HUMS 2000 First Semester (Complete)

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HUMS 2000


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 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

Aristophanes' Clouds

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 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


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

Socrates' Examination

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 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 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)

E agrees.

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

An Examination

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?

Euthyphro agrees

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. 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.


Apology = apologia = defence

Plato is defending himself, not apologizing for anything.


Aristophanes' Clouds

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

Peloponnesian War

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

The Pre-Socratics

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

The Sophists

Why the turn?

Two reasons:

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

Intelectual harlots

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.

Moral relativists

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

Aristophanes' Clouds

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.


Aristophanes' Clouds


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.

Martial, bellicose

Moral relativists

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


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

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'

Significant, why?

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


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

399 BC

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


The Apology

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

Self evident

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

Aperia impasse

They have exhausted all possible definitions without producing any sort of knowledge in the end knowledge as in universal definition

Socratic Method

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

Socrates' countercharge:

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



Sensual pleasures

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

Hate hubris

Know thyself

Fear authority

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

Closet imperatives

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


The Republic

Book 1

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

Part 2

Enter Thrasymachus

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

The Refutation

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

plaenexia surpassing

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

Proportional equality

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

Dikaiosyne justice

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

Unconditionally 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:


And doctors?

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

One thing

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

Deeply entrenched

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

Acquiring goods

Book 4

Everyone complains

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

Cardinal virtues:

Wisdom Guardians

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

True knowledge

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

True belief

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?

Book 5

The perfect city has been established in speech, and justice and happiness have been 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?

Auxiliaries spirit

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

Guardian Reason/Wisdom

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 ....

...Third Wave!

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


By definition

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

Absolute, perfect

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

Timeless, unchanging

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


Book 5

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?

What is

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

Fleeting, ever-changing

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

Perfect, absolute

Self predicating

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

juujube yummm

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

Prevailing opinion

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

?????????????? Intellect

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, how?

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.

Ontologize logic

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

Highest Forms









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

Nous thinks

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

Self idenitity

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 quality

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

Two things


Plotinus Ctd.

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

Soul's Constitution

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.

To think

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



agreed weeeeeeeeeeeee~~~~~~~~~~!

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

logoi spermatikoi

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

Part A)

10 greek words, 11 english

Nous = Plotinus

nous = Aristotle

Practice Terms


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


Plotinus's Aenead's

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.