TheNatureofPhilosophy

TheNatureofPhilosophy - Unit 1E The Nature of Philosophy...

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Unit 1E - The Nature of Philosophy – Lecture: Plato’s Republic – E. Clark – February 21, 2011 Books I & II Asks the question essentially “What is justice ? (331c) A definition: “to give each what is owed to him” – conventional justice (331e) The rejection of conventional justice. (335e) Thrasymachus’s challenge: it is better be unjust if one can (cf. 348) Socrates’s answer: psychic justice (352a; 353e) Socrates method of answering the question and the challenge: justice in the city (369) Book V I. Ideal versus the approximate (472b-c; Cf. 476c) A. Is a just man “like justice itself” or is it that he “comes close to it as possible and participates in it”? Here we have a hint at what will prove to be a very important idea for Plato, namely there are the things themselves, e.g., justice in this case, which just things can more or less resemble. B. Asks what makes a state less than ideally just. Answer: Lack of philosopher-kings (473d). This fills out the analogy that the city is to the soul. Unless reason rules the soul, there will be little justice in the human being. II. Nature of a philosopher (475b-476b). RQ #1 A. Lover of “the whole” of wisdom; comprehensive wisdom. B. Lover of a “sight of truth” C. Contrasted with a lover of sights and sounds (beautiful things); loves beauty itself. III. Knowledge and its objects versus opinion and its objects (476c-479). RQ #2 A. Knowledge – the thing itself vs. Opinion – the likeness (476c). B. Knowledge is of what “completely is” (477) C. Ignorance is of “what is in no way” (Ff. 477) D. There are things that are in between “to be” and “not to be” E. Knowledge and opinion are distinct “powers” (477b and c). F. What some power is is determined by what it is “set over” (477d) G. Opinion cannot be set over what is not. (478b) H. Opinion, therefore, is set over neither what is nor what is not. (478c) I. The argument: Opinion is in between knowledge and ignorance and therefore, the objects of opinion are in between being and not-being. 1. Sensible, particular things both are and are not. (479) 2. Knowledge is of things that are “always the same in every respect” J. Philosophers see the things themselves. (480) IV. Plato’s Theory of the Forms ( eidos ): A. Universal versus particular. B. Stability: eternal and immutable. C. Only things able to be known. D. Gave rise to an ongoing debate in philosophy that continues today (the problem of universals).
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Unit 1E - The Nature of Philosophy – Lecture: Plato’s Republic – E. Clark – February 21, 2011 Book VI V. Reiteration of their purpose: to distinguish the just from the unjust life. (484a-b) VI. Discerning who are the ‘true’ Philosophers: A. Distinction: Eternal and immutable in all respects vs. many and variable in every way. B. Blindness with respect to “what is” and the “most true”.
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