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[POL200Y1] - Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (103 pages long!)Premium

103 pages621 viewsFall 2015

Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL200Y1
Professor
Ryan Balot
Study Guide
Final

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UTSG
POL200Y1
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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The Allegory of the Cave: The prisoners of the cave are like us, without education. We are meant to find
the condition of the prisoners pitiful. They are not mean to be seen as having lives worth living. The idea
is that we are imprisoned by ignorance. We mistake illusion for reality. We receive images and sounds
from puppeteers and we wrongly think that we are receiving truth, when in reality the truth is outside of
our prison and into the sun. The puppeteers in this case are unquestioned authority figures (our parents
for example, teachers, schools, religions, cultures, media). If you think about it, we have inherited many
more ideas and we keep them far further into adult life than we are conscious of. We take conventions
much further than we may realize. Like the prisoners in the cave, we might dogmatically resist
enlightenment. The light blinds the eyes of the prisoners, they want to return to their old certainties.
The old certainties feel safer, they are less scary. Why dig deeply into the nature of the opinions that we
live by? In the image, the puppeteers are also in the cave. They live their lives in the belief that
reproducing human convention is the most important goal. It can be very satisfying to have convention.
Education is not like putting knowledge into souls that lack it, true educators assume that everyone has
the poer to lear. Eduatio takes for grated that sight is there, it just is’t lookig here it ought to
look. Education is meant to redirect. Education is not easy, but it is beneficial. For one, there is liberation
fro the hais of oetio, fro eliefs that are ot iheretl our o. Beliefs that do’t reflet
what you think when you really think about it. To understand things for yourself, you must be open to
being unsettled. The second benefit is coming to understand things as they are. Seeing things that are
realities, and are outside us. The idea is to dispense with illusion. We might find upon reflection that our
conventions are worth endorsing, but then we will be endorsing them for ourselves, on our own, with
knowledge and understanding.
The idea that only you can be the judge of your own happiness agrees with Hobbes, who said that the
state’s role is to esure that eah perso a pursue their o a of happiess, without imposing.
The Good Plato’s idea of thigs that are defiitel good, that huas should follo to lead a good life.
This is like a dotor, he a tell ou hat’s rog ith ou, ad our o opiio o the atter does
not count. This is what he says about the Good. The state exists to Plato (maybe) to promote this
objective standard of goodness.
Home vs. The Rest of the World
Does Affluenza mandate intervention?
Who and what? Practical instead of theoretical concerns are also a thing.
Cicero: Human fellowship consists of many levels, from Supranational, to international,
domestic, family, etc.
o Cicero tries to convince you that patriotism is the key psychological motivation
grounded in our beliefs that provide the best context for our flourishing.
o Cosmopolitan thinkers would deny this: states tend to divide human beings
What is politics?
Etymology: Polis: a self-governing city state composed of a simple urban center with public institutions.
Politics is the business of the Polis specifically in relation to power. The political is a sphere of activity in
hih poer is eerised ad otested. Poer is the ailit of the poerful ator to ahiee effets
that the iflueed ator ould ot hoose to hae our.
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There are politics of friendship, workplace, even love.
What is public? Decisions that concern the whole society have to be made in public (Romans)
Greek ancient thinkers though about, wrote, and discussed politics very broadly
They included ethical, religious, and personal and family life in politics.
Private life was not as highly valued or developed
Two methods of understanding for Greece:
Theoretical proposals in response to their Contextual conditions
Freedom vs Decadence, Equality for all or the few?
Aristotle: equality for the equal, inequality for the unequal.
Allegory and Allusion, theoretical, but for all humans in all times
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