Republic Book 3 and 4.docx

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Political Science
Mark Lippincott

Lecture 4: Republic Books III continued and IV Outline of the Lecture 1. Review of Books II and III: The Guardians’education a) The Socratic Critique of the Epic Poets b) An account of the kind of poetry allowed in the justice city and the kind of character it is meant to cultivate 2. Introduction of the Rule of Philosophy: The selection of rulers from the guardian class. Problems/Limits? 3. The Noble Lie: Two Parts and Implicit Implications 4. TheAbolition of Private Property: Myths aren’t enough 5. The happiness of the city: does it take the happiness of individual citizens into account? 6. The bad foreign policy of the good city 7. Where in the city is justice? 8. What about justice in the soul? Review of Book II and III • The warrior’s education is an intensive regime • Homer can be viewed as the founding document of Greek civilization • Socrates has to transform individuals accounts about what makes life radical • Main problem of Homer, is that it presents the gods in despicable light The (Poetic) Education of the Guardians • “The poets mustn’t attempt to persuade our young people that gods bring about evil or that heroes are no better than humans. These things are both impious and untrue, for it is impossible for the gods to produce bad things.” (391d-e). • “Since he has the right distastes, he’ll praise fine things, be pleased by them, receive them into his soul, and, being nurtured by them, become fine and good. He’ll rightly object to what is shameful, hating it while he’s still young and unable to grasp the reason, but, having been educated in this way, he will welcome the reason when it comes and recognize it easily because of its kinship with himself” (401e-402a). • The importance of myth over reason, particularly when it comes to the youth. Children aren’t educated by giving rational arguments, we tell them stories and try to teach in ways to activate their imagination. We need myths, tales and stories, Socrates points out that we cant expose children to vicious characters (liars, cheats) he is trying to censor and take control of the artistic production in the city. He’s giving them rules for artistic creation. Politics shouldn’t be able to dictate artistic creations in a city. • The arose of the beautiful: he wants the warriors to had scoundrels on an astatic level, he’s trying to cultivate and astatic appreciation for virtue • Narrative poetry: poet speaks in his own voice and that has the affect of making us conscious it’s a work of art, it doesn’t have immersive sensitizes • Imitative poetry: the poet hides himself and inhabits his characters, this as a corrosive affect on the spectators. We become the characters and lose ourselves. We lose the sense what were watching is artificial. Socrates doesn’t want us to imagine ourselves as anything but who we are. • The two main goals of the Education of the warriors: 1) to cultivate a kind of moderation: which is why we shouldn’t expose them toAchilles 2) to liberate the guardians from a small minded concern of mere play, unlikeAchilles who only like their property and honor, the warriors need to be educated to care about the city more than anything else, the well being of the city needs to be essential, the only source of happiness and satisfaction for them needs to be the city • Its essential for the warriors to believe that the health of the soul and the health of the body are connected, if they knew they had nothing to do with one another, they’d only care about the health of their bodies and preservation of their lives • The possibility of justice in the city solely depends on lies, deception and manipulation • The rulers must be older warriors (military capacity, care for the city) we have to expose these potential rulers to stringent tests and determine how well their education has taken route.Also how unwavering their loyalty to the city is. • After rigorous education, Socrates tells Glaucon that they also must resort to lying not to only convince the rules but rulers themselves The Noble Lie • “You seem hesitant to tell the story,” protests Glaucon (414c). Why is Socrates hesitant? • Its shameful to tell a lie and to believe that lie you have to tell it shamelessly. He’s hesitant in wondering whether or not anyone will believe him. If no one believes the lie the just city may not be feasible, which depends on a lie. • The Noble Lie has two parts (414d-415c) • 1) The city as family; the cultivation of primitive political loyalty (Earth as mother; citizens as brothers and sisters) • 2) The Myth of the Metals: Role in the city as telos • The purpose of the first part is to cultivate primitive political loyalty convince them of full literal naturalness of their citizenship and membership in a particular class in the city. It’s not by education or choice but by birth that were citizens and members of a particular class. Our particular place is the expression of nature, its not random or arbitrary. It’s an expression of ends or purposes built into the world. Neither the city nor our place in the city is in any way contingent. We grow into our role as citizens and members of a certain class with certain responsibilities, in the same way as an acorn into an oak. The Noble lie requires that we abstract from the fact were particular bodies strung from other particular bodies, not strung from earth. The first dimension of the lie tries to abolish this by not making the family as what it is, but the city as the major component. Socrates acknowledges it’s the family not city that strung the human’s strongest attachments. He’s trying to replace the love for a family with the love for a city. • The second part claims that while all citizens are brothers, in a sense equal, there are also admixtures of different metals in their souls. Some have gold, metal, silver, bronze. They may be fraternal but they are definitely not equal. Political justice requires that unequal citizens receive unequal honors. This is fitting and advantageous to the city. Its an attempt to provide support for natural differences and balance them out. We all have different aptitudes and skills, and its naïve not to realize this. Some are more courageous, smarter and so on. Parents with gold soles may give birth to children with bronze soles. In any case the child must be promoted or demoted, which is essential in the city that children with gold in their souls rule the city. If otherwise the city is doomed. We have to insure no one is denied his or her rightful place in the city. Aperfectly level playing field. • Those in power want to hand their power and estates to their children not to someone else; this is our natural preference for our own. We don’t want to see our son or daughter promoted to a lesser position in society. This is a perfectly rational position. Justice in the city is starting to appear as contrary to nature, our natural inclinations. TheAbolition of Private Property (416d-417b) 1. Guardians ought not possess any private property whatsoever 2. The lives and dwellings of guardians ought to be fully public, i.e. open to all 3. Guardians ought receive pay for their services; their needs are provided for through taxation of wage-earners 4. Guardians will have a common mess and live together like soldiers in a camp 5. It is unlawful for guardians to even touch silver and gold • Socrates is still afraid the warriors will be more like wolves than watchdogs. He immersed people in strict moral discipline, subject them to hard tests t
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