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Lecture

HUMA 1825 COHEN, AQUINAS, ANTIGONE, ARISTOTLE, MONTESQUIEU.docx

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Department
Humanities
Course Code
HUMA 1825
Professor
Neil Braganza

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HUMA 1825 Law and Morality Week of September 16, 2013’ COHEN: - RESOLVE CONFLICT BASED ON HONOUR - Fight for honour, work towards common good - Always be conflict in a society where everyone is always fighting for honour - In the reading Cohen describes a blood feud society - Differences b/w courts now and then: o No crown discipline, everyone is expected to defend themselves o The system only worked if the citizens kept each other in line (no police) o Unwritten laws, No need for profession training (lawyers) o Trials were very simple: speech, speech, witnesses, witnesses then jury votes o No cross examination to determine if witnesses were liars o No difference between evidence and hearsay… Gossip was as good as evidence o You are expected to lie for your friends in court to keep your honor o Character assessment – the jury vote was dependant on which side had the most character  Based on: Service to the city, helped conquer, wealthy, brought wealth to city, maintained army and ship, and most honorable (the more honorable person is the one who retaliates and does not back down from a fight b/c warriors are needed if Athens is attacked o Cause of the trial became less important than the character of the two o Disputes never ended b/c it was a constant battle of who had the most honor MODERN: the law protects you ANCIENT: power and honor protects you Equality in Ancient Athens: In ancient Athens there was a sense of equality much different from ours. Equality meant everyone had the right to fight for their honor. In Athens you’re not entitled to rights, they are based on what you do. The individuals on the bottom (slaves, women, outcasts) were equal. Men with little to no power were equal. Men with some power equal. Men with a lot of power equal. This meant if you were very powerful you could not fight someone lesser than you because they are not your equal. If you fight someone who is not your equal you are not bettering society b/c you’re not working to better yourself. Enmity in Ancient Athens: Enmity is a virtue. Enmity is the state of constant feud between equals. If an individual had enmity with another they were in constant battles b/w one another. Enmity was seen as honorable in Ancient Athens because it was thought competition made for a better society. When two people have enmity with each other they each work to be better than the other and resultantly better themselves. Signs of enmity would be calling each other out in public. Fighting in public. A list of trials against one another. The one rule of enmity was that in order to keep your honor you could not back down from a fair fight. Hubris: Hubris was when one would take their power too far by taking power or honor that they don’t deserve by fighting with those below them (not their equal). The society needs just enough conflict that individuals will want to better themselves. If someone is being hubris they are not bettering themselves because they are already more powerful. Sycophancy: Sycophancy was seen as trickery. Someone guilty of sycophancy would use the law in order to obtain undeserved power. Envy: Envy is seen as a “vice.” A vice is something that shows a lack of skill, a vice does not benefit the society like a virtue does, it is seen as a weakness of human nature. Envy is the act of putting the people above you down rather than bettering yourself. An envious person would try and make the strong look weak rather than working up his strength. th September 24 2013 Antigone Lecture Notes Backstory: - If Creon would have followed the God’s (higher power) as Montesquieu states a Monarch must conflict would have been prevented - Laws put in place may affect individual – but + for society o Creon’s Law Law and Morality October 1 Lecture Notes Two Types of Virtue Intellectual virtue: Wisdom (Truths) Moral virtue or Ethical virtue: About practice/actions and relations with other people… One’s character… Context matters, no right answer (there are no eternal truths when it comes to moral virtue, but there is a perfect mean in all these virtues) Virtues are… - Doing your job well… becoming good at what you are meant to do… being good at being human, doing what is most human… Fulfilling your purpose… Make good decisions to be that human well - You get it by experience, by action, not by nature… the choices we make define us - The action comes first and the virtue or the vice follows (If you start good you form a virtuous habit and therefore produce a good character, and continue being virtuous) (character is a pattern of action) - Having a balance between extremes - All virtues are relative (in the eye of the beholder) (who you are who’s looking at it) virtues are undecidable Vice is… - The opposite of virtue - The vice is an extremism… being one sided in your character - Ex: too much fear makes a coward, too little fear makes you reckless… both are wrong… they are equally bad at being human because they give into the extremes… they don’t use their human ability to find the balance… Moderation is the virtue of giving in to pleasure just the right amount (better than giving in too much to desires and better than never giving in to them) - Not cut in stone ***Honor seeking: Seek too much honor or too little honor (desire honor too much you are vain (only care about status), desire honor too less (don’t care what people say)) Middle part is caring somewhat what people think but also what they think of themselves (Humility is bad) Aristotle says you have to drag yourself away from the extremes (bad habits) to become virtuous (41) Courage Example of virtue that sits between two vices. The choice we make b/w vice and virtue determines our character. Determines if we are noble What should we fear? How do we act on our fear? When should we fear? Appropriateness of the fear… Courageous should not fear anything that is not caused by vice (recklessness, vanity, and cowards) (Only fears not being courageous) Anything caused by vice should be feared, if you are to die for a noble reason you do not fear death… You can be afraid, as long as you endure the fear… pushing yourself against the fear (bad habits). Never fear death that would honour the city. It is to fear hurt to your family and fear malicious envy (someone envious of you will try to bring you down without honouring the city) (fearing the loss of honour, the loss of standing in your community) Should fear disrepute (loss of good reputation) Virtuous person can endure the fear, is not ruled by the fear Moderation is an appropriate experience of pleasure… not too much not too little, in the right way, at the right time… Moderation is a political virtue, the ruler limits the pleasure seeking of the city so everything isn’t thrown into chaos (ruler is a parent of all the competing citizens, teaching them to share) In particular bodily pleasures, not about sight or hearing (not relevant to vice), lack of moderation of touch and taste can cause vice (food drink sex and possessions/luxuries) Giving too much permission to indulge is a vice (slave to pleasure), too little (inhuman, not able or willing to experience pleasure) Children and slaves lack moderation Merit: Need to reward people Equity: Sometimes to be infallible you need to work on a case by case basis (Blackstone) Justice (Highest virtue) (virtue contains all the virtues) Distributive Justice: rewarding the right people, the right amount for the right things You are only just if you reward virtue If you are able to be just you are able to reward people for being virtuous in your city (be a good ruler) - Justice is a disposition/ inclination formed by habit… it is a desire for just outcomes (good results) - Inclined to do things, act justly, and with for just occurrences - Merit proportional to character - Justice is the main virtue because it rewards people for virtue and therefore promotes virtue - About law, and law governs the whole community (it is in everyone’s best interest to reward the virtuous ones) - Happiness is the goal of virtue (reward the better, punish the worse) Unjust - Someone who grasps for more (pleonexia) taking too much than he deserves - Someone who gives other people more or less than they deserve - Treating everyone the same is a vice (equality a vice) Two kinds of Justice Distributive: Two ppl in dispute, decide which one gets the honor Corrective: Fixing a wrong you made in distributive (something new came into light, new trial) 1. Correcting injustice, getting a mediator who can make an impartial judgement 2. Justice: two types, the judge option… Or the option of getting your own justice, if someone slaps you, you slap them back for example. o There are 2 types of getting back at someone: o Voluntary ex: buying, selling, lending Involuntary ex: Theft, adultery, slave stealing, baring false witness, assault, imprisonment, rape, outrage… Valid means of establishing justice Page 95 Aristotle top paragraph Law is supposed to reward the good but that doesn’t end the dispute How do we know who is virtuous No absolute virtue to fix disputes an d therefore the disputes are endless Equity: Form of corrective justice, it’s a correction of the law Sometimes the law is too general just because one thing is traditionally virtuous, does not mean it is correct in every case Equity is a skill of establishing fairness outside the law October 15, 2013 Lecture Notes Aquinas Summa Theologica Cohen society (revenge, better, competition, honour)  new perspective - Applied Aristotle to the bible - Concept of equality of all things before one creator - Potential advantage o One set of laws, all are equal (laws not subject to dispute) - One ruler is far more powerful (beyond dispute, beyond rival) o Ruler who is god  Represented as god on earth  Above politics  Monster running us or someone governing/guiding us? Summary - Reason and Law - In a world under one God where everyone is equal (changes virtue) happiness is the fulfillment of Gods plan - Three virtues o Faith  Knowledge of the right religious doctrines  Believing these things sincerely o Hope  Even in unexpected destruction God is still going to take care of us  Optimism about creation, God makes good out of bad o Charity  Love of God, love of my creator, the love of anything created by God  Working in the community for the better - Reason and Law o Divided into articles, objections and replies to objections o Objection 2:  Practical reason is the capacity for will power (making decision to act) to act and the habit formed on the basis (how to be a good human being, develop character well) • If you are able to do this well you are rational if not your habits are random and you are unnatural (not rational) or perversion (turning away from something) (turning against the natural, similar to vicious (vice))  Law is connected to reason (law is broad) • Order to the universe • Human beings have the capacity to turn against their own nature (perversion) o Reply to objection 1  The law has 2 sides to it • Self-evaluating, Self-correcting  Lawfulness is fixing itself  Try to turn your character to its true nature (lawfulness to Aquinas)  Are supposed to be your true self but you also want to find your true self (self-discovery) even though it is always in every humans nature (all equal)  Human nature includes our ability to figure out how to discover true nature o Whether law is always directed to common good  He says yes, character is only lawful if directed to the common good • The truest good (bliss or happiness) includes individual gain
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