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philosophy midterm study note.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Peter King

Philosophy Midterm Study Note Monday, 12 December 9am-12pm Large Gym, North and South Ends nd Benson Building, 320 Huron Street (south of Harbord St.), 2 Floor. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Short Answer Questions: identify the philosopher associated with the term or phrase, and explain its meaning briefly. APOLOGY AND CRITO- Socrates Socrates was distinctive in ways: 1. Socratic Irony 2. Socratic Ignorance Socrates always maintained that he did not know anything, or that the only thing he knew was that he knew nothing, or that he knew nothing of value, or that he knows what he does not know (which is most things or at least most important things). 3. Socratic Method(elenchus) A method to cross-examine Socrates beliefs on moral matters and to judge their soundness, or annoying random people on their moral virtues for fun! 4. Weakness of will Where one knows better and does worse, desire overpowering a persons will to do good. Socrates seems to have held that knowledge is not only necessary for virtue but also sufficient for it, which led him to deny the reality of weakness of will and related phenomena. 5. Socrates held that morality is impersonal and complete, that is, it makes no special exceptions (impersonality) and can demand anything of you (completeness). 6. Rational enterprise What Socrates hold as morality, based on principles that need to stand up to examination and argument. Socrates Three Moral Principles: Principle of Justice- one must not do injustice (its wrong to do injustice, do wrong& treat people wrongly), pretty self explanatory. Principle of Just Action-one must not do injustice, even for injustice received(revenge is bad) Principle of Just Agreements- one should keep arguments, provided they are just if someone asks you to hold their machete, it would be just for you to return them. However, if the person returns stumbling drunk, it wouldnt be right to return the machete. He contradicts himself because he violates his own principles and that of the law. He says, I have held it for a long time and still hold it(49e). So in terms of the speech of laws he will abide by the laws when he is in prison but didnt do so when asked to arrest Leon of Salamis. Then he violates The Principle of Just Agreements and Actions because he would choose to act against the courts gag order. The early accusations Socrates studies things in the sky and below the earth Socrates makes the worse argument appear the better Socrates teaches these same things to others Judical Gag Order: Socrates doesnt believe what the question is saying he believes. Socrates believes in following only when they are coherent with the 3 principles stated in the Crito. Critos Moral Arguments Socrates death will be a loss for Crito and the other disciples, and hence it is natural for them to do all they can to avoid this loss Crito and the others run the risk of getting a bad reputation if it seems that they did not get Socrates out when they could well have done so That Socrates should not be concerned about possible repercussions from his escape, because they are willing to take the risk If Socrates refuses to escape he will be implicitly endorsing the judges verdict, and indeed would be doing to himself what his enemies would do to him Socrates will be acting irresponsibly and be betraying his sons by not being around to look after them REPUBLIC- Plato Theory: The divided line is Platos metaphysical/epistemological hierarchy. There are 4 epistemological levels: 1. Opinion/illusions 2. Beliefs about physical things 3. Abstract/mathematical knowledge 4. Philosophical understanding, Which correspond to 4 metaphysical levels: 1. Shadow/reflections 2. Physical objects 3. Abstract and mathematical objects 4. The Forms The Divided Line: One of the examples Plato tells in order to tell the readers something about the forms. In this case, the divided line is showing where the form actually is. So according to the line the form is in the intelligible ream with the mathematical knowledge while the others: images and opinions are in the physical realm. Conventional Morality/Cephalus Justice is to speak the truth and to pay ones debts. Against this, Socrates objects that paying ones debts is not always just-hence Cephaluss definition is too broad, including things that arent just. Tribal Morality/Polemarchus Justice is to benefit ones friends and to harm ones enemies. Against this Socrates argues that 1. justice would then be a useless craft 2. it is a craft that one may have without being just at all 3. it isnt clear who is a friend and who is an enemy, and even if the definition were revised to take this into account, it still isnt just to harm anyone. The Social Realist/Thrasymachus Justice is the advantage of the stronger. This involves two separate theses: 1. The ruler rules for his own advantage. 2. Injustice is more profitable than justice. Justice is not a virtue Injustice is more profitable than justice, for a city as well as for an individual The life of the unjust man is more profitable than the life of the just man Three Kinds of Goods 1. those that are welcome for their own sakes (joy, harmless pleasures) 2. those that are welcome for their own sake and for their consequences (knowledge, health) 3. those that are welcome for their consequences alone (going to the dentist) Three Arguments against justice 1. Injustice is the natural human condition; justice has been devised as a conventional means to avoid the evil of suffering injustice, as a consequence of weakness. Hence there is no motive to be just if one is powerful enough to not require such conventional protection. 2. The Ring of Gyges-Plato How people will act when authority or rule is not enforced and the mean to create injustice are given. Even when the person is a law abiding citizen, if given the means will commit crimes. 3. Putting aside the good consequences of justice and the evil consequences of injustice, the life of the totally unjust man is better than the life of the totally just man. Imagine a totally unjust man who appears to all to be just, and a totally just man who appears to all unjust. This is to sharply distinguish what is due to each in virtue of what each one is as opposed to how each one appears to be. The totally unjust man, who appears unjust, will be whipped, stretched on the rack, imprisoned, have his eyes burnt out, and, after suffering every kind of evil, he will be impaled- whereas the totally unjust man will reap all the conventional rewards and pleasures of life. It seems obvious that the life of the totally unjust man would be preferable. Principle of Specialization- Plato The members of society best fitted for the jobs are given them in order for society to function properly. Meritocratic principle(society of pigs): Basically that people do what they are best at, as the Principle of Specializaiton, a meritocracy is based on merit, so if you are good at making shoes, you are to be a shoe-maker. Feverish Society Take a more flexible view of what counts as a need than previously. The increase in population and in wealth and luxuries requires a new social class, not in the Healthy Society, namely the Guardians. This class eventually divides into 2, the warriors and the rulers. a perfectly harmonious soul (the appetitive part is ruled by reason, but in pursuing luxuries, you are solely being ruled by the appetitive part of your soul, and thus, there is no real harmony)is one where all three parts accept that reason should rule. So is a perfectly harmonious Feverish society, one where reason rules (Philosopher king or something), possible? If it were, is it not possible for it to avoid conflict, even while expanding? It doesn't need to always happen. As long as it's possible though, haven't we shown that there won't always be conflict? The challenge in producing a human guardian- someone completely loyal to citizens and merciless toward outsiders.
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