Western Political Philosophy Prelim 1

Western Political Philosophy Prelim 1 - PLATO- justice,...

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PLATO- justice, morality, harmony Philosophical Idealism What is real and how we know it? A realm of reality beyond the senses (transcendtenal, spiritual). The essence and form of things exist in a transcendent form of reality. There is an ideal realm in which the essence of “chairness” exists, beyond our sensory apprehension. Outside the physical world there is chairness, goodness, and justice. Masses and Leaders Sightseers, theatergoers, spectators o See beauty in many forms, the appearance of things o Live in a realm of opinion and belief, unreality Leaders o See beauty itself in its “permanent and unvarying nature”, reality o “While this person has knowledge, the other has beliefs” Sailors and Captains Metaphor for how contemporary society viewed the true philosopher. Only those who have studied “the seasons of the year, sky, stars, and winds and all that belongs to his craft” are fit to captain a ship. It is unnatural for the captain to ask the sailors to accept his authority o He is by nature the leader and does not need the consent of his sailors. Sophists Notices what the “beast” desires, what makes it angry. He conforms to the beasts attitudes and tells the beast (the public) what it wants to hear. Live in the realm of appearance but pretend to know that which is right and good. The Sophists tell the masses what they want and think they want. While the true philosopher tells you that which he knows is best. Allegory of the Cave Everybody lives in the dark of the cave (lightwatchers). The prisoners in the cave are not seeing reality, but only a shadowy representation of it reflected by the firelight. A select few are dragged out into the sunlight (representative of goodness). Their eyes now acclimate to the new images and forms, and ultimately come to see things in their true form (not simply appearance). Once there, Philosopher’s are unwilling to leave the upper regions. o This reluctance and self-denial is a marker of a true guardian. o Those who least want the power are the ones who should have it. Political power must be held by these few and they must return to the cave and serve the community. o Must share family and property communally as a means reducing self- interest When the philosophers return to the cave, the peons are threatened…great fear among populace of anti-intellectualism.
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ARISTOTLE-moderation, virtue, friendship, justice, noble action, classicism The Golden Mean o Virtue is moderation o There is a midpoint between two alternative extremes and virtue lies in the middle o Neither denies or is preoccupied with pleasures o Praises the middle class o Political Implications of Virtue The good and virtuous regime is moderate and avoids Plato’s elitism Justice Distributive o View people as different and unequal, geometic approach Treats people proportionately- to their values, station o Distribution of honors, wealth, power
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Western Political Philosophy Prelim 1 - PLATO- justice,...

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