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University of British Columbia
Political Science
POLI 100

Poli 100 Midterm study guide1AristotleaPolis If families and villages unite together in a single community to be selfsufficing the polis or political community comes into existence The polis would allow everyone to enjoy the good life rather than the mere lifebPeople as political animalsAristotle characterizes humans as animals possessing speech Moreover by this definition Aristotle means that we are animals whose impulse is to live in a political community by distinguishing between the good and the bad and the just and the unjust2 Platoa Thrasymachuss view that justice is nothing than the advantage of the stronger Thrasymachus believes that justice is just an illusion He goes on by saying that whatever political or power order that is in place the rulers determine what is just and what is unjust to serve their own interest in order to stay in power Moreover He sees justice as a tool that rulers use to govern the masses In other words he believes that just behavior works to the advantage of other people not to the person who is acting justly Therefore He suggests that the rational thing to do is to ignore justice entirelyb Explain the main way that Socrates counters this claim Socrates counters Thrasymachuss claim by forcing him to admit that the view he is advancing promotes injustice as a virtue Socrates argues that injustice cannot be a virtue because it is contrary to wisdom which is in fact a virtue He also argues that a person living an unjust life has no soul On the other hand Justice is a virtue of the soul and virtue of the soul means health of the soul Therefore justice is applicable to all and each of us derives some good from it3MachiavelliaPolitical virtu as distinct from everyday moral virtue Machiavelli believes that it is necessary for a ruler to have a range of personal qualities to rise into power in order to maintain the state and to achieve great thing This is when Machiavelli values the concept of virtu Moreover Machiavelli suggests that for a virtuoso leader to execute his agenda he should use political virtu in order to gain power In other words a ruler should do evil only if he is going achieve greater endsbCruelty well used Actions that although they might seem presently violent and cruel will eventually cease ultimately resulting in a better state This leads him to the conclusion that the new ruler should make a list of all the crimes he has to commit and do them all at once Eg Borgias cruelty well used restored order to Romagna cCruelty abused cruelty abused refers to the actions that are both violent and cruel but leave no better results An abuse of cruelty involves bloodshed and it will lead to more rather than less as time goes by Eg Agathocles maintained his power but he never used it to bring goodness during his reign4Gaventas 3 dimensions of power
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