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POL 200 Lecture 2.docx

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Political Science
Rebecca Kingston

POL 200 Lecture 2 (Sept 23 ) rd Plato II Getting to the Just City a) Unpacking Book I • Plato is trying to demonstrate that justice is for the good • Middle of book 2  justice as an internal account • To be just, we must know what justice is (to know what is, we must be able to give a solid account of what it is) • Cephalus’s definition of justice: to tell the truth and pay what one owes (both to individuals and the gods) • Cephalus provides us with universal rules of morality (in law, politics, social life etc...) • Socrates: if we think about morality in terms of only rules, or just following the laws, Socrates suggests that there are times when these universal laws or rules do not apply (331c, weapon)  Justice is not always served by following the rules • Socrates: Justice is something higher then rules and higher then laws • Polymarchus: Justice is giving each to what is owed to him (doing good to ones friends and harm to ones enemies), he is talking about loyalties/trust. • If we can’t trust our judgment/intuition, how do we know what to do? • Parcimacus: (336b) (he gathers himself together like a wild beast) o He defends the powerful. o Definitions of justice: (1) Justice is nothing more than the advantage of the stronger. (Justice is whatever the powerful says it is) o (2) Justice is the opium of the people: o This suggest that there is something called justice, but it is merely to keep people in line, keep them docile, thus allowing the powerful to do whatever they want. o Justice is not what is centrally important in politics/ social convention b) Ring of Gyges account • Turning the ring, people will go for injustice Building the city- basic principles (Self-sufficiency, specialisation)
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