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September 13, 2012 What is philosophy? - pursuit/love of wisdom - search for understanding of values and reality by speculative rather than observational means - analysis of grounds of concepts expressing fundamental beliefs - fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence - NO CLEAR SENSE OF UNDERSTANDING OF THE TERM - Metaphilosophy: study of philosophy by philosophers {meta-after, beyond} - Basic questions: why are we here, existence, big questions of life - The attempt to get through fundamental principles through reason and argument Crito and Socrates -Convicted of corrupting the youth -tells him to consider running away -not only about majority rule, who’s the expert, who do you go to? -what is the best argument or answer if justifiable? -best principles do not allow him to escape J.L. Austin “ifs and cans” questions the validity of philosophy, compares to science, mathematics -has not been regularized, “junky” Logic- what is good and bad reasoning, analyze arguments Metaphysics- fundamental nature of life, big questions Ethics- moral goodness, how one to act or life, when is permissible to do a certain thing Epistemology (philosophy of science)- how do we know what we know, validity of knowledge and its limits Social/political philosophy- how society works and organized, how are we entitled to treat each other Philosophy of mind- cognitive psychology and thinking Aesthetics- nature and art Philosophy of Religion- ideas and principles in religion September 17, 2012: The Examined Life Read: Plato, Apology and Crito The Apology What distinguished Socrates from the Sages and Sophists was: 1. inquire into the natural of moral virtue “What is X?” 2. invented the Socratic method (elenchus) which was used to cross-examine people’s beliefs on moral matters to judge their soundness 3. Socratic Irony is a standard phrase 4. Socratic ignorance: he believed that he didn’t know anything and what he knew was nothing of value and that he knows what he does not know 5. Knowledge is not necessary for virtue, denied the reality of weakness of will because man knows better and does the worse. He was an intellectualist 6. Morality is impersonal and complete, makes no special exceptions 7. Morality is rational; based on principles that are to be examined and argued Athens -played with social organization (chose generals at random); democracy -be able to be persuasive and eloquent, strong rhetoric skills, ration and reason; equality -strong military control, large amounts of money, power, and influence -sophists, taught writing and rhetoric for money -experimental in political culture, got rich and powerful so things they did mattered! -questioning traditional values central to Athenian life “The unexamined life is not worth living” - the speech Socrates makes during his trial, defending his case not literally apologizing for it - accused for not believing the gods that the state believed in, inventing new deities, and corrupting the youth of Athens - speaks in a conversational manner, tells court that he isn’t familiar with the law courts but he will speak nothing but the truth - he states that his behavior originates from a prophecy ( Oracle at Delphi) who declares that he is the wisest of all men - Socrates concluded that he must be wiser than other men only in that he knows that he knows nothing - He states that he considers that it is his duty to question men and reveal their so- called knowledge as ignorance - He was admired among the youth but embarrassed the people who he interrogated - Questions Meletus, who is the reason why Socrates is before the jury - Attempts to embarrass him rather than reveal the truth - Calls himself a gadfly and the state a lazy horse - He believes that the Athenian state needed him, he was the one who would ensure productivity - He is found guilty and asks to propose a penalty; he jokingly suggested dinner, free meals - Sentenced him to death after they rejected his fine proposal, and he accepted it because he didn’t fear the unknown and that only the gods knew what was to happen in the hereafter - People who voted against him are only hurting themselves, not him - Two scopes, the space exists Crito -helped him to escape prison, suggested -his death would look bad on his friends; they did nothing to save him -should not worry about risking financial cost afterall his friends agreed -if he stayed, he’s letting his enemies punish him unjustly and if he died, he’s letting his sons live without a father -dialogue, interactive, two-way and open-format -early words written by plato to accurately report Socrates and his doings -Crito’s arguments are morally good -His argument: Socrates’ death devastates friends and followers -embarrassment on Crito’s part -endorsing judge’s verdict -family to look after  don’t listen to what majority says when there is an expert -no common moral sense BOOK 1 - Two main questions the text revolves around: “ What is justice” “Why should we be just” - Refutes the topic and contradictions but never ends up answering his own question therefore the dialogue ends in aporia, a deadlock - the interlocutors feel less secure of their beliefs compared to the beginning - he returns from a religious festival and is walking with his friends when his conversation is interrupted - he makes his way to Polemarchus’s aging father Cephalus’s house and begins to have a conversation about old age which turned out to a discussion about justice - he was a respected elder of the community and he defined justice as living up to your legal obligations and being honest ( tradition greek definition according to poet Hesiod) - argues against this by giving an example of returning a weapon to a madman, he might have legal rights to it but one is putting the lives of others in danger - he excused himself of the conversation and his son took over and argued that you owe friends help and enemies harm - Again Socrates argued, our friends might not be the virtuous people and our enemies might not be the scum of society - Thrasymachus believes he has a better definition and says justice is the advantage of the stronger, it is imposed on us and its better for us to ignore it - Gets him to confess that he is trying to propose justice as a virtue and argues that justice cannot be a virtue because it injustice is contrary to wisdom - E.g. mathematicians aren’t in competition with each other, justice allows a group to act in common - Finally, he argues that since it was agreed that justice is a virtue of the soul, and virtue of the soul means health of the soul, justice is desirable because it means health of the soul. - Don’t agree on a definition but make further confusing points; distanced from the idea of conventional wisdom - Socrates had called the old gods and the old laws into question. He challenged, and asked others to challenge, the fundamental beliefs upon which their society rested, the text was more than about justice - Plato was trying to point that a city had to be built on the principles of reason and how a philosopher should be related to his city - Overall, trying to defend the act which his teacher was executed for - Why does justice have to be defended? Not be beneficial to all, better look out for yourself than follow rules and guidelines? - Hesiod and traditional poets have one universal meaning to justice but the Gods never consistently punish the unjust and rewarded the just because the unjust went on to do successful things - No concept of reward and punishment when it comes to justice - The sophists rejected objective truths and believed when being unjust is to our advantage, we should be unjust - Thrasymachus argues that being unjust sets one apart from the society because they’re not weak and conditioned to think a certain way - Justice is used so the powerful control the people and keep them following a set of rules and guidelines - We must interpret justice not on tradition beliefs or how rulers use it to their advantage; Socrates is trying to prove that justice is something good and desirable BOOK 2 - Glaucon states that all goods can be divided into three classes: things that we desire only for their consequences, such as physical training and medical treatment; things that we desire only for their own sake, such as joy; and, the highest class, things we desire both for their own sake and for what we get from them, such as knowledge, sight, and health. - Both glaucon and Socrates are trying to prove that not only is justice desirable but it falls under the category of most desirable of things; both for its sake and consequences - Glaucon argues that people view justice as a necessary evil and it stems from human vulnerability which is why we make a social contract so we agree to be just to another - He gives an example of the ring of Gyges, he says that if a just man is given this ring and is invisible he will do all his desirable acts of gaining material wealth, lustful, and power-hungry because he knows he does not have to fear punishment - That goes to show that man only practices justice because he is fearful of punishment and consequence and no one is just because justice is good in itself - The unjust life is desirable more than the just one because the desirable man who fulfill his urges is rewarded and given wealth while the just one is scorned and wretched - His brother argues that its desirable because of what one gains in life and the hereafter; joy, health, happiness - Attempts to dismantle all the immoralists’ ideas - Last sophist Socrates argues with, Plato doesn’t use street people but his own students as characters for his dialogues after all he was in the process of establishing h - is academy - There has to be somewhat a similar view when arguing at least it will undermine some positivity, if not it will just end in aporia - Political justice has two types, justice that belongs to state and one that is found in man - Easier to understand if one first observes it on a political level than find the virtuous aspect within themselves - He explains that in order to locate political justice, one has to build a city from scratch and observe when justice first entered - Specialization should be followed completely in order to achieve the highest level - Building a city, he makes sure everyone has access to basic necessities and that every one is in the producing class like doctors and craftsmen who refrain from doing any work but their profession - Socrates believes that it is a healthy city because the city is built around necessary desires but Glaucon calls it a city of pigs because people have necessary and unnecessary desires such as rich food and rich surroundings “the feverish society” - Positions are then created, and peace keepers are needed since the city is going to be luxurious - He argues that it is crucial for guardians to maintain a balance so not being thugs or wimpy and ineffective - They should be well-rounded, loving, philosophical etc - Two flavors: enforcement (auxiliaries), and rulers (control over legitimate rule) - Nature must be protected with education, teaching of physical training, and poetry and music for the soul - Universal class: interest is that of auxiliaries - The guardian in training must be
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