exam review for political theory plato .docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Daniel Lee

Plato- Socrates- Against sophists, he did not collect fees for his teachings, used socratic method. Teacher of platos, first book is in his narrative. Public life should be based on truth. Was killed b/c he “corrupted” youth. Sophists- get paid for spreading “Knowledge”. Sophists claimed to be „teachers of wisdom‟ (Gr. sophistai from sophia = „wisdom‟; philosophia = the „love of wisdom‟) in the Greek cities beginning in the 5th century B.C. They saw political activity as a tool to reform and recreate the entirety of their human world. E.g.: Nothing is better than eternal bliss But coffee is better than nothing.So a cup of coffee must be better than eternal bliss Soul, three parts (Plato)- Aristoi- comes from Ancient Greek and means "the best". The term was used to describe the noblemen in ancient Greece, [1] Aristocracy- is a form of government in which a few elite citizens ruleThe term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best" Cave Allegory – prisoners in cave. Only see shadow. Shadow is their reality. Only philosopher liberated from chaines keeping him in cave, and can see world as it truly is. Knows the world and sees beautiful things and sees the source. Opinion man sees what is in cave and shadows are reality, second man is opinion, he gets out of cave and sees that shadow came from a statue which is reality, knowledge is third person sees the statue and sees that you can see statue b/c of the sun, and it is main source of light. Cephalus- older gentleman who was rich believed we know cephalis is wealthy and a money maker. Questions material wealth as whether its valuable. Few of death makes us question whether we‟d been just. Demos- rule of the demos, the common people) (key in mass rule) Democracy- as soceo-economic divide grows so do tensions between social classes soon it replaces oligarchy and results in democracy. One reason democracy doesn‟t work is platos just city definition goes against it. Just City: Justice is achieved when each part/class of the city performs its own designated function; one part must not „meddle‟ in the affairs of the other. Plato states -Democracy can never be a proper form of rule for the kallipolis because rule of the demos is necessarily not of „the best‟ [aristoi]. Comes from oligarchy. Poor are victorious in killing their opponents and want to give equal share under constitution to everyone. There is freedom but onlike in oligarchy, which pursuits only necessary appetites, democrat is free to pursue unnecessary appetites- desires which we could get rid of if we tried, and satisfaction of which leads to no particular good. But the money-making or auxiliary classes must be excluded from government. It is here that Plato‟s deep-seated suspicion of „democracy‟ begins to come out. Democracy‟ = rule [Gr. kratos] of the (poor) people/the masses [Gr. demos] Oligarchy- occurs as timocracy decipates. Constitution based on property assessment in which the rich rule and poor man has no share in ruling. Private accumulation of wealth and property is more important than virtue, disregard for law begins. Wealthy rulers impose wealth qualifications on political participation. Effectively leaving out poor masses. City of two, haves and the have nots. Soul is appetitive but still keeps lesser desires in check, but seeking money is necessity for survival. Timocracy- attained by aristocracy failing (civil war between group of aristocracy) leads towards money making. Love of money making Tyranny- comes from democracy, freedom to satisfy desires becomes insatiable, people decide to add tyrant who is transformed into a wolf. With full power tyrant is free to satisfy all decires including all unnecessary lawless desires. But he is really a slave to worst kind of desires. Lifew without virtue or justice Demo-tyranny- 1) is aristocracy and philosopher kingship= run by a few philosopher kings or one. Uses rational part of soul, is a virtue 2) timocracy from honor, rule of honor loving auxiliaries- spirited part of soul, is a vice 3) Oligarchy from oligoi - the few, rule of wealthy few. Appetitive part of soul, necessary appetites however. 4) Democracy, appetitive part of soul unnecessary and lawful appetites 5) Tyranny, appetitive part of soul unnecessary and unlawful. Desire/appetitive (Plato’s 3 kinds of desire)- 1) Necessary appetite (oligarchy)- money making is want. leads to life of vice. 2) Unnecessary but lawful appetite (democracy) money making but also everything else, desires we would like to get rid of but cant leads to life of vice 3) Unnecessary and unlawful appetite (tyranny) makes us slave to our own appetites and wants leads to life of vice Goods (intrinsic vs. instrumental) - the intrinsic good of justice, Intrinsic is when something is valued for itself and its own sake Instrumental good- is something not valued for itself but for its consequences. Guardians- military class in Kallipolis, is a craft in itself, they will be strong, philosophical and wisdom loving. They have no private property, revenue from public funds. Common masses, like like soldiers in a camp, they must share wives… say what? Gyges' ring- There‟s 2 thresholds, does unjust get away with it or just person wrongfully punished. Choice of two, which would you choose? Plato says to this not look at rewards in life, but what justice does for the soul. How‟s soul being affected? How‟s being just or unjust affects soul, being unjust will make him miserable. We mustn‟t just look at the rewards that we get in life by appearing to be just, but what justice does for the soul when it lives properly, according to justice. Justice- plato believes justice is a virtue. A just person is a happy person, justice is virtue if you cant get this virtue you will be miserable (Socrates point). Justice can be one of three goods, intrinsic, instrumental or combination of both. Socrates discredits many definitions of justice, such as it being “speaking the truth and paying de
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