CL36Sp08L9_Rp6-7_Ab - CLASSICS 36: LECTURE NINE REPUBLIC B...

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C LASSICS 36: L ECTURE N INE R EPUBLIC B OOKS 6-7: ESCAPE FROM T HE CAVE , AND RETURN 1. Ultimate object of understanding for philosopher-king is form of the good (FG) (505a, 540a); but Soc. can only explain it through analogies. 1.1 Cannot account for FG as he did justice and self-discipline (506d), i.e. in terms of city/soul correspondence; why not? because FG is principle not just of soul or city, but of all there is (509b, 516b-c). 1.2 Thus justice in the truest sense is neither civic justice, nor even justice in the soul (443d), but the justice of intelligible objects (the Forms) “which neither wrong one another nor are wronged by one another, and which are all ordered according to a rational plan” (500c). In the Timaeus Plato has God look to the Forms as a model when creating the cosmos; compare how philosopher-kings look to the Forms when bringing order to the city, 500d-501c. 1.3 Ineffability of the Forms. Understanding the Forms is described in the dialogues as a “vision” rather than, say, arriving at a definition or a formula (e g. 540a). This need not be mysterious. Compare e.g. how a doctor can only expresses his understanding of (the Form of) Health by means of the variations in treatment and prescription adapted to particular cases; there is no one specification of “health” (any particular specification will work for some people but not others, so appearing both healthy and unhealthy, as in the argument in Book 5, 479a). Yet the doctor is “looking towards” the same ultimate Form, health, in each case; the alternative would be to give the patient what the patient happens to want (as sophists do). Doctor expresses his understanding of Form of Health practically. Philosopher thinking about Health would do so theoretically, but not by coming up with a master-definition of health, but by thinking about what the doctor does? 2. Analogy of the Sun (507a-509c)
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This note was uploaded on 06/08/2008 for the course CLASSIC 36 taught by Professor Ferrari during the Spring '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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CL36Sp08L9_Rp6-7_Ab - CLASSICS 36: LECTURE NINE REPUBLIC B...

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