Perspectives Notes

Perspectives Notes - Perspectives Notes Plato's Republic...

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Perspectives Notes 9/5/07 Plato’s Republic Cephalus: Socrates asks Cephalus: what do you think is the greatest good he has enjoyed because of his wealth o Cephalus answers that he never had to worry about paying all his debts o Not cheating, not lying and not owing anyone o Socrates responds by saying that sometimes you are doing an injustice by performing what Cephalus says is just. o Cephalus relatively quickly acquiesces to this point of view o Possibly because he was ready for Socrates’ refutation (and invited him over for this reason) o Its unjust to give a definition of justice that allows injustice to happen by following its principles Epistemology – study of the validity of knowledge How do I verify whether something is true or not? Polymarchus: Says to give each person what is owed – helping your friends and harming your enemies o Socrates calls him on copping out – he asks to explain Simonides’ statement which garners the second part of the explanation o Socrates is involved in this for the sake of the benefit of Polymarchus, and secondarily himself and his crowd, and (Plato’s audience) (us) o Polymarchus says during a war you can save someone’s life that’s your ally and also kill your enemies o Socrates gets Polymarchus to commit that “justice” is useful during peacetime for the safeguarding of money “Justice is useful for useless things” Socrates is doing this is embarrass and ridicule Polymarchus’ view of justice Socrates offers the “guardian is the best thief” example Polymarchus concludes that “justice is the stealing of money” Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do something Socrates then suggests that Polymarchus’ friends’ qualities are different than what Polymarchus thinks Usually, justice is helping friends and harming enemies Usually, friends are good, enemies are bad So, usually, one would be harming the bad and helping the good So if you are mistaken in your judgment, than you could be helping the bad and hurting the good, thus being more unjust The good are just, the bad are unjust…so at some points justice could be helping the unjust and harming the just
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Socrates then suggests “Helping the just and harming the unjust” Polymarchus agrees…which Socrates spins into saying that helping the enemies and hurting your friends Polymarchus states that he is never wrong in deciding who is his friend or enemy so he is not subject to Socrates’ theory o Socrates brings up that “Should a just man harm his enemies” Harming X makes X Bad = Making X unjust Practice of justice you can make something more unjust o They partner up to find what isn’t just, and denying “helping your friends and harming your enemies” and they will also pursue together what is truly just. Thrasymachus:
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Perspectives Notes - Perspectives Notes Plato's Republic...

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