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CC Notes:

Plato The Republic

Akrasia = weakness of will

How reason, spirit and appetite the tripartite of the soul relate to the
philosopher-king, soldier and craftsmen
o What is reason? In book 4 characterized by ability to decide what
is good for each part and the soul as a whole, in book 9
characterized by desire for wisdom (widom that ensures it get it
o What is spirit? spirit is dominated by the desire for honour and
social pre-eminence
o What is appetite? appetite is dominated by the desire for material
satisfaction for humanly urges
Short sentences, lots of rhetorical questions
Ideal city -- transforms eventually into democracy
By stating that a person of virtue makes themselves a unit and that a city
becomes good by being a unity, Socrates assumes that goodness is
associated with unity philosophers see the need for the harmony of a
For Aristotle/Socrates, the early education of a person is essential in the
preservation of justice and of the harmony within the soul Is Socrates
somewhat optimistic about his well-trained and educated guardian?
Socrates discusses ideal living situation communal arrangements for
solely the guardian classes in the ideal city; a sort of communism, unsure
if this extends over other classes in the city too?
Socrates makes some significant comments about gender:
o Gender is seemingly irrelevant for the qualifications of education or
o Does the way in which Plato organizes society abolition of private
families adhere to an acknowledgement of the presence of sexual
desire in all human life, including female life?
For Plato, all existing regimes have rulers that are ignorant of what is truly
good, and have desire for the wrong objects, such as money, which leads
them to seek political power significantly different from philosophers,
who Plato argues are the ideal rulers, because they have no desire to rule
Distances Platos ideas from oligarchic parties of his time and place
Socrates takes the oligarchs of Athens and Sparta and criticizes them,
argues that they are not genuine aristocracies, Sparta paid over attention
to courage and Athens pursued material interests
Socrates criticizes Athenian democracy; according to him, timocracy and
oligarchy still entrench some public standards for value within their society
but democracy gives equality to all pursuits, which therefore opens the
city up to chaos, conflict and disorder
Significant lesson: one should pursue wisdom + philosophy, but if one
lacks the knowledge, they should learn or follow an expert; wisdom
constitutes a basic understanding of how the world is, understanding the
mathematical and teleological structure of things
Eudaimonia = prospering / flourishing in life

Political issues that Socrates raises in order for an ideal city:

o Best rulers are wise
o Best rulers rule for the benefit of the ruled, and not for their own
o A city is unlikely to have the best rulers in place, as there is a large
distinction between the values of most people and the values of the
o Greatest harm to a city is disagreement about who should rule,
competing factions create civil strife (argument against democracy)
o Goal of politics is to secure harmony or agreement among the
citizens about who should rule
o Harmony requires the city cultivate virtue and the rule of the law

Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics

Aristotle Politics

4 types of constitution good and bad of both

The Bible

Augustine City of God