2/9/10 **missed first 15 minutes of class -Can virtue be taught? This is the issue. -In dialogue Protagist (?) we see Socrates debating this with the very famous sophist Protagist -Protagist thinks that virtue CAN be taught, and Socrates seems to be taking the opposite position -Socrates? argument: Look at virtuous men who don?t have virtuous children. If virtue COULD be taught, we would expect their children to be virtuous -Protagist Great Speech -he makes the argument that virtue can be taught and that democracy CAN work -He starts with the myth of Prometheius, where man is forgotten (giraffe=neck, eagle=eyes) so Prometheius steals fire and mechanical arts to give to man. -this isn?t enough for man to stay safe, so they bond together as a group -Zeus takes mercy and gives everyone the gift of reverence and justice so that man can manage their cities amongst themselves -Justice and reverence is important for life; justice is necessary for happiness -because of this, it is expected that men can learn to be virtuous, but Socrates disagrees -Socrates: we don?t mock people for being ugly, but we mock them for scandal; just because people want to appear to be virtuous, doesn?t mean they actually are -ends in an impasse, they don?t decide -Protagist says that punishment for being inappropriate is just because virtue can be taught; if this were not the case and virtue could not be taught, punishment would not be appropriate -Plato, an excerpt from a late dialogue called The Statesman -probably written after the republic -Plato backs away from some of the idealism of the republic and he questions the relationship between law and expertise -rules are inflexible, and expertise is not reduced to rules -Plato assigns definition to statesmanship -must weave together expertise of statesmen, general, judge along with laws of the city and an understanding of the practical affairs of the city -perfect one would not make mistakes -Plato argues best regime is monarchy if there is at least one person who can weave together all of these qualities and allows them to rule -they are of course exceedingly rare, and Plato says that true statesman ship is so rare that you can?t rely on it and without one in the society you should just rely on the tried and true laws, etc -best constitution is the one with the laws that are hardest to change -Difficult for Plato because at the beginning he says SMSHIP and laws are very different things, but by the end he says ?maybe laws are the best we can do?, and you have to deal with the inflexibility as the price -Six types of rule for ideal city -good/bad 1) Monarchy / tyranny 2) Aristocracy / oligarchy 3) Good democracy / bad democracy -The good forms conserve the old law, according to Plato -Plato says gov?t of many is weak because offices are too minutely subdivided, which is good for democracy because a good democracy can do no harm -think of separation of powers, many different politicians competing, federal vs. state vs. local -Plato would think that this is not a good government, but the one good aspect is that powers are so spread out that no one could do much harm -of course counter argument is that we have TOO MANY and people can?t be good citizens, it undermines good citizenships -Plato adopts more conservative (conservative meaning being able to conserve old laws and orders) solutions because he?s lost faith in human ability towards virtue -Aristotle (384-322 BC) and Plato are interesting together -Aristotle had more influence, his work was more productive, Plato was greater philosopher -Aristotle was not a citizen of Athens -had connections with Phillip of Macedon, Alexander the Great -from ages 17-37 he studied with Plato in Athens, but he had that connection to the Macedonians and thus had political risk because of it -later went to Asia Minor and married, then became a tutor to the 13 year old Alex the Great (irony) -Aristotle was married with kids, Plato was not and was more of an idealist visionary -Aristotle returned to Athens in 335 and founded his school, Lyceum -at this time Macedonians were exercising a lot of power in Athens which led to him being charged with impiety so he left then died -We only have his lecture notes, no published things, so he lacks the literary polish that Plato has (but he was more accessible) -Similarities between Plato and Aristotle: -For both P and A there is no difference between politics and ethics -you can?t talk about politics without talking about individual ethics -Polis, that men are by their nature political animals -the whole is greater than the individual parts, but moderns are for the most part individualists -Still both classical Greeks -Differences -Empirical observation -Plato had very little use for this and preferred math, but Aristotle was opposite and at his school had people collecting information on everything (true generalist) -Constitutions -Plato would have had no use for this, why study another societies constitution? -Critique of Forms -for arist, forms are instantiatied in matter -Women -Aristotle believed women lacked capacity for reason and could not rule (were in between men and slaves in terms of intellect)
Want to see the other 3 page(s) in 2ecture notes 2 9 10.doc?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!