I did not claim that NO philosophers would hold that view. Moreover, I would deny that Strauss does. But perhaps we can dispense with this tangential issue this way --- instead of claiming that the role of government is the "fundamental" question for political philosophers, suppose I revise it to say it is an "important" question for political philosophers (nothing in the argument of my essay depends upon it being the "fundamental" question). Will that do?Fooloso4 wrote: ↑April 10th, 2018, 11:28 amThen you are not as well read in political philosophy as you might like to think. Leo Strauss (What is Political Philosophy, Liberalism Ancient and Modern, Natural Right and History,The Political Philosophy of Hobbes: Its Basis and Its Genesis, Hobbes's Critique of Religion and Related Writings, Locke’s Doctrine of Natural Law, and many many more ) is an important figure in the revival of ancient political thought. Alasdair MacIntyre (After Virtue) is another.I doubt many philosophers would nominate "How ought we to live?" as the fundamental question of political philosophy.
Of course questions drive philosophy, just as they drive science. But not all questions posed by philosophers are good questions --- questions that beg other other questions, for example (as does your proposed question).That is why it is a very good question. It is the questions that drive philosophy, not some particular answer however general.
A characterization of a free society is not a prescription for how anyone ought to live. Indeed, it precludes any such prescription. Unless you construe all moral universals as prescriptions for how people ought to live --- which would be a misleadingly broad construal of the purpose of moral philosophy.But you have offered one - in a free society in which everyone can do whatever they want provided they do not interfere with the right of others to do the same.There is no particular way in which "we" ought to live.
The issue at hand at that point was, What is the fundamental question for political philosophers? Neither "how one ought to live" or "how one wishes to live" are (in my view) good answers to that question.It does not matter only if one thinks that what we ought to do is whatever we wish to do. I don't agree.Sorry for the misconstrual. But I don't think it matters much for the issue at hand.
Yes, it is. All ends of action are goods. What Aristotle is seeking is the "chief good," the highest good, which he argues must derive from the "function" of Man, which is to act as a rational creature, and do so well. His arguments for so prioritizing goods are weak; indeed arbitrary.That is correct. He proceeds to the question of what we ought to do based on this basic human motivation. What we ought to do is what is most conducive to getting what we seek, that is, what is good.Aristotle, at that point, is speaking of what we all do, not what we ought to do.
Er, no. Something is not good simply because it is sought.And "the good" is "that at which all things aim." I.e., whatever end is sought in an action is a "good."
Goodness is not an independent property of things. There is no specific property, "goodness," which some things possess in various measures and other things lack. To say "X is good" means one of two things: 1) X performs or functions as intended, e.g., a "good watch" is one that keeps correct time; a "good movie" is one that entertains. Or it means 2) "(Someone) enjoys or desires X." The latter meaning, of course, is subjective and relative to agents. What he will count as a "good life" (or even a good movie or meal) will differ for every moral agent. In trying to derive a "highest good" from human nature Aristotle commits the naturalistic fallacy.We ought to seek the things that are good, which means we need to consider the question, what is good, and from this the question of the good life.
You're right; it is not. But Aristotle's ideal society does not describe any modern society, or even his own.That is true but that is not the whole of political life, that is, not the whole of politics, according to Aristotle.Politics is the process of formulating public policy. A public policy is one implemented by law, i.e., by government.
No, Fooloso. An oligarchy is rule by a privileged few. It is a form of government. The "oligarchy" I suspect you have in mind does not rule anybody. And many would argue that public education is itself "brainwashing." Though nearly universal, it has failed spectacularly in teaching people to search out facts and think critically. About 75% of Americans, for example, believe some sort of pseudoscience.Er, no. You’ve got it backwards. What I described is an encroaching oligarchy. Immunity to “brainwashing” is conferred by education, by teaching people to search out the facts and think clearly and critically, and by a free press rather than one owned by and solely in the hands of plutocrats.
https://wayback.archive-it.org/5902/201 ... g07-08.htm
You're not addressing the issue: Given that the electorate is misinformed, and given that informing them is unlikely to happen any time soon (due to the machinations of your "oligarchy"), will you still allow them to vote? Or must decision-making be entrusted to an "enlightened cadre"?As you know, the United States is not a simple democracy, but rather a representative democracy or democratic republic. We vote for our representatives, who were originally conceived of as a natural aristocracy, intended as a buffer against the tyranny of the masses. The problem is that government has become business by other means, with many of our representatives bought and paid for. Since Citizens United money talks, but hides itself in dark places from public view. The answer is an informed electorate. But Trump and his plutocratic cronies have stifled making public research findings at the EPA and are doing all they can to replace a free press with a propaganda machine.
There are no "opinion makers."
Politicians of all stripes have indulged in those tactics since time immemorial. So do preachers, professors, writers, and the man next to you on the barstool. Anyone who engages in any kind of social interaction will influence others and be influenced by them.Opinion makers are not brainwashers, they influence opinion in various ways - fear, emotions, patriotism, moral outrage, and misinformation.
Your premise is false. Information is not coming "under the control of a few." The Internet has, in fact, enlarged the sources of information enormously. How many radio stations Sinclair owns is becoming increasingly irrelevant.The more that information comes under the control of a few - what is kept from us, what is fed to us that is not true, and what is gathered from us, the greater the risk. If you cannot see that there is nothing I can say to give sight to the blind.
Since this thread is devoted, and presumably, your comments are directed to critiquing the OP, then you need to use the term as it is used in that argument. E.g., a constraint in the sense of a restriction of liberty imposed by force. That is what the essay is examining.Since when do you get to constrain the relevant meaning of terms?
Yes. The essay is about the morality of using force against moral agents. "Constraints" that do not involve force are outside the scope of the argument.Er, you jumped from my initial question regarding the constraints on members of a society, which I posed in reference to the larger question of how we ought to live, over your question of how does "society" impose those constraints, other than via government, and in response to my explaining how society does this, you claim that no other form of constraint other than restraint or a punishment, threatened or imposed by force has any moral significance, because they involve no violations of rights.