HUMS 2000 First Semester (Complete)
Post on 21-Jan-2016
Reason and Revelation
Short answer describe key terms (typically latin and greek).
Short answer explain what's going on in a particular passage
Essay topic will be given ahead of time
Cosmos completely connected and complete whole
Each thing is by nature suited to a task, each thing has a place in the universe.
This place is pre-appointed for it.
Mythos vs. Logos
Mythical thinking requires a figure (be it a person or a text) which explains how you think. Why? Because he said so.
Logos a way of thinking which exists within philosophy.
Why? Because it can be proven based on a premise that everyone can agree on, and be deduced and inferred from these universal premises.
Anyone in principle, of sound mind, can consent to a philosophical proposition philosophy is democratic and universal.
However, philosophical thinking is open to criticism and open ended thinking.
Philosophy can be a source of freedom, however.
How is it that we can know the universe?
Why is it that the logos in our mind reflects or corresponds to reality?
Why is the order accessible to us?
The fundamental assumption of philosophers is that the universe is not alien to us, it has a connection to us, and so, we can know it.
All things were made through our mind.
Therefore the principles of all things are the same as the principles in our mind
Our minds are reflections of a mind that did create all things, and that's why there is an affinity between our minds and objects.
In 399 BC, Socrates went around curropting the youth with all sorts of philosophical questions
Many people became his students
Often these inquiries revealed that the rhetoricians and sophists exposed themselves as knowing nothing, and unable to justify their positions
Though Socrates didn't intend to riddicule, but that's how it came off to his followers
When he asked a question, a simple answer was never enough
Because it was how it was done in the past was not good enough
When he asked to justify their opinions, they often could not, looking foolish in front of ther peers.
It also became apparent that Socrates had more questions than answers, and his unrelenting questions tended to break down the city brick by brick
His questions made him seem as someone currpot and dangerous, and undermining the order of the city
Plato wants us to be aware that philosophy is dangerous, because it opposes anything limited or finite, which includes the city wihtout which there is no life...
Many of the tentions in Athens had been underground
This is what constituted the threat of the city Socrates created no tensions, but he did inflame them
Socrates often speaks of eros such as the eros of the soul.
Just as the body seeks wholeness, so does the soul.
In dialectic, Socrates brought forth little speeches, the speeches of philosophy, just as the body brings forth babies.
It's eros has the same hunt for satisfaction and pleasure as does the body
Says that there is a parallell to the body and the soul
We search for what is beautiful and good, and when we find it, want it to be forever
Death, however, takes away such things
We overcome mortality of the body by producing babies, and the mortality of the soul is overcome by speeches
Authorities of the city, saw Socrates as a threat to the city, (wounded pride?)
Socrates out of sync from his fellow citizens, a currptor of the city, a 'holier than thou' person.
A city must assure law and justice, show homage to the gods that protect the city, and the city concerns itself by encouraging freedom, and the love of honour, things important to the fucntion of the city
A tension between the city and philosopher, that the philosopher tells noble lies, ensuring that the city is stable so that they can think within it.
On the outside, the philosopher speaks for the city, but on the inside is the search for knowledge and the progression of their own agenda. (Freemasons?)
Socrates has a kind of 'esoteric' teaching, because he realizes how important philosophy is, but it can have a terrible corrupting existence, because the love of wisdom can never be actualized.
Socrates hides things.
The wisdom he teaches turns out to be that you can proceed toward wisdom, you can get pieces of it, but you can never completely grasp Truth.
There are the wise and unwise, and nothing is going to change it.
For Socrates, what is all important is to find peace and openness so that he can philosophize.
But all he has is the city.
Socrates also doesn't think he is wise.
From the perspective of the city he was seen as strange, subversive.
The city needs to provide law, justice, protection, homage to the gods
The philosopher cannot be an accomplice, spokesperson of the city, without having to compete with the city, and particularly those people who have taken on authoritative roles in the city, and see Socrates as a threat, and a madman.
The relationship with the city is complicated.
Socrates also needs to use rhetoric to support his arguments, which makes him ironic...and that pisses people off, because we want sincerity.
Because of the risk to the philosopher and the risk to the city, he does not tell the complete truth
Fundamental distinction between the many and the one
Philosopher needs the city because of the requirements of everyday life, and people who he can teach and mould.
Plato in all of his 26 dialogues does not portray Socrates talking with another philosopher.
Role is reserved to the very few
Rival to religion because it replaces beliefs with knowledge
Socrates and Euthephro (sp?)
Socrates has been charged with curopting the young, and not believing in the city's gods, and making up his own ones.
Euthyphro claims he has some kind of knowledge. It makes one sense that E could be an accuser of Socrates, because he himself is not famous for his piety.
For E, only revelation reveals humans as they truly are.
Without revealed knowledge, life is incomplete
E is about 50yrs old, bringing a charge against his father about an event that took place 5yrs earrlier.
One of his servants had become drunk and killed a slave. His father had him bound, and he as neglected and died.
E had only recently become a seer, and had all the enthusiasm of a convert.
He gives no sense that he has any sense of politics
Obsessed/preoccupied with the impiety of killing, so much so that he's taking his father to court.
E doesn't know that Socrates has been charged.
E is a Zealous person, and he seems unsure of what exactly he is prosecuting his father for.
He may have had an entirely personal motive for his actions
He claims to know something, which enables him to go against certain things....like going against his father.
Socrates proposes to become E's student.
Socrates is made visible, remaining still, immobile, whereas E is very mobile, and says that his words are the 'statue of Deadalus'.
Socrates compares E to Proteus who continually changes his shape.
Socrates is driven by a practical intent a demonstration of philosophy at work.
A love of wisdom (zetesus), of searching....
Unwilling to accept solutions that produce political agitation
Socrates attempts to use philosophy to order E's soul.
Socrates in action is coming up against these young agitators who could very easily subvert the city, and he attempts to silence them, often with confusion
Life is in constant motion
Section 5D 10-11
Offers a definition of piety following the law, immitating the gods. Zeus who punished his guity father
Socrates goes what I want is one idea of piety, not examples and illistrations, he wants an argument, a rational account of what piety is. Wants the essence of piety
What makes a thing pious?
E is very literal, so for him, the above is true piety.
In platonic dialogues, we are often asked whether Socrates is charged correctly in corrupting the young...well, he does.
Revelation relies on human judgement, insight, and so on....
God's commandments, there is disagreement between god's commandments. Philosophy is the only alternative to reveelation.
We can acquire knowledge of the good through reason alone Socrates
The pious believer thinks that philosophy is vicious
The philosopher says that the religious believer chooses to conform to the gods in blind decision.
Socrates draws E into a discussion about piety in a philosophical manner to try and prove to him otherwise.
Socrates goes on to correct E's opinion, acknowledges that piety conflicts with filial piety, and this is why revelation has to be super-seeded with philosophy
All piety can be measured and corrected through knowledge
E's expectations are an expression of his selfishness and self interest.
True piety lies in not following the gods, but sitting in quiet contemplation and understanding?
Maybe philosophizing is the truest form of piety.
What is dear to the gods seems arbitrary to humans
The action that he's embarked upon is impious.
Justice is not merely enforcing the law, following the gods.
Piety is not simply expecting the love and care of the gods for our use...
Origin of the good things whether things are good and holy because they are commanded by the gods, or they are holy and good because they are commanded?
There is an order which only philosophy can provide, can let us know what is higher.
What does piety demand?
The obligation of perusing justice has expanded, and the pursuit of piety has been absorbed into justice.
In E he shows how much Socrates really does corrupt the young
Socrates will claim he did not corrupt the young, but the young are corrupted by the city by leaving citizens too low, or too high with no need for laws and constitutions
The judgement that you need to develop to be a good citizen is within yourself, and not within the rules or the gods.
Discover this through the language of philosophy, and discover good from bad, truth from untruth.
Pity = orthopraxy
Phidippiddes knows Socrates
Arrogant son who gambles
Father wants to go to Socrates' think-tank, and his students begin to reveal things.
Strepsiddies joins into the art of geomoetry and astronomy
Socrates above, must have airy thoughts to discover things how they are.
Clouds are goddesses who can take on any appearance and morph
They woship the vortex who is king
Pleased that there are no costs to crime?
Strepsidies is captivated
Zeus has been expelled by Vortex
The clouds bribe the judges bringing lawlessness to everything
descent into shamelessness
In the last violation of the mother, who is beaten,
Socrates had a thinkery in Aristophanes, a person who had great concern about Socrates
There was a view that Socrates taught something occult, and somehow engaged 'cathonic' forces, deep dark forces, which he somehow was able to employ and use.
The thinkery is shown to be an extremist group of paganists.
People think that Socrates is up to magic, and up to impious means to live a life of completel self indulgence.
In this thinkery, these forces that Socrates live by, are all efforts to overcome law, regulation, moral restraint, political order
This is the main theme of the Clouds
If you are going to look for religious life, it becomes confusing whether this life praises the void, the vortex, infinite power...how does that click with the notion of a well-ordered soul that is part of a larger cosmos? Microcosm of the cosmos? That is maintained and educated through the virtues.
The point of time is where Athens is getting bored....
Athens is wanting to stir the pot, break outside the barriers of convention, to indulge vices more. Tyranny is wanted almost.
They wanted to explore the deepest mysteries that conjoined violence and radical trancendance and deep disorder....
Socrates and Aristotle both have to fight this phenomenon
For the ancient greeks, the big problem was the emergence of tyrants, who wanted to assume that there is no cosmic order.
We can recreate the conditions of reality and the soul, what constitutes happiness,
This play provides a startling insight into what is the boredom in Athens, the boredom with orthodoxy and tradition
Expressed through a love of tyranny and a regection of the cosmic order
MY NOTES ON EUTHYPHRO
Euthyphro and Socrates meet in front of the 'agora', the central marketplace of Athens, in front of what seems to be a courthouse of sorts.
They get to talking, and E learns that Socrates has been charged with corrupting the young, and Socrates learns that E has filed a case against his father for the (accidental) murder (murder by neglect) of a slave, who in turn is a murderer himself, having killed a servant in the household.
Euthryphro seems to see himself and Socrates in the same level
Both in receipt of divine intuition, and both at the ridicule of the public
E is very adamant on his position, thinking that his 'pious justice' must be carried out regardless of whom the offender is
The sin is all the worse when it's your own family. He seems to think that he is purifying himself by prosecuting his father.
Socrates comes to the conclusion that because E is going so far as to prosecute his father, then his knowledge of 'piety', and what it means to be pious, must truly be a good and accurate one
E agrees saying: I should be of no use, Socrates, and Euthyphro would not be superior to the majority of men if I did not have accurate knowledge of all such things
Socrates wants to become his pupil to learn what piety is
Thinks that by learning the true definition of piety, it will help him win his own case wherein he is accused of creating his own gods
Again, a demonstration of how Socrates does not consider himself wise
In this case, unlike other dialogues, he seems genuinely willing to listen to E, and to learn what the other man has to say he is not testing out one of his own arguments/ideas which he has already thought out in advance
Sincerity in his speaking
Tell me then, what is the pious and what the impious, do you say?
Euthyphro's Definition of Piety
To prosecute the wrongdoer, despite the fact that said wrongdoer may be related to you
To not prosecute is impious
Uses the example of Zeus, the highest of gods, who killed his father as a form of punishment
Seems to disregard E's example of Zeus, because one cannot know the gods
Asks his question again, because E's answer was limited only to his own situation
...you did not teach me adequately when I asked you what the pious was, but you told me what you are doing now, in prosecuting your father for murder, is pious.
Makes the point that there are different kinds of pious actions that are not taken into account in E's first definition
Needs a broader, more universal definition of piety, one not limited, and justifying only one person's actions
Says that he didn't ask E what one or two pious actions are, but the form which makes all pious actions pious, and all impious actions impious
Euthryphro's Second Definition
What is dear to the gods is pious, what is not, is impious
Socrates' Second Examination
Says that E has now answered in the way that he wanted (in a more universal way), but is unsure of whether his words are true or not.
E must now justify his definition
...show me that what you say is true.
Makes the point that the God's are at odds with each other.
If men were at odds with one another on say the subject of numbers (which number is bigger), they would count to see which was bigger, and so the problem will be solved
Similarly, if men differed about which was bigger, and which was smaller, they would resort to measurement to give them an answer
If two men were arguing about which thing was heavier, they would resort to weighing to give them the true answer
The above topics can all be resolved with something universal, something that cannot be argued with.
But what about something more subjective such as beauty vs. ugly? Just vs. unjust? Good vs. Bad?
Since 'little' problems such as heavy vs. light can be solved with something universal, the gods can't possibly be fighting about that
...for they would not be at odds with one another unless they differed about these subjects, would they?
Therefore, the gods must be differing over subjective things such as beauty vs. ugly.
What is seen as beautiful to one, may be seen as ugly to another
Therefore, what is piety to one god may be seen as impious by another
The same things then are loved by the gods and hated by the gods, and would be both god-loved and god-hated...And the same things would be both pious and impious according to this argument
E concedes to this point
Thus, 'doing what is dear to the gods' cannot be piety, because what is dear to one god, may not be to another.
Euthyphro responds by saying that that gods wouldn't disagree with one another on the matter of unjust killing.
...that whoever has killed anyone unjustly should pay the penalty.
Socrates mentions that a killer would not think his actions unjust, and would try to avoid punishment/trying to pay the penalty for his actions
There is dispute then in man not between punishing the wrongdoer, ...but as to who the wrongdoer is, what he did, and when.
Gods do the same thing while one might say one has wronged the other, the other says that it was done justly.
Socrates asks for proof
What proof does E have to consider that he is correct on the matter of his lawsuit against his father?
Socrates' goes on to postulate that perhaps, what all gods love is consider to be pious, and what all gods hate is considered impious, and what some love and others hate (or vice versa), is neither pious nor impious. (9-c)
Words cannot be taken at their face value, so they must examine the above statement to determine whether or not it is true.
What all Gods Love is Pious, What All Gods Hate is Impious
Is the pious being loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is being loved by the gods?
In other words, are things pious from their own virtue, or are they pious because the gods deemed it to be?
The two statements are different in the same sense that 'led' is different from 'leading' and 'carried' is different from 'carrying', and 'seen' is different from 'seeing'.
Therefore there is something 'loved' and something 'loving'.
The thing being led is led because it is led, and not for any other reason beyond that
The thing being seen is seen because it is seen, and not the other way around
It is something carried because it is being carried, not because it is a thing carried.
...if anything is being changed or is being affected in any way, it is not being changed because it is something changed, but rather it is something changed because it is being changed.
Socrates is arguing that outside influence defines these things as what they are. External forces define things to be what they are, not internal.
Something is loved because it is being loved by something.
Someone has to love a thing for it to be a loved thing.
Therefore, back on the matter of piety...
Is it being loved because it is pious, or for some other reason?
Euthyphro says that it is loved for no other reason
Piety is being loved then because it is pious, but it is not because it is loved.
Something is god-loved because it is loved by the gods
Therefore being loved by the gods is not the same as being pious, because if it were, then piety is loved by the gods because it is god-loved, and not because of itself, it's own virtue, and this has already been proven not to be the case.
Therefore the pious being loved by the gods is only an aspect of being pious, not it's true nature.
Not the thing that makes piety what it is.
By this time E is getting frustrated because each time he puts out an answer to What is pious, it is getting shot down.
Socrates is compared to Daedalus, his mentor, who did similar things to him as Socrates is doing to Euthyphro
Socrates claims to be clever without wanting to be, because he would actually prefer for E's words to remain as they are
He wants an answer, wants the truth, but because of his desire for truth, he has to examine E's words, effectively proving them to be false and not well thought out.
Back to the Argument
Socrates postulates - Is all that is pious is of necessity just?
In other words, is all things pious, just as well?
Socrates: And is then is that is just pious? [I.e. Does justice = piety?] Or is all that is pious just [I.e. Are all things pious, just as well?], but not all that is just pious [not all things that are just are pious], but some if it is, and some is not?
Euthyphro: Mind = blown
Socrates tries to explain himself, in his usual roundabout way. He starts off by quoting a poem:You do not wish to name Zeus, who had done it, and who made all things grow, for where there is fear, there is also shame.
Socrates says he disagrees with the above:
Being afraid of poverty and disease is not shameful
On the other hand, being ashamed of something also makes you afraid
[For instance, if you do something shameful, you're scared of people finding out. Say you have sex before marriage, which is considered shameful in most religious families. You are then afraid of your parents finding out.]
He uses the above to prove that one thing is not necessarily a part of the other in one set way. Fear is not necessarily a part of shame, but more often that not, shame is a part of fear
To relate this back to the piety argument:
Socrates argues that where there is justice, there is not always piety, for the pious is a part of justice.
[Justice is all-encompassing, and piety is a part of justice. Therefore, by being pious, you are being just, but by being just, you are not necessarily being pious].
So, if piety is a part of justice, we need to know which part of justice it is.
For instance, if you ask someone what an even number is, they would be correct in saying that an even number is a number divisible by two, while an odd number cannot be divided into two equal parts
Socrates wants to apply the above logic to justice and piety, so what part of justice is piety?
Euthyphro responds by saying that the part dedicated to the care of the gods is piety, while the part concerned with the care of men is the remaining part of justice
What does he mean by care? --Socrates
Not everyone knows how to care for horses, but a breeder does
Therefore horse breeding is the care of horses
Not everyone knows how to care for dogs, but the hunter does
Therefore hunting is the care of dogs
Similarly cattle raising would be the care of cattle, and so on and so forth
Following the above logic, to 'care' for something is to make it better. ...it aims for the good of the object being cared for.
Horses being cared by horse breeders become better, as to dogs who are cared by hunters
So, piety, which is the care of the gods, be making gods better?
By doing something pious are you making one of the gods better?
No! So, then, what kind of 'care' was E talking about?
The kind of care, Socrates, that slaves take of their masters.
Therefore, 'care' would mean 'service' to the gods
The service of a doctor achieves health
The service of a shipbuilder is the building of a ship
The service of a housebuilder is to the building of a house
What is the achievement then, or service to the gods?
What is it then that the Gods achieve by using humans as their servants?
Many fine things
Bad answer! Generals get that too, but their main ahcievement is victory in war, n'est pas?
Farmers also achieve many fine things, but their main aim is to produce food from the earth
E claims that pious actions such as knowing what to say and do what is pleasing to the gods at prayer and sacrifice are good for both the house and the state, but impious actions which are the opposite to the above can destroy everything
So then, is piety simply the knowledge of how to sacrifice and pray?
Since sacrificing is gifting the gods, and praying is begging the gods, piety, therefore is knowing how to give to, and beg from the gods.
But then, what is this service to the gods?
To beg is to ask for things we need, and to sacrifice is to give things that they need from us
Piety then, is a trading skill between gods and men.
But then, what benefit to the gods get from the sacrifices of man?
We get good things from them, but how do our sacrifices help the gods?
E claims that the gifts we give them are honour, reverence
Therefore the pious would be pleasing to the gods.
WE'RE BACK TO THE SAME ARGUMENT! The definition of piety is once again 'what is dear to the gods'.
But that was already disproved
Socrates asks him again what piety and impiety is, and poor Euthyphro with his mind completely blown to bits, escapes by saying that he's late for something and has to go.
MY NOTES ON PLATO'S APOLOGY
Apology = apologia = defence
Plato is defending himself, not apologizing for anything.
Is the character Socrates in the Clouds historically accurate? Or is he a composite of a whole bunch of philosophers and a satirical stretch?
It is clearly a personal attack, despite the reasoning.
It is one of the big factors behind his being brought to trial, and may lead to his death.
Even thought Aristophanes isn't a philosopher, the play does raise some questions/themes that we'll be looking at in this class: what is justice/nature/the state
Are the state's laws grounded in nature or are they purely conventional?
We know little about Aristophanes' biography
He appears to be rather conservative in his views on religion and Greek culture in general.
Political and Historical Background of Aristophanes
The age of Pericles
Athens' golden age
From the end of the persian wars, to the pelopenissian
Pericles was the most prominent political figure of the day
Rose to power with his wit and oratorical prowess
Surrounded himself with the brightest stars of all fields
Carried out a beautification campaign of Athens, funded from tribute paid to Athens by the Delion League
Delion Leage was a league that Athens was a part of as protection against Persia
Athens quickly rose to power and demanded things from the others, ruling mercilessly the members of the Delion League
It crushed any sort of insurrection against it
Power was taken from the magistrate to the assembly comprised of Athenian citizens.
Athens was a radical democracy
If you were a citizen, you were allowed to vote on legislation, and speak in the assembly
Citizen = adult male who have undergone the necessary military training
All major matters of the state were debated in the assembly and settled by a vote
Everyone (in principle) had a right to vote, but not everybody showed up
Moreover, even among those who did show up there were those capable of judging a piece of legislation, and those capable of formulating it Pericles
If you were an effective speaker, you could gain a lot of power
If you could persuade your fellow assembly members of things, you could effectively gain control of Athens
Starts in 431, pitting Athens and his allies against Sparta
Escalated into the worst bloodbath the Greeks had ever seen
Proved extremely costly for Athens
Athens would eventually regain some of it's power and prestige, but never to the levels that it was before
Plague broke out in 430, killing thousands.
Everyone had to be brought into the security of the city walls, and made the outbreak worse
The Play is staged in 423, where the catastrophic consequences aren't apparent yet, but it is clear that the fate of Athenian society hangs in the balance.
The play hangs in the balance between the conservative, traditional forces and the martial forces
One group within the pre-socratics, the cosmologists, who emerged and proliferated in the 6th century
Cosmologists on one hand, and on the other, the Sophists
The bulk of the pre-socratic theories were cosmological in nature, meaning that they offered reflections concerning the ultimate nature of reality.
Reduce what you see in the world to some kind of fundamental principle
They looked for something permanent which underlay and persisted through the chaos which existed in nature
The term that they used to refer to this fundamental principle is arche.
To ask for an arche (or archai)is to ask for an answer to one of the following questions:
What is the universe made up of? What is it's fundamental principles?
What makes them be the way they are? Why are they not otherwise?
The cosmologists answered this question in the following sort of way:
Thales believed that the universe was made up of water. Heraclitus thought it was made of fire. Anaxymines said it was air. Materialism.
Pointed to matter, and the void.
The whole of the universe can be reduced to the movement of atoms (indivisible entities), which are indistinguishable from each other, and can only be determined from the structure they form together.
They also had a naturalistic account (looking within the forces of nature) to explain the genesis of nature
All there were was atoms falling in the void, and due to a completely random and chance swerving of one of the atoms, it produced a trainwreck, domino effect, and atoms started forming composite wholes which finally created the universe
Leucippus and Democritus
Anaxymander at first all that there was was an apeiron out of which emerged fundamental opposites (hot/cold, wet/dry)
Creates a cosmogony to describe the genesis of the universe
It doesn't just assert one thing from another, he tries to account for one thing emerging one another. Tries to give the arche for it. Why Y had to come from X and that it was natural and couldn't be avoided
The pre-socratics were cosmologists and naturalists, and were important factors in a process of demytholization
Responsible for the troubling waning of belief in the Olympian gods, and the traditional explanation of the creation of the world, and the basis of political order
The Pre-socratics replaced traditional mythological accounts with accounts that rely exclusively on natural causes
As determined by exclusively rational investigation
The sun isn't Apollo's chariot, the sun is a red-hot stone, or a burning gaseous cloud
The humanistic turn of the thinkers in 5th century BC
An examination of human nature anthropological, ethical, and political questions are asked
Studied in the same way relying exclusively on reason
Turn isn't the best way to describe this, because what some of these thinkers did was draw out the implications of the naturalists
But some of them denied the thinking of the naturalist thinkers
The cosmos is logos, and so can be comprehended
The two major initiators of this are the Sophists and Socrates
Why the turn?
They thought that the way of thinking of the naturalists were too extreme
Parminades denied motion entirely, and the change of time
You need experts on matters of the state, people who know what a human being is, and what makes a good human being, and what a state is, and how you make a great state charitable view
Cynical view assembly members realized that their power was completely predicated on their power to sway the assembly.
You need oratorical skills
Sophist wasn't originally a pejorative term, it just meant a wise person
Eventually it turned into disrepute because they charged fees for what they taught, and some became extremely wealthy
Travelled the land and taught a wide range of topics such as grammar, forensic rhetoric, and they flocked to Athens
Why? Athens was totally obsessed with litigation frivolous lawsuits, and a democracy
What did the sophists teach, philosophically speaking?
The nomos / physis debate
A debate which raged in 5th century BC, reflecting a larger spiritual crisis (putting into question all of the spiritual beliefs involving justice)
Nomos convention, useage, what is customary. Also means law.
Kata nomos according to law
Nomos thetes legislate
Physis Nature, in two sense. Both the entities in nature, also nature as a matrix of generation (the primal source out of all things emerge, and back to where they go).
Kata physein - according to the rightful order of nature
To the sophists there was a dichotomy between natural right, and civil right.
Civil right being what is the case by custom, positive law, that someone decreed at a particular time and place
Natural right is what is according to nature, what is prescribed by nature
Their account of physis was as follows:
Everything emerges out of chance and necessity
Nothing is pre-intended by any sort of god, not meant to happen, it happens, but everything else happens out of necessity (clinamen the original swerving atom)
The universe as we know it is an accident
Good and evil, and every sort of moral categories, are not applicable to nature
Nature of itself is devoid of inherinet will
There is nothing we are supposed to be doing by nature, laws grounded in nature
Right and wrong, wisdom, justice, are all just names, purely convention, arbitrary and contingent.
Established by men, not divinely ordained
Established by men with nothing to guide them because good and evil are not inherent by nature
The will has no transcendent nature
This is why laws different from place to place and time to time.
Drew further implications
Asked themselves: if nature is devoid of all moral values, if it is beyond good and evil, then what is there to guide us?
What is to orient our will?
What is our basis for decision? What is our standard?
They made natural inclinations for food, for sex, etc., the standard for their decisions.
Following your passions and instincts is viewed by them as the only thing that is kata physein and right.
Hence, Sophists, were accused of being debauched, immoralists, or at least of inciting the Athenian youth to this sort of debauchery
Their view of positive law, as it is decreed by someone was:
An instrument by which the legislator furthers his/her/their interests
A tool they use to promote their agenda
Law is the means by whcih the weak get together and protect themsleves against the strong/ambitious, who they would otherwise fall prey to
Other Sophists think that Law is a means of controlling the weak *
Still others thought of law, as convention
Following your impulses, passions, desires, is what is according to nature
Unfourtunately, if everyone does this, and nature is just law of the jungle, and your right extends as far as your power, that is an impossible, unlivable situation
Even if you're the strongest person on the block, you have to sleep, and while you sleep, you could be killed
As a kind of second-best, they agree to relinquish their power to do whatever they want, on condition that everyone else do the same.
In that way, at least they keep some of their stuff, and satisfy some of their desires
Religion is just a tool, similarly, to govern the masses.
Fear of retribution in the afterlife keeps people in check
The sophists were also relativists when it came to knowledge, and the possibility of knowledge
Man is the measure of all things
In that context, there are no facts, just interpretations, perspectives on things which can be mutually exclusive
All is just in the eyes of the beholder
This, when coupled with their views on moral values, gets you to a place where you can understand Clouds
On every issue, there is the possibility of two sides, perfectly compelling and favourable speeches on both sides of an organization
Conclusion: sophists are both the continuation and ending of the cosmological theories
Continuing the view of 'god is dead'
On the other hand, there was never escaping doxa opinion
The play is about the spiritual crisis in Athens at the time of the play, which was a clash between traditional customs and formal education, and the new education of the philosophers
Socrates, somehow, compared to the socrates in the platonic dialgoues, is portrayed as an emblematic figure for all of these new age figures.
Aristophanes makes him the embodiment of everything he hates in the new intellectuals
The play opens in the way that all Aristophanes's plays do.
The main character is wracked by a problem
Strepsiddes is faced with enormous debts the can't pay (well, his sson has ammased debts)
A plan is put forward to solve this problem
He's going to escape his creditors by sending his son to Socrates' thinkery
Strepsiddes has heard how Socrates has made the weaker (worse) argument the better. I.e. How to win any sort of legal debt.
With his son's help, he can get out of his debt trouble
S identifies that the traditional forms of education are obsolete, and won't get you what you want.
Also knows that the new form of power is rhetoric you need to be able to outspeak your opponent
Also knows that the educators who teach this new form of knowledge is Socrates and his associates at the thinkery
S's wife and son cling to the old values, are a part of the traditional values
S is a bumpkin Bush!
S goes to the thinkery, and is greeted by a sickly looking student who tells him how Socrates has discovered many things (useless things).
Uselessness confirmed by how they have no adequate food or shelter
Enter Socrates swining from some sort of crane thing.
Contemplating the mysteries of the universe which is misinterpreted by S to be attacking the mysteries of the gods
S implores Socrates to make him a great orator so he can get out of debt
Swears by the gods
The Socrates of the play rebukes him and says that the gods are no longer useful here, they have been debunked
Zeus doesn't cause rain or thunder. Socrates says they are caused by the clouds, whcih he introduces as his patron saints
Socrates draws the same sort of implications that the sophists do
There is no justice or divine retribution in nature
Zeus' lightning hits the wicked and the good equally
The clouds are moved by the vortex.
S partially understands and says: Zeus is dead and Vortex has taken his place on the throne.
The clouds as the phenomenon of nature (ironic because they are transient and shapeshifters, which were exactly what the sophists were)
Third god is the tongue. What the sophists used to gain advantage over others.
The clouds promise S that he'll be the best orater in town so long as he sticks to the regime
Too obtuse to remember anything, and is kicked out of the thinkery
Goes back home and convinces his son to take his place.
Endeavouring to develop a purely rational account of the universe
Reduce the multiplicity of the universe we observe to one common element
They're called cosmologists because to them, cosmos = logos
Nature as a whole is structured according to rational principles, and that order is accessible to the logos of the mind
Contributed heavily to a disenchantment of nature
Rain is no longer caused by Poseidon/Zeus, it is caused by fundamental natural reasons
Taught, for a fee, the linguistic skills that would persuade others
Sophists were skeptics when it comes to the possibility of acquiring knowledge
The sphere of the mind, the finite perspectives of gaining access to things as they are
Language isn't a neutral medium like it was for the cosmologists, for the thoughts in our mind, which themselves reflect the order of the universe
Cosmos = logos (both speech and reason) for the cosmologists
Logos indiathetos and logos piophorikos
Sophists didn't believe in this
They thought that language shaped your thoughts, it determined what you can think
Language influences your thought
Distorting influence and intereferes with our ability
There are no facts, meerly interpretations, which are rooted in our finite perspectives of things
Therefore it is possible to defend any position, and to create a persuasive argument to argue anything
No objective reality, only conflicting interpretations
No Truth, but prevailing in arguments
Truth is universal, and it doesn't make sense in trying to outdo someone in it.
Took over the position of the materialists like Leucippus and Democritus
In nature, there is no pull of purpose, or something nature wills, just the push of atom bumping into atom, etc. Etc.
In terms of nomos for the sophists moral laws have no basis in nature
Nature doesn't support or ground moral laws
That's why laws vary from place to place, and from one period to the next
If this is your view of nomos then what's left to base your decisions on?
Nature as it's expressed in our will, understood as brute passions and desires
We should follow our desires, that is what is in accordance with nature
They're hedonists, pleasure should be maximized, and that should be it.
Therefore they were accused of licentiousness and debauchery and being corruptors
THE CLOUUUUUUDS (finally)
Streppsiades forces his son Phidippides to go to the thinkery in his place
Socrates is being cast as an athiest, someone who dismisses the traditional accounts of the gods and natural phenomenon
S and P arrive at the thinkery
S implores Socrates to teach his son the wrong argument so that he can pull one on all his creditors
He wants his son to be taught in the new linguistic rherotical education
Socrates retires and ushers in the wrong and the right argument who would carry out the debate
At first they hurl mindless insults at each other
There is one telling exchange at the beginning
Right boasts that he'll win when he puts forth the idea of justice
Wrong says there is no justice
Right: justice lies with the gods
Well, if justice lies with the gods, why was Zeus not punished for chaining his father and taking power?
The only reply from the right argument is 'you make me want to puke'
The point is that as soon as right engages in this dispute, as soon as they right argument agrees to dispute, he's lost from the get-go, because he's seeded his proper terrain
The right argument can't possibly have any rational argument for itself, why?
Within it's own paradigm (according to it's own standards) for what could for justifying and validating, it's authority
It's appeal to the authority of our ancestors, the priests who tell us what the gods want and what the gods are
Right argument is indifferent to reason
Right can only rely on abuse, on physical disgust and intolerance
Right argument operates on the level of opinion, doxa.
Within its own standard, within it's own framework, that's fine.
Right stands for traditional views of education
The debate is between traditional learning, and the new education
After this preliminary debate, they are asked to present their views on education, and Phiddipides is asked to choose which one his prefers
Right is dressed proper, while Wrong argument is projected to have an impish grin, insolent, and has tongues embroidered on his clothing
According to the right argument, the old education produced, modesty, piety, self control, respect for authority, and bodily vigour.
Praises chastity and modesty
Praises it in a way that shows that he's pedophile
By contrast, the new education makes the effeminate, flabby, and lets the body atrophy (because some sophists looked on the body with contempt), and others let it go bad by persuing their basest desires
By contrast, the flabby new educated youth, the men who won in marathons were strong
Implication being that if athens goes down, the new education will be to blame
This time the wrong argument takes over and uses typical tricks to win
The baths of Heracles were hot baths, and so hot baths can't be a bad thing
Wrong argument's first major, important claim was that the old education is useless
It doesn't bring you happiness in terms of the satisfaction of bodily pleasures
Right's belief and praise of nomos and law is groundless
Nomos has no foundation in physis
Proof of this is the fact that vice is not punished, and virtue is not rewarded
Lightning strikes the wicked and the perfectly just (by the old scheme of values)
Another way of putting this is that the universe is not a cosmos
It may have a rational structure/order insofar as the behaviour of atoms and matter is functioning rational law
But we humans don't have a place in the cosmos, we fall outside of it
We don't have a law that governs us
We can't look at a cosmic order to tell us what to do
If that is the case, what's to be done?
He praises unbridled physis
Enjoines everyone to persue the promptings of nature natural desires
Whatever their passions tell them to do, because that is the only way in which human beings are rooted in the cosmos
You should seek to maximize your pleasure
Wrong urges the youth to cultivate the tongue
It is through the use of language that they will obtain what they by nature desire
Manipulate others through rhetoric
That way you can satisfy all the desires that traditional education will deprive you of
Wrong argument's claim is that it is in accordance with nature
Wrong argument is the argument that allows you to pursue your desires and fulfil them in an uninhibited fashion
The laws are for chumps, you obey it if you're a fool
Nomos is important to sophists only as a check to the weak
The argument ends with Right defecting to Wrong
Why? Aristophanes doesn't tell us
The fact that he defects shows that all along his praise of virtue, his embracing the traditional education, his arguments for that has been utilitarian
He wasn't praising virtue or embracing it for their own sake **Crucial in the Republic
In the Republic, Socrates argues that you need to pursue virtue for its own reward
Wasn't praising traditional virtues in themselves regardless of their consequences
He was being virtuous only because it was getting him something, and making himself look good, high position, and the money that goes with it
At this point the Clouds utter a dire warning
Phiddipides emerges pale faced from the thinkery, pale and scrawny
Strepsiddes is overjoyed at the appearance of his son. Yay! He became a philosopher
Totally misunderstood the corrosiveness of this teaching, and how it threatens to undermine the social order
Phiddipides is able to send away some of the creditors
Clouds predict his downfall
Phiddipides has understood the sophist education, better than his father
Understands that through of this education, is beyond good and evil
There are no boundary markers for his actions now
Phiddipides has come to recognize how arbitrary and contingent the nomoi are, the civil laws
They were made by men, and human beings, and so can be undeone and changed by human beings
P starts beating his father, and his justification: every law was made by a human, so why can't he make a new one?
Step curses the clouds
When the inversion of the social order suited him, everything was good
But now that new education has ceased to benefit him, it's at that point he turns back to the real gods, and curses the new gods, the clouds
Aristophanes' conclusion is ambiguous
Not sure if he is an upholder of the old laws, because he is fundamentally selfish
And that proves the new education
SETUP TO THE APOLOGY
Socrates' defence against the charges against him
Against the accusations that have been levelled against him for a while now, and the new charges that have been put forward to him
The text was made public shortly after the trial
It wouldn't have served its purpose of vindication if it was a fabrication
This is the closest thing we have to Socrates speaking in his own voice, Socrates reflecting on his own life and the purpose of his own life
Defending and asserting the goodness of his philosophical vocation
Apologia reasoned defence
What we're getting here isn't really a rational argument against the philosophical way of life
It's not a reasoned argument, that we get in the Republic
It's the boldest possible declaration of the goodness of the philosophical vocation
The unexamined way of life is not worth living
To not examine your way of life, your beliefs that form the core of who you are and your identity, is a life of death
Historical Background to the Trial
Things have gone down the drain for Athens
Gone from bad to worse
The slander that Aristophanes put forward in his play, why they would be something closer to a mere joke in 423 than in 399.
Even if Aristophanes couldn't stand Socrates, his intention was not to get him killed
421 is the signing of the truce in the way through a signing
The period from then to 399 is basically the end of Athens' glory
Athens dispatches a fleet against Sicily
Opinion = doxa
Knowledge = episteme
What defines opinion isn't it being true or false, but it's being succeptable to being either true or false
It's a proposition
Justice/virture is x
Liable to be either true or false
What we get in this dialogue is a true opinion regarding the value of the philosophical enterprise
Why are we still at the level of opinion?
Because we still don't know
Still subject to doubt
Hasn't been tied down
Knowledge, however, is more substancial, more concrete
Knowledge can give you the why
Why should you believe x?
Gives you a proof, relying on premises that everyone can agree on
Derives from those premises a proof for the opinion in question
The satirical Socrates in the Clouds portrays him as a natural philosopher and a sophist likely a joke
Socrates calls these slanders, and claims that they are largely responsible for the accusations
Between 423-399 is tumultous
Things go from bad to worse in the Peoloppinsian wars
Athens suffer a string of defeats
Things get worse when Sparta allies itself with Persia, and together they form all sorts of revolts against Athens' colonies
The naval battle in 405 BCE marked the end of the war
The reprocussions were widespread poverty and famine, against the backdrop of heavy war, and a plague
Sparta sets up a puppet regieme in Athens called the 30 Tyrants
The enemies of this puppet regime are sent into exile or executed
Appx 1500 pro-democrats were murdered under the 30
The regime was overthrown by an exiled General in 403 BCE
Point? The vibe in Athens was not the same as it was in 423
Athens is a shadow of what it once was
In 399, democracy was only recently restored, and those who restored it are very anxious to safeguard it.
As in any other period of national crisis, there is a kind of conservative movement
Heightened concern for traditional values, conservatism, and conformity
Specific backlash against those perceived to be anti-democratic, people who have colluded with the 30.
Amnesty had been granted to people involved with the 30, outside of the 30 themselves
Athenians in general are now looking for a scapegoat for their increasing sense that Athenian society is in decline
Democrats in particular, and those who suffered under the 30, are looking for revenge
Plato's uncle, and Socrates' friend Critas
One of the most violent tyrants
Alcibiades Soctates' beloved protogee
Well born, had tremendous potencial as a political figure
Tasked with a naval expedition to Sicily
The night before the fleet is to set sail, statues are desecrated and Alcibiades is blamed
He defects to Sparta's side when he learns that he was called to trial, and gives up military secrets
Therefore, the fact that Socates is associated with other shady (from the perspective of the democrats) people, doesn't help his case
The jury was huge by our standards, 501 people
Thought to represent the will of the people because it was so large
Importance of the trial dictated the number of jurors
Athenian court seemed to be unruly, with no formal judge
The jury could speak up at any point, etc.
Most importantly, the legal question for Athenians was different for what we understand it to be
Purpose wasn't so much to figure out whether the defendant had actually carried out the supposed accusations, but is the defendant a net benefactor for the city.
Given the situation as it stands, what course of action is likely to have the most positive consequences for the community as a whole?
They cared if you did the crime or not, but it was much more secondary compared to a modern day trial
Plato picks up Socrates' account right after the prosecution finishes reading their enditement against him
Socates starts with a disclaimer
Unfamiliar with the court, and forensic rhetoric, and the tools and tricks
The stock elements that will make a good defence
Says he will speak in my customary manner, the way I talk with people in the marketplace
Not condemning rhetoric, per say
Condemning the subordination of truth to rhetoric
He has no problem with being called a clever speaker, so long as it is in the context of speaking the truth
Some people believe that he is being insincere here (claiming not to know is a tool of the rhetorician)
Claims that the new accusations against him are derivatives of the old ones, and that they are comparatively benign
Pretty confident that he'd be able to get off if it were just the new ones
Worried about the older ones. Why? They're older, and thus, deep-seated.
The jury members have heard about them since their youth, and it'll be harder to remove them from the minds of the jurors.
Because they're the real danger, Socates is going to start with them, and spend little time on the new accusations
Another diffulty he cites with the old accusations is that they are anonymous, nameless and faceless
Will have to fight against shadows...with one major exception Aristophanes
Doesn't explicit cite him, but it's pretty clear that he means Aristophanes and the Clouds
Cites him as the source of the slanders against him
Guily of wrongdoing and studying things in the sky and below the earth, makes stronger the worse argument, and that he teaches how to do this in the others we see all of this in the clouds
Note, when he re:states these slanders against him, he adds a fourth, which is implicit in the first that he doesn't believe in the gods.
If you accuse someone of being a natural philosopher, you are accusing them of being an atheist, the two were synonymous.
Given that these are the three original accusations, it makes sense to cite Aristophanes
Socrates' first target is therefore going to be the claim (decades old by now) that he is a natural philosopher
Socrates vehemently denies that he has anything to do with it, that he has any part within it
Doesn't have contempt for it, but doesn't practice it
Defies the jury to produce any defence of it
Many believe that his is another case in which Socrates is being insincere
Phaedo Socrates admits to being an natural philosopher
Passage from the Phaedo doesn't support this, because he doesn't say that he has never studied it, he just doesn't any more.
Ever since he strikes up taking with the Athenians, he has ignored it
Said he didn't have the brains/talent for it, and he was disappointed in it, because it didn't teach him anything
Socrates' humanist turn is due
Apology Socrates makes it clear that he is very much familiar with the works of Anaxagoras, who was a famous natural philosopher
Got interested in him only because of his idea of nous that nature was ordered by the mind, and so he thought that it must be ordered for the best and the good
Therefore the study of nature would be able to tell us how best to do things
But, Anaxagoras didn't make the use of mind, and mentioned for the causes air, ether, water, and other strange things
They dwelt on 'efficient' causes
Explained things by looking at preceding causes, as opposed to identifying the purpose of it happening, what is the aim of it?
By focusing on the efficient causes, he looses sight of the good in nature
This dissatisfaction accounts for Socrate's humanistic turn.
He realizes that natural science can't teach us how to live \
Now attacks the claim that he is a sophist (made the worse argument the better)
Doesn't explicitly address this
Defies anyone to attest to the fact that he takes money for his teachings
Sophists were given money for their teachings because they (or their sons) wanted to be made better
If the sophists are to be trusted teachers of virtue or human excellence, they have to be posessors of expert knowledge as to what a good human being is, and how to make a human being good, and how to educate one properly
Socrates emphatically denies having such expert knowledge
He does not know how to educate one to be a good human being, and so cannot, in good conscience, charge anyone for this
Have to examine Socrates' accounts for the origins of these slanders
this original negative portrayal is when he says the first controversial (and seemingly impious)thing
Knows he's going to be cast as impous for this
Chirophon asking the Delphic Oracle : Is there anyone wiser than socrates?
Socrates is puzzled by this, because he knows that he doesn't know very much
So sets out to investigate the meaning of this oracle
Examines those reputed to be wise, find people known to be wise to refute the oracle
Some commentators say that this is impious behaviour, because he says from the start that it would not be legitimate for the oracle to lie
Speaks for a desire to prove the oracle irrefutable
Goes out to knock down possible interpretations of the oracle
the Oracle was notoriously cryptic, and often chastised people for assuming that their initial interpretation of their answer
According to Socrates, it is his pious duty, consistent with the Oracle, to set out and find it's true meaning
In his own mind, he is on a mission from God
Socrates sets out to question everyone who is wise to figure out what the Delphic oracle might mean
Starts with the politicians who claim to know what justice and a good human being is
Socrates sets upon them and asks them questions like what is virtue/justice, with his favourite method elenchus (rational enquiry)
Using this, he exposes their ignorace
While they appear to be wise, they are not
What the elenchus assumes, is that to know something is to be able to define it
Capture the invariable thing that makes the thing the sort of thing that it is.
What is it about the thing that makes it the type of thing that it is? To make it belong to the class of things that it belongs to?
To give a reasoned account for what it is
To verbally capture the essence of what it is
They have exhausted all possible definitions without producing any sort of knowledge in the end knowledge as in universal definition
The Means and the Ends of Philosophy, According to Socrates
Elenchus is the first part of the means to the end he has in mind
What is the aim of philosophy?
Help his interlocutors turn the eyes of their souls to the truth
Turn the eyes of their souls to the knowledge that they already have access to, along as they attend to it
In other words, his aim is to help his interlocutors give birth/actualize/produce the truth that already lies dormant within them, that they possess without knowing
They're pregnant with this truth, and his method is that of a midwife (maieutic method).
Assists the birth of the knowledge that the interlocutor is pregnant with
Socrates' doctrine of recollection
To come to know knowledge is a process of recollecting the knowledge you already have within you, but you are not aware of.
Each of Socrates' interlocutors have to think it through themselves, Socrates can't simply pour the knowledge into them
First step is that Socrates must meet his interlocutors where they are in terms of knowledge
Has to help them identify and remove their false knowledge, or their true opinions with knowledge
Has to start by dispelling his interlocutors double ignorance
They most often don't know, and don't know that they don't know
Because they don't know that they don't know, they can't even get the process of developing knowledge within them, going.
They can't come to desire knowledge because they don't know that they lack knowledge
The elenchus shows Socrates' interlocutors that they don't know
The elenchus isn't an end in itself
His purpose isn't to go around refuting people, he wants to help them develop knowledge
Positive flip side to the elenchus
It doesn't always have to lead to an aporia knowledge
Therefore another definition for elenchus is dialectic
To tie it all together if you don't on some level already know what you're looking for in searching for something, then how will you know that you've found it
If knowledge isn't something that you in some way already posses, how can you desire to look for it in the first place?
How can you know you want it if you don't already know that you want it?
On some level you need to have an unconscious knowledge of it, coupled with the fact that you don't have it.
The Apology, ctd
The elenchus is definitely Plato's version of the Socratic method
Some believe that all of the dialogues than end in an impasse that is the historical socrates' method
He's just a radical sceptic
These dialogues are earlier, because he's still under the influence of his master
He then later develops a broader method
Step 1: Dispel false opinion in order to rebuild
Socrates started to investigate those who thought to know
Because they uphold the traditional notion of justice
Because they teach the traditional accounts of justice
Because they claim to (and do seem to be able to know) how to produce things
Can give you an account of why what they do works
Incidentally, also claim to know where justice and virtue come from
First Socrates tells us that the polticians and the poets fall short
They're exposed not to have known what they claim to have known
This is important because their functions depend on them having this kind of knowledge
Polticians need to know what justice is to conduct it
Socrates' brand of wisdom is not doubly ignorant
At least he knows that he does not know
It turns out that the elenchus demonstrates that they do know a few things
Can explain why they do some of the things they do
They can provide a theory to provide why they do what they do
Because they know the theory behind what it is they do, they can also teach it to others
The tradespeople have expert knowledge, craft knowledge, which is certain, explanitory, and teachable
Stands up to the acid bath of reason (the elenchus)
But, they also claim to know what justice/virtue is
But knowing how to build a house is not relevant to their claim
Knowledge of these human things are most important
Why, we don't know yet
Opinion = conclusion without premises (not tied down)
assertion of a conclusion without the premises to support it
If we assume this is the most important kind of knowledge, then Socrates' wisdom is still superior
What is Socrates' explanation for the origins of the original slanders said of him
First: He's pissed a lot of people off
If you go around exposing people to be ignorant, and if their position depends on them not looking ignorant, it's rather embarrassing for them
In demolishing people's beliefs, it's the natural inference to believe that Socrates must know about the kind of things he's just deconstructed the beliefs of others about
He knows that the leisurely aristocratic youth took pleasure in watching him
They began to imitate him, further pissing people off
And the people that they've PO'ed, blame Socrates, the model for their behaviour
Socrates' interlocutors frequently don't care for their souls, just their reputations
The elenchus can have two effects:
Dispels the interlocutors double ignorance, and then desires to complete himself/herself through the accusation of knowledge
Can lead to the acquisition of true knowledge
Or it can backfire, and just piss the person off, and cause them to hate the person who has just exposed their ignorance
It is on behalf of those numerous ambitious violent people that Soctates have offended that Meletus (on behalf of the poets, apparently he was a religious fanatic and was thought to have brought other ppl on trial for impierty), Anytus (on behalf of the politicians, pro democrat, exiled, and lost all his wealth when the Spartans took over [used to own a factory, so represents the craftsmen to some degree as well],) and Lycon (orator) has brought forth the formal charges against him
Meletus' sworn deposition:
Socrates corrupts the youth
Socrates does not believe in the gods that the city believes in
That he believes rather in other spiritual things/activities
Meletus is frivolous, irresponsible, without ever having really thought of the meaning of the words that he's using in his accusation
Socrates deals with the first part first corruption
Basically says that if Meletus knows who corrupts the youth, then he knows who benefits him
Meletus says that only Socrates is corrupting them
Meletus hasn't thought about this stuff before, and rather reckless in bringing such a serious accusation forward
Socrates gets Meletus to agree to the following two premises
No one willingly harms himself
It's better to live surrounded by good people
Bad people will harm you
So, given the two premises, he comes to the conclusion that he can't be deliberately be making the youth bad
Why? He has to be living among the youth
So, if he is corrupting the youth he lives with, then he's willingly harming himself, which is bad
Based on that conclusion, he sets up a disjunction
Then either he doesn't corrupt the youth
Or, I don't do it willingly/unintentionally
Either way, Meletus, you're lying.
Why? The charge is that he willingly corrupts the youth, deliberately does it
Given this disjunction, should he be punished?
Instead, he should be instructed, taught to know better such so that he doesn't corrupt
He doesn't have the intent for the crime
Crime has to be committed behind a moral agent, otherwise it isn't a crime, it is an accident
Proves that he believes in the gods, and makes Meletus say that he thinks that Socrates doesn't believe in the gods at all
Well, if the formal deposition says he believes in spiritual things, then he must be believing in either gods, or the children of the gods, therefore, he must believe in gods
Socrates goes on to give a speech for the value of the philosophical vocation
The sovereignty of virtue
He is about to explain how his philosophical vocation is a pious activity
The Sovereignty of Virtue
The claim made by Socrates that all other things are secondary in value to virtue
Virtue in itself is an absolute good
All other good things are meerly subordinate goods
They're good only in relation to virtue as the absolute good
There's two ways in which they relate is by enabling the absolute good of virtue, insofar as they enable the absolute good, then they are good themselves
If they are exercised by or used by a person of virtue
Wealth, in itself is neutral, neither good nor bad
Life itself is a secondary good
If it means comprimising your virtue, you should die
It is better to face death than to live wrongly
The whole point of the Republic is to demonstrate the above rationally
In that sense, the Republic can be seen as the continuation/fulfillment of the apology the real philosophical vindication for the philosophy of virtue
What the Republic is going to prove, is that the happy person is the just person, even if they are reputed to be completely unjust, and persecuted even because of that false opinion
Secondly, is Socrates' philosophical vocation pious? Virtuous?
In battle, he obayed the order of his superiors
Therefore, it would be shameful for him to not obey the gods, Apollo, who has tasked him with this philosophical mission to interrogate his citizens and expose their ignorance
Not doing so would be impious
The oracle declared him wisest among humans because he alone recognizes that he is not wise
How does that square with the doctrine that he puts forth about the Sovereignty of Virtue?
He seems to think that disobedience is unjust and wrong, etc.
Well, Socrates isn't claiming that human's can't know, period
He may just be claiming that human wisdom, as valued by Apollo is a perpetual humility, about one's truth claims
Always subject to doubt, and we can err, because we are human
Our knowledge is nothing compared to the infinity of things we don't know
Socrates' conclusion is that Oracle is making a deflationary comment about human wisdom
Our capacity to achieve knowledge is very limited indeed
Socrates claims that the god has bid him to continue pestering the citizens even though he has deciphered his meaning
So why does he continue?
How can Socrates claim to receive this mandate from the Gods?
Inscriptions on the walls of the Delphic oracle
Bow to the divine
They were all directed to humility
In saying that Socrates is the wisest person on the planet, the Oracle is making a value judgement
Often when asked who was great, the Oracle would point to some low level person, not great achievers
It is better to be humble
Socrates is helping to bring about what the god Apollo commends
Exposing ingorance in order to bring humility
Pious service to the gods
That's why once he understood the oracle, he took it as a mission from god, and to continue
Socrates hasn't demonstrated the ultimate value of his vocation
He simply appeals to traditional authority, even though he is seemingly supporting the new education
Socrates claims that he is a gadfly sent by the god to rouse his city and fellow citizens from their slumber
Out our their unconscious vices, make them realize that they have neglected to search for what is most important
They've taken the traditional values at face value, and that's that
Socrates believes that far from being a blight for the city, he is a gift from the gods to the city
He doesn't subvert or undermine it, he improves it, he benefits the city
The care of the self, what Socrates as a gadfly is doing, that kind of care of the soul is vital to the care of the state
The only healthy state is when the rulers are virtuous, and the citizens are just (have tended to their souls)
non virtuous rulers will set up laws for their own benefit
a state in which a city is unjust, then they won't last very long.
They'll fear death more than vice
Socrates is exalting himself as the model for citizens
Therefore if the city chooses to kill him, they will be doing themselves great harm
This brings up Socrates' political engagement
If all of this is true, then why haven't you addressed the assembly?
Why have you lived an apolitical life?
His daimon, his personal consciousness, has told him that he shouldn't do that
Because if he speaks truth to power, he's going to get killed
If you chastise the masses and try to keep them from doing bad things, he'd be killed
Proves that Socrates doesn't have a death wish
Doesn't do because he thinks theres another way where he can be of service to the state
A political life in private
He's been politically engaged when necessary
Gone to war
Stood up against the Thirty Tyrants
He didn't do that because the elenchus, the philosophical life, doesn't work against the masses, against a collective
It works only against individual souls
Perpetually engaging in rationally scrutinizing conversation
Helping the city by helping individual citizens by recognizing their soul
That they don't know what virtue is but they should come to know
Socrates is proven guilty by only 30 votes
Socrates' answer: you should give me free hero's meals in the big house (city hall)
If he honestly believes that he's of supreme benefit to the city, he won't say that he should be killed
More people vote to have him killed than they did to exonerate him
Prophesies that Athens is going to hell in a handbasket
Opening scene supposed to symbolize the entire book
Socrates has come down to the Piraeus from the heights of Athens proper (special emphasis on down)
Piraeus is a port town connected to Athens with a wall and pathway
You can satisfy any desire for a price here at this rowdy port down
Town begame associated with political subversion
Passions run amuck
Diversity of opinions
And the transgression of established order
You go her to paaartay and leave behind your inhibitions
Strange place to have a philosophical conversation
This discussions in the Republic are all going to distance themselves from traditional Athenian beliefs
Comes down to observe the introduction of a new god to the place
Foreshadowing, because Socrates is going to introduce a new 'god' as well, the Good
For which he was accused of aetheism
Also a kind of foreshadowing because he praises both the Thracian procession and the Athenian procession
Symbolizes the perspective that Socrates is going to introduce into the city
You don't praise things simply because of some blind attachment to blood and soil, to custom and what's your own
He's going to introduce the perspective of Reason
You embrace, love, and praise that which is in accordance with Reason, and for no other reason than that
Socrates start making his way back up towards Athens with Glaucon and he's pulled by a slaveboy from behind and orders him to stop
A threat of force, a command
Stay because my master Polemarchus and his entourage is coming up behind, and they want him to stay
Polemarchus is being cast as someone who operates on opnion, and Socrates is being cast as someone being able to discern between good and bad opinion
What's going on in book one is an examination of athenian beliefs on Justice
Athenian moral values are rotten to the core
Socrates, prove physically stronger than us, or you have to stay
Polemarchus again is being cast from the start as someone with opinions and someone with desires, and will resort to force to get these desires
Socrates replies what if we can persuade you to let us go?
Polemarchus goes what if we don't listen?
How can you persuade us if you don't listen
Joke they're friends, but meaningful
Symbolic representation of what this book is about
This book is about making the city safe for philosophy, making it respective for philosophy
What does that mean?
The Piraeus is the key
Image of the cave which is the image itself, which is there to explain the process in which we escape from the realm of opinion and gain knowledge of true reality.
Piraeus realm of opinion, and a place where corporal desires are the sole motive for action
The realm in which force is used to satisfy the desires, which are themselves a function of opinion
As a result, a realm in which human relations take the form of an all out war
Ruthless competition of material goods
If the philosopher comes down into the cave, he's unlikely to be listened to
What's more, he's very likely to be killed, because he'll be perceived as a nuisance
Socrates, who has gone down into the Piraeus, has been threatened physically, and he's been told that he will not be listened to
Symbolic of the basic political problem that it addresses
To create a true politics, one which isn't just war waged by other means
Polemarchus, Adeamantus, Glaucon, each of them are either wealthy medics, or aristocrats
The medics move in the circles of the upper crust
Typically people like this seek to acquire as much money and power as possible to satisfy their bodily needs
This is a form of competition between them
How do you make people like that listen to philosophy
Some of Socrates' interlocutors are too old to be reeducated and to allow their opinions to be questioned
There are others whose education is at stake, whose opinions havent been fixed irrevocably (Glaucon, Polemarchus, Adeamanus)
Socrates' burden is to convert them to philosophy
But this book is about more than that
What is possible to know? And what is the human soul/nature?
If you consider the first question if everything is just a matter of popinion, and there is no universal truth, then you're stuck in the cave
If that's the case, then we better just scramble and fight tooth and nail to be top dog in the cave, which is what the sophists believe
In the second question if all that's in the soul is base appetites, for sensual pleasures, then again, there's no escaping the cave, and again, we'd better fight tooth and nail to get our desires
Or! We better arbitrarily, artificially, set up a system of justice which will allow us to satisfy some desires, and keep the chaos under control
Some sophists said the above too
This is what's at stake in this dialogue
Socrates is tempted to stay with a cool torch race on horseback in the dark, and second, there are people who'll listen to you
Socrates is a lover of conversation and so he stays
The elenchus is the first step of the mieutic method to turn the soul's eyes inward
If he holds false opinions then Socrates must refute them
If they have true opinions, then Socrates' job is to help them get to the true knowledge within them
This is exactly what Socrates is doing in book one of the Republic
We'll see a wholesale condemnation of Athenian beliefs
They're widespread beliefs, and that's why its significant that Socrates is refuting them
These rules are also
Cephalus is an old but rich man who is a resident alien who makes shields (Athens is still at war at this point)
Polemarchus C's son, and they move in the same circles as the high-born aristocrats
Celphaus says that he's too weak to go up to the city
Philosopher must come down because the ignorant are too weak to get out of the cave
Eveything he says isn't true because as soon as they start having a conversation, they leave
Asks C how he likes being old
Says he doesn't really mind, because his desires have calmed down, and that his desire for logoi have increased
Alluded to a tug of war between passions and reason
More importantly, Cephalus also says that he doesn't mind it, but his friends do, because they can't physically cater to their passions anymore
Old age isn't a burden to Cephalus
Socrates points out that perhaps C is okay with it because he's rich
C's reply is that yes, old age without riches is rotten, but they're not a sufficient condition to make it bearable
Riches in themselves are neutral, and because he has a good character, he uses his riches well
They allow him to, in his old age, not worry about the afterlife, because he'll be going there knowing that's he's repaid all of his debts to both the humans and the gods
Allows him to be just and pious
Moreover it allows him to be honest, because he doesn't have to cheat people out of money in order to pay off his debts
Cephalus acts virtuously according to the traditional conception of justice
Importantly, he doesn't actually know what justice is
He does have a true opinion of the proper value of subordiante goods, and the true opinion of hierarchical relations from passion to reason, and he does have a true opinion of justice as well
But he's gotten these true opinions where? From myths, the accounts of the gods, the afterlife, what you have to do to avoid a really shitty one, and his ancestors
He's able to act well wiithout knowing what virtue is
He can only continue to act well if he doesn't place this true opinion he has into question, if he doesn't rationally examine it
Because as soon as Socrates challenges his defintion, he leaves and goes to sacrifice to the god
Celphalus' accidental definition of justice giving to each what is owed to them
Socrates pounces on this as though it were a definition that Cephalus wanted to put forward as a true definition
Counter example if you borrowed a weapon from a friend and he goes postal, you shouldn't give it back
Conflicts the idea that one must always return what is owed to them
His son Polemarchus intervenes, and he 'inherits' the argument
Comes in to try and defend his father's definition of justice
Significant Cephalus is satisfied with opinion, not interested in seeking truth with reason
What happens when the rational justifications don't satisfy them?
All that he'll have left are his passions to govern him dangerous
The only hope for Polemarchus and the young ones are for the Socratic method to succeed and enable them to come to a rational argument as to what justice is, and why one should be just
Polemarchus appeals to a traditional authority poet Simonides
Appealing to the traditional foundation for traditional Greek culture
Socrates points out that the meaning of the poem is not self evident, and reason must be used to tell us what the gods mean to tell us from the mouthpiece of the Poets
Reason is being elevated to the standard
Nothing is revealed truth unless it is consistent with reason
Polemarchus concedes this
Polemarchus' reinterpretation is that justice is helping friends and harming enemies
Reflects traditional Athenian beliefs about justice, especially among the elite
They conceive the world as a perpetual struggle over the finite scarce material goods that everyone wants, but not everyone can get
Your friends are those people who help you get stuff
Enemies are then all people who stand in your way
Criticism of Polemarchus' Position
What emerges out of this interrogation is to make Polemarchus realize that we need to know what exactly is due to people
What the good of a human being is. What a human being is and what a human being needs
He hasn't thought at all about whom you should benefit, and why you should benefit some, and harm others
The criticism operates through a parallism between the arts (techne craftsmen know a particular type of operation to make the thing well)
A doctor knows what bodies are, and what a thing needs
If justice conforms to this craft idea, then it is correct
The question has become what expert knowledge is justice?
The problem is that justice doesn't seem to be any of the crafts
Doesn't seem to have any particular sphere of operation
You go to a doctor have your body healed not because the doctor is just that he benefits your body, but it is because he is a doctor
Doesn't seem that justice has any particular sphere of operation
Polemarchus comes up with a lame sphere of operation to explain justice wars and alliances
Just person won't betray you
This conflicts with another opinion because justice is still useful in peacetime
Polemarchus tries again
A just person is good with money just person will keep your money safe
Problem we also have this opinion according to which is that it benefits you when you want to act well, not inactivity
So, if it's good when you want to keep it, then its useless when you want to act on it, conficts with the opinion that justice is to act well
Polemarchus doesn't know what he's talking about!
Doesn't even know what benefiting means
You need to know what that thing is, and what it needs
And so he hasn't thought of what a human being is, and what it needs, how you make a human being better
Techne then, is neutral
If a doctor knows what is best for bodies, then he'll know what's bad for them too
So, if a just person knows how to guard money, then the just man could also be a really good robber/theif, because if you know how to keep it safe, you know how to steal it
Point show that Polemarchus doesn't know why you should be just
Why the just person shouldn't be a thief
Polemarchus hasn't thought of to whom you give benefit either
Well, we don't always know who our friends and enemies are
So is justice harming your enemies even if they turn out to be enemies? And help your friends even if they turn out to be enemies?
Polemarchus insists upon his initial definition and modifies it only slightly justice is helping actual friends and harming actual enemies
Good people are your friends, and bad people are your enemies
Therefore, you should do good to good people, and bad to bad people
Friends are actually good people, which may include actually good people who you think are your enemies, and justice is harming enemies (understood as bad people), including those you may think are your friends
Point who are good people? We don't know, no criterion for determining this
Polemarchus should care about this, but doesn't.
Concluding criticism if justice is giving what is due to all (good to the good to actual friends, and bad to the bad, ones actual enemies)
But, does the just person ever harm anyone?
Once again this is answered by looking to the crafts, because if justice is a craft, then it must have the general structure as a craft
Insofar as a doctor is a doctor, does he or she ever hurt anyone?
So, is your doctor really being a doctor if he's hurting you? No!
By definition, a doctor is someone who heals bodies, who benefits bodies, by knowing what they are, and what they need
Therefore anyone harming bodies doesn't conform to the definition of being a doctor. The moment a doctor starts harming they stop being a doctor
All arts do good to the objects over which they are set
If you want to harm something within the specific operation within the arts, its by not practicing the art
If you want to make someone unmusical, you do it by not practising the art of music
So, if justice is assumed to be an art, can it ever be the case that a just person harms someone?
No! Because it has to conform to the idea of benefactor and beneficiary
All arts benefit that over which it applies
Therefore Polemarchus' position doesn't hold up, because he's defined justice as harming enemies
How do you benefit someone? How do you make a human being good?
It turns out at the end of this conversation that you make someone better (virtuous a good example of whatever it is that you are) by making that person just.
If justice is an art and thus conforms to the general structure that arts exhibit, then it can't be the case that justice makes people less just, and therefore harms them
But, if the analogy of the arts hold up, it is by doing the opposite of justice that you make people unjust and harm them
Use MLA or Chicago style
The Republic Book 1
Name means 'fierce in battle'
Portrayed as a kind of animal (wolf)
Calls Socrates a cheat because he knows that it's easier to poke holes in arguments than defend one rationally
He doesn't really mean this, he just wants Socrates to put forward and argument so he can put one forward and win what he sees to be a battle
It's a battle, not a conversation that is mutually beneficial
Perfectly consistent with his definition of justice he employs force
Uses sophistical tricks subtle force, violence
Thracymachus is a sophist relies on speeches and resists the elenchus being performed on him
Tries to leave as soon as Socrates tries to refute him
Thracymachus justice is the advantage of the strong
Socrates immediately asks: physically stronger?
Disgusts T who says that Socrates is attacking his argument in the weakest point (accuses him of being a sophist )
That wasn't what he was doing, he was simply trying to clarify the terms
T means stronger as in politically stronger rulers, the regime in power
His claim is that every regime passes laws that are in their best interest
A democratic government passes democratic laws, an oligarchic government passes oligarchic laws
Rulers rule with their interest in mind and the laws that they establish further their interest, not of those whom they rule over
What is the problem with this?
Are your rulers infallible
T says no, they can make mistakes
What's a mistake?
For a ruler to pass a law that isn't in their interest, that isn't to their advantage
What happens when they do make a mistake?
A contradiction arises T says it's just to obey the laws (to advantage of the stronger)
What happens when the citizens obey laws that are mistaken? And don't serve the interest of the ruling class?
Then it's both just and unjust to obey the laws.
Resolve dilemma by using the term ruler in the strict sense
Reintroducing the analogy of the crafts
Ruling is a craft (expert knowledge/art)
He's basically shot himself in the foot here
What is an art?
A body of knowledge involving the benefit of a particular sphere of operation
As such, a craftsman, by definition, never makes a mistake
The moment he does, he stops being a craftsman
e.g. If a doctor fails to benefit the body, then they cease to conform to the definition of their art, and if they fail, they can't be called 'doctor'.
Becomes a doctor in name only
Likewise, ruling is the knowledge of having what laws to pass such as to benefit themselves
Therefore, a ruler that fails to do that isn't actually a ruler in the strict sense of the term
Ruler in name only
It will always be just to obey the laws that rulers put forward, because they'll always be to the advantage of the ruling class
Because by definition, they don't make mistakes about these things
T's definition has been 'salvaged' or so he thinks
We start by determining what is essential to each craft
By divesting from the crafts all that is external to them, that doesn't constitute their essence
All that is accidental
In the case of the art of medicine we have the person who conducts the art, and the one over which the art is set
In this case, which one befits?
The patient, the object of the art
Though the doctor may benefit through the money he gets for his services, it doesn't count because it isn't integral for a doctor to be paid
A doctor can still practice art without getting paid money fringe benefit
Or, in sailing a ship, you have the captian, and the sailors to which the art applies
Captaining is the art in which the captain helps the crew get back to safety
Insofar as he's a sailor, he benefits, but if the captain is remote controlling from the shore. Then he's still a captain, and so any benefits he accrues it is accidental
Therefore, in a craft relationship, it is the thing over which it controls it what benefits
Now, which one is stronger? The art or the artist?
Socrates says that art in itself, in theory, is the complete body of knowledge regarding how best to benefit the object in its particular sphere of operation
Self sufficient independent of any other art, and is not in need of anything
So, what about the bodies being healed? They're in need of healing deficient, not self sufficient
In need of something external
So which is stronger, the art or the object upon which it is being applied? The art, because the object is sick
The sense of stronger has to be the same as the sense T is using it in
In what sense do we mean that the art is stronger than the object to which it applies
Stronger in the sense of ruling over same sense T is using
How does the practitioner of the art as the possessor of the art rule over the object?
Doctor prescription, a command, body will be healed if it allows itself to be ruled
The sailors are benefited in the sense that they are being ruled and that's why they make it safely to shore
T's definition is effectively knocked down
If justice is art, it has to conform to the structure of arts, and therefore it has to benefit the object over which they rule
Therefore the citizens benefit over the rulers
Thracymachus gets pissed
Haven't you heard of the shepherd and the sheep?
Claims that Socrates is a fool for thinking that shephers are thinking of doing anything other than fattening their sheep for eating
Justice is harmful for one who obeys and serves
The just don't do what is to their advantage, but do what is to the advantage of the ruler
A just man gets screwed, and the just person gets good stuff
In a contract, the just one gets screwed
Taxes a just man gets screwed because the unjust evade the tax
Those who reproach injustice do it because they're afraid, but because they're weaklings
There's no reason to be just, and it is good to be unjust, and best to go all the way in the injustice
Happiness is to fulfil your nature whatever it must be
By justice T means the advantage of another, the unjust person, not the just one
At this point Socrates tells him that insofar as a shepherd is a shepherd, he takes care of his sheep and makes sure they're safe and so on
It's the butcher that kills the sheep
He wants to drive home the point that has become clear in T's speech
You shouldn't practice the art of ruling, you don't want to benefit your citizens, you want to rule as to benefit yourself
You want to grasp, acquire power, gain it and exercise control
You don't want to rule in the strict sense
Well, rulers want to rule right? They do so willingly?
T yeah, of course
This is where they go over the thing of moneymaking
Rulers in the strict sense don't want to rule, they do so unwillingly
Rulers practicing the art of ruling that we've seen benefit the rulers
Precisely why they need to be paid compensated for practising the art, because insofar as they rule they're not benefiting themselves
Good rulers wouldn't want your money so you have to threaten them to take it
What is the worst threat? What is that compels them to rule?
The thought of being ruled by someone else, someone worse than them
Thracymachus at this point is not convinced
What is best in life is siezing power and acting unjustly as to get power yourself
Injustice is virtue
T's conception of human nature is that we are solely guided by out appetites, and virtue, which is our nature, is fouled by injustice
At the most we have an instrumental calculation reason, but it is subordinate
Tells the appitites how to get what they want
that's why he's portrayed as an animal!
Nothing else distinguishes us from animals without reason
The second Refutation
Justice is a kind of virtue of knowledge
What T thinks is best in life
Outdoing is what it's all about
Screw and kill
Socrates asks T will a just person seek to outdo an unjust person
Well yes, the just person thinks that things are unfair
The just person will seek to get more than unjust people, but the just person will not seek to get more than an unjust person
The unjust person, on the other hand, he seeks to outdo just people because that's the point!
Obviously, the unjust person will seek to outdo other unjust people, because once again, the whole axis of evaluation is: can I get more than everybody?
We're trying to figure out whether the just person or the unjust person is wise?
So, what kind of person does a wise man correspond to? A just or unjust person? As outlined by this notion of outdoing others
Do people who have expert knowledge try to outdo people who have other expert knowledge?
Two doctors with complete knowledge looking at a patient would likely have the same answer and so wouldn't be competing with one another
Or, insofar as you're a mathematician (if you know that 2+2 = 4), we don't try to outdo one another in your understanding of 2+2
So, a wise person will not try to do better than another wise person
But, a doctor will try to do better than an unwise persno (one who isn't a doctor)
So, what about the unwise person? One who doesn't have expert knowledge?
Will seek to outo both wise and unwise people, because the unwise persno whom he's trying to beat will not know
Will seek to beat everyone
So how does his map onto out defenition of just and unjust people?
A just man seeks to be the same as other just men, and seeks to outdo other unjust men
A just person that corresponds most closely to the wise person
Therefore, it makes more sense to claim that it is a just person who is wise, and injustice is actually a form of ignorance
T is still not convinced
The only thing you should listen to is the voice of your appetites
Appetites it's the only thing that is really essential to us
And they go on
Opening to Book 2
Glaucon comes into the scene
Doesn't believe in the account of justice he's heard from T, but nor is he persuaded by Socrates' defence of it
He finds that it relies too much on weaknesses in his opponents position, and hasn't put forward a positive claim
He thinks justice is better than injustice, but doesn't know why
Asks Socrates what kind of good do you think justice is?
Three types things that are good in themselves (joy)
Things that are both good in themselves and bring good things
Things that are not good in themselves, but good in what they give you (instrumental goods)
Aren't desired for themselves, but desired for what they give you
Going to a dentist
The third is is what most people think justice is like
an onerous burden, only good for its reward, in itself it is of no value
If you can get those great things wihtout being just, then there is not reason to be just, it would be stupid to be just
So why be just?
Glaucon tells us that he'll do three thinks
Tell us the nature and the origins of justice
Based on that notion of justice, no one is just willingly
And defend his opinion with the
Glaucon's account of justice
To satisfy as many of your bodily appetites as possible
Because this conception of justice relies solely on appetite
Maximal injustice is what is according to nature
There's a catch - we all desire to be maximally unjust by nature to get stuff we want
Whatever we acquire in this competition is precarious, in danger of being lost
We need to sleep, and then someone weaker than us can come along and kill us and take our stuff
And so, we comprimise what would be 'best' to be the top dog
We see that it would be in our interest to set up an artificial system of justice I'll stay away from your stuff if you stay away from us
We transfer unlimited rights to a third party that we designate the soverign, someone to rule over us
Keep in check out passions which are boundless and lead to conflict and war
This artificial system is just that contrary to nature
We're imposing shackles upon ourselves, stuff that we've acquired lawfully
But, many of our desires are going to go unfulfilled, as so we chafe at our shakles
Proof of second best the ring that makes you invisible
Even the most just person will not be able to resist the temptation to carry out injust acts with impunity
rawwwwr im in a rage
Justice percieved around Glaucon's lines are contrary to nature
Justice is not something you do willingly
It is good only instrumentally good because of something it yields (e.g. going to the dentist)
What Glaucon's challenge to Socrates is to show that justice is good in itself, an absolute good, not a relative good
How is Socrates going to do this?
Let's strip justice of everything that it yields
Imagine someone who is supremely just, but this person unfourtunately has a reputation of supreme injustice
Tortured, exiled, etc. Etc.
And that person is finally executed
This is how you make sure that justice isn't good for its own good
Prove that even this person is actually happy
To answer this challenge Socrates must demonstrate that you're happy when your nature is satisfied
If it turns out to be the case that you are essentially appetite, then happiness will be the acquisition of power to satisfy bodily desires
Socrates has to refute their account of human nature
Does that by showing that there's more to us than appetite
We are not repetitive creatures
Glaucon has given the account of the nature of justice by building a city
Socrates must do the same thing
Why? He needs to demonstrate that there's more to us than mere appetite
He needs to examine human nature and what's in the soul
How does he do that?
Fundamental presupposition that all the parties agree on the city as a whole is an image, it corresponds to, is a reflection of the soul
Therefore justice in the city is justice in the soul
Only it will be written in 'larger letters', bigger in the city, and easier to discern in the larger thing
this is why the conversation of justice veers off into the establishment of a city in logos
The guiding principle of the city/what's the purpose of a city to satisfy our needs
Specifically needs for necessary things that we cannot go without
Things that every human being desires out of necessity
Food, safety, clothing --> what the city needs to provide
He's going to be guided by nature built according to nature
Socrates is going to follow human nature in the building of his city
He is going to look to what humans are and what they need
The city is going to be built such as to cater to those needs
The first thing we have to figure out:
Should everyone make all the things that they need?
Well, that's not efficient
More efficient if the labour is divided, and some tasks won't wait at your leisure
Second reason is that by nature we are not all equally suited for the same tasks
Different aptitudes in human beings
If our city is going to be according to nature and work with it, it better respect the diversity of aptitudes that you display
One person, one art
Each person will do what they are suited to do
Some people are going to be cobblers, others labourers, etc...
Socrates calls it the true city
All basic needs are catered to
So why doesn't the book end here? What's missing?
Glaucon, who is portrayed as a person who desires (also a courageous person), an erotic person, points out that there are no luxuries,
By nature we also desire things that are by definition, superfluous and unnecessary
By things in qualitative terms and quanitiatively
We desire more of things which are necessary than are in fact necessary, and things that are unnecessary
So if this city is built by our nature, it better satisfy our desire for superfluous things
This desire for unnecessary things is boundless and limitless
To cater to these desires we need to introduce a whole bunch of other people to cater to them:
Because you're going to have a lot of unhealthy people now
By nature we can desire things that don't agree with our nature/that are bad for us, and so you need people who can compensate for that
You're also going to need soldiers, why? People will want other people's things and their land
You'll need to conquer other people's lands because your superfluous desires are boundless, and our resources are finite
Can the citizens who have other occupations (such as craftspeople) can they also be soldiers?
The principle of nature which has guided the establishment of the city so far is that your role in the city is what you are naturally made to fulfil
The primary reason that the soldiers constitute a separate class is that what makes a soldier a soldier is something unique to them
The special thing that soldiers need is quite different from desire
They have this other special thing that allows them to cater to the cities desires, not a special desire that makes them uniquely qualified to be soldiers
So what to soldiers have?
Spirit = thymos
Your fortitude, your bravery, what makes you stand fast in the force of danger, and righteousness indignation
What makes you feel shame in the face of defeat
It is not desire for material goods, because it does not affect your capacity to acquire material goods
What is getting upset in you when someone beats you is your thymos, your spirit
Right away you've shown that Glaucon and Co.'s account of human nature is false because there is something more to humans
Farmers and craftsmen don't need this, but soldiers do
Soldiers are like dogs, and therefore like philosophers
Just like dogs, they have to be both fierce and gentle
Seemingly paradoxical in nature
Just like dogs they're going to be fierce to enemies, but gentle to those they know (precisely because they know them)
Therefore they are like Philosophers, because they know, and love what they know.
If they were just fierce, they could turn their ferocity on their own people, and if they were just gentle they would suck as soldiers
Soldiers have to see the city as something to guard and protect
It's seemingly impossible but it is not against in nature, it exists in dogs and other animals, and thus it can exist in human beings as well
It is possible to make soldiers protectors and guardians rather than tyrants
So, to create this class, you have to identify those who are really fast and strong, and those who have high spirit, and those who are philosophers
But nature alone doesn't suffice
There must be education of the guardians, becuase that is what makes them guardians by taking their natural disposition and turning them to defend the city
A people who see the good of the city as their own good
An attempt to educate people to identify with the city, and establish a rationally ordered city, a model of a good city
Therefore we are bringing them up to identitfy with reason
Train their thymos to put it to the command of reason
Thymos is channelled in support of things that benefit the city
Enforce the actions that are consistent with the city
We achieve this by telling them stories and by singing these stories in the appropriate rhythms and modes (consistent with the content of the stories that we're telling them)
Medium is part of the message
Epithumia desire, and thymos are nonrational in the sense that they're capable of developing an argument for a particular action and they are not capable of rationally grasping arguments in favour or against particular actions
Thus you have to induce desire and spirit to lend its force to rational means
You are not reasoning with it, instead you're surrounding the individuals that you want to educate, you want to surround them with images of reason
Images of the types of behaviour that you want them to carry out
Images can either be visual or auditory, anything
The stories and the rhythems and the modes that the songs are sung in, and the physical exercies that they're going to do
The rulers of the city are going to set down patterns or models of all the crafts, and all of them have to conform to the models
They can't just build things any way they want
Models will make the result harmonious
Why? You want children to be surrounded by these products, which are images of reason, and so make their own souls reasonable and harmonious, such that they'll be receptive to reason
Reason being what establishes this order
Even if they are not understanding of reason, they will at least be receptive to reason
Even our architecture has to convey a certain message
Censorship of the stories that are to be told to children:
About the gods
Censorship of music
Physical exercise, the regime that will correspond to the stories we want to tell them
Cencorship of the stories and poems
Stories we want children to hear such as they become good guardians
Such as they have the virtues necessary to have the function of a guardian
They're going to be hearing these stories from their youngest ages
So you have to be careful because you want the message in these stories to be the beliefs that they hold as adults
so, if that means we have to lie to them, then that's okay
Falsehood as such is not that big of a deal, so long as it is of the type of nobility and use
Produce a story that on the surface is literally false, but the core of the story is good and true
So, what do you want kids to think about the gods?
The gods are going to be models to the children and must be portrayed as exemplars of virtue, so can't be debauched or licentious or hating each other
The gods are good and therefore they can't be the cause of anything bad
If they are the cause of anything bad we'll say that those bad things that the gods caused are actually rightful punishment for wickedness
Those t hat the gods punish are not made wretched through the punishment but its for their own good, and they know that
And so, since the gods are by definition good, they can't change, because if they change they'll change for the worse
Therefore they are unchanging and immutable, and so can't be shapeshifters and using disguises to seduce humans, etc.
The principle of it what we want to create in them is a sympathy for orderliness and limits
A sense of rightful limits and boundaries and a resolve (willingness, desire) to respect and enforce limits
What this class is going to be called upon to do is to impose limits upon boundless desire
Keep in check the class of the craftsmen who are ruled by boundless appetites
And we don't want to raise our soldiers so that they obey for the sake of obeying
The art of ruling ability to pass laws that impose the best possible order in a state/city (maximally empowering for its citizens)
A good ruler knows how to do this, whereas a tyrant is a person who doesn't practice the art of ruling
Rules just by decree
Tyranny is a disordered place because a tyrant is ruled by his appetites which are in turn unreliable and disorderly
The education in music and poetry and gym are meant to inculcate a sense of order and a love of order in the soldier class
So when the rulers say something is good, they'll obey and enforce that decree
The important thing that Socrates stresses is that music and poetry goes hand in hand with gymnastics, because it alone over cultivates the thymos and if you're just educated in music and poetry, you're going to be soft
The question now arises: who is to rule?
Right now you have an army, and an army of craftsmen
Who's to rule the solider class?
The best of the Guardians
So what set of critera are we going to establish to determine who the best are?
We have to look at the essential function of a solder and thus we'll determine which ones are good
A guardian's essential function is to regard the city's good as their good
Completely embrace and identify with the order of the whole, and don't see their own good and their own needs as separate
And it makes sense to test them accordingly
Which ones best preserve this belief? Which ones maintain this identification with the city in the face of death and danger and temptation?
Which ones never betray the city, never choose their own interests over the city
Those who unfailingly preserve this are best to rule
Now the soldiers are split into two: Guardians and Auxiliaries (don't do best in these exams as the Guardians do)
This is when we tell them a noble lie
Socrates doesn't really explain why though
So what is the lie that is told to auxiliaries craftsmen and guardians?
They have just now sprung up from the soil of the city and all their memories are just implanted in you
The myth is telling these people that they are literally born of the soil of the city and will have the most powerful identification with the city as possible (mother, and brother-sister relationship between the citizens)
But they have different metals in their souls
The Guardians have gold mixed in their souls
Auxiliaries have silver, and the craftsmen have copper/iron
What is the purpose of this lie?
We want them to believe that their function is what they're naturally suited for
They can and should be nothing else than what they are
It is a noble lie in one sense because literally speaking it is not true, but metaphorically speaking it is true, because the city is established according to nature and each person is going to fulfill the role in the city that they are meant to fill
But the lie must be told
Some people would make really bad guardians, but they would make bad guardians because they're too stupid to recognize that they would be bad guardians
So we have to tell them the story which convinces them at their level
Noble lie because it serves a good purpose by preventing class envy
Don't want people to pity themselves because they're bronze, etc.
Don't want the craftspeople to envy the guardians, etc.
We want them to identify with their respective roles and find fulfilment in them
We also don't want the craftspeople for thinking that the guardians are usuprers and that they could do just as well
Living Conditions of the Guardians
Military barracks, no private property, wives and children in common
They are portrayed as having no appetites, which makes sense since the craftspeople are the ones with appetites
If the auxiliaries and guardians' appetites weren't controlled, they would become tyrants
Their thymos would becomes subservient to their appetites
We don't want the craftspeople to envy the Guardians, to think that they benefit from them being rulers in the sense that the craftspeople understand benefit
That's the shittiest city I've ever heard of
You've given the city to the guardians because they've got the guns and they don't get anything out of it preposterous
You've deprived them of goods
Accusation that Socrates hasn't made these people happy
Socrates' reply primary concern is not making each class happy, but the whole city happy
We've constructed a theoretical city that it is a bigger image of the soul
Ultimately you want to determine the nature of justice to see if it in itself will make itself happy
If the city as a whole is happy, then the human being are going to be happy
But Socrates also says that the Guardians will be happy too
Because they are following their natures
The Guardians are not primarily appetitive
In theory, the ideal city has been established, and now the point is to find justice in it
Find the four cardinal virtures
We assume that they're all in the city somehow because they've agreed that it is a good city and if the good city mirrors the soul, it'll have all the virtues that the human soul has
Wisdom is in the ruling class
They're the ones who know the good of each class is and what the good of the whole is
They make judgements regardling the good of the whole and the parts
And these judgements have to be grounded in knowledge
Courage is found in the auxiliaries
The ruling class issue commands, and the auxiliaries enforce it
Courage/fortitude is what allows you to stand your ground and not back down in the face of adversity
Holding onto the convictions you know is right regardless of the situations you find yourself in
In the city courage is going to be found in the upholding of the commands of the rulers by the auxiliaries
Rulers say this is just, and the auxiliaries obey and enforce that edict
That's what the physical and musical training is supposed to achieve
To make them receptive to the commands of the rulers and uphold them
Immoderation is characteristic of appetite that is ungoverned, and insatiable
Temperance is a limit, a check on desires
Appetite in itself is limitless, and cannot supply its own limits
Therefore temperance has to be the recognition on the part of appetite, the acceptance of the limit supplied from elsewhere (reason)
Intemperance is a subversion of the natural hierarchy that exists in the city and in the soul
In the soul, it is when desire places spirit and reason at its command
It supplies the aims and makes reason calculate how best to achieve those things
Likewise in the city, intemperance is a subversion of the natural hierarchy (when those who try the rule, who aren't supposed to)
Justice everyone following their own natures as they are supposed to
The principle that the city has been founded on
End of Book 4/ Beginning of Book 5
Assumption city on the whole is a bigger image of the soul as a whole
Therefore if we look to the bigger thing, we'll understand justice in the whole
If the city on the whole is happy, then the soul is happy when you are just
They're the ones who know the natures of all things and therefore know what the good of each class is and of the city as a whole as well
In the soul it is located in reason
Wisdom is the virtue of reason
The rational part of the soul
Courage standing fast in the face of danger because of the conviction that it is best
Unwavering preservation in a belief
Auxiliaries not rational, per say, they don't formulate the laws, but they're the ones who, when told that it is the law, they obey it (the rational commands), and uphold and enforce them
Preserve convictions and beliefs and enforce them on the craftsmen
Temperance appetite and bodily desires being limited
Limited by reason, and upheld and imposed by thymos
Agreement/harmony between all the parts of the soul
Not located in one particular part of the soul/city
Agreement according to which that the rulers rule, and those who are ruled, obey.
Intemperance in the city is a subversion of the natural order/agreement, such that the lower classes try to usurp the ruling role and become rulers themselves
In the soul, it means that reason and thymos will be made subservient to desires
Reason becomes instrumental reason desire orders, and reason calculates just how best to go about it
Justice doing what you are suited by nature to do
It is in fact the principle of nature which had governed the construction of the city
The principle of a city
Justice is for each person to occupy the station and fulfill the role that each is naturally suited to fulfill
In the soul it means that every part of the soul carries out the parts they are supposed to carry
Thymos embraces the commands of Reason, and Appetite is docile, and is in accordance to the limits imposed upon it by Thymos and directed by Reason
Justice is the highest good and what makes you happy, how is that?
All the interlocutors agree to the fact that you are happy when you are fulfilling your nature
Justice is doing what you are naturally suited to do and satisfying your nature, such that the just person is a happy person, and vice versa
Everything hinges now on the nature of human nature - good, bad, etc...
We have been revealed to be rational creatures
We have come to know that the better part of us that is meant to rule over thymos is reason
Reason is what we are most essentially, and happiness will consist in fulfilling that part of our nature
The just person is a person for whom their rational faculty is actualized to its greatest possible extent
Note that this has completely overturned the distinction that was explicit in Glaucon's account
A dichotomy and tension between nomos and physis
Justice is an artificial check on our desires to control them
Contrary to nature, impeeds our nature, if our nature is appetite
Socrates concept of justice is nature itself nothing is more natural than Justice, and since we ar most integrally rational, justice is fulfilling our rational capacities
True laws, good laws that rulers pass are not completely arbitrary, they are grounded in an understanding of nature
They have to be in line with our nature
Have to cohere with the laws of our nature
The laws of the best city will be connected to the laws of our nature
We have a nature, we are something, and good laws aught to agree with it
What is the nature of reason?
What is that we know when we know?
How is possible for us to know?
How is it possible to make someone rational?
The perfect city has been established in speech, and justice and happiness have been established...so why isn't the book done?
Well, now we look at how things get corrupted
Polemarchus and Aedeimantus pipe in
Wants to know about the odd laws of wives in common and shared property
Though Socrates doesn't want to talk about them, he is compelled to
Outline of Books 5-7
The Three Waves (of laughter):
Women shall have the same education and the same jobs as men
Wives and children will be in common
Philosophers will rule
After that we get a description of what philosophers know
Three analogies: sun, line and cave
Lengthy description on how to make a philosopher
You're happy when you're nature is fulfilled and we are most essentially by nature rational beings along with being somewhat apetitive and thymonic
A philosopher is a rational person a person whose rational power is fully actualized
A philosopher is more natural than any other person
A philosopher is a person who actualized that which we are by nature
A philosopher fulfills his nature by knowing the nature of things
For this reason, because the philosopher is more natural and has the greatest insight into nature, it isn't so much a digression to examine philosophers and what exactly they know
The first two waves is a movement from what is contrary to nature to what is natural and according to nature
Also a movement from becoming to being
Same as the movement from what is contrary to nature to what is natural
The Three Waves
Three policy proposals
Tested according to two criteria:
Are they possible?
Are they good?
The First Wave/Policy Proposal
Women will have the same education and jobs as men
The principle of justice states that if you have the same nature then you aught to do the same job
If that's the case then it's going to be just for women to have the same jobs as men if they have the same nature
At least in the respect of the jobs considered, because each calls for something of a particular nature
What are the relevant natural traits for being an Auxiliary and a Guardian?
Are women spirited? Yeee. :P
It is not contrary to nature that women should be auxiliaries and therefore it is also just
It is just for you to occupy the station in the city that is suited to you
Are women rational? ...sometimes...>.>
Similarly, it is not going to be contrary to nature for women to be guardians, because what qualifies you is being rational
They can and should also have the same education
Education aught to be suited to the particular nature it is supplied to
You change your education according to the nature of the person you are educating
Therefore, if you have the same nature, you must be consistent and they should be taught to be the same
Biological differences are irrelevant
But, this is greeted with a peal of laughter because it defies traditional Athenian customs
Whatever defies social norms is usually greeted with laughter
It is against social norms, but is it against nature?
No, because current Athenian customs for gender norms are not grounded in nature, and are therefore arbitrary and backward
Gym part of education, and people have to be naked
Conclusion possible, yes, good, yes because you want the best candidates for each job, and it will turn out that some of the women are better at reasoning than men, and likewise for the auxiliaries
This first wave has purified what is contrary to nature in respect to education and gender norms
The Second Wave
Communal women and children
First, is this proposal good?
The structure of this section is a little hard to see
First, he asks to be allowed like a dreamer and talk about how it's good, not so much how it's possible yet
A campaign to have the best people breed with the best people and the worst people not breed at all...but if they have to, then toss the baby
Only the children of the best parents are going to be raised
The children will not know their biological parents, and likewise their biological parents will not know their children
In the auxiliary and guardian class will regard all children born after their copulation as their children, and likewise the children will regard all parents as their parents and see the people born at the same time as them and be their brothers and sisters
One tightly knit family
That's how it's going to look, so is it good?
It is ultimately the same thing to say something is a good chair and it is a true chair
Why is that?
It is fulfilling its nature
Goodness is predicated on its essential function
The definition of what it is to be a good something is the same as the definition for what it is
The greatest good for a city is that which binds a city together and make it one
To be a good is to realize its nature and truly exist as its type of thing
If that's what it means then good is also synonymous with unity
To be good is to be (exist) and to be unified (to be one)
X is X and not not X
The chair is a chair and not not a chair
Self identical, selfsame
If you chop it in two and it looses its identity, it ceases to be.
Therefore, a city's good, what makes it be a city, is its own specific defining unity
So what is the defining unity?
In the best of the good, the ideal city, all citizens identify with one another, they are as one
They see each other as parts of a larger organism
They see their good as intrinsically linked to the good of all others in the community (they are one)
What affects one negatively affects all
If a city becomes many, if there are factions in the city and warfare, it ceases to be a city, it becomes many and not a city
So, is this proposal good by the criteria put forward?
Yes, because family is the most essential part of community, and they'll regard themselves as members of the same family, and this is the tightest form you can imagine
In a good family, injury to one is a personal slight
Biological bonds are dissolved and removed everything that is external to the definition of a family (which is defined by community and nothing else)
Biological ties are stripped in order for a greater unity
Now, it is determined to be good, but is it possible?
Socrates keeps rambling and Glaucon points out that he hasn't answered the question
The answer is in the ....
Philosophers should rule
Step back, is it possible?
We needed to establish the essense of justice by creating a city in speech
Theoretical model, rational blueprint of the best possible city
The just soul is a happy soul
Established that to the extent that a flesh and blood concrete city approximates the theoretical model, to that extent it will be happy
To the extent that humans conform to the theoretical model, they will be happy
None of this was meant to show that it is possible ever to filly realize that theoretical model
Part of Socrates' answer was that he's asking a nonsensical question
Socrates casts the difference between the model and its reality as the difference between theory and practice
The city will be possible when philosophers rule and rulers philosophize
Philosophers are those who know the natures of things and thus will pass true laws which are consistent with our natures
What more does the philosopher know in knowing this?
The philosopher is the lover of knowledge
What is knowledge?
Knowledge in this dialogue is a capacity, a faculty, the power to do something
It is defined by what it does and what it is set over
What is the object of knowledge which it is set over?
The object is being, the object of knowledge is what is, what is the case
So, what is being?
What things may be truly said to be?
Beauty is opposed to ugliness, and therefore they are two, and each is one
Beauty is one thing, and ugliness is a second thing
Beauty manifests itself, and appears as many, as many beautiful things, and so does ugliness
But we've shown that beauty and ugliness itself are one
So what is this one?
The essence of nature which is instantiated in the many beautiful things which participate in this nature
The manifestations of the essence of beauty
So the One is the form of beauty, the rational archetype of beauty, the ideal of beauty
Eidos idea, form
The many beautiful things, the many, for example, instantiations (manifestations) of beauty are
relative (imperfect, ambiguious)
The many things which can be said to be beautiful, are never solely beautiful
They're beautiful from a certain perspective, in relation to certain things, but not in comparison to others
Fleeting, perishable or everchanging
They come to be and they pass away
Sometimes grow more beautiful and sometimes less
There can be many of them
You can grasp them with your senses
whereas, the Form, the essence, the archetype that they manifest in the sensible world (in varying degrees) are
The form of beauty is beauty in itself, not a beautiful thing, but the very nature of beautiy itself, what it means to be a beautiful thing
It is self predicated
In itself it is beauty
It is absolute, since it is beauty, while other things are only relatively speaking
The nature of what it is to be a beautiful thing does not come to be and pass away
The nature/essence that the many things of a particular type share or have in common makes them things that make it what it is
The form of beauty is the intelligible essence that makes the many beautiful things we see, beautiful
Intelligible (understandable, can be understood as opposed to sensed)
Aren't grasped through the senses
All the senses deliver to you are a sensory manifold of colours, or pure pointillism
You don't literally see a cat, you see a field of colours and it is your mind is what allows you to distinguish it to be a cat
Since we are rational creatures, it stands to reason that the person to whom reason is expressed most fully (ie. The philosopher), should rule
The philosopher is a human being in the fullest possible sense
At the end of book four, Socrates wants to get into the ways cities can be corrupted
Polemarchus, paralleling how he forcefully forces Socrates to stay in the beginning, compels him to dwell on a few intriguing things he's said in passing
Before Socrates can get to where he wants to, he has to embark on this long digression to seemingly please Polymarchus and Aediamantus
But, not so much a digression because it describes what a philosopher is and what he knows
Makes sense to investigate what reason is, and what exactly a philosopher knows
That's what goes on from the third wave all the way until the end of book 7
The first two waves are not unrelated to the third
Movement from what is contrary to nature to what is natural (according to nature)
Also a movement from becoming to being
Prepare socrates' interlocutors to accepting the notion and thus preparing the readers to accepting that there's something beyond the sensible material world
Beyond what you can grasp with your senses
This is actually what is most real
It will turn out that that is what the philosopher must know
The first wave is the proposal that women shall have the same jobs as men
that supporting the proposal relies on determining whether women have the same abilities as men, in terms of the natures required for auxiliaries and guardians
Our senses report biological differences
Our senses provide us with a manifold of data (eg. colours)
Even going about your daily business in the world, you need to appeal to something beyond your senses
You need to grasp what 'same' and 'different' are, because we don't literally see them
Grasp the concept
Also, you don't see souls, so you have to think about it
The second wave proposing that women and children be held in common
Abolishing the biological family
Extending such that the whole of the auxiliary and guardian classes will regard themselves as one whole, tightly knit family
Ridding the family of all that's accidental to it, and allowing the essence of family to express itself in such a way that auxiliaries and guardians will more closely correspond to what it is to be a family
Community unity which belongs to both a city and a family
Traditional family unit (mother, father, siblings) falls outside of the definition of family
Third wave philosophers should rule on the basis that they know the types of things that were stated in the first two waves
They know the essence of things
But what is it to know? What is knowledge?
Knowledge is a capacity, power, faculty which are defined by what they do, what they're set over and what their objects are
What knowledge does as a power/capacity is to know
What is the object of knowledge?
You can't know what is not because what is not is nothing, and not knowing is ignorance
Philosophers know being in other words
Beauty and ugly are opposed to one another and are therefore two separate things, and therefore they are opposed, and are two ones, two individual things
Beauty is one. Ugly is one.
But we see many beautiful and ugly things
The One Thing is the Form of beauty
What it is for beautiful things to be beautiful, the essence of beauty itself
Meanwhile, all other beautiful things are only so for the virtue of participating in what it means to be beautiful, for participating in the form
On the basis of analysis of attributes, whcih one can be truly said to be? The many or the one
The many are:
Relative, imperfect, ambiguous
The things we see are beautiful in comparison to other things, or from a certain perspective
Ambiguous they are never fully one thing as opposed to the opposite
The things we call 'straight' are never perfectly straight, it also participates in its opposite 'curved'.
So beautiful things can be ugly as well
Subject to change, they come to be and pass away
At some points they're beautiful, then not, and maybe they are again
One of many
We grasp them with our bodily senses
Whereas the One, the Forms are
The Form of Beauty is beauty itself and so self predicating
Eternal aspect of the universe
As long as there will be a reality of some sort, there will be the form of beauty, same, and different
The forms don't depend on being known
headache grrroooooooossss :( >_< :D | D:
Alex disagrees. All chars ar red. And are pirates, apparently....;P
The forms are intelligible, you don't grasp them with your eyes, you grasp them with your mind
The things we see in the bodily material world are less real than the Forms which are the exemplars of the materials
Why? Because they are ever-changing, and are already other than what they are
All things are in flux Heraclitus
You can never step in the same river twice
plato accepts this only when it is applied to the sensible material world
The river itself can't ever be said to be, because it already is something other than it is, then it a sense, it never really is , it is always becoming.
The instantiations are relative and imperfect because they are instantiations of the forms
The Forms are what they are, the Forms are their identity
A chair only is because it gets its being from the Form 'chair'.
As an instantiation, it can never completely, perfectly correspond to the essence of chair
Like straight things
If any straight thing could evert fully realize the form of straight, you could only ever have one straight thing in the world, because we have already said that there is only One Straight thing.
To be whatever they are, is to instantiate the form
Straight things are less than the form of straight itself
The Forms are being, and the sensible world is the world of becoming.
Being is the forms and therefore philosophers know the forms, that is their object
To know is to know the forms
That is opposed to the lovers of opinion
Philsophers lovers of knowledge
Those who believe that all there is in reality are particular sensible objects are lovers of opinion, and is an intermediary between being and non being...
The lovers of opinion may take delight in particular examples of a form, but fail to grasp what it is that makes particular beautiful thing be beautiful, or be just, etc.
Deny a particular reality other than a sensible reality
Opinion failure to grasp a form
Knowledge of the natures (forms) is that which allows a philosopher to rule
The philosopher also knows the good which allows each thing to truly be what it is
The philosopher must know the good of all things, however, if the good for each thing is defined as each thing fulfilling its nature, notice that there are many different things in naure
The good then will manifest itself in many ways
The many good things in this world are instantiations of the Form of Good
The good for each thing is for each thing to be what it is
Therefore the form of the good is the principle for all things to be what they are
This is what philosophers know the good
Three images describing what the Good is
Ultimately they describe what the good is and the relation to all of the things it is the principle of, what the philosophers know, and how the philosopher knows these things
In addition to knowing the good philosophers need to be temperate, virtuous, have good memory, etc..
The Three Images
The question comes up is that if the philosophers have all of the virtues, why is the third wave one of laughter? Why is it so absurd?
It goes contrary to custom, the prevailing popular opinion
Glaucon people are gonna fuck you up for this
Philosophers are useless and
Image of the Ship of State
The ship's captain is the whole of the city
Crowding around the captain and trying to gain power from him are sophists who don't think the art of ruling are of any sort of knowledg
If you drug him, use your powers of persuasion and rhetoric, then they can rule
But they'll be ruling for themselves, drive the ship wherever they can drive it to maximize their own desires
If that's how you conceive of ruling, if someone who comes along and tells you about maps and stars is going to look like an idiot, and the sophists are going to want to shut him up
Why most philosophers are vicious
Philosophers have the greatest natural aptitudes, but they're like the powerful natures in nature, are potencially the worst examples of their species
They most depend on a proper rearing/education/cultivation/environment to grow in
If they don't get that, they turn into the worst kinds of people
If they're taught that all that exists are sensible things, and no such thing as absolute norms (justice in itself) and that what is most in life is to satisfy bodily desires, then they will satisfy the part of their soul geared to material things
They'll circumvent norms and such to get them
They'll become sophists
Sophistry is how they gain power to obtain these bodily goods
What people understand as a philosopher is a bad philosopher, a sophist and a charlatan
Good philosophers will be the saviours
First Socrates is going to tell us what philosophers know and how they know it
What is the most important thing to know?
The form of the Good
The knowledge of the good is the fundamental condition for knowledge period
You cannot know anything else in certainty without knowing the good
Secondly, we desire everything we desire under the auspices of the good
Because we think that the things we desire are good
Rulers need to know the good because knowing what is absolutely good is the only way they'll discover (theoretically and experiential) that there's something better than ruling
Exploiting people is not the highest good
People who think that they don't think ruling is the highest good will be the best rulers because they'll rule with the people in mind, not themselves
The Image of the Sun
Point to the fact that there is a difference between becoming and being
Conditions for the possibility of seeing:
You need a faculty of sight (eye)
you need something to see (item, lets say its a person)
you need a medium in and through which the visible things are actually visible, and the seeing things come to see
This medium is light which is provided by the sun
The sun is not depleted by providing light, it is eternally the same
This scenario is supposed to be perfectly analogous to what the good plays in the world of the intelligible
In the world of the intelligible you need
a knower, someone who comes to know, a rational soul
Intelligible objects (a triangle, also truth)
We need an intelligible light here (truth) is the medium through which intelligible things are intelligible and a knowing thing comes to know
Plato is telling us the nature of the good by telling us the role it plays for the possibility of knowledge, (of knowing)
It also involves in explaining the role it plays in the generation of all things (the cause of all things)
The sun enables us to see by supplying light
It is also the ultimate cause of life, the source of the generation and the sustaining of all living things, and the source of all energy in the visible realm
The Products of the One
Immediately a divine mind (second hypostesy)
Nous emanates from the One, it gives rise to it
As soon as it issues out of the One, it turns back toward the one in an attempt to unite with it/grasp it
It's first efficient cause is also its end/final cause
Why does it turn back and try to unite with the One?
In other words, why is it the Good (final cause)?
All things desire perfection
If the One is absolute perfection, all things also desire the One
All things desire to be, but things only are to the extent that they participate in unity
The One is absolute unity
Therefore, all things have longing for the One
Nous, in issuing from the One, longs to unite with it
The only way it knows how (har har), to think it, since that is its nature
But, the One cannot be thought, it is beyond being
To think is to think something, and not nothing
The Nous can't be, because the One is not being
But, in this necessarily failed attempt to grasp the One, it actualizes itself as a separate level of actuality, and therefore gives rise to being in trying to think the one
Well, think about being
To be is to be determinate
Being, as a whole, is the total hierarchically ordered system of determinations
Determinations = forms
The Forms are that, in virtue of which, anything is what it is
Being is not becoming
The Forms are what most truly is.
The Forms are unchanging, universal, absolute, self-predicating, and thats why they are what is most truly
Things which participate in them are less than them
Material instantiations are subject to change, are always other than what they are, not self-identical
Being and the Forms are synonymous
Being, to Plotinus, (what the divine mind gives rise to), is the total hierarchical system of forms, in which the most general order of Forms give rise to more lower order Forms, and have more causal power than the lower-order Forms.
E.g. Because Same and Other are general forms.
The higher order forms which encompass the more specific forms, also give ruse to them causally, but all within nous.
The One's infinite productive power is diffused through this way
The Forms are also produced in nous' necessary attempt to unite with the One
The One repels thought, since something has to be a something to be known
You know some things
Nous, therefore, in trying to grasp the One, grasps not the One, but itself
Nous tries to think the one, but because the One is not able to be an object of thought, the only thing that Nous thinks is it's ability to think, and its inability to grasp the One
All the Nous are the determinate expressions of the One's infinite productive power/actuality
It doesn't think these things one after another.
It thinks all of these productive powers all in one moment
poop in mind [eloquence, by Erika Belloni]
What it ends up thinking is it's own activity of thought,
And it's own activity of thought, in a sense, are the Forms
Constitutes itself in a separate level of reality, as a kind of bare potentiality/power to exist
There is almost a second level of its existence, in trying to return to the One
In trying to return to it, it constitutes itself as a second level of existence
It generates the Forms in thinking the utter simplicity of the One
There is a correspondance between the two
The thoughts in Nous do correspond to what is contained in the One
Refraction of what is contained as utter simplicity in the One
The first unfolding of what is enfolded in the One
Analogy: Logos of the mind, and the Logos of the word
The logos of speech is a more multiple, divided image of the united Logos in the mind
The Highest Forms
Logically, the first to be produced by Nous
The Highest, most universal/powerful (most unified)
Give rise to most things
How do these things arise from Nous' failed attempts to grasp the One
Nous is a thinking activity
How does its very act of thinking generate the primary determination of being? And thus all the other determinations
Thought and being are co-constituting
Nous makes being in thinking it
Intellect gives rise to being in thinking it, and being gives intellect existence in being, by giving thought
Thinking first generates determinate being
In thinking, is something determinate
In being something in thinking
Nous' defining/interal activity is to think
Thinking is always about something
Knowledge is always about what is
The divine mind gives rise to being
It doesn't really give rise to something separate from being
All thought requires duality (subject/object)
Duality of thinking/being
In the divine mind, that duality is always immediately abolished
Thinking and being are identical
Requires an object for thought, if it is thinking it is thinking something, and you can therefore deduce the form of being
The things it thinks just are the moments of its thinking activity
In Nous , to be is to be thought
The Forms are thoughts of the divine mind, not just the objects
Moments of its thinking activity
Same and Other
Thinking involves a duality between subject and object
Right away there is a distinction between same and other
To be an object of thought, it must be definite, to be this rather than that
Something rather than some other thing.
Right away there is same and other
Thinking engenders a distinction between the form of same and the form of other
This, is the same as itself, and not that (otherness)
This difference is immediately abolished in nous.
There is always an underlying identity in this otherness in nous, it is the most supremely unified orders of reality which come from the One (save the One).
All the determinations of nous are, in one hand, all absolute, since Beauty is beauty, not relative to anything
In the divine mind, they are all absolute, but they are also all relational, only are what they are, in relation to other things
All the Forms in nous only have an identity in relation to the totality of the system of forms of all other things
The Otherness is immediately abolished because there is an inherently identity between the Forms
Motion and Rest
Not spatial motion and rest, or temporal
Logical, causal, motion and rest
Motion of logical entaiment or reciprocity
Motion is kinesis, change, and rest is stasis, stability, or self-sameness
The stability is each form being what it is and not something else
Movement within nous is about how some forms are derived from other forms
More specific forms are logically derived from the higher order forms
'Cat' is logically derived from the form 'Animal'.
Logical/causal movement, not spacial or temporal
These logical and causal relations between forms are movements of the thinking of nous itself.
These are moments of nous itself
Nous doesn't think these one after another, it thinks them in a single eternal act, which is simultaneous, and single
It is thinking them in failing to think the One, but it is internally differentiated
There is a movement of thought, logically and causally, between nous' thought.
Quantity and Quality
If to be is to be determinate, then what makes a thing determinate?
It's possession of a trait or determination which makes it what it is, and not some other thing
Inherent in it's notion of quality is being this rather than that, which is quantity
Why, exactly, does nous turn back and try to rejoin the One?
Produces its contents by thinking divided perspectives of the utterly simple One
Doesn't think these partial manifestations successively, but simultaneously
In a single act, outside of time
Thinks/gives rise to the total hierarchically ordered relational system of the determinations of being (aka. Platonic forms)
In a way, these forms are not wholly other than it
they are the moment's of nous's thinking
You can think of the divine mind as Aristotle's divine mind (thought thinking itself)
Platonic forms situated in a divine mind
Anything that fulfils its nature, or realizes its defining activity, creates
The One has a kind of internal activity, but one that cannot be defined
Due to its super-abundant power/actuality, it gives rise to a second actuality
This secondary reality is nous
Continuity between nous and the One
Expression of itself
Actualizes itself by attempting to return to the One
The neo-platonic universe is a spiral
Precisely in returning to the one, it fails to grasp the one, and nous realizes itself as other than the one
As soon as it realizes what it is, it, in turn, gives rise to a secondary reality, which is...soul
And soul, will do the same thing
Just like the One, Nous will give rise to a secondary reality
Through attempting to think the one, and failing, and thereby generating a system of the Forms, it also generates another secondary reality
This process of emenation, or giving rise to a secondary reality/actuality, of nous' giving rise to soul, is analagous to the One's giving rise to nous.
Just like the One is not depleted in giving rise to nous, Nous doesn't become depleted by giving rise to Soul
Why do these things produce?
They have a super-abundance of power/perfection/actuality
Too much power within them
It wouldn't make sense to jealously keep all that power, because their power is infinte
They lose nothing in dispensing
Nous absolute, total system of the determinations of being
What nous gives rise to is more multiple of it
Divided refracted image
A recaptitulation of the one's production of Nous, but at a lower level
It is still, in a way, coming out of the one
Soul is still ultimately an expression of the One's causal power, but mediated through Nous
Refraction of the refraction
Soul is the external actuality of Nous
Soul, for the most part, is what we are
We are not utterly identical with the hypostesis (level of reality) of soul
We are individual souls
Which both are, and are not identical with the hypostesis
At the centre of our very being as soul, is nous, and at the centre of that, the One
Similar to the metaphor of logos in the mind, versus the logos of the soul
The word in the mind is more unified in language or speech
The word in the mind is always simpler
Soul is like the external speech of nous.
It is more multiple because it is an expression in speech
Nous gives rise to soul an active power to exist, as Soul
This power to be is actualized in Soul's attempt to return to nous in the way that it can.
Turns out that it's thinking is a particular sort, different from the sort that characterizes nous
Soul desires its proximate cause, and indirectly it desires the one
But, as Soul, it hasn't even heard of the One
It thinks nous is pure actuality
It seeks to return to nous for the same reasons that nous desires to return to the one
All things desire actuality/existance
As far as soul is concerned, nous is pure actuality, and it desires to become one with it, to unite with it
All things desire to be, and all things are to the extent that they are One
From the perspective of Soul, nous is utterly unified, utterly One
True to a certain extent nous is the more One-like of the determinate beings
In nous, the determination between subject and object is abolished
It's otherness is always abolished because it only is what it is in reference to all the other forms
As far as Soul is concerned, is absolutely One
Soul seeks to return to nous in accordance to its nature
By thinking it, since it is an intellectual being
Thinks it discoursively, not noeticlly
Nous = noesis
Soul = dianoia
What dianoia means, to Poltinus, is running through, or thinking through
Soul thinks the contents of the divine mind, but, one form at a time
Thinks them sequentially, serially
Takes what is, from Soul's perspective, is utterly unified, and divides/refracts it, one form at a time
Dividing one Form from the other
Taking one in isolation of the other
Bound to produce a fragmented understanding of each of those forms
Precisely because the Platonic forms are a total system of thought, and it cannot be thought in isolation of something else
It only thinks partial aspects of each form, one after another
Divides the forms themselves by grasping one aspect, and another, and another
Isolates the form of Justice and tries to produce definitions through propositions
But none of those propositions are proper definitions
Oh, justice is this...and this....and that...and this too!
Because Soul thinks discursively, it generates Time
Time = measure of the change in Soul's thinking, the measure of its thinking
In nous , there is a kind of change/motion, because there are distinct logical movements and lgocial motion between those movements,
All of the determinations are done in a single moment, since nous is outside of time.
But now, at Soul's level, this becomes a temporal movement, because it thinks one form, and then, what that form entails, logically, and what that form entails, logically
It doesn't forget its thought
Capable of producing syllogisms because it remembers the things it discovered before
New way in which things can be multiple
We are Most Essentially Soul...At least, from an Angle
Therefore, our most essential function is thinking
Now, how is it that we can think the forms?
Knowledge is possible because we came from nous, we're caused by nous.
That entails that, at the very core of ourselves, trancends more than just Soul
There is a part of us, as Soul, which remains in nous, which participates in nous
Continuity between cause and effect, and the effect, in one sense, remains, and is imminent to, its cause
If there weren't some kind of continuity between cause and effect, and if Soul didn't remain somewhat a part of nous, it wouldn't be able to Think
We would have no intelligible object, we would have no access to nous.
We can judge beautiful things in terms of each other, it must entail that we have some cognitive grasp of the form, beauty, as it resides in nous.
We do it on the basis of our access to the form in nous.
There is a part of us, as Soul, that remains in nous.
If the objects of Soul's thought (the forms), were alien to it, then the enquiry would be futile, it would be impossible to know anything
Our discursive reasoning is guided by the presence, to us, of the Forms
If they were utterly alien to us (doctrine of recollection), if we didn't, at some level, have some sort of grasp of the forms, why would we desire to know them?
You only desire to look/know something when you know what they are
And how will we know when we've found them?
It is only because they are not alien to us
That within us, that transcends us
There is a part in the soul that is higher than Soul
Three Phases of Emanation
In Soul's coming from nous, there are three moments (outside of time)
1) Remaining (Essence)
In one sense, the essence of soul itself, has to be nous
The highest point as its very being as soul, has to be nous
Part of soul is un-descended
Continuing to participate in nous, it has access to it, and it is why it can think things like justice, or beauty
2) Procession (Power)
When the external actuality emanates from its cause
To be the thing that it is
3) Return (Actuality)
The power to be what it is, being actualized, in the attempt, and subsequent failure to return
Reversion of soul to nous
Not entirely cut-off from what we are thinking
Where are we right now? In Nous? Or in the One?
Soul gives rise to something external to it
A more multiple expression/image of itself, for the very same reason that Nous gives rise to Soul
It actualizes its nature, and realizes the good in actualizing its nature, becoming perfect, produces something outside itself
Body = the whole of nature
Material things succeptible to change
Some of those having internal principles of motion and rest
Soul, as a whole, gives rise to nature as a whole, the material world
Soul's production is more multiple than, and inferior to, it
It is spatial, in space
Time is generated in Soul's thinking discursively, and Soul gives rise to space in thinking Body
Soul sort of overcomes its dividedness/multiplicity in memory, keeping the forms that it has thought, but Body can't do that
It can't overlap
Can't be in the same space as another body
One spatial form can't be in the same space as another spatial form
Divisions within Soul
Higher Soul permately fixated on nous
Continuously carrying out discursive thinking
Lower Soul managerial
Order, manage, and give rise to Nature
The whole of material reality
It is through the lower soul that nature is continually created and sustained
It does so by sending out what Plotinus calls seminal reasons
Seminal reasons issue forth from the lower part of the Soul, and they are just Aristotle`sinternal principles of motion and rest
The forms, as we find them in this world
The Forms of matter
The Hypostesis of Soul is interally complex
Many souls within the Hypostesis of Soul, and each of us is one of those souls
Each individual soul both is, and is not, a part of the Hypostesis, in the same way that the forms in nous both are, and are not, the whole of nous
There is a hierarchy among the individual souls in the hypostesis of soul
Some are more divine than others
Important, because each of thse individual souls is supposed to manage/sustain different parts of the material world, while remaining fixated on nous
In virtue of their contemplation of nous that they are able to order the contemplation of nous
Souls are supposed to give rise to and sustain things in the material world
Individual souls are able to do that wihtout becoming tangled in the things they give rise to in the material world, and order
The higher forms of souls in the hierarchy of soul as a whole, are able to do this
But the crappier souls, (us), aren't able to do that
They forget, that they have this higher soul, which is fixated on nous and is even, in a sense, part of nous.
Instead, they come to identify with that which we aught to just manage in a detached way
Being in a body is a bad thing, and is unnatural
We are not supposed to identify ourselves with this bodily thing and see this fate as identical
Souls that become attached to the body are lesser souls and more prone to corruption
It consists in tolma (audacity/rebellion)
A will to be utterly self determinate
As a body or a soul, in isolation from all other things in the universe
Against the laws/reason which governs all things
Wishing to be one's own law, precisely as an utterly limited, insignificant part of the cosmos
Ironically, this perverted desire to become absolutely self moving, makes these souls less powerful
Making them heterokenetic, instead of autokinetic
Being moved by other sources instead of self moving
These souls are swayed by their passions and are ruled by the body
This finite part of this material world is vunerable
They are prey to their passions and they are slaves to pleasures and pains, which are just the way in whcih the bodies are affected by external things
Passions are defined in the way that their bodies are affected by external things
Remain in the level of mere opinion, and think that the world is real based on what the senses report
Taking the senses, and what they deliver, as knowledge, as true reality
This is passive, since you can't stop sensing, but, your senses deceive you
Knowledge, to Plotinus, is a kind of self movement, is autokinesis
Aught to be derived from the internal principles of the soul
You can't come to know things strictly speaking through the senses
You can't see universal laws through your senses
So, how do you become autokinetic
Move inwards, and upwards
A process of recollection, remembering who we are
Made to have contempt for the body and the natural world
But, we mustn't come to see it as inherently evil
Insofar as it is, it is good and beautiful, because being is synonymous with goodness and beauty
The natural world, the bodily world, is beneath us
Need to come to see that we, in fact, continually give rise to it, insofar as that we are souls
Continuously sustain it
Need to stop identifying with the body, and stop taking its pleasures and pains as what is of most importance
This is helped by ascetic practices
Curb your appetites to the extent that a human being can...without dying
Have to come to recognize that what we are most essentially is Soul, and that our function is thinking
Remember that which they already are, by moving inwards and upwards
We are more soul than body, and as such, because soul has a part of itself remaining in nous, you are, at your core, nous itself
Philosophizing is an attempt to get back to nous.
As long as it remains at the level of discursive reasoning (which should only be a preparatory phase), we will stay in the level of Soul
Intuitively, apprehend the form in itself, and become identical to nous .
Insofar as you identify with any of the forms, you become one with nous,and the whole system of forms
In becoming soul, you become more autokinetic, because the whole material world is governed by soul
Insofar as you become one with soul, the whole material world becomes an expression of your deductive power
If you ascend further, putting off discursive reasoning,
You must realize, or recognize, that you always are soul, and as such, are always, already are nous.
Become concious of the thinking activity that always takes place within you
When you ascend to Nous you become more autokinetic
The Good, in itself, lies beyond nous, is the One
But you can't reach it while you're still thinking, because as long as you keep thinking, you are other than it
The last stage is a transintellectual mystical envelopment in the One
Not a conscious experience, or an intellectual one
An absorption into the One
Have to give up being as a determinate being
Same sort of exercise as the papers
Still expects it to be rigerously organized.
Prepare an outline which should be committed to memory
Only 3 hypostesis, even though there are 4lvls of reality
Body doesn't count, because it doesn't produce anything
Answer should incorporate body because the material reality is the external actuality of Soul
An account of soul will involve an account of nature
10 greek words, 11 english
Nous = Plotinus
nous = Aristotle
Aristotle's Physics, trying to give a sufficient account for change
Change occurs between two contraries
In a substantial change, the hupokeimenon (the underlying substratum), one of the three principles
What underlies the change between contraries (contraries being the other principles)
In a substancial change, the hypokeimenon is matter, going from not ship, to ship, if it is made of wood
Accidental change, the hypokeimenon is the substance, undergoing a change in non-essential attributes
One of the three orders of reality, the second level of reality produced by the one and in turn gives rise to Soul
It thinks the Platonic forms in one simultaneous act, and in so doing, gives rise to a secondary reality: Soul.