Philosophy 1 Lecture Day 10
• Humans are in despair because they can only reckon from probabilities.
• Our choices are not arbitrary because we make them on the basis of a conception of what
we want to become as a result.
• Though we cannot say that someone’s choices are better or worse as choices.
• There is a universal principle of ethics which is the desire for freedom of one’s self and
• But there is no system of ethics which can provide us with a basis for our choices.
1. God has been rejected, so there is no theological basis
• It would be comforting for there to be another being to take away our forlornness,
anxiety, and despair.
• But as human beings, we must invent values for ourselves.
• In doing so we can create human community.
• We can now show why existentialism is a kind of humanism.
• It is not a humanism in the sense of taking individual credit as a human for the deeds f
1. We may only take credit or blame for our own actions.
• But it is humanism in the sense that in choosing for one’s self, one chooses for all
• The universe is a human universe, and the lawgivers of that universe are individual
• Neither God nor a human essence is requires for there to be a
• Proposals concerning humanity:
1. That which is loved by the gods
2. Loved by all the gods
3. Justice attending to the gods
• Socrates argues on rational grounds against them but no thesis was endorsed and
therefore no theory developed.
• Socrates proposed a thesis set on the ground that states piety is required of the form that
makes acts pious. • Piety is a part of justice would evade this criticism if there is a form of justice.
• Plato went on to develop a philosophical theory of what the forms are and how qwe come
to know them.
• Aform is described by attaching “itself” to the term that signifies the king.
a. Two sticks equal in length
b. The form that makes them equal in length is the equal itself
• Number of form:
a. The equal itself
b. The greater itself
c. The smaller itself
d. The good itself, etc…
• Things of a kind are distinct from the form that makes them if that kind.
a. Equal sticks are distinct from the equal itself.
• Things of a kind are inferior to the form that makes them of that kind.
a. The equality shared by equal sticks is inferior to the equal itself.
• Afrom makes a thing be of kind in the sense that it is the cause of its being of that kind.
a. The equal itself causes equal sticks to be equal.
• Things share in the forms that make them the kind of things they are, taking on the
• In various places in Phaedo, he enumerates properties the forms have: