POLS 2000 12/06/2012
Sept. 6th Lecture
Things about course:
Essay is actually due in class on the 29th
No descriptive papers, must argue (needs a thesis)
Need to describe/ compare, but then you need to evaluate
Research paper, so you need at least 2 secondary sources (recent)
Do not use lecture notes
Try not to write on Nietzsche because you should start on your essay earlier
What is the best regime/political form of organization (asked by the ancients, but we don’t ask that
Prof. thinks the questions should be brought up today, however
Justice – a perennial question; what the ancients thought, helps us to understand what justice is
Declaration of Independence – paraphrase of John Locke
Aristotle on friendship VS. Facebook friends
Think of ways to compare what the ancients have to say with today
Ex. GOP conference; Mitt Romney, why does he say he’s going to be a good leader? He says he will
reverse Obama’s wrongs and fix the economy (says that US should be run like a business for success; idea
that leadership should include entrepreneurial qualities to lead the US in western liberal democracy;
Aristotle would destroy this thought; Plato believes that the ruler should be a philosopher, says that the
philosophical ruler would be the one who’s skilled in a lot of things; Aristotle argues practical skill –can
compare with Churchill; Machiavelli would say is it better to be loved or hated? Loved, but if you can’t be
loved, it’s okay to be ruthless (esp. emergency situations) – the end justifies the means, what matters is the
end result; Hobbes and John Locke are both contract theorists)
History of Western Political Thought
1) Ancient/Classical (Plato, Aristotle…)
∙ Thought that citizens have to be virtuous
∙ No, must adopt re alism; said that the ancients spent so much time worrying about imaginary
republics and political regime that they don’t cast their eyes on the present reality
What is Political Philosophy? Why Study Political Theory?
What did it offer to social science as a new development in the 20th Cen.?
Says that: modern science is our vehicle to knowledge and truth – modern science is
the way to go **
Positivism says that we proceed by observation; if you can’t empirically verify
something, you dismiss it **
Then that means they would have tdisregard morality , god, religion
Showed us the important distinction between fact VS. values
Places science in this category
Tells us what IS the case – it is descriptive and valuefree
Says that facts and values are 2 separate domains Can’t jump from is (=fact) and ought (= normative)
Fact VS. Value Distinction
= IS =OUGHT (normative, proscriptive) + THINGS PREFERED;
[Political] Philosophy VS. Political Life
Quest for truth and knowledge Opinions/beliefs [non philosophic]
MAIN POINT: There is a difference between opinions and knowledge – the
relationship between the two is antagonistic
Ex : What if neuroscience said that all we are is a brain and that we have no soul? It would destroy
reality, religion and god?
∙ Could depend on being a liberal or a conservative
∙ Liberal: the truth would set you free
∙ Conservative: we would have to preserve and be careful in undermining tradition
∙ HOWEVER, a philosopher should be careful in not infringing on tradition (Aristotle)
∙ Must be careful in delivering dangerous truths, some may say, in fact don’t (for ex, only brain, no
∙ Liberals: truth will set you free
∙ Conservatives: these truths have the potential to destroy society and the fundamentals
Neuroscience has called into question, our ability to make choices; there is no such thing as free
will, it is an illusion; there is no free act as it is brain circuits That means, morality wouldn’t exist in the way that we think it is today; if I’m not accountable for my
acts, then what? (Taking away free will)
If we take away the soul can we say there is an afterlife?
Science has to be valuefree and ethically neutral
But this doesn’t make sense when you get to political life
Some say that what goes on in political life shouldtrump the foundation of society
Fighting of the preservation of political life
POLITICAL THEORY, POLITICAL PHILOSPHY AND POLITICAL THOUGHT are used
Political thought = expression of political ideas; can’t put a date on this; do not make the distinction
between knowledge and opinions – Ex. Thou shall not … and the GOP
Political philosophy = can be pinpointed; ~5th C BC; Aristotle described as first political philosopher;
engages in the quest for truth or knowledge and recognizes that there’s a distinction between knowledge
Political theory = philosophical wisdom towards policy
∙ Canadian political theorists are well known in the work of multiculturalism
Political theology = political teachings are from divine revelation
Political philosophy versus social philosophy; social = nation/country is PART of the
whole/SOCIETY; whereas, philosophy focuses only on the nationstate
In the end it is impossible to study IMPORTANT social or political phenomena WITHOUT using
Something is needed to evaluate the facts (valued distinctions/judgments)
So, whatever the merits of science are, it CANNOT HELP US when it comes to MORALITY AND
POLITICS, simply because valued judgments are NECESSARY for POLITICAL LIFE
SO, science is NOT the be all and end all
There’s a claim that democracy is the best for the population; how + why?
“What is political?” may be a valid question, but proving whether or not democracy is better cannot
be answered scientifically, it can only be answered dialectically
Modeling course after Great Books Program
Liberal education is “education in culture”; it’s producing a cultured human being, the cultivation of
the mind, which requires teachers, “the Great Minds” – the classics, these are the teachers
One of the biggest complaints about liberal education: when you study The Minds, you uncover
widespread views; some may say, “well what culture are you talking about”? – It is admittedly Western
Culture; engrained tradition in Western Thought; part of the problem is that we didn’t have certain works
translated into English
Liberal Education and Modern Democracy = THE RELATIONSHIP:
Modern democracy displays a high level of electro apathy; can’t say there is great deal of public
spiritedness (for example, with US politics, only 50% will vote)
Prof. sees liberal education as the counter poison to mass culture
∙ Those that lack a wider education, lack spirit, etc (?)
This course will remind us/show us what Human Greatness is (studying these classics)
∙ It tests the highest faculties of the human mind
∙ An elitist viewpoint
September 13 , 2012
Plato, Apology of Socrates Socrates did not write anything everything was from Plato
Socrates departed from the natural sciences, and shifted to a concert of “Human affairs” –ethics, virtues
always arguing, and investing affairs. He did this because he believed the God’s gave him this role.
Given a mission by the God’s. To devote his life to philosophy (to the neglect of his family).
Socrates knew that he knew nothing, but others did not know this, and that was the difference between
himself and others.
Socrates said he was not a teacher because he did not accept money, and who ever chooses to listen was
more than welcome to.
Plato presents Socrates speech.
At the beginning of the dialogue, Socrates attempts to explain to the jury that he speaks nothing but the
In classical, political philosophy, a significant commonality is the life of the philosopher who is constantly
attempting to probe into the truth wisdom, and the city. The city is grinded in the opinions of the people.
Is it possible that the needs of social and political beings (people), can come into conflict with political
philosophy? can this be questionable in so far as it doesn’t conform to the needs of individuals.
Socrates, was married with 3 kids who were extremely neglected.
Put most of his attention towards philosophizing.
Was Socrates unjustly condemned to death? Or did he get what he deserved?
There is no secular society in Athens no freedom of speech.
Athens was a democracy.
Any Athenian citizen could bring up formal charges against any Athenian citizen. There was no formal
judge, just someone to over see the proceedings.
How can Plato’s nonveracious speech, claim to provide a representation of Socrates veracious speech?
Socrates defense speech is a defense, public speech. Thus, Plato’s representation of Socrates speech, can
not be truly represented properly The OFFICIAL charges against Socrates are:
Not believing in the God’s of Athens
Corrupting the youth of Athens
Instead of Socrates refuting the charges initially, he rather broke down the charges given to him by the
present day accusers (Meletus did most of the speaking, Anytas, Lyon)
Damonia vs. Delphic Oracle
Socrates pointed out that character of him given to him by Aristophanes (who wrote funny plays) caused the
accusers to have a prejudice view of him.
• The first accusers did not accuse Socrates of not worshiping the God’s (the old accusers did
nameless except for Aristophanes)
• Socarates offense against the first set of accusers: Between 190824b2 (margin marking in
reading) The charges baseless said that Socrates made the weaker speech the stronger speech.
Socrates was accused of teaching that the weaker argument is the STRONGER argument.
Sophates: Taught the art of persuasion, fathers would pay large amount of money for their sons to be better
arguers (crucial politically, and to get ones self out of jail)
Socrates: Would do the bid for FREE of charge, and felt he was teaching wisdom to the youth.
• First Charge from Melatus: Corrupted the youth. Socrates said that the youth followed him on
their OWN ACCORD: the followers included both the wealthy AND the poor.
• Socrates says to the first accusers; “give me an example of who does NOT corrupt the youth”
Melatus (accuser) responded with the law for it constantly improves and makes human beings
• Socrates presented the argument that Melatus acts like he cares so much about others,
however he really does not.
o Who makes the laws? – The council men, the assembly men male Athenian make
o Meletus argues that the MEN are the one who improve the youth, and make better of
the young Socrates argues why??
Wouldn’t the one expert, improve the youth? Socrates
Socrates argues the MANY are the one who are the corrupters. Not the few
(him) The many in a democracy, are actually not qualified to make a decision
however, the expectation is that democracy will make the best decision.
Socrates believes the best regime is one that is reviewed to virtue.
• If Socrates is voluntarily corrupting the youth, it means he himself runs vengeance on part of the youth.
• Second charge to Socrates: Does he teach his followers not to believe in the god’s of
o Socrates argues that him believing in other god’s is wrong?
Meletus argues that Socrates does not believe in god’s at all. (Socrates
causing Meletus to call him an atheist)
How can one accuse Socrates of atheist, when I confer the exist of demonia
(devine things, half divine half man, god’s or either children of the gods) You
cannot believe in demonia and disregard the existence of god.
Socrates is confident that he’s going to be convicted.
• Socrates points out that being disgraced is worse than dying (everyone would admit to this)
• The difference between Socrates and “everyone else” is that he had obedience to the god the
higher authority, OVER elected officials (Accusers) when there is a conflict. If Socrates were an
atheist he would have disobeyed the Delphic oracle.
o 29D: “If you would say to me with regard to this, Socrates for now we will let you go,
but on this condition that you no longer philosophize, and if caught doing so you will
Socrates replies with saying he will do so if he can honour the divine??? –
CHECK IN READING
• Socrates argues that the accusers are not looking after the health of the soul (Acting virtuous), which is
what he is doing. Socrates says his defense speech is for the jury’s benefit if you condemn an innocent
man, and will not discover another man of his sort.
• Socrates is not entirely loyal to democracy for he has a different sense of justice.
• Socrates wants to make it clear that he DOES NOT have any students
• 403bc democratic Athens was restored one of Socrates accusers returns to democratic
Athens, expressing that they have a grudge against Socrates in relation to the rule of thirty
(look up definition). • In other words, the accusers who returned to Athens wanted to accuse Socrates of what he did
during the Alicibrates.
Natural link between natural science and atheism (Socrates taught natural science originally, thus causing
the citizens of Athens to believe he was atheist and going against the Gods of Athens)
September 20 , 2012
Crito: Is it just for Socrates to escape prison, and flee Athens?
Socrates comes forth and present the argument that if the city of Athens asked him to stop philosophizing
he would disobey the law if it affected his belief towards the gods.
Socrates ONLY believes in rational argument is Crito rational in his argument?
Crito shows up to see Socrates in prison. After asking him questions, he asks him if he knew that the Naval
ship was due back that very day. Socrates replies “no I think they should be here tomorrow” – how would
Socrates know this, just on the basis of a dream he had (was dreaming upon Crito’s arrival)
Crito asks Socrates to obey him and flee Athens. – Socrates asks him to present him with a rational
argument and he will:
Crito presents 3 arguments:
1. Escape Socrates or else I will lose a good friend.
2. My reputation, will suffer because I’ll be perceived by the “many” as
someone who had enough money (he’s very wealth) to save you
Socrates, and chose not to, thus making me look bad.
3. You have a Duty Socrates. Toward yourself and your sons, to escape.
i. Common underlying theme of the argument:
Selfish considerations Crito only cares about his own self
interest. By only being concerned about your own well being,
this proves he is like “the many”
• Crito forgets to mention that Socrates has a duty to the city of Athens.
• Socrates response: Socrates is not concerned about the many.
• Crito responds with saying WHO is the many?
• Socrates: The many are not capable of producing any evil, nor the greatest good. The only
thing worth choosing is the good life . – brings about a whole other argument about what the
good life is. • Crito tells Socrates to escape to Thessaly Thessaly is known to be unruly, and if Socrates
were to go there he would be regarded as a corrupt man that disobeys the law.
• Is it just to escape?
• Socrates says that if there is a reasonable argument for me to leave, then I will.
One must not wrong anyone, under any circumstances regardless of whether that other person has
wronged you don’t requite, and evil for an evil.
One must keep one’s agreement provided that they are just.
Socrates presents the argument of the “speech of the law”
Socrates presents 4 arguments as to why he SHOULDN’T escape Athens:
By running away Socrates you become a destroyer of the laws of Athens
Socrates stands to the city and its laws as a slave to its master, and a child to it’s parents, and therefor he
must submit to the laws. You are a beneficiary to the city of Athens. Therefor you must do whatever the city
commands you to do. OR ELSE, persuade to the city that the laws are unjust.
Socrates has made an agreement with the laws that he stays in Athens, and obeys the laws to meet his
death and not flee.
Socrates flee will have bad affect on himself, his friends, and his children.
There needs to be a distinction between positive law and natural rights.
It is argued that Crito may not be at the same level of intelligence as Socrates could be considered one of
the “many” those who create the law.
Democracy: Laws that come from the many. Doing whatever one pleases. Socrates view on the Law from best to worst:
Socrates says that the only good thing about Democracy is that it is the ONLY other regime that allows the
existence of philosophy. He respects it because license (allowing people to do as they please) results in a
lack of self restraitnt.
Why shouldn’t Socrates flee?
Socrates would contradict his own passive agreement and his own speech. – he does not want to break his
covenant with the law.
LOGOS the ability of speech, rational argument.
Socrates does not accept the laws arguments. Socrates never officially affirms the laws. – The laws are
meant specifically for Crito.
October 4 , 2012
The end of Book 1 doesn’t give a clear statement of Justice.
Antimantus pleasure lover
Gloucan War like. More interested in honour The end of Book 1 question: Why is Persimicus wrong to suggest that what is just depends on the
Justice is something that is a form of weakness. Persimicus becomes embarrassed.
The consequence: there is No reason to abandon the everyday understanding of justice. Why should
Athenians change? Nothing has been proven.
Gloucan: Why should we be ashamed Socrates, to be ashamed in justice?
You can choose justice for consequences
The brothers (antimantus and gloucan) present a challenge to Socrates:
Gloucan: He attempts to rehabilitate the argument presented by Percimicus.
An individual is not willing to do ONLY good things (ex: having an invisibility ring, one wouldn’t do things that
are only just)
Justice is simply a matter of convention Socrates wants to RESIST this at all
Gloucan: Ring of guidenss ex you follow justice because you are compelled to (stopping at a red light
because you’re forced to)
Atimantus: Justice has been told his whole life that justice is good because of its benefits. One acts justly
because they will be rewards both in this world and in the after world by paying debts of gratitude to god.
Atimantus: Justice then, is simply a virtue for the weak. If you are only concerned with doing just acts then
this is a virtue for the weak. “Injustice” is only labeled so because individuals are too weak to become more
Antimantus and Gloucan: We should be prepared as individuals to create our own ideas of justice,
independent from the influences of others.
Athens is in a state of decay right now, thus they want change from Athens. They are alienated from their
own society and WANT to hear Socrates ideas.
Socrates: Why don’t we look at justice as a collective not through just an individual. Wants to shift attention
to justice in the city as a whole, so that atimantus and gloucan can understand what justice is like for justice
in the SOUL.
Socrates: Pretend were founders of a “the city of speech” says this because it is a blue print for the ideal,
just society (kalipolos greek for “just society” Socrates assumes that the city is analogues to the soul that the CITY is like the SOUL.
^^^ is a metaphor. Socrates is getting at the fact that you go from the regime to the individual meaning
character traits. The regime, will produce certain character traits of individuals.
What type of regime will get us the desired results as an independent character trait?
Plato the PURPOSE of the city (polis) is to produce the HIGHEST flourishing of an
individual, and that rarest of the individual is the philosopher.
Poetry is the most significant form of education: Plato wants to replace poetry with philosophy.
Adimantus: Suggests a city that only looks after necessitites “simple city”
Gloucan disagrees to this for what about luxurious items? calls the simple city the “city of pigs”
Gloucan suggest the “feverish/luxurious city” what about luxurious items, and things such as war (relates
back to Gloucon’s character)
Socrates says: Home depicts the God’s in the wrong way these gods are fickle, and inconstant. In short,
Plato says these gods are unworthy of our worship.
These god’s also serve as very bad role models.
Socrates: Education of the 2 class the AUXILARY
Socrates thinks that whatever a child is writing, will influence their character.
They will be prepared to sacrifice there self interests for the greater good and adapt strict code and honour
We should still expect a city to be prepared for war
The city will offer 3 days of reform:
The abolition of private property communism. Socrates: There is no job that can be done equally by men and women. Socrates is advocating that any
woman can get out of the house and compete with men at any job but at a cost.
Marriages: Traditional marriages are replaced with short term marriages that are prearranged by the
ruler with no other purpose in mind other than pro creation (no recreational sex)
Sexual partners are chosen by law.
Once the child is born, you take the child from the mother so that the parents know longer know who the
biological son is. We do this because:
Socrates: you want to eliminate any mind or me. You want to cultivate in the auxiliaries a sense of
community EVERYTHING IS SHARED.
Recreational sex is available AFTER a certain age: once they show their devotion to the community.
Aristotle: Criticizes Plato:
The things we really care about in life are the things that we own, not the things that we share.
We have a natural tendency to be attached to things we own.
In response to Socrates idea of family: We would not treat children who are not our own as one big family
we would probably neglect them.
Courage and bravery are important for one can get rewarded for having these virtues.
Jusice: Harmony in the city and harmony in the soul. Justice will then be understood as what binds the
city together what makes it “one”.
You get this harmony when each individual performs their specific task in all three classes of society. You
do what you were designed to do by nature.
Justice can be described as “the division of labour”
The city is the soul at large:
The three classes of the city then simply express the corresponding parts of the soul. (appetites,
The soul is just when the appetites and the spirited element are ruled by reason. Socrates picture is too simplified.
Socrates tells us repeatedly, is justice in the city is each individual performing our natural function.
This seems, quite distinct in comparison to the justice of the soul (his idea of the soul)
The majority of citizens, in Socrates idea of a just city, are not going to be the “philosophers”. They are not
going to have platonically just souls. Would this not show then, that the harmony in the city, will not after all
be due to each and every member engaging in their specific tasks.
We will not arrive at justice through this.
What we need to rely on in society, is the PHILOSOPHER KINGS.
Myth of the medals: each of us is born with a “medal”
Our personal pass at happiness has to be subordinate to the community. Thus the harmony of the
community should take precedence over individual happiness.
Socrates realizes this is an outlandish proposal and realizes he’ll be “drowned out with laughter”
Why does Socrates regard philosophical kingship as a requirement to the just city?
What is the relationship between philosophy and politics? Can the two ever be united?
The need of philosophy are quite different than the needs of political rule.
The philosopher is concerned with absolute knowledge of eternal forms. How does the knowledge of forms
then, help us to deal with the political life?
The philosopher king has to have knowledge of the “chairness”
Defense of the philosopher king: you cannot support the philosopher king and support democracy. Democracies hold that citizens have sufficient knowledge to participate in the offices of knowledge.
Plato thought of democracy as the freedom to do whatever you want. “license”
Philosopher speaks of the democratic man the democratic man goes day by day, gratifying whatever
desire he feels, whenever he wants.
Socrates objection: under those conditions, there is no order or necessity in that kind of life (doing as you
please) there is no encouragement for self restraint. Doing as one pleases should be instantly
recognizable to modern democrats.
Plato: in educating people to cooperate with each other, there are certain risks. Democracy so it seems, will
come to devaluate people. As long as you maintain that the good human being is the “nice guy” you are
assigning too much value to that person over other types of individuals (ex: the individualist)
democracy breeds conformity making us the same.
Nothing would be shameful, and everything would be permitted. – overvaluing tolerance.
Democracy is the worst regime.
What then is the purpose of the philosopher king?
Plato: He may be an object of hope but he knows this is something we should not expect.
Midterm: 2540 questions
GET NOTES FROM FIRST LECTURE
Examples will be asked (Ex his family guy example) Peter Griffon: bully
Apology: main points, public dialect; he’s in court, what is he being charged with, who’s charging him, how
does Socrates defend himself
Crito: Socrates awaiting death sentence in prison, who is the other speaker?, speech of the laws, what are
Socrates arguments?, why doesn’t he escape?
Relation between apology and Crito what is the tension? (in notes?)
Significance of the Peloponnesian war significance
Plato’s 7 letter significance, quote who said this?
October 18 , 2012 12/06/2012
Born in Northern Greece
Came to Athens at the age of 17 to study with Plato in Plato’s academy.
Aristotle came there from Stagera thus he can’t participate in public life because he is not Athenian. He
would be considered a Medic (foreigner studying abroad)
Between the ages of 1730 he was studying in Plato’s academy.
When Plato died, he did not ask Aristotle to take over his academy which caused Aristotle to leave (came
back years later)
Aristotle was affiliated with the kingdom of Macedonia he was wealthy. His father was associated with the
Aristotle wrote extensively, on multiple topics. He wrote on philosophy, science, ethics, politics. In order to
write on so many topics, you must have leisure time which comes in accordance with wealth.
In 338 BC, Macedonia was the most powerful in the world.
Aristotle was the tutor of Alexander the Great he was in Macedonia at this time.
One would think he had an affinity for the Monarch.
His political thought is not concerned with the conflicts of different polis, he is interested in working with the
different polis; looks at the internal workings of it.
The Naciomachean ethics is named after Aristotle’s son.
The true stateman for Aristotle is supposed to raise the moral level of society to it’s highest point.
That’s why we begin to study Aristotle’s views on ethics/virtues.
The ancients thought that the statesman had a particular role to enforce the idea of more virtue in the
Aristotle writes the Nicomachean ethics for the generally educated reader.
Nature is teleological The things in nature have a particular end or purpose. 12/06/2012
Ex the eye: end function is to see.
The acorn and the oak tree: the acorns potentiality will be actualized when it becomes the oak tree. The
acorn is then in a sense, destined by nature to become an oak tree.
Eudaimonia Happiness this is the highest good.
1094 A13: If we can identify something that is intrinsically good, good for its own sake, then we can identify
what the highest good is.
Thus, the highest good then = HAPPINESS.
Asking the people what the highest good is: PLEASURE
Pleasure is the most common opinion of what the highest good is.
Pleasure is not the means to happiness but rather a buy product of it. – you can’t aim at pleasure.
Wealth only good for the sake of something else: things that we can buy. Money is a means to us buying
Money however, has screwed people over so it cannot truly be the source of happiness.
The greatest good then is to be a person who is honoured. – however it can NOT be the highest good.
Honour in and of itself is a means to virtue. Those people who seek honour seek honour so that they can
convince themselves of their goodness vritue. Meaning that they seek honour for the sake of virtue, which
means that virtue has to be something for the honour which they seek.
Aristotle believed that there are natural inequalities within nature.
This applies to human beings as well.
Aristotle talks about moral virtue.
The relationship of reason. 12/06/2012
Virtue involves choosing the mean or midpoint, as defined by reason the reason of the practical person.
One who has common sense the midpoint then is between two vices: extreme of deficiency, and extreme
This midpoint is where we can located virtue. (see notes from PHIL 2120)
One has to choose to act virtuously.
Aristotle does not want to say that there is a RIGHT rule of context ethics is not like this. we can’t be
We acquire moral virtues through habit.
We only deliberate about means and not ends.
Ex: A doctor doesn’t deliberate about the ends, but about the ends (what treatment they can give to
improve a patient) we always deliberate about means and not ends.
Ethical behaviour requires this notion of responsibility.
We have to account for our actions.
If something happens in ignorance, and had you realized you would have been pained for a situation that
you were not aware you were getting into, Aristotle would say that you would not be held accountable.
In the first book, Aristotle gives us a history of the Polis
He claims human beings have evolved to living in a city, we did not start off this way.
From the household, villages were formed, which lead to the POLIS. 12/06/2012
These changes took place because:
It is easier to survive in and acquire the necessities of life by forming larger groups.
1252B: “the city came into existence for the sake of life but once the city came into existence it realized
fairly quickly, that all the things needed for survival were pretty easy to obtain. So existence, in and of itself,
was no difficult task.
After this was realized, the people focused their attention on something else:
You can only live well under a POLIS: Aristotle polis is the highest form of political association.
External goods: Aristotle says you couldn’t possibly live a virtuous life if you were extremely sick and
unhealthy. You couldn’t live a virtuous life if you were poor.
Human beings have a natural impulse to live with others.
The life of the POLIS is the best life
PROCREATION: creates the household. – exists by nature
The village: arises from the household. exists by nature
The polis something that arises out of our psychology. Not something chosen, or based on habit. But is
fixed in our nature.
A human being by nature is a political animal.
Human beings aren’t meant to lead isolated existences.
We have a general desire to form communities.
The polis is prior by nature to the household in each one of us.
The city is the completed state
Aristotle defends NATURAL SLAVERY: Three points:
Some human beings are natural born slaves. 12/06/2012
Some people are masters by nature.
The relationship between master and slave is mutually beneficial.
The slave can’t reason the master thinks for them.
October 25 , 2012
Aristotle on friendship vs. Facebook friends (For essay) possible topic.
Essay due Nov. 29 Dropped off in department (5 floor MACK)
Exam through email.
Leading the Good life
Friendship: A political virtue
Natural Slavery he defends this.
Friendship for pleasure: Most common with youth (only have a friendship for your own pleasure) ex: friends
This is a friendship that is short lived.
Friendship based on utility: It serves a purpose
Most common with the elderlty befriending others that can do things for you. Drive you places, etc. They
serve a SHORT LIVED purpose. This friendship will die
True Friendship: Friendship rooted in virtue
Based on equality can only be engaged amongst equals.
Husband and wife, husband and son couldn’t be friends.
Lasting friendship where individuals are concerned with one another’s well being.
One takes happiness in this friendship
You are inspired by their character. It becomes almost contagious you admire them, and want to emulate
This is a praiseworthy friendship.
Comparable to FACEBOOK
Actually demeaning of what friendship is about not caring about the other person, no concern for the other
Does not rank the highest form of friendship
The notion of the regime:
Politeia: Regime form of government, constitution.
Primary purpose wasn’t to evaluate the regimes, but to find out what types there were.
Rule of regimes:
Kingship: Well ordered regime/monarchy (rule of one)
Aristocracy: Rule of the best (virtuous) (rule of few)
Polity: (rule of the many) Different from a democracy, blends elements of the others. Composed of the
many, however it is the middle class that is the focal point but there is also hierarchy elements.
Tyranny: rule of the one 12/06/2012
Oligarchy: rule of the few: the wealthy
When you take the idea of the regime, Aristotle makes a distinction between the FORM of the regime, and
the MATTER of the regime.
Form: Ex: the formal structures of the political structure explain the political institution of Canada (ex.
Charter of rights, laws, etc.)
Matter: The way of life of the people, conventions, habits, customs. The culture of the people, These things
are not taught
In order to properly understand a regime you need to understand both the from and the matter, and Aristotle
would say that in current political science courses MATTER is NOT taught.
Citizens of a regime are always held to together by common bonds loyalty, bonds of affection thus
citizenship means a POLITICAL PARTNERSHIP.
Political partnership = FRIENDSHIP. citizens interacting
Political friendship is needed because bonds of affection are needed in a city
It is important for a nation to share common values (says Aristotle)
Multiculturalism: USA and Europe not supports
If those principles within the constitution were enough to establish unity, or is something stronger needed?
Thomas Hobbes 12/06/2012
Each person performs a rational calculation on what will serve HIS or HIS OWN self interests.
If everyone does this, then this will result in social cohesion.
Aristotle REJECTS this notion: He would argue this is distasteful notion of mutual convenience.
Aristotle: Civic Affection: comradery, something stronger.
A political partnership that is for the sake of noble actions. Not for the sake of convenience, comfort, or
existence but something higher. Living for the sake of noble actions this is in the CITY the POLIS, where
one can obtain the good life friendship
Friendship = competition in the political sense.
Citizens, then, must share a common way of life. The democratic citizen, is one who knows how to rule and
rule in turn.
A good citizen is relative to the particular REGIME differs per state (Ex: good citizen to a democracy,
wouldn’t be a good citizen in China)
Formal structures: Determine how we are going to be structured.
How a state will be structured.
Problem with modern pays too much attention to political institution not enough to the CITIZEN BODY.
Book 3 Chapter 6
Regime: Arrangement of offices in the city, especially the highest offices.
Democracy: Taken in political life. Praiseworthy because we can partake in political life. – more minds to
resolve an issue.
Confidence in the man for partaking in political life
Difficulty of offering bribes in this type of city works best when you can bribe one person when the many
are ruling. It is impossible to bribe them all. 12/06/2012
As an empiricist, Aristotle wants to look at each regime and attempt to find how we avo