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York University
PHIL 1100
Henry Jackman

1.Crito tries to persuade Socrates to flee because he has young children to raise, his friends would miss him and think ill of them for not helping him escape and because hell die if he doesnt escape. Socrates is not persuaded by this. He believes his children will be better off in Athens than in exile with him, his friends shouldnt worry about public opinion and that injustice is to be feared more than death. His main reason is that escaping is unjust and that it is never okay to act unjustly. His first argument is that escaping would harm the city and since the city is like a parent, escaping is like harming a parent. Expanding on this, Socrates explains that harming a parent is unjust, therefore escaping would be unjust and unjust actions will corrupt the soul. Escaping then will corrupt his soul because it is an unjust action. Socrates believes life is worthless with a corrupted body and that the soul is more important than the body, so life is worthless with a corrupted soul. This means the life of an escapee is worthless so it is better to die than escape. The soundness of this argument is questionable because for one a corrupted body is not worthless and as Jackman states in the lecture, if you replace escaping with coffee drinker, it implies that since coffee corrupts the body, the life of a coffee drinker is worthless and it is better to die than drink coffee. Plenty of people are living with disabilities and are not worthless or deserving to die. Also one could argue is it never just for a parent to wrongfully punish a child and killing a child for speaking their mind can be considered unjust. 2. 3. Socrates is stating that the things we view as evils such as death, disease and poverty are not actually evils and that the only thing that can harm us are things that damage our soul such as injustice. He believes that driving someone into exile, depriving him of his civil rights and even killing someone will not cause him harm. Socrates believes that the body is not as important as the soul therefore only acting unjustly can we harm ourselves. Socrates also believes we cannot be harmed in death because either we are unconscious of all senses and feelings or there is an afterlife that he believes will be pleasant. He doesnt consider the unjust people in this argument who may find the afterlife unpleasant. In contrast to Socrates, Aristotle believes a man can be harmed in life if there are bad circumstances. He believes if we are unlucky, we will not have a good life no matter how good we are. Aristotle also believes we need some external things to live a good life. External things on their own will not be enough to have a good life though, you still need virtue. You can be virtuous and not happy but you cannot be happy without being virtuous. I find Aristotles more persuasive because we need external goods to be happy but I also agree with Socrates that you cannot be harmed in the afterlife. 4. Epictetus argues that what is good and bad for us is determined by our attitude towards things, rather than the things themselves. His view is that we are more likely to get what we want if we turn our desires from the external things we cannot control and towards the things that we can control like out mental state. The external things he wants us to be indifferent towards are wealth, fame, honor and even the well being of our friends and family. He suggests that we dont get overly attached to our family and friends as they are going to die and there is nothing that we can do about it since we have no control over it. Epictetus thinks that by tailoring our desires this way we can attain true freedom, since we come to have control over the things we want. However, I believe it is inevitable that one will love their kids and wife. I would not adopt this view, as I wouldn't be happy if I have never experienced pain. Suppressing your desire for things out of your control ultimately means you won't be let down. This suppression is done by altering your mind to not even value these things. To me, this suppression leads to only subtle happiness while attachment leads to greater happiness. 5. For Epicurus death is permanent, it is not that we shouldnt fear death because after we die we are going to a better place. Some people think if there is no life after death that should be terrifying. Epicurus places two arguments for not fearing death. A pragmatic one is whether or not death is a bad thing; we should not fear it. Since death is inevitable and there is nothing you can do to avoid it, there is no point of fearing it since worrying about it just makes you unhappy. Another reason that Epicurus gives is that you shouldnt fear death because death is not bad thing. He argues that we should only fear that which causes us suffering. Since the only things which are bad are those that produce pain. From that he says that everyone is either alive or dead. Then he claims that your own death does not produce any suffering while you are alive. Also, death itself does not produce any suffering since when you are dead you dont exist to experience any suffering concluding that death shouldnt be feared. Socrates arguments are like Epicurus in that death is either like an endless sleep or an afterlife. He says there is no reason to fear an endless sleep, as we are not experiencing any pain during sleep. And there is no reason for a just person to fear an afterlife. Thus, there is no reason to fear death. I do agree with their argument, if death is an endless sleep or if death does not produce any suffering while you are dead. However, death can produce suffering when you are alive and dying of a serious disease. Moreover, no one knows for sure what death is and it is human nature to fear the unknown. Hence fearing death is only natural. 6. Epicurus falls into the group of philosophers who try to explain everything in terms of human nature and he thinks that important part of our nature is that pleasure is the ultimate goal of all our actions. It is the ultimate point of life because; ultimately it is the only thing that we ultimately value. He thinks all we do is maximize pleasure and minimize pain to make our lives happier. However, Nozick questions the basic premise of maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain by his discussion of what he calls the experience machine. He suggests we plug ourselves into a machine to give us whatever experiences we want or just a life similar to ours with a few things like our appearance, wealth and popularity altered. Also, we could set the machine in a way that we would not know that we are plugged in. Nozick then asks the question of whether we would plug ourselves in to the machine our whole lives, since by doing this we are sure that our lives are filled with pleasure. However, most people refuse to plug themselves into the machine their whole lives, this suggests that we care about more than just how things feel to us. We want to do certain things not just have the experience of doing them. It is more satisfying in having earned the money so you can have the experience of struggle and the hard work that makes money. I find Nozicks argument persuasive since it is not all about minimizing pain and maximizing pleasure since only when we feel the pain can we know the significance of pleasure and thus lead a happy life valuing what we have earned through our hard work. 7. Epicurus argued that being just is a necessary condition of living a pleasant life and live wisely, since if you behave foolishly you put yourself in a situation, which will lead you to suffer. He explained justice in a way of being nonexistent but a lot of people who live together and try to make rules which produces happiness of the collective where happiness is a bottom what is driving our choices. The rules that we come up with, in our attempt to increase pleasure for everyone are called the moral rules of justice. This still raises a question of why would one want to increase pleasure for others if all they care about is their own pleasure? And Epicurus gave obvious reasons for this, that rules of justice are a convention of society which are made for the interest of society and one way to ensure people follow them is to punish them when they behave in an unjust manner. On the contrary, this is only true if one gets caught violating the rules and being unjust but even if we dont get caught the fear of getting caught will make us suffer the rest of out lives until we die. Therefore, if one wants to be free from anxiety and live a pleasant life, they should live in a just manner. However, the reasons of being just are still for ones own good and do not state that being unjust is wrong. Even religious people who think they are moral are mostly just because they are scared of God punishing them if they are not and are only just to make their afterlives pleasurable. We cannot really criticize Epicurus, since he only explains it in the same kind but the difference lies in what is good all takes place down here on earth during your own life. 8. Epicurus argued that anything that bad for us should be bad at a particular time and since there is no time at which death is bad for the one who dies. Death is not bad for someone before they die and not bad after they die as they no longer exist. Hence death is not bad for the one who dies. However Nagel argues with Epicurus arguments claiming that bad is bad timelessly for the one who does. He believes that death deprives us of all the things that make life valuable, such as pleasant experiences, friendships, and meaningful projects; that is why death is bad. 9. eudaimonia is not purely a psychological state as happiness is considered to be. It has to do with embarking on virtuous acts. Aristotle claims that animals and children are not capable of being happy. Considering euda
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