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Perspectives Midterm 1 Study Guide

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PHIL 1090
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Perspectives Spring Midterm 1  Outline  Plato ● rule among the people ● virtue > ● through our acquisition of virtues that our character becomes stabilized → in line with our natural end Machiavelli, The Prince ● rule over the people ● appear virtuous is good enough ● Politics are its own sphere of thinking, have very little or no concern with morality or goodness ● no point in making rules for a perfect society because men are not perfect ○ Machiavelli believes we only pursue good things for its consequences ■ This means that humans are naturally bad. We do not pursue good for its own sake ○ Aman is in charge of his own fate: To be human is to forge one’s own life “Homofaber” ○ The more that survival is threatened, the less of a choice there is ■ Necessity justifies behavior ● do not be a generous leader because that will lead to lavishness and having to raise taxes in order to maintain this reputation → the people will resent you ● fortune calls forth virtue; “fortune favors energetic youth over cautious age” ○ Chance: if you have good skill and bad fortune you can still adapt ○ Fortune cannot conquer all if your skill is equal to fortune ● not interested in soul or happiness or being a good person; all he cares about is getting power ● want center of power vs. scattered ● no such thing as natural good end ● must be able to adapt ● being human is about not having a grand plan → point of life is to go with flow and adapt to changes and get power ● 2 essential components for state: good law and good army ● UNLIKE OTHERS, says virtu → ability to seize opportunity aka doing the right thing at the right time ● avoid contempt and hatred at all costs ● The PoliticalActor: Must appear to be acting on principle while he is really acting on calculation Hobbes, Leviathan ● Machiavelli’s intellectual heir ○ both say power must be superimposed ■ not concerned w/ virtues of soul ■ functionality and efficacy > virtue ■ idea of contract and natural tendency/temptation to break it ● we have to give up total freedom for society to function ● society is not natural ● free = no restrictions to our movements; freedom means everyone has a right to everything ○ freedom will get us killed ● our social interactions are selfish → to rule people and keep them in check ● traditional view: competition stems from scarcity of resources ● Hobbes says: competition stems from greed → we’re entitled to everything ● 3 principal causes of quarrel in men: competition, diffidence, glory ○ there is always war against each other ● right of nature: liberty each man has to use own power to preserve his power ● natural law: demands that we seek peace because to seek peace is to fulfill our natural right to defend ourselves ● human contract: mutual transferring of rights and basic notion of moral obligation ○ people give up their rights for the sake of self-preservation (and only when others are willing to do the same) ○ People will naturally feel a sense of obligation after receiving a favor or service and this bond is not usually broken ● We are a desiring machine: we are naturally driven solely by appetites ● natural human hunger for power always threatens safety of contract → must have common power/sovereign authority to force people to uphold the contract ● Leviathan = name of metaphor of state in total ● we can resist sovereign for self preservation - the one right that should never be given up ● 3 types of sovereign authority ○ monarchy: power resides in 1 person ○ aristocracy: power resides in group of people ○ democracy: power in all willing to assemble for sake of g’vt ● Hobbes says monarchy is best b/c ○ monarch’s interests are same as peoples’ ○ monarchs get better counsel ○ monarch’s policies are more consistent b/c of one mind ○ civil war is less likely b/c monarch can’t disagree with himself ○ succession of power is more stable b/c chooses heir and method of succession ○ sovereign established by force vs. by fear is the same ■ only by force, people fear each other ■ by fear, people fear sovereign himself ● all natural laws are about survival and defending self and preserving life Locke, ALetter Concerning Toleration ● no one can claim absolute authority because it’s impossible to identifyAdam’s heirs and evenAdam was not given absolute authority over world ● definition of political power: right to make laws for protection and regulation of property (backed by community, for the public good) ● state of nature = state of equality (no one has power over each other) ● freedom is the right to settle disputes about injustices done that contradict the natural law ● in the state of nature everyone becomes judge and jury → this makes justice subjective ● liberty does not equal license to abuse others ● Society arises because men seek to leave the state of nature. To do so they surrender their freedoms (rights) to a power that will preserve their property. (Apower that can punish) ● war = state of “enmity and destruction” and self-preservation is #1 ○ Locke is uncomfortable with this because b/c allowed to kill each other out of self-preservation ○ in presence of common authority that acts unjustly, only possible state is state of war ● natural liberty: person’s right to be ruled solely by laws of nature ● social liberty: right to be under no legislative power other than that founded by common consent ● property of person: each person owns his or her own body and labor performed → when add own labor to object or good, object becomes theirs (ex. picking an apple) ○ BUT if take too many apples and they rot, I have overextended my natural rights of acquisition ● DISAGREES WITH HOBBES and says absolute monarchy violates principles ○ monarch has no fear of retribution → people lack comfort, protection, incentive to contribute to commonwealth ○ doesn’t agree with governing by majority either b/c ■ lack of historical precedence for g’vt by majority rule ■ nature lacks established, settled, known law ■ must relinquish natural rights to attain this ● AGREES WITH HOBBES that we would not flourish in state of nature ● BASHED Robert Filmer (who defended the divine right of kings) ● hypocritical b/c he says you can believe in anything but you can’t believe in nothing (atheism) ○ believes way to salvation is through religion ● Catholics, Muslims, andAtheists (most vicious of all b/c don’t have natural law/standard to adjudicate to) cannot be tolerated ● natural law is the most sacred thing we have as humans → painful for us to see it enforced in the wrong way ○ by natural law, we’re acknowledging and recognizing a higher being ● Humans naturally know what is right and wrong ● What is freedom for Locke? ○ to enter society we must give up some freedoms but not all ○ we give up freedom that naturally flows from law of nature ■ freedom to enforce law of nature ■ we are not best judges in our own cases to decide how much we should punish each other ■ instead, we institute a power that will adjudicate/decide in dispute ○ we don’t give up right of property or putting in labor → ownership ○ Laws must be directed towards the common good.Alegislature may not deprive a person of property without his or her consent. ● final goal of nature is to own property Descartes, Meditations ● our senses deceive us ● perception o
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