Pol200 final exam guide.

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Clifford Orwin

Question 1 1The philosophers have only interpreted the worldthe point however is to change it Marx Eleventh Thesis on Feuerbach How adequate is Marxs characterization of the philosophers to Plato To Machiavelli Hobbes or Locke Discuss Plato and any ONE of these three modern thinkers Thesis Marx missed an essential component of these philosophers arguments which is that for them in order to change the world for the better one must accurately interpret it Interpreting being understood as rational thought rendering an objective understanding of right and wrong Plato The philosopher is the only one capable of changing the world The ship cannot be sailed properly without the knowledge of the stargazer The sick cannot be healed without the doctor Only person that by means of rational thinking obtain the knowledge of the Forms and the Form of the Good is the philosopher Change occurs by interpreting It is only by rational thought that we can understand the forms or the way the world should be which only the philosopher can do By these forms it is determined what needs to be changedThe philosopher is not given the chance to change the world Image of philosopher hiding behind the wall from the storm Metaphor of the doctor going to those whom are sick instead of the sick coming to the doctor Metaphor of the stargazer on the ship and would be killed if he tried to take commandMachiavelli Philosopher the prudent man the prince The prince is the man with the most prudence and therefore can be understood as representative of the philosopher iThe prince is the one who has ultimate control over the city and therefore what it is iiThe prince is born as a prudent man and is repulsed by the slavish nature of the city and seeks to destroy it and rebuild it with himself at the center iiiTo do this successfully the prince must interpret the world aka city ivInterpret past war past leaders and prophets vMust ration to understand human relations friends are equal to enemies and warfare Perspective2This is my interpretation of the question so the answer will depend on that because I feel like there is a leeway of interpretation for this question Marx said Philosopher hitherto have only interpreted the world but the point is to change it Contrast with two philosophers Plato and MacHobLock and explain whether their ideas would align In this sense the ideas of Marx and Machiavelli align and Platos differ when it comes to the philosopher Plato The idea of philosophers changing the existing structure is very in tune with Platos writing Philosophers must rule the city if they cannot then they must influence it and make change through other means So a philosopher not only interprets the world but also influences Socrates for example is one of these philosophers For a philosopher to rule the people must follow the guidelinesrules because it is the best for the city and they are obligated by their virtues to do so But even if a philosopher does not rule they have an influence that can inspire change So Marxs characterization of the philosopher is not along the same linesWhen looking at the conceptallegory of the cave in book VII this allegory shows the education of the philosopher The only people fit to rule as they receive the best of educations to become the best of people Then as PhilosopherKings they are to show the people the way Until philosophers rule as kings in cities or those who are now called king and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophize that is until political power and philosophy entirely coincide while the many natures who at present pursue either one exclusively are forcibly prevented from doing so cities will have no rest from evils 148 Machiavelli For Machiavelli a philosopher cannot be a ruler and the sole of politics lies in the Prince mediating between the great and the people to remain as ruler The prince is the most important person to Machiavelli not the philosopher The ruler does not need to and should not embody all the characteristics defined by the classic philosophers In this sense the Princeruler can make a change and have influence the actions of the citizens The people only follow the rules because they will get punished if they do not do so So for Machiavelli philosopher who believe in the truth and act on only what is just cannot become rulers ergo they cannot change the world The power lies with the Prince if he can manage his cityChapter XV of the prince is great for referencing when for this particular topicAnd many have imagined republics and principalities that have never been seen or known to exist in truth for it is so far from how one lives to how one should live that he who lets go of what is done for what should be done learns his ruin rather than his preservation 61It is necessary to a prince if he wants to maintain himself to learn to be able not to be good and o use it according to necessityThus leaving what is imagined about a prince to what is true 61 Question 2 Plato and Hobbes present very different teachings on the human concern with the good How are their respective understandings of the ends of political life related to this difference The theories represented by Plato and Hobbes are both two standing arguments for political thought each representing a different idea spun by a common thread Many of these differences are a result on how each philosopher perceives human beings and their role within the state and society While Plato and Hobbes may agree that a governing body and a state is essential yet the reasons its set up for and the principles are contrastive With Plato having a more positive outlook on human nature and Hobbes pessimistic viewpoint An ancient philosopher Platos politics was a means for pursuit of a good life and in his political sphere Justice was seen as a prerequisite for having a good life the ideal was that with justice as a foundation political life would enable its participants to flourish and to achieve the overarching human end of happiness and through the competitive forums of the city He offers two different analogies in defining his notion of justice one found in the partition of a human soul and the other in parts of the state In regards to the soul it is divided into three parts appetitive spiritual and rational Justice is harmony the condition where the rational rules spirited guards and the appetitive remains moderate and all for the sake of recognizing what is best for the whole This triparte of the soul corresponds to the nature of the different social classes present in the state For the individuals in the social class one aspect of their soul is dominant than the other two and has a virtue that is associated with that Based on their dominating feature the social class is divided into three parts the ruler having the virtue of wisdomrational the auxiliaries having the virtue of couragespirit and the working class with virtue of temperanceappetite In this case justice can be explained by the principle of specialization each member of society must play the role for which his nature best suits him and not meddle in any other business It is evident from his explanation of justice in the state that by nature humans are born with different set of qualities and contributions vary depending on their position in the state In reality Plato recognized that people with different skills came together to form a city to achieve basic needs of life but also needed to defend themselves from wars Thus he proposed the ideal city with having justice as the highest virtue to pursue the common goal of supreme happiness of the state as a whole and not an individual happiness So for Plato human happiness seems to be the foremost concern to achieve this in the ideal state it requires philosopherkings the inherently wiser people in society rulers who are incorruptible because they have come to know what is absolutely good and justThese philosophical leaders would understand that there is a transcendent form that society should strive to reach and they will actively lead it in that directionThis would be done by instilling the four chief virtues in society Basically the ends of political life is living accordingly to the virtues under the philosopherking which corresponds to his teaching of the good happiness While Hobbes has a distinctive representation of the nature of the individual In the state of nature that is before forming the civil society all men are created equal with regard to physical and mental abilities and each of them has the same with the other right to everything this being the natural right to selfpreservation that gives them the right to protect oneself from what he sees as a threat At the same time man is also profoundly egotistical and greedy fearful and ambitious So he is surrounded with same envious rivals enemies Hence the fatal inevitability of a society war of all against all Also the prime object of mens desire is for power and in order to continue in his possession of it he must obtain more because one mans power diminishes anothers until the general inclination of all mankind is a perpetual and restless desire of power after power that cease only in death Men will attack each other in competition for power out of fear and for glory In this state of nature there is no unjust action for any action which preserves a mans life is just and so every man has a right to everything He postulates that without any type of regulation mens lives would be solitary poor nasty brutish and short
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