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PlatoRepublicNotes.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL200Y1
Professor
Janice Stein
Semester
Summer

Description
Platos RepublicAllan Bloom translationPolitical TheorySeptember 12327a to 334bSocrates and Glaucon are leaving a goddess festival and are ordered to wait for Polemarchus He arrives with a group and tells them either prove stronger than us or stay hereSocrates says there is one other option that he persuades Polemarchus to let them pass on to townPolemarchus says not to bother for he wont listen to persuasion he wants them to stay and watch the race and festivities They say they have no choice and follow Polemarchus to his homeConversation with Cephalus Asks Polemarchus father Cephalus about old age he replies that some lament the loss of sex and partying as if they were no longer alive but Cephalus enjoys pleasures of the mind than the bodyIn old age such passions die down and leave one very peaceful free from frenzied masters such as lustIf their character is orderly and content the person will not be bothered by old age if it is not they will be bothered by it and youth bothSocrates says that many will put down his contentment with old age to his wealthAsks how he came to be wealthy for he does not love money as most who earn it doCephalus talks about how being near to the end makes one fear Hades and examine their moral behaviour and that wealth in the hands of a decent and orderly man can be most worthwhile in acting with justnessThe possession of money contributes a great deal to not cheating or lying to any man against ones will 331bSocrates questions Cephalus about his conception of justice for right and wrong are relativeoGives example of a friend taking his friends weapons when he is in a calm state of mind and refusing to give them back when the friend is angryThen this isnt the definition of justice speaking the truth and giving back what one takes 331dCephalus agrees but passes discussion over to Polemarchus who disagreesConversation with PolemarchusAsserts that Simonides is correct in saying it is just to give each what he is owedThey discuss and Socrates states that Simonides made a riddle when he stated that everyone ought to be given what is fitting ie and enemy should be given punishment since he has given itIn Polemarchus opinion he meant justice is doing good to friends and harm to enemiesA doctor is most useful to a sick man a pilot most useful to a sailor and a just man most useful in war in peacetime he is only useful in partnerships but not all in monetary partnerships he is most usefuland then only when the money is uselessJustice is therefore useless in things that are of use and useful only when things are useless the just man is fit to stand guard over the harp but the musician is most fit to use itWhomever is clever at landing a blow in boxing is best at guarding it and the best at curing disease also knows most about spreading it therefore those clever at guarding money are also best at stealing itJustice according to Simonides and Polemarchus is a certain art of stealing for the benefit of friends and the harm of enemiesSeptember 19334c to 344cConversation with Polemarchus contIt is still his opinion that justice is helping friends and harming enemiesSocrates asks do you mean by friends those who seem to be good to an individual or those who are good even if they dont seem to beHumans make mistakes about who is good and bad for them so that they may view friends as good when they are notAccording to Polemarchus argument it is just to treat men badly even if they have done nothing unjust because they are perceived as badPolemarchus disagrees and says they must start the argument again with more fitting definitions of friends and enemies
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