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All Lecture Notes on Plato

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Political Science
POLS 2900
Stephen Newman

Lecture September 13, 2011 The republic - cities make possible the way of life; made clear in The Republic - cities make possible the “good life” for humans; but if people have the wrong ideas of how to live true life - our understanding of good life is high reputation, nice home, fortune/money (the most important ingredient in a good life) - line 331 page 10 - Lecture september 20 , 2011 - Socrates and interlocuters agree on how the city comes to existence - there will be strict division of labour - this city will have a subsistence economy; only necessities will be produced/distributed - there wont be luxuries beyond necessities will cause class wars and will initiate war amongst the city (if one wants something beyond the needs, there needs to be expansionism, and invasion of others’ resources) - similar to consumer society - the best guardians are infact REAL philosophers - lines 399e - even when discussing physical training of guardians, he still emphasizes their moral/mental for it is something with philosophers yearn - 414b - the myth of the metals aka the noble lie - the inhabitants of the city were fashionably created by the natures of earth - gold, silver, and bronze people-represent the hierarchy of the city, in that order - a city to small would lose itself in all aspects, a big city would be too hard to control guardians are put inplace to make sure the city is a perfect size - this goes back to myth of metals; each ones nature suggest the type of craft they are best suited for - good character comes from good conduct, good character comes from good education  - only philosophers received good education = they have good character  the predominant way of being just is following the law = just conduct Lecture September 22, 2011 - Socrates established that our appetite and the nature of being hungry depends on the situation and necessity, alternatives vs. rational capacities of the soul - Not all inhabitants of the just city will possess a just soul; we are creatures of appetites, our rationale depends on appetite of the heart - In the commoners, the appetitive part dominated - If they were perfectly reasonable, they’d be guardians or auxiliaries; only guardians were have perfect reasoning; they are justly righteous - The political message here: commoners don’t have rational and reason, and requisite self control, so they need guardians to watch over the city - both city and soul require harmony of its constituent parts implement justness - - guardians are the best possible exemplars of their people (body and soul) th september 27 - Forms correspond to material things, forms give shape to material reality - forms also give form to virtue…such as the good - it is necessary to be form of the good because each form is unitary, each pertains to certain thing - While Philosophers can grasp this world of Forms, the rest of society can only perceive the false reality of the material world. (507)so philosophers know what the good is! - the sun in the sky; illuminates sensible realm of material things; sunshine allows us to see the world - in this sense, the form of the good allows us to see the mind and the intelligible things in life - socrates’s analogy of the sun is trying to help the audience understand the good - the final component between sun and the good: just as the sun is visible to the human; the good is that to the human mind - October 4 CAVE ALLEGORY - the allegory of the cave: inside the cave stuck, limited imagination, little knowledge of the truth…outside the cave: free, all knowing, - journey outside the cave is the journey one takes to fulfill their soul (intellectually, spiritually, etc) - story of the cave is the philosophers’ account of education - the allegory of the cave also tells us in plato’s views how people are educated: task of the education to turn people around, literally, move their gazes away from the shadows and reflections of things (in the cave), and force their souls to finds its own path out of the cave and into the light - in book 1 socrates says the very best person would not want to rule, the best person (the ones who are righteous, who embody virtue, have not ambition to play part of statesmen) but must in order to make sure the Kalipholis existsDESCRIBE ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE/WHY PHILOSOPHER DOESN’T NEED THE DEMOCRATIC CITY Socrates uses the allegory of the cave: Men living in a cave for their whole lives. They can not turn and can only see the back of the cave, there is a fire behind the men. There is a low wall were other men walk behind and carry object from time to time. The prisoners can only see the shadows cast by the activity in on the walls. The prisoners think that the shadows on the walls are real. They think that the voices come from the shadows on the wall. Think that the shadows are reality. If one prisoner was freed and saw the fire they would be first blinded, but would not believe that the fire is real. Taking the same person into daylight they would be blinded but the eyes would adjust and eventually learn. Bringing the same person back into the cave, the prisoner would tell the others about the world outside of the cave they would not believe him. He could not free them from
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