Philosophy 190: Plato Fall, 2014 Prof. Peter Hadreas Course website: http://www.sjsu.edu/people/peter.hadreas /courses/Plato.
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Philosophy 190: Plato Fall, 2014 Prof. Peter Hadreas Course website: http://www.sjsu.edu/people/peter.hadreas /courses/Plato Slide 2 PLATO: HIPPARCHUS Slide 3 HIPPARCHUS FIRST DIALECTICAL ARGUMENT SOCRATES: What is greed? What can it be, and who are greedy people? FRIEND: In my opinion, theyre the ones who think its a good idea to profit from thing of no value. SOCRATES: Do you think they know these things are of no value, or do they not know. For if they dont know, you mean greedy people are stupid. FRIEND: No, I dont know theyre stupid. What I mean is this: theyre unscrupulous and wicked people who are overcome by profit, knowing that the things which they dare to profit are of no value; 1 yet their shamelessness makes them dare to be greedy. _______________ 1. have no use value, but recognize they have exchange value? 1 Slide 4 HIPPARCHUS SOCRATES: So, then, do you mean that the greedy person is, for example, like a farmer who plants, knowing that his plant is of no value, and thinks its a good idea to profit from the plant when fully grown? 2 FRIEND: The greedy person, at any rate, Socrates, thinks he ought to profit from everything. SOCRATES: Dont let me make you give in like that, as if you had somehow been tricked by something; pay attention and answer as if I were asking again from the beginning. Dont you agree that the greedy person knows about the value of the thing from which he thinks it is a good idea to profit? FRIEND: I do. __________________ 2. Perhaps Socrates is presuming that seedling has no or little exchange value but will have exchange value when fully grown. 2 Slide 5 HIPPARCHUS SOCRATES: So who knows about the value of plants, in what seasons and soils its a good idea to plant them if we may throw in one of those clever phrases with which legal experts beautify their speeches? 1 FRIEND: The farmer, I think. SOCRATES: By thinking its a good idea to profit do you mean anything but thinking one ought to profit? 2 FRIEND: Thats what I mean. __________________ 1. The Greek words for seasons and soils rhyme. 2. Socrates ahs not captured the friends meaning. Socrates has said, the greedy person knows about the value of the thing from which he thinks it is a good idea to profit? This must mean the greedy person know the exchange value of what he thinks it is a good idea to profit. D/he doesnt care about its use value 3 Slide 6 HIPPARCHUS SOCRATES: Well then, dont try to deceive me Im already an old man and youre so very young by answering as you did just right now, saying what you yourself dont think; tell the truth. 1 Do you think there is any man who takes up farming, and expects to profit from planting crops that he know to be of no value? FRIEND: By, Zeus, I dont! SOCRATES: Well then, do you think that a horseman who knowingly gives his horse food that is of no value 2 is unaware that he is harming his horse? FRIEND: I dont. SOCRATES: So he doesnt expect to profit from food that has no value. FRIEND: No. __________________ 1. In a sense Socrates, it right to caution the friend to say what he thinks. The friend, however, isnt intentionally deceiving Socrates, hes just led to conclusions he doesnt believe by confusing use and exchange value. 2. The food has use value for the horse and but negligible exchange value since the horse consumes it. 4 Slide 7 HIPPARCHUS SOCRATES: Well then, do you think a ships captain who has rigged his ship with sails and rudders that are of no value 1 is unaware that he will suffer loss, and risks being lost himself and losing and all it carries? FRIEND: No, I dont. SOCRATES: So he doesnt expect to profit 2 from equipment that has no value. FRIEND: Not at all. __________________ 1.... sails and rudders that are of no value means here have no use value and as a result the cargo in effect has no exchange value. 2. A somewhat more complicated case than farming and horse-raising because the exchange value of the cargo depends upon the use value of the ships equipment. Before it was just a simple confusion of use value with exchange value. 5 Slide 8 HIPPARCHUS SOCRATES: Or does a general who knows that his army has arms that are of no value expect to profit, or expect its a good idea to profit from them? 1 FRIEND: Certainly not SOCRATES: Or does a flute-player who has flutes that are of no value, or a lyre-player with a lyre, or an archer with a bow, or, in short, does any other craftsman, or any other sensible man who has worthless tools, 2 or any other sort of equipment, expect to profit from them? FRIEND: Obviously not. __________________ 1. Yet a more complicated case. Here the use value of the army is dependent upon the use value of its arms. Socrates stretches the use of the term profit. Only makes sense if it is a army whose victory is easily understood as money-making. 2. In the case of flutes, lyres, bows, etc., exchange and use of flute-playing, lyre- playing, archery is dependent upon the use value of the flutes, lyre, bows, etc. 6 Slide 9 HIPPARCHUS SOCRATES: Then who do you say the greedy people are? For surely the ones just mentioned are not the ones who expect to profit from what they know has no value. But in that case, my wonderful friend, there arent any greedy people at all, according to what you say. 1 SECOND DIALECTICAL ARGUMENT FRIEND: What I mean, Socrates, is this: greedy people are those whose greed gives them an insatiable desire 2 to profit even even from things that are actually quite petty, and of little value. _________________ 1. Socrates conclusion is correct but only insofar as the friend has failed to see the dependency of exchange value, in the cases Socrates introduces, upon use value. Socrates has succeeded in showing that his friend doesnt know how to define greedy people. 2. Note how the friends definition has moved from the value of things to human desires. 7 Slide 10 HIPPARCHUS SOCRATES: Not, of course knowing that they are of no value, my very good friend; for we have just proved to ourselves in our argument that this is impossible. FRIEND: I believe so. SOCRATES: And if they dont know this, plainly theyre ignorant of it, thinking instead that the things of no value are very valuable. FRIEND: Apparently. SOCRATES: Now, of course, greedy people love to make a profit. FRIEND: Yes. SOCRATES: And by profit, you mean the opposite of loss? FRIEND: I do. SOCRATES: Is there anyone for whom it is a good thing to suffer loss? FRIEND: No one. SOCRATES: Its a bad thing? 8 Slide 11 HIPPARCHUS FRIEND: Yes. SOCRATES: So people are harmed by loss? FRIEND: Yes, harmed SOCRATES: So loss is bad? FRIEND: Yes. SOCRATES: And profit is the opposite of loss. 1 FRIEND: Yes, the opposite. SOCRATES: So, profit is good? FRIEND: Yes. SOCRATES: So it is those who love the good whom, you call greedy. FRIEND: So it seems. SOCRATES: Well, my friend, at least you dont call greedy people lunatics. 2 But you yourself, do you or dont you love whats good? _________________________ 1. Socrates has gotten the friend to confuse, loss in the sense of a monetary, or at least material loss, with losses in general. There are personal losses, losses of a loved one, losses of reputation, losses of health, whose opposite is surely not profit. 2. Socrates points to the previous argument in which the friend has been led to the view that greedy people want something that has no value. 9 Slide 12 HIPPARCHUS FRIEND: I do. SOCRATES: Is there something good that you dont love? Or something bad that you do? FRIEND: By Zeus, no! SOCRATES: So presumably you love all good things? FRIEND: Yes. SOCRATES: And you can ask me, too, if Im not the same; for I will also agree with you that I love good things. But besides you and me, dont you believe that all other people love whats good and hate whats bad? FRIEND: So it appears to me. SOCRATES: And we agreed that profit is good. 1 FRIEND: Yes. SOCRATES: And you can ask me, too, if Im not the same; for I will also agree with you that I love good things. Bu besides you and me, dont you believe that all other people love whats good and hate whats bad? FRIEND: So it appears to me. 1. Recall the truth of profit is good depends on the confusion of different kinds of losses [See previous slide]. But lets not let the irony escape that at least, to those of questionable morals, any or most profits are good. 11 Slide 13 HIPPARCHUS SOCRATES: And we agreed that profit is good? FRIEND: Yes. SOCRATES: Well, then, in this way of looking at it, everyone appears to be greedy; whereas, according to what we said earlier, no one was greedy. So which of these approaches would it be safe to rely on? FRIEND: I think, Socrates, we have to get the right conception of the greedy person. The right conception is that the greedy person is the one who is concerned with and thinks its a good idea to profit from things which virtuous people 1 would never dare to profit from. SOCRATES: But you see, my dear sweet fellow, that we have already agree that to profit is to be benefited. 1. Note how the friend now introduces virtuous people His definitions have good from material goods, to personal desires, to virtuous people. 12 Slide 14 HIPPARCHUS [Socrates proceeds to trap the friend in the previous elenchus: whereby he confutes monetary loss with all types of loss and gets the friend to agree that profit in general is good.].... SOCRATES: So you see, youre trying to deceive me, deliberately saying the opposite of what we just agreed to. 1 FRIEND: No, by Zeus, Socrates! Quite the opposite: its you whos deceiving me, 2 and turning me upside down in these argument I dont know how you do it! 1. Of course the friend is not intentionally deceiving anybody, except perhaps himself because hes not clear on what greed is. 2. Socrates is deceiving the friend and perhaps the reader who does not follow the clues out of the puzzle. But Plato will offer clues in the section that follows as to why deception on this matter is the norm and the way out of the labyrinth of social prejudices requires one overturn popular beliefs in general. In particular, Plato invites the reader to overturn popular beliefs by an absurd retelling of the origins of Athenian democracy. 10 Slide 15 The Story of the Assassination of Hipparchus by Harmodius and Aristogeiton Harmodius and Aristogeiton or Aristogeton (both died 514 BC) were two men from ancient Athens. They became known as the Tyrannicides after they killed the Peisistratid tyrant Hipparchus, and were the preeminent symbol of democracy to ancient Athenians. 1 1. downloaded on September 22, 2014 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki Harmodius_and_Aristogeitonhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki Slide 16 Assassination of Hipparchus by Harmodius and Aristogeiton Slide 17 Roman copies of Harmodius and Aristogeiton by Critios and Nesiotes, Naples, Museo Archeologico Nazionale Slide 18 Hymn To Aristogeiton And Harmodius* by Edgar Allan Poe (1827) I Wreathed in myrtle, my sword I'll conceal Like those champions devoted and brave, When they plunged in the tyrant their steel, And to Athens deliverance gave. II Beloved heroes! your deathless souls roam In the joy breathing isles of the blest; Where the mighty of old have their home Where Achilles and Diomed rest. III In fresh myrtle my blade I'll entwine, Like Harmodius, the gallant and good, When he made at the tutelar shrine A libation of Tyranny's blood. IV Ye deliverers of Athens from shame! Ye avengers of Liberty's wrongs! Endless ages shall cherish your fame, Embalmed in their echoing songs! * Translation from probably from Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, Book 15, Kaibel paragraph 50, lines 38-79. Slide 19 The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides, Richard Crawley translation From Sixth Book, Chapter XIX.  Indeed, the daring action of Aristogiton and Harmodius was undertaken in consequence of a love affair, which I shall relate at some length, to show that the Athenians are not more accurate than the rest of the world in their accounts of their own tyrants and of the facts of their own history. Pisistratus dying at an advanced age in possession of the tyranny, was succeeded by his eldest son, Hippias, and not Hipparchus, as is vulgarly believed. Harmodius was then in the flower of youthful beauty, and Aristogiton, a citizen in the middle rank of life, was his lover and possessed him. Solicited without success by Hipparchus, son of Pisistratus, Harmodius told Aristogiton, and the enraged lover, afraid that the powerful Hipparchus might take Harmodius by force, immediately formed a design, such as his condition in life permitted, for overthrowing the tyranny. In the meantime Hipparchus, after a second solicitation of Harmodius, attended with no better success, unwilling to use violence, arranged to insult him in some covert way. Slide 20 The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides, Richard Crawley translation From Sixth Book, Chapter XIX.....  To return to Harmodius; Hipparchus having been repulsed in his solicitations insulted him as he had resolved, by first inviting a sister of his, a young girl, to come and bear a basket in a certain procession, and then rejecting her, on the plea that she had never been invited at all owing to her unworthiness. If Harmodius was indignant at this, Aristogiton for his sake now became more exasperated than ever; and having arranged everything with those who were to join them in the enterprise, they only waited for the great feast of the Panathenaea, the sole day upon which the citizens forming part of the procession could meet together in arms without suspicion. Aristogiton and Harmodius were to begin, but were to be supported immediately by their accomplices against the bodyguard. The conspirators were not many, for better security, besides which they hoped that those not in the plot would be carried away by the example of a few daring spirits, and use the arms in their hands to recover their liberty. Slide 21 The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides, Richard Crawley translation From Sixth Book, Chapter XIX.  At last the festival arrived; and Hippias with his bodyguard was outside the city in the Ceramicus, arranging how the different parts of the procession were to proceed. Harmodius and Aristogiton had already their daggers and were getting ready to act, when seeing one of their accomplices talking familiarly with Hippias, who was easy of access to every one, they took fright, and concluded that they were discovered and on the point of being taken; and eager if possible to be revenged first upon the man who had wronged them and for whom they had undertaken all this risk, they rushed, as they were, within the gates, and meeting with Hipparchus by the Leocorium recklessly fell upon him at once, infuriated, Aristogiton by love, and Harmodius by insult, and smote him and slew him. Aristogiton escaped the guards at the moment, through the crowd running up, but was afterwards taken and dispatched in no merciful way: Harmodius was killed on the spot. Slide 22 from The Athenian Tyrannicides: Icons of a Democratic Society by E. Kent Webb, University of Washington 1 It is then clear that the tyrant in the Athenian conscience was not a real figure but a construction, or a product of a discourse which characterized the tyrant as the antithesis of many of the most important Athenian values. In this regard Hipparchos is an example of one of the most common topoi of this discourse: the sexually wanton despot indexing his authority on the bodies of women, daughters and boys. The individual examples are too numerous, and perhaps too lurid, to recount here. Nevertheless, in the tyrannicide tradition the representation of Hipparchos is perfectly consistent with this discourse, for he not only tries to gratify his erotic desires in spite of Harmodios' relationship with another man. 1. delivered at conference: All for One or One for All? (Re)constructing Identity in the Ancient World, Graduate Student Symposium, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College October 17 - 18, 1997 Slide 23 from The Athenian Tyrannicides: Icons of a Democratic Society by E. Kent Webb, University of Washington [continued from previous slide] 1 But when Hipparchos is thwarted, he exercises his authority to exact a measure of petty revenge. Thus, like all tyrants, the tyrannicide narrative represents Hipparchos as above the laws and norms of the polis which protected against this type of insult. To Athenians the Peisistratid's lack of self-restraint was nothing less than a symbol of moral and legal anarchy by virtue of the threat his absolute authority posed to all. In effect, Hipparchos represented in sexual terms Aristotle's later theoretical distinction between monarchy and tyranny, in that while a king reigns to protect individual property and honor, a tyrant rules in order to gratify his own desires. 1. delivered at conference: All for One or One for All? (Re)constructing Identity in the Ancient World, Graduate Student Symposium, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College October 17 - 18, 1997 Slide 24 Platos Absurd Retelling of the Story of the Assassination of Hipparchus as recounted in the dialogue Hipparchus. 1. Socrates story miscasts Hipparchus as the older brother of Hippias. This is in disagreement with Aristotle and Thucydides. It is extremely unlikely that Plato had not read Thucydides History, available in Athens already when Plato was in his twenties. 2. Plato makes the motivation for the assassination absurd: Aristogeiton kills Hipparchus out of pedagogical jealousy. Hipparchus was a better teacher than Aristogeiton. A fourth party, whose name Socrates strangely has forgotten, loses interest in the wisdom of Aristogeiton and prefers Hipparchus. This somehow leads Aristogeiton and Harmodius to be overcome by this disqualification and to kill Hipparchus. 4. No one, except Plato in this comical account, makes the tyrant Hipparchus into the soul of wisdom Slide 25 Can We Believe that Plato Would Intentionally Misrepresent a Historical Event? 1. In dialogues such as the Protagoras, Socrates falsely, and ridiculously, proposes that Sparta and Crete are the most ancient and fertile homes of philosophy (Protagoras, 342B,) and the Spartans the best educated in philosophy, (Protagoras, 342D). 2. Socrates in the Protagoras, as suggested last week, sets up blatant inconsistencies to shake the credulity of the reader. Recall Plato has Socrates say, p. 767, 334D: Protagoras, I tend to be a forgetful sort of person, and if someone speaks to me at length I tend to forget the subject of the speech.... you will have to cut your answer short if I am to follow you. But this claim of Socrates is inconsistent with the frame of the dialogue. Socrates remembers the whole of the mornings conversation with Protagoras. The dialogue is Socrates recounting the whole of the goings- on between the various sophists, beginning with: Well, heres the story. p. 748, 310B Slide 26 Return to Socratic Dialectic. Socrates asks the friend if he wants to take back anything that has been said before: SOCRATES: Very well, just like in a friendly game of checkers, Im willing to let you take back anything you want of whats been said in the discussion, so you wont think youre being deceived. So should I take this back for you, that all men desire good things? FRIEND: No, not that. SOCRATES: Well, how about that profit and profiting are opposite to loss and suffering loss. 1 FRIEND: Not that either. SOCRATES: Well, how about that profiting, as the opposite of bad, is good? FRIEND: Its not always good; take that back for me. 2 1. This proposition clearly should be retracted, but the friend doesnt seem to notice. This is the proposition that Socrates will use repeatedly to arrive at what is profitable is good. See 232A, p. 616. 2. Yes. This proposition is glaringly overreaching. But its for the friend to see whats wrong with it. Slide 27 Return to Socratic Dialectic. Socrates asks the friend if he wants to take back anything that has been said before: SOCRATES: So you believe, it seems, that some profit is good and some bad. FRIEND: I do. SOCRATES: All right, Ill take this back for you; lets say that some profit is good and some other profit is bad. And neither one is more profit, the good or bad. Right? [Socrates proceeds to lead the friend to assent to profit, like food, drink, people, may be good or bad, but they still are profit, food, drink and people. Interesting Socrates does not take the course of saying that we have shown that profit itself, as the opposite of loss is good. He is in a sense playing fair. Rather he supplies a suitable definition of profit, which, unlike before, would distinguish it from other gains which might be thought of as opposite to loss.] Slide 28 Socrates Defines Profit Something The Friend Hasnt Been Able to Do SOCRATES:.... If you yourself are again unable to answer, consider what I say: do you call a profit every possession that one has acquired either by spending nothing, or by spending less and receiving more? FRIEND: Yes, I believe Id call that profit. SOCRATES: Do you mean cases like this when you are giving a feast, spending nothing but eating your filling and getting sick? FRIEND: By Zeus, I do not! SOCRATES: If you become healthy from the feast, would you be profiting or losing? FRIEND: Profiting 1 SOCRATES: So this, at least is not profit, acquiring just any possession at all. 1. So the friend and Socrates have only a partially complete definition. It has necessary condition of profit: acquiring a possession by spending nothing or by spending less and receiving more. But as Socrates suggests it needs more specification. Its not about any possession at all. We would say it applies to what we call capital goods. Slide 29 The friend says hes utterly stumped. Socrates curiously says yet the friend is not unjust in his speechlessness FRIEND: Certainly not. SOCRATES: Not if its bad right? But if one acquires anything good at all, doesnt one acquire a profit? FRIEND: Apparently if its good. SOCRATES: And if its bad, wont one suffer a loss? FRIEND: I believe so, SOCRATES: Do you see that you are coming back again to the same place? Profit appears to be good and loss bad. 1 FRIEND: Im a loss for what to say. 2 SOCRATES: At least youre not at an unfair loss. 3 But answer this: when one acquires more than one has spent, do you say its profit? 1. Socrates uses this turn of reasoning repeatedly in the Hipparchus to stump the friend and, so we may assume, think more clearly about the subject. 2. Literally: I am in an aporia state about what I might say. Aporia means impasse, difficulty of passing, lack of resources, puzzlement. 3. Literally: Not unfairly [or unjustly] are you in an aporia state. Slide 30 The Friend Hits Upon a Suitable Definition for Profit FRIEND: And least I dont mean when its bad, but if one acquires more gold or silver than one has spent. 1 SOCRATES: Im just about to ask you that: if someone spends a half a measure of gold and gets double that in silver, has he profited or lost? 2 FRIEND: Lost, surely, Socrates, for then his gold is worth only double, instead of twelve times as much as silver. 2 SOCRATES: But still hes acquired more; or isnt double more than half? FRIEND: Not in value, at least, with silver and gold. 1. The friend has finally arrived as a workable definition of profit. Notice how theres been a descent from intrinsically valuable goods, to use-value goods, to exchange-value goods, to valuable currency. 2. A standard reckoning in Platos day was that gold was worth twelve times as much as silver. Since the ratio is around 68:1 today, it would suggest that either the availability of silver has increased or gold decreased considerably. Slide 31 The Friend Hits Upon a Suitable Definition for Profit but Loses Hold of It SOCRATES: So it looks as if we must add the notion of value to profit. At least, now you say that silver, though there is more of it than gold, is not as valuable, and that of gold, although theres less is of equal value. FRIEND: Of course for indeed that is the case. SOCRATES: Value, then, is what brings profit, whether its small or large and what has no value bring no profit. 1 FRIEND: Yes. SOCRATES: And by value, do you mean anything other than valuable to possess. FRIEND: Yes, valuable to possess. SOCRATES: Moreover, by valuable to possess, do you mean the unbeneficial or the beneficial? 1. True as long as one adheres to value as meaning currency value. But the friend is not clear on the distinguishing between types of goods so Socrates can easily lead him back to his main argumentative dodge: confusing kinds of goods: intrinsic, use, exchange and denominational. Slide 32 The Friend Hits Upon a Suitable Definition for Profit but Loses Hold of It FRIEND: The beneficial, surely. SOCRATES: Well, isnt the beneficial good? FRIEND: Yes. SOCRATES: And so, my valiant warrior, havent we once again, for the third or fourth time, come to agreement that whats profitable is good? FRIEND: So it seems. SOCRATES: Do you remember the point from which this discussion arose? FRIEND: I think so. SOCRATES: If not, Ill remind you. You disagreed with me, claiming good people do not want to make just any sort of profit, but only those that are good ones and the wicked ones. 1 1. The friend has argued as Socrates says at 232C6, p. 616, , that means literally not unjustly. The friends original moral feeling is felt surely not unjustly. The friend has failed to build a pathway of concepts that illuminates why he feels outrage not justly. Slide 33 Socrates Turns the Friends Outrage of Profit-making Back on Himself FRIEND: Yes indeed. SOCRATES: And doesnt the argument now force us to agree that all gains, small and large, are good. FRIEND: I forces me. Socrates, rather than persuades me. 1 SOCRATES: Well, perhaps later it will persuade you. But for now, whatever condition youre in persuaded or not do you at least agree with us 2 that all profits are good, both small and large. FRIEND: I do agree. SOCRATES: And you you agree that all virtuous people what all good things, or not? FRIEND: I agree. 1. But Socrates/Plato does not want to persuade. Thats the goal of rhetoric. Socrates/Plato wants the interlocutor and reader to think as critically as possible and ideally arrive at the most sound argument. 2. Why us? Is Socrates hinting that this is a common belief? Slide 34 Socrates Turns the Friends Outrage about Profit-making Back on Himself SOCRATES: Well, now, you yourself said that wicked people love profits both small and large. FRIEND: I did. SOCRATES: So according to your argument, all people would be greedy, both the virtuous and the wicked. FRIEND: Apparently. SOCRATES: So, therefore, it is not a correct approach, if someone reproaches another as being greedy for it turns out that he who makes this approach is greedy himself. 1 1. So Socrates has turned the conversation back on to the friend, making him greedy. Ironically, if one allows greediness to apply not to money, but to knowledge and truth as well and philosophical questioning then Socrates too is greedy. The problem is the lack of determination of types of gain, loss, and goods. Slide 35 From Goodness to Profit Goodness In the Socratic Dialogues, a part of each virtue Intrinsic goods goods that have use-value goods that have exchange-value valuable currency e. g., gold & silver Profit: Spending nothing or spending less and receiving more of valuable currency Slide 36 Baruch de Spinoza (1632 -1677) Slide 37 The philosopher, Spinoza, on confusing value in general with the value of money. The body and mind have a multitude of various needs and desires. A great variety of aids are needed to satisfy these needs and desires. But money has provided a convenient instrument for acquiring all these aids. This why its image usually occupies the mind of the multitude more than anything else. For they can hardly imagine any species of joy without the accompanying idea of money as its cause. 1 1. Spinoza, Benedict de, Ethics, Part IV, Appendix, XXVIII, translation by Edwin Curley. Slide 38 Contemporary Practice of Thinking Ethical Issues by Cost- Benefit Analyses Attempts to reduce complex decision making to quantitative terms arent uncommon, especially in a highly competitive business environment. In this way, complex decisions can be simplified apparently, an advantage. Today, insurance companies and many government agencies still assign a value to human life as they attempt to calculate the costs and benefits of new regulations....What is a life worth? Are some peoples lives worth more than others because they would have had more earning potential had they lived? Unfortunately, this kind of decision making is a part of our modern lives. Decisions like this are made in courtrooms and by insurance companies every day. But the potential disadvantages of reducing the value of human life to quantitative terms should be clear. Such simplification can remove moral criteria from the decision-making process and reduce ethical awareness. 1 1. Trevino, Linda K., and Nelson, Katherine A., Managing Business Ethics, Sixth Edition, (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2014), p. 103. Slide 39 References to pictures used in this powerpoint slide #2, bust of Plato: http://www.ancientgreece.com/s/People/Plato/http://www.ancientgreece.com/s/People/Plato/ slide #3, vase painting of the assassination of Hipparchos, http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/ClasDram/images/05/tyrannocides.jpg slide #4, sculpture of Harmodius and Aristogeiton: and ff., bust of Pythagoras: http://www.quotecollection.com/image-view.php?img=protagoras-3.jpg http://www.quotecollection.com/image-view.php?img=protagoras-3.jpg slide #37, portrait of Spinoza: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Spinoza#mediaviewer/File:Spinoza.jpg