Y1 Lecture 1: POL 200 – Lecture 1 – September 15


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL200Y1
Professor
Clifford Orwin
Lecture
1

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1. POL 200 – Lecture 1 – September 15
The Republic
Allegory of the Cave – Book 7
Allegory is about education
oPrisoners lack an understanding of thing
Lives are pitiable, hardly worth living
We’re imprisoned by our ignorance
Truth lies outside our ignorance
Puppeteers – unquestioned authority figures
oAre also in the cave
oBelieve that reproducing convention is the most important human goal
oSatisfying to instruct other humans in convention
oEven to tweak conventions
oDifficult to persuade and compel prisoners to walk past their puppeteers
We live our lives by convention (unnecessarily)
Danger: we live our conventions without thinking
oWe will live as conformists,
oWe might dogmatically resist learning and enlightenment
oEasier to live in our certainties
Appear truer, safer
Why should we change anything?
Education – gradual appreciation of/awakening of natural order that lies beyond
convention
True educators assume that everyone has the power to learn
Education has important benefits:
oLiberation (from chains of convention)
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