Plato Book 5-6.docx

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University of British Columbia
Political Science
POLI 240
Christopher Erickson

Week 4: September 23, 25, 27 Was Max a just king? - What class should the Wild things be in? - What did they to do be punished? Wild things…well then o As erotic beings, they did appetitive things o Actions were in order so the punishment they did was not More stuff - Procreation/sharing quote brought up by Polemarchus, relatively glad that he has outgrown his libido - Like guard dogs, females should guard and fight along with the males o Receive the education, military/physical/musical training, - But men and women are different, how can they be assigned the same job? o Different natures must have different pursuits - Eristic vs. dialectic o Eristic aims at “scoring points”  goddess of strife, Eris  Trojan war story o Dialectic aims at uncovering the truth  Looks at differences that matter, not just verbal differences  Bald hair/long hair example  Male and female guardians  only difference is who mounts who and who bears the children  No difference in the predisposition of their souls and that’s what matters  No role in the management of the city that is better for males or females because of their sex  As a result, women get to train naked with the men, may result in unregulated sex but rulers won’t allow it - Eugenics o Best people will breed amongst themselves but only the rulers will know this, executed through an intricate lottery system to give the appearance of chance o Sex is a reward for good conduct o Children are raised by wet nurses in a separate part of the city  Infanticide of the weak o Women will give birth from the ages 20 to 40 o Men will father children from 25 to 55  No children before or after these ages o After the breeding age, men and women are free to have sex whenever but no incest except brother or sister - Family relations o Once married, any children 1- months later are your sons and daughters, their children are your grandchildren o Will result in collective or generational parents o Those born at the same time as you are your brothers and sisters o Sex between “brothers” and “sisters” is OK because they are not going to be genetically related - Unity as a goal o Structure of family relations aims towards tighter sense of unity o “Brothers in arms” made literal  Lawsuits and other factions will disappear o Auxiliary and Guardian are happier than the Olympic Victor because they have provided for the good of the whole city and not just themselves - War o Children will witness it after they learn to ride a horse o Cowardice will result in demotion, bravery results in sex partner of your choice, death results in promotion o No slaves in warfare, no despoiling of the dead - Barbarians v. Greeks o war = fight against barbarians, faction = fight against Greeks o no despoiling of homes for the Greeks but the current crop is fair game o difficult for reconciliation - So how does it all happen? o It doesn’t matter, doesn’t have to come about in order to make the point it is trying to make o Instead, attention should be placed on what existing cities are doing to stop them from becoming just  Preferably, what is the one change that could be made to bring about a just city?  Introduces the concept of the Philosopher-Kings - Philosopher-King o Comes from the guardian class o To love something is to love the whole thing, e.g. lovers of wine o Object of love transforms from being a specific expression to an abstract concept o A philosopher therefore, is a lover of wisdom as a whole, “the lovers of seeing the truth”  In particular, he is a lover of the FORMS of beauty and good  Forms are one thing that appear to be many things  Chair example – one form of chairs but many expressions of it - Knowledge vs. belief o Knowledge come from an acquaintance with the forms and their various appearances o Belief is the ability to see appearances but not the forms behind them  E.g. Plato’s cave allegory  Occupies a middle grown between knowledge and ignorance  What is the object of belief? Appearance is neither nothing nor what is, but is something in between o Lovers of appearance (belief) are called philodoxers and not philosophers  Draws distinction between people who claim to have knowledge and those who do - So who gets to be called the Philosopher-King? o Those who are able to grasp what is the same in all respects, those who are keen- sighted o The truthful, has no tolerance for falsehood o Focused entirely on learning, indifferent to bo
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