4_5_13 Notes.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 001
Professor
Gillian Ramsey
Semester
Spring

Description
Philosophy Notes – 4/5/13  Monty Python argument (Argument clinic video on YouTube)  Prof skipped Socrates’ clarification (332c-335e) – “Simonides was speaking in riddles”  Argument – rat’l process when you add up a bunch of claims  Four problems that Plato raised for the conventional life (thru Plato)  Good life thru conventional rule o Arguments problematic o Today: another attempt to defn good life (according to natural state – two caricatures – loving/altruistic way of life vs. aggressive) Thrasymachus is pretty aggressive  Thrasymachus is Plato’s caricature of man of nature; unyielding, aggressive, doesn’t care what people have to say (first met p. 336) o Described as an animal; Thrasymachus was a famous teacher of rhetoric – argument in front of citizens and win court cases; be persuasive or destroy person with argument into submission o He like Plato, disagress w/ conventional morality (just way that losers live); winters of soc live a natural and aggressive life o Plato show problems w/ the natural life Two rejections in reading: 1) conventional way of life is conceptually flawed – four times in debate Thrasymachus flawed b/c bad desc of what actually happens Plato offering principled explanation of why conventional is problematic; description may be the case (today?) – self-interested individual (may be bad) Bad description People are self-interested and follow conventional rules b/c rules benefit ppl. So, conventional life isn’t what we take it to be; cover for those who want to live natural life (benefit self), better way Natural Life Dictim (NLD) – getting negative defn Stronger will not act justly and the weak will Justice/acting rightly – “is nothing other than adv of stronger” (338c); conventional rules made by the powerful for own adv o Countless instances suggest this (e.g. Stalin, Hitler, Britain, France Spain)  Make rules that benefit their regimes/colonies  Happens in pol phil and his  Plato attempts to reject this explanation  p. 15 – Socrates’ method o X asserts something or makes a claim ~~~~~~~ o Then Socrates gets X to agree to OTHER claims  Element is stronger…  Tell me, don’t you…  When they undertake… o Then Soc points out a problem (often conceptual); conventional life in ways of following rules o X gives up and revises his review; Thrasymachus doesn’t give up  Says justice favors the stronger o Process of elenchus  Example 339-340  Rest of book 1 – 340-345 (Thrasymachus makes a speech)  Unction and virtue  Tools to understand this argument by end of lec o Thrasymachus kinda acknowledging that he made an error (“I suppose so”)  Justice is adv of stronger (who are the rulers)  It is just to obey rulers (to their adv)  Rulers can err what’s to their adv o “Then you must also…” (p.16)  Disadv to rules contradicts A o E.g. tax farming class 90% crops; farming goes down; no longer adv to rulers o 90% tax – farmers obeying rulers (obeying B)  B not advantageous to the rulers  339e simplified – Suppose C happens and get people to follow that & prove a contradiction o Reductio Ad Adsurdeumn (reduce position to contradiction/absurdity) o Justice not adv to stronger consequence to A, B, C Suppose the rulers enact a law that isn’t to their adv (they make a mistake); suppose c is true Since b is to just obey rules, d not to adv of stronger & d and a contradict Not a good desc of right way to live Soc suggests rulers seek the adv of those they rule o Rulers should be doing right sorts of things for people that they rule Argument by analogy by Soc:  Skills and class similar to ruling and tries to show that Thrasymachus that if you be a doctor, horse-breeder, captain out of adv of people they’re interacting with  Concerned with others and not their own self-interest  If ruling is like these other skills/crafts, then Thrasymachus is all sorts of wrong  Analogies in phil have two purposes: o 1) explanatory/illustration  Everyday concrete object to explain more abstract idea or show comments btw. similar enough ideas o 2) argument The str. Of an analogy depends on a) # of similarities b) # of differences o Logic of analogy argument relies on str of analogy  More similarities, fewer differences = stronger analogy
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