lecture6 - L ect ur e 6: Review + Philosopher -K ings Sept...

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Lecture 6: Review + Philosopher-Kings September 13, 2010
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Justice in the Person Plato claims that we can know which actions are right and which actions are wrong by considering whether an action will “preserve the inner harmony of the soul and helps to achieve it.” Just as healthy actions lead to a healthy body, just actions lead to a healthy, just soul. Any action which disrupts the inner harmony of the soul and causes appetites or emotions to become wild or unruly is MORALLY WRONG and should not be done. The result of such a view is (or historically was at least) STOICISM: a life of intellectual, rational perfection, and indifference and non-attachment to appetites and emotions. The Greeks believe that MODERATION IN ALL APPETITES AND EMOTIONS was the best life. Maybe murder disrupts harmony of the soul, but must it always?
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Response to Glaucon? First Glaucon attempted to show that we all naturally value injustice but we settle for justice and security in the social contract. Plato provided an alternative, more plausible social contact theory. Second, Glaucon used “Gyges Ring” to show that we did not value justice for its own sake and, as soon as the negative consequences were removed from injustice, we would be unjust. Plato has tried to show that being an unjust or morally evil person means to 1) lose one’s rationality, therefore, 2) to not be properly human, 3) to lose one’s very self and become a slave to passions and appetites.
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Response to Glaucon, cont. “Virtue is a sort of health, a fine and good state of the soul; whereas vice seems to be a shameful disease and weakness.” Just as valuing ourselves = concern for our health and bodily well being, so also is valuing ourselves = concern for our rational well being. We do not value ourselves because of the consequences (happiness).
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lecture6 - L ect ur e 6: Review + Philosopher -K ings Sept...

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