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Lecture 23

CLCIV 101 Lecture 23: Lecture 23

5 pages96 viewsFall 2016

Classical Civilization
Course Code
Richard Janko

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Lecture 23
1. Athens becomes the center for higher education in Greece.
2. Plato 423-347 BCE
a. Aristocrat descendent of kings of Athens and of Solon
b. Nephew of Critias and Charmides (30 Tyrants, 404 BCE)
c. Democracy restored in 403 BCE
3. Timeline of 4th century history
a. 404: fall of Athens, rule of the Tyrants
b. 403: democracy restored in Athens
c. 403-395 Sparta rules Greece-badly
d. 395-387: Thebes, Corinth, Argos and Athens fight Sparta
e. 377: Athens rebuilds Athenian Empire in the Aegean
f. 371: Thebes defeats sparta, leads on mainland, but fails to unite the
g. 347: Death of Plato
h. 338: Philip II, king of Macedonia, defeats Athens and Thebes in battle of
4. Plato’s career
a. Politician or poet?
b. 30 Tyrants, 404 BCE
c. Execution of Socrates, 399 BCE→ philosopher wrote dialogs (Republic)
d. Founded Academy at Athens in 383 BCE (closed by Christian emperor
Justinian in 529 AD
5. Plato’s dialogs
a. Continue where Socrates left off
b. Socrates as main speaker
c. Socratic method of question and answer= “dialect”
d. On politics, literature, ethics, education, rhetoric, logic, ontology (how
things exist)
e. How much is Socrates, how much is Plato?
6. Plato’s early dialogs
a. Short
b. On ideas like “courage”, “piety”
c. result : Aporia “confusion”=Socrates’ conversations
7. Plato’s later dialogs
a. Long
b. Not just negative results, but offer a system=Plato’s own ideas
8. Plato’s doctrines
a. The Theory of Forms
b. What is “courage”or “piety”
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c. Result: definitions
d. Do words have meanings by convention (nomos) or by nature (physis)
9. Modern linguistics
a. Based on study of many languages
b. Some words represent the sound they make (bang, gurgle)
c. Some words have meaning by convention and differ in different languages
(justice, courage)
10. Plato’s theory of Forms
a. We know what justice or bravery mean because these things actually exist
i. If they did not exist, we would return to the sophist’s moral
b. But if justice or bravery actually exist, where are they and how do we know
about them?
c. Our perceptions vary, a table can be seen from different angles yet we still
recognize tables
d. The Forms actually exist in another world
i. Actual objects participate in the Form
e. Forms are eternal and unchanging, unlike our world which perished and
changes (Heraclitus) → thought of Pythagoras (“universe is sumber, so 2
is more real than 2 bananas”)
f. How do we know the Forms?
i. By reason via philosophy
ii. How do we know the Forms before we study philosophy
1. By reincarnation: our souls know the forms before they enter
our bodies (idea of reincarnation→ Pythagoras)
11. Results of Plato’s belief in reincarnation
a. Contempt for body and pleasure
i. “The body is a tomb” (soma sema)
b. Belief in a higher, better world which we reach after death
c. We must live pure lives that end the cycle of reincarnation
d. We are put into bodies because of crimes in our previous lives
12. Results of Plato’s theory of forms
a. They perceived world is hardly worth studying
i. Influence of Christianity
13. Plato’s political theory in Republic
a. Blueprint for ideal state
b. An aristocracy run by elite of trained philosophers
c. Social classes by heredity:
i. Guardian (philosopher-kings)
ii. Warriors
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