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POL 2107 B - EXAM REVIEW .doc

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University of Ottawa
Political Science

POL 2107 BEXAM REVIEWPlatos RepublicTerms Aporia Aporia is the Greek term for the state of helplessnessthe inability to proceedthat ends all of Platos early dialogues Through his pointed questioning Socrates succeeds in showing that his interlocutors have no appropriate definition for the topic under consideration be that topic piety love courage justice or whatever else but nor is he able to supply one himself In Book I of The Republic Socrates brings his friends to a state of aporia on the topic of justice but then in the next nine books he manages to move beyond the aporia and give an actual answer to the question at handAppetite Appetite is the largest aspect of our tripartite soul It is the seat of all our various desires for food drink sexual gratification and other such pleasures It contains both necessary desires which should be indulged such as the desire to eat enough to stay alive unnecessary desires which should be limited such as the desire to eat a ten pound sirloin steak at every meal and unlawful desires which should be suppressed at all costs such as the desire to eat ones children Though the appetite lusts after many things Plato dubs it moneyloving since money is required for satisfying most of these desires In a just man the appetite is strictly controlled by reason and reasons henchman spiritAuxiliary Plato divides his just society into three classes the producers the auxiliaries and the guardians The auxiliaries are the warriors responsible for defending the city from invaders and for keeping the peace at home They must enforce the convictions of the guardians and ensure that the producers obeyBelief Belief is the second lowest grade of cognitive activity The object of belief is the visible realm rather than the intelligible realm A man in a state of belief does not have any access to the Forms but instead takes sensible particulars as the most real thingsElenchus Elenchus is the Greek term for Socratess method of questioning his interlocutors In an elenchus he attempts to show that their own beliefs are contradictory and thus to prove that they do not have knowledge about some topic about which they thought they had knowledgeEmpirical When something is an empirical question that means that the question can only be settled by going out into the world and investigating The question What percentage of the population of the United States likes ice cream is an example of an empirical question which can only be answered through empirical investigation The question What is the square root of two on the other hand is not an empirical question In order to answer this question all you have to do is think about the mathematics involved you do not have investigate evidence in the worldEpistemology The branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge belief and thought Epistemological questions include What is knowledge How do we form beliefs based on evidence Can we know anythingForm According to Platos metaphysical theory there is an aspect of reality beyond the one which we can see an aspect of reality even more real than the one we see This aspect of reality the intelligible realm is comprised of unchanging eternal absolute entities which are called Forms These absolute entitiessuch as Goodness Beauty Redness Sourness and so onare the cause of all the objects we experience around us in the visible realm An apple is red and sweet for instance because it participates in the Form of Redness and the Form of Sweetness A woman is beautiful because she participates in the Form of Beauty Only the Forms can be objects of knowledge that is Forms are the only things we can know aboutForm of the Good Among the Forms one stands out as most important This is the Form of the Good Plato is unable to tell us exactly what the Form of The Good is but he does tell us that it is the source of intelligibility and of our capacity to know and also that it is responsible for bringing all of the other Forms into existence He compares its role in the intelligible realm to the role of the sun in the visible realm The Form of the Good is the ultimate object of knowledge it is only once one grasps the Form of the Good that one reaches the highest grade of cognitive activity understanding Therefore it is only after he grasps the Form of the Good that a philosopherintraining becomes a philosopherkingGuardian Plato divides his just society into three classes the producers the auxiliaries and the guardians The guardians are responsible for ruling the city They are chosen from among the ranks of the auxiliaries and are also known as philosopherkingsHesiod Hesiod was a famous Greek poet His long poem Works and Days outlines the traditional Greek conception of virtue and justiceImagination Imagination is the lowest grade of cognitive activity Someone in the state of imagination takes mere images and shadows as the most real things Probably this means that such a person derives his ideas about himself and the world from products of art such as poetry in Platos day and movies and television in our own See also Belief Thought UnderstandingInstrumental reason Instrumental reason is reason used to attain some end by engaging in meansend analyses These ends are dictated by a part of the soul such as appetite or spirit or even reason itselfIntelligible realm Plato divides all of existence up into two parts the visible realm and the intelligible realm The intelligible realm cannot be sensed but only grasped with the intellect It consists of the Forms Only the intelligible realm can be the object of knowledgeKallipolis Kallipolis is the Greek term for Platos just cityKnowledge According to Plato knowledge can only pertain to eternal unchanging truths I can know for instance that two plus two equals four because this will also be the case I cannot know however that Meno is beautiful For this reason only the intelligible realm the realm of the Forms can be the object of knowledge See also OpinionLover of sights and sounds Lovers of sights and sounds is Socratess term for the pseudointellectuals who claim to have expertise regarding all that is beautiful but who fail to recognize that there is such a thing as the Form of the Beautiful which causes all beauty in the visible realm Socrates is adamant that lovers of sights and sounds be distinguished from philosophers who grasp the Forms and thus have knowledge Lovers of sights and sounds have no knowledge only opinionMetaphysics The branch of philosophy concerned with asking what there is in the world The theory of Forms is a metaphysical theory as is the theory of the tripartite soulOpinion Since only eternal unchanging truths can be the objects of knowledge all other truths are relegated to opinion Opinion is the highest form of certainty that we can hope for when it comes to the visible realm the realm of sensible particularsPhilosopherking The philosopherking is the ruler of the kallipolis Also called guardians philosopherkings are the only people who can grasp the Forms and thus the only people who can claim actual knowledge Since the philosopherking yearns after truth above all else he is also the most just man
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