PHIL 1034 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Glaucon, Worst-Case Scenario Series

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Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness!
Glaucon’s Challenge!
Lecture Notes!
8.27.2015 !
Glaucon’s Challenge!
-Glaucon and Socrates are talking!
-Glaucon wants the proof that being just is only good for oneself!
-He wants socrates to show that being just is only for self-interest!
-Listed three types of good!
1)Things only good in virtue (means) of their consequence!
-ex. money: used to get other things —> status, clothes, etc.!
-ex. exercise: used to get benefits —> looks, health, etc.!
-ex. medical procedures: used as means for health!
2) Things only worth having for their own sake!
-ex. pleasure: want it simply to feel good!
3) Things good both as a means and for it’s own sake!
-ex. knowledge!
-Socrates places justice into the third category !
Being moral feels good, good for itself!
it also avoids punishment and ostracization!
Glaucon says that most people put justice into a category that it is only a means!
-Glaucon argues that justice is only good for its means so that Socrates can argue!
-Things that fall under the category of being ‘just’:!
Don’t kill, like, steal, cheat!
Be kind, patient, trustworthy, helpful!
-Glaucon says pretend we don’t have laws!
Best case scenario: a person is completely unjust and does whatever they want!
-everyone would then know not to mess with them!
-that person would get the best benefits of being the “big” guy!
-unlikely scenario!
Worst case scenario: a person is completely just!
-they get walked over and treated poorly!
-everyone must avoid this scenario to survive!
Best case scenario is unlikely to happen and the worst case scenario needs to be avoided!
-thus needs a compromise!
-everyone must agree by all the moral rules mutually!
-Glaucon says this is the origin of justice/morality!
All it is is a compromise between best case and worst case scenarios!
-Glaucon uses two examples to support his thesis:!
1) The story of the ring of Gyges!
2) The perfectly just man vs the perfectly unjust man!
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