Political Science 2237E Lecture Notes - Stuart Hampshire, Authoritarianism

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Published on 22 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Political Science
Course
Political Science 2237E
Professor
Page:
of 2
October 4, 2012
Political Science 2237
Lecture #7
Read outline for readings
Also read Plato’s The Cave
Read Book 1, 2-5
Read Book 7,8,9
Read Aristotle’s Book 1, 169-175 for Book 10
On second point this week from Outline
Issues:
1. Socrates vs. Aristotle
o Highlights philosophy and sophistry: truth and power
o Power must be based on style, appearance and the moment
o Truth no longer exists because there is to much information
o With truth philosophy marginalized
o More radically important to today’s politics
o Too much information = to much change
2. Justice as moral and legal idealism
Justice has transformed beyond recognition
B/c of politics is no longer based on truth
The law is not corrupt or true it is a manifestation of truth
Justice is moral harmony
Laws are not coercive b/c people believe in moral harmony
What are good law and bad law? What is your standard? Based
on what you believe in
Plato is absence of conflict
When he talks about regimes they are unjust b/c bring conflict
In our politics, we manage conflicts not to make it go away
Plato is elimination of friction of all conflict
Alt: justice is a particular way of managing conflict (Stuart
Hampshire)
Moderation is
3. The “soul” and the polis: using “human nature” as a model
Essence of politics, polity, gov is the character of the people who
govern it
Should we us it?
o
4. Truth and Images: the political problem of persuasion
Democratic despotism
Perfectly unjust politics
Simplicity, power, appearance persuades
Based on drama and theatrics and the moment
5. The impossibility and the authoritarianism of the ideal
Ideal polis is impossible
Do you think that this polis can be built in this world
o No but that doesn’t matter that much
o B/c he is committed to view that impossible standard still
important
Political relevance of Platonism?
Consider actual and ideal
Law and order
Leadership
Liberty
Justice
Education
Culture and society
If Plato’s idealism is irrelevant, is cynicism and ruthlessness the answer – or the
rejection of politics?
Aristotle says he wants to be an honest and is first political scientist
The most beautiful sciences are the contemplative sciences
2 practical sciences: politics and ethics
politics is based on practical wisdom
3rd science: studeies governs relationship btw humans and things
Plato is a perfectionist political philosopher

Document Summary

Read aristotle"s book 1, 169-175 for book 10. B/c of politics is no longer based on truth. The law is not corrupt or true it is a manifestation of truth. Laws are not coercive b/c people believe in moral harmony. Justice is moral harmony on what you believe in. When he talks about regimes they are unjust b/c bring conflict. Plato is elimination of friction of all conflict. Alt: justice is a particular way of managing conflict (stuart. In our politics, we manage conflicts not to make it go away. Moderation is: the soul and the polis: using human nature as a model. Essence of politics, polity, gov is the character of the people who govern it. Should we us it: truth and images: the political problem of persuasion. Based on drama and theatrics and the moment: the impossibility and the authoritarianism of the ideal.