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Political Science
Political Science 2237E
Douglas Long

Reading 3: The Republic September-17-12 8:35 PM Book II Myth of Gyges  Starts off with Glaucon identifying three classes to Socrates 1. A class of good things, that we are glad to possess not because we desire the outcome it gives us but simply welcoming them for their own sake, ex: feeling of enjoyment (p.52) 2. We value both for own sake and for their results, ex: intelligence, sight or health (p.52) 3. A class described as irksome and yet we benefit: we should reject them simply in themselves, we accept for the sake of rewards or consequences, ex: gymnastics training, the learning or practicing of medicine, or any other means of making money  Then decides to talk about Justice by three ways as well 1. First state the common view of respecting what kind of thing justice is and how it came to be  To commit justice is a good thing, and to suffer it a bad thing; but the bad of suffering injustice exceeds the good of doing justice  Those that cannot do the good of doing contact to neither doing nor suffering injustice; hence legislation and contracts (call the law enjoined just as well as lawful)  Stands midway between that which is best (to commit injustice w/ impunity) and which is worst (to suffer injustice w/out any power of retaliating  The just is cared for , not as good in itself but is honoured because of the inability to commit injustice because one who had it in his power to ne unjust would never be so weak as to contract with anyone neither to commit injustice nor to suffer it  Even those men who practice justice do so unwillingly because they lack the power to violate it, will be most readily perceived, if we used the following reasoning:  Let us give full liberty to a just man and to the unjust man to do whatver they please and then let us follow them  The just man in the act of travelling in the same direction as the unjust, owing to that desire to gain more  Only forced out by law and constrained to respect the principle of equality will the just man not do the same as unjust  Gyges of Lydian  He was a shepherd, in the service of reigning sovereign of Lydia, when a violent storm of rain came and a gulf appeared; he went down into the gulf and among other marvellous objects he saw a hollow bronze horse with windows on the side. Inside was a superhuman corpse from which he took a golden ring from the hand  When he went to meeting with all the shepherds to report to the king of the state of his flocks he realized that when he turned the head of the ring in towards his palm it made him invisible and when he turned it outward it made his visible  He immediately contrived to be appointed one of the messengers to carry the report to the king; upon his arrival he seduced the queen and conspiring with her, slew the king and took possession of the throne  If there was two rings, one for the just man and one for the unjust man they would both do the same, do whatever it takes to better themselves  Goes on to say that when an unjust man is to act unjustly he can escape detection, but when he is caught and called a bungler, he gets the most perfect injustice; for he can recover from his false step  He has won himself the highest reputation for justice; to recover himself by a talent for speaking with effect in case he be called in question for any of his misdeeds, and partly because his courage and strength to command of friends and money to enable him to employ force with success whenever force is required  Now when a just man is in the same boat, that he is honourable; without having to be guilty of a crime he had the worst reputation for injustice, he is steadfast in justice though having brought both the men to utmost limits of justice and injustice respectively  We may then give judgment as to which of the two is happier 2. Will maintain that all who practice it do so against their will because it is indispensable, not because it is a good thing 3. That they act reasonably in so doing because the life of a unjust man us, as men say far better than that of the just City of Speech (Books II-VII)  Socrates starts off wanting to talk about the city first and then the individual  Fact: that we are not individually self-sufficient, but have many wants (p.60) o Thus owing to our many wants and because each seeks the aid of others to supply his various requirements we gather many associates and helpers into a dwelling place: makes up our city o Whatever it be that he exchanges does so from the belief that it is to better himself  The construction of the city is because of our needs, the constructions is owed to our needs  Wants: 1) that of sustenance to enable us to exist as living creatures 2. A house 3. Clothing  Should one person for example a farmer grow and labour for food for himself, then make his house and then weave his clothing or should there be multiple people who each do one of the job  Socrates says that not two people are born exactly alike, but each differs in his nature, one being suited for one occupation and another for another (P.60)  From these considerations it follows that all things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease when each man being freed from other tasks, works at a single occupation in accordance with his nature and at the right moment (p.61; socrates)  It is not possible to place a city in a certain spot where it will not require imports, so there needs to be a new class of persons to bring from other cities al that it requires (p.61)  It is up to the people do decide what qualities qualifies its possessors for the guardianship of a city: (p.64) o Must be quick to see things and swift to overtake what they perceive and strong in case they have to fight what they have caught o They must be brave if they are to fight well o Need to be spirited to be brave o So must be spirited o How then If it be their natural disposition are they to be kept from behaving fiercely to one another and to the rest of the citizens?  Ought to be gentle to their friends and dangerous to their enemies- else they will not wait for others to destroy them, but will be the first to do it themselves (p.64)  Like a dog it must learn  The man who is a fine and good guardian of the city will be in his nature, philosophical (fond of learning), high-spirited, swift-footed and strong (p. 65)  Starts talking about the education of the guardians  In every work the beginning is the most
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