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CLASSICS 36: LECTURE ELEVEN REPUBLIC BOOK 9: THE THREE PROOFS 1. Structure of the three proofs 1.1 The three proofs constitute Socrates' explicit response to Glaucon's challenge back in Book 2. 1.2 First proof (578c-579c) is based on the city/soul analogy but limits its conclusion to the special case of the tyrannical character who gets to rule a city as tyrant; second proof (580d-583a) begins from the tripartite division of soul which was justified by city/soul analogy, but then considers relative value of the pleasures of the soul-parts as such; third proof (583b-588b) (the “most decisive” proof) considers the metaphysical status of the objects which cause the pleasures considered by the second proof. 1.3 Thus there is an overall progression away from reliance on the city/soul analogy towards reliance on Platonic metaphysics , and away from condemnation of the tyrant alone to condemnation of all who lead unjust lives. 2. The first proof (578c-579c) 2.1 To take the tyrannical character and make him rule as tyrant is like taking a slaveowner of addictive character and isolating him with his slaves, with no fellow slaveowners to support him 2.2 Objection: first proof does not allow for use of the ring of Gyges? (See 360c-d.) Response: Glaucon did not in fact demand that the unjust man have the use of ring of Gyges but only that he be skilful enough to evade external consequences of injustice (360e-361a); but reliance on one's skill is not magical certainty, hence tyrant cannot be supposed to escape consequences for his soul. 3.
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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 Berkeley.

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