Getting started with political philosophy

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Fooloso4
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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Fooloso4 » September 14th, 2018, 8:02 pm

Plato offers a genetically determined and highly structured class system ...

... whilst children of slaves regardless of their potential remain enslaved never having the opportunities of their "betters".
The breeding program is designed so that this would not be possible. The reason is simply but I do not want to spoil it for anyone who is reading the book.

There would be no slaves in the Republic. One of the ironies of the Republic is that the ruling classes are the least free. The merchant classes are left to sort out trade relations and rules on their own.

We have yet to look at the conditions for founding the city, or the breeding program, or other signs that this is not seriously intended to be a city inhabited by human beings.

Burning ghost
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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Burning ghost » September 15th, 2018, 3:12 am

Georgeanna -

In book one the problems unfold as follows.

“The good man will compete with his opposite but not his like, whilst the bad man will compete with both his like and unlike.” (paraphrased)

This in it’s difficult translation stems from the term pleonektein so I am willing to let it slide within the context of book one. This translates, poorly, as “outdo”, “outstrip”, “do better than”, and/or “get the better of”. So if we take the more extreme end of teh translation it does hold up just about if equated with the use of “compete”. The problem remains as to what is meant by “opposite” and “opposition” because to develop in any area a degree of “opposition” required - in this sense it is “better” to have complete opposite than none at all I would think; as this is an area of growth of knowledge and understanding not stagnant dogma - which would be a complete lack of opposition. In this sense the “just”/“good” man wins out over the “unjust”/“good” man.

What is then apparent, because I know where this is going, is that the “just”/“good” man is later framed as the one who should not try to make the unjust more unjust, not to oppose, but rather to establish a “better” attitude in those acting in a “bad”/“unjust” manner. So on the one hand he is saying the just oppose the unjust, yet on the otherhand he is saying that the just should help the unjust to become just.

Also there is the issue of being “better” at something (art,craft, skill etc. framed as techne)

There is more in what is being said here than means the eye. In one instance the argument is framed as a kind of “survival of the fittest” view of things with the “unjust” winning through by use knowledge over their opponents, yet it is framed as being a “bad” thing to have competition and that only the “just” can be called knowledgeable.

“The wise man is good,” and talk of the “bad and ignorant” with no attempt to frame the possibility of a “bad and knowledgeable man”. The comparisons are strikingly biased in order to press home one side of the argument rather than ask more difficult questions - which are dealt with later in most cases. The selective nature misses any direct investigation into the hypothetically “bad and wise” and the “good and ignorant” because the definition is purposefully limited to not allow this to happen as a counter argument (at least from Thrasymachus!)

The argument essentially boils down to the “good” are “happy” because to be happy one has to be good. Obviously this is deceitful, and in the next part these issues are brought to Socrates from others.

By the time it gets to the Cave and Light part of the ‘ll o doubt be asking yourself whether you’ve been led further towards the light or further into a world of shadow upon shadow. Socrates starts of as an ignorant man in the book and continues to be open to his own ignorance.

Then there is the “function” of a horse and all that. This leads into another bias about the roel of “merchants” - that is in the part haven’t read yet I believe?

The line that sticks out for me and resonates through to the many sayings of today is “nothing worth while is easy.”

The very end of part 2 is interesting too because it frames the meaning of “philosophos” and “philomathes.”
AKA badgerjelly

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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Georgeanna » September 15th, 2018, 4:13 am

I will be responding to posts as soon as I can.
However, at this point I would like to reflect on my progress - or otherwise - with the course.
I am now running on parallel tracks with several competing needs/wants.

1. To follow the course through - for a quick overview of some of the main political philosophers. This to act as a foundation for further questions and development of thought.
2. The need to improve my own understanding and analysis of philosophical views and claims - The technical, or art part, of breakdown of an argument's steps and processes. Given the power of argumentation in everyday life - politics. This skill is vital. Spotting the 'fake news' !
3. The wish to explore further than the confines of the course with its necessary constraints. For example, I think that I could spend forever on Plato's Republic, along with its socio-political background. Etc.

So:
1. The Lectures thread will continue. I have started so I will finish. Hard going as that may be. For me.
3. I have already hinted that a separate thread would be welcome so as to more widely and deeply explore the Republic, or even Plato himself. I think this would be helpful. Inclusion of reference points, even when paraphrasing, is essential...how often I forget.
2. I might have to do this separately on my own - or a thread could be started re Philosophical Arguments. I am particularly interested in argument from analogy.

All help and support to continue effectively in parts 1,3 or 2 welcome as always.
However, this thread is about the Course, not really about me.
Here's where we're at - after all this time.

https://oyc.yale.edu/political-science/ ... /lecture-4

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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Georgeanna » September 15th, 2018, 5:43 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
September 14th, 2018, 10:00 am
Georgeanna:
… whether I should accept the contradictions and carry on regardless.
Attention should be paid to contradictions. You should not carry on regardless but carry on and try to reconcile them based on what you read as you move forward.

The arguments should not be treated abstractly. The context is what is important. These are not well prepared rigorous arguments of professional philosophers. Who is making the argument? To what end? What are the concerns raised or addressed in the argument?

An underlying theme is the notion of the “stronger argument”. Socrates accused the sophists of making the weaker argument stronger. This is related to Thrasymachus claims about the advantage of the stronger. What makes an argument strong? Is it its persuasive power? But what is persuasive is not the same as what is true or most reasonable, and what persuades one person may not be what persuades another. It is often the case that what is persuasive is not the logical soundness of the argument but that appeal to desire or prejudice.

Thrasymachus wants to demonstrate that he has arguments that are stronger than Socrates. He is not interested in justice but in making money for teaching how to make persuasive arguments. Glaucon and Adeimantus, however, are interested in justice, at least to the extent that it can be shown that it is better to be just or unjust.
I think I must try to get to grips with argument from analogy
We need to consider the aptness of the analogy. For example, an analogy that uses human beings and horses may not be saying that one is like the other but that the training of one is like the training of the other. But the extent to which this is true does depend on the extent to which human beings are like horses in some respect. Argument from analogy raises the question of the “like and unlike”. This is a major theme of the “divided line” the Republic. The city and the soul are analogous. The analogies Plato employs may have implications that go far beyond their use in an argument.

Fooloso4 - I am not yet able to articulate well the problems I am encountering with the arguments within Book 1. So, I will for now accept my limitations and move on, recognising that clarity may well come as we proceed.

I agree that the context is important - I understand that they are not written as well-prepared arguments. However, they are still presented by Plato as part of his bigger argument. As such, if we begin to accept any small analogies, then we are being moved towards an acceptance of the analogy of the city and soul. Here lies the persuasion. compelling or otherwise.

I appreciate your explanation of argument from analogy. I can see that Plato will use this technique to move to other conclusions or claims.
I don't know if the 'divided line' is discussed in the forthcoming lectures. If not, then I am hopeful that someone will consider starting another thread, all the better to learn...

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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Georgeanna » September 15th, 2018, 5:57 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 14th, 2018, 6:58 pm
Georgeanna wrote:
September 14th, 2018, 2:27 pm
If you don't agree with Plato in general, then pick a particular fight with him - argue the points. Pick one, any one.
Or is it easier to dismiss with an airy wave of an assertion.
Plato is inextricably linked to the philosophy of Socrates, for whom I have a great deal of respect. Most of S's questions and statements were not so concerned with the why's an wherefores of the political process.
However, Plato offers a genetically determined and highly structured class system which is utterly anathema to my way of thinking. His system could only result in an utter waste of potential.
His vision of a place for every man and every man in his place could only result in utter stagnation with the buffoon children of the upper class being taught to rule -pearls before swine, whilst children of slaves regardless of their potential remain enslaved never having the opportunities of their "betters".
The worst of it is the sense expressed in Socratic dialogues that capabilities are almost wholly innate. With people born to be stupid, or clever.
It seems to me that Locke was the first to fully reverse this opinion.
The difficulty does lie in separating which claims would be that made by Plato and which might be accepted by Socrates.
I have not read enough to be able to agree or disagree with your view that there is a sense expressed in the dialogues that capabilities are almost wholly innate. Can you point me to the relevant part, if possible. Or if this is totally outwith the coverage of the course, then is it worthwhile considering a separate thread ?

Locke is to be discussed, lectures 15,16 and 17 - following Hobbes, 12,13 and 14

https://oyc.yale.edu/political-science/plsc-114

I look forward to your continuing input.

Georgeanna
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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Georgeanna » September 15th, 2018, 6:07 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
September 14th, 2018, 4:52 pm
The question I am asking about is the relationship between regimes and new ways of thinking. As Smith has discussed, a main issue for Plato is the relationship between the regime and independent thought.

TH frames it in terms of progress and progressive thinking. And this raises some interesting questions:

What is progressive thinking?
Is everything contrary to established norms progressive?
Is there progress to some end or completion?
I have to confess I must have bypassed where Smith has discussed the main issue for Plato being the relationship between the regime and independent thought.

Interesting perspective and questions raised related to the framing of an issue.

You do know that there is a substantial case to be made in starting a completely new thread, don't you ?
Especially relating Plato to modern day politics. The terms 'progress' and 'progressive thinking' worth exploring...

Georgeanna
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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Georgeanna » September 15th, 2018, 6:10 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
September 14th, 2018, 8:02 pm
Plato offers a genetically determined and highly structured class system ...

... whilst children of slaves regardless of their potential remain enslaved never having the opportunities of their "betters".
The breeding program is designed so that this would not be possible. The reason is simply but I do not want to spoil it for anyone who is reading the book.

There would be no slaves in the Republic. One of the ironies of the Republic is that the ruling classes are the least free. The merchant classes are left to sort out trade relations and rules on their own.

We have yet to look at the conditions for founding the city, or the breeding program, or other signs that this is not seriously intended to be a city inhabited by human beings.
What are the signs that this is not a serious attempt to introduce a new political system with a view to improving the lives of individuals and how they interact within society ?

Georgeanna
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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Georgeanna » September 15th, 2018, 6:36 am

Burning ghost wrote:
September 15th, 2018, 3:12 am
Georgeanna -

In book one the problems unfold as follows.

“The good man will compete with his opposite but not his like, whilst the bad man will compete with both his like and unlike.” (paraphrased)

This in it’s difficult translation stems from the term pleonektein so I am willing to let it slide within the context of book one. This translates, poorly, as “outdo”, “outstrip”, “do better than”, and/or “get the better of”. So if we take the more extreme end of teh translation it does hold up just about if equated with the use of “compete”. The problem remains as to what is meant by “opposite” and “opposition” because to develop in any area a degree of “opposition” required - in this sense it is “better” to have complete opposite than none at all I would think; as this is an area of growth of knowledge and understanding not stagnant dogma - which would be a complete lack of opposition. In this sense the “just”/“good” man wins out over the “unjust”/“good” man.

What is then apparent, because I know where this is going, is that the “just”/“good” man is later framed as the one who should not try to make the unjust more unjust, not to oppose, but rather to establish a “better” attitude in those acting in a “bad”/“unjust” manner. So on the one hand he is saying the just oppose the unjust, yet on the otherhand he is saying that the just should help the unjust to become just.

Also there is the issue of being “better” at something (art,craft, skill etc. framed as techne)

There is more in what is being said here than means the eye. In one instance the argument is framed as a kind of “survival of the fittest” view of things with the “unjust” winning through by use knowledge over their opponents, yet it is framed as being a “bad” thing to have competition and that only the “just” can be called knowledgeable.

“The wise man is good,” and talk of the “bad and ignorant” with no attempt to frame the possibility of a “bad and knowledgeable man”. The comparisons are strikingly biased in order to press home one side of the argument rather than ask more difficult questions - which are dealt with later in most cases. The selective nature misses any direct investigation into the hypothetically “bad and wise” and the “good and ignorant” because the definition is purposefully limited to not allow this to happen as a counter argument (at least from Thrasymachus!)

The argument essentially boils down to the “good” are “happy” because to be happy one has to be good. Obviously this is deceitful, and in the next part these issues are brought to Socrates from others.

By the time it gets to the Cave and Light part of the ‘ll o doubt be asking yourself whether you’ve been led further towards the light or further into a world of shadow upon shadow. Socrates starts of as an ignorant man in the book and continues to be open to his own ignorance.

Then there is the “function” of a horse and all that. This leads into another bias about the roel of “merchants” - that is in the part haven’t read yet I believe?

The line that sticks out for me and resonates through to the many sayings of today is “nothing worth while is easy.”

The very end of part 2 is interesting too because it frames the meaning of “philosophos” and “philomathes.”
I have read this a few times now and your enthusiasm is quite apparent. Your views seem strong.

However, I still don't have what I asked for - analysis of a specific argument in Book 1 but never mind. Non importante.

Things may indeed be apparent to you because you 'know where they are going'. However, it is not easy to follow your views about the arguments unless reference points are provided. For example, the line of 'nothing worthwhile is easy'. That seems to have come out of the blue...

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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Georgeanna » September 15th, 2018, 6:53 am

Moving on...

Lecture 5
https://oyc.yale.edu/political-science/ ... /lecture-5

Overview
The discussion of the Republic continues. An account is given of the various figures, their role in the dialogue and what they represent in the work overall. Socrates challenges Polemarchus’ argument on justice, questions the distinction between a friend and an enemy, and asserts his famous thesis that all virtues require knowledge and reflection at their basis.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 15th, 2018, 12:05 pm

Georgeanna wrote:
September 15th, 2018, 5:57 am
ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 14th, 2018, 6:58 pm


Plato is inextricably linked to the philosophy of Socrates, for whom I have a great deal of respect. Most of S's questions and statements were not so concerned with the why's an wherefores of the political process.
However, Plato offers a genetically determined and highly structured class system which is utterly anathema to my way of thinking. His system could only result in an utter waste of potential.
His vision of a place for every man and every man in his place could only result in utter stagnation with the buffoon children of the upper class being taught to rule -pearls before swine, whilst children of slaves regardless of their potential remain enslaved never having the opportunities of their "betters".
The worst of it is the sense expressed in Socratic dialogues that capabilities are almost wholly innate. With people born to be stupid, or clever.
It seems to me that Locke was the first to fully reverse this opinion.
The difficulty does lie in separating which claims would be that made by Plato and which might be accepted by Socrates.
I have not read enough to be able to agree or disagree with your view that there is a sense expressed in the dialogues that capabilities are almost wholly innate. Can you point me to the relevant part, if possible. Or if this is totally outwith the coverage of the course, then is it worthwhile considering a separate thread ?

Locke is to be discussed, lectures 15,16 and 17 - following Hobbes, 12,13 and 14

https://oyc.yale.edu/political-science/plsc-114

I look forward to your continuing input.
As memory serves the dialogue is the Meno in which Socrates 'shows' that a slave has innate knowledge about the solution to a geometric problem.
I think the demonstration fails as it is based on an assumption that slaves are stupid but simply need direction, and what it really shows is that humans, slaves included have a rational sense.

As for Locke to follow up on the point I was making google Tabula Rasa.

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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Fooloso4 » September 15th, 2018, 12:35 pm

Georgeanna:
I agree that the context is important - I understand that they are not written as well-prepared arguments. However, they are still presented by Plato as part of his bigger argument. As such, if we begin to accept any small analogies, then we are being moved towards an acceptance of the analogy of the city and soul. Here lies the persuasion. compelling or otherwise.
Plato never says anything. The few times he appears in the dialogues he is silent. This silence should be taken seriously. It is the characters in the dialogues who speak. We should not assume that what any of the characters say, including Socrates, represents Plato’s own views. In the Seventh Letter he says:
There neither is nor ever will be a treatise of mine on the subject. For it does not admit of exposition like other branches of knowledge ...
The subject he refers to are the “doctrines of Plato” or Plato’s philosophy. If we come to Plato looking for answers what we find will be images on the cave wall. Socrates calls himself a midwife. He helps others give birth to their ideas, but they get angry at him if they give birth to windeggs. Socratic philosophy is not a set of doctrines or claims, it is a practice.

The analogy of the city and the soul is not, in my opinion, intended to be his psychology. The Phaedrus, for example, offers a different image of the soul. The analogy is useful though. I think Smith might address this.
What are the signs that this is not a serious attempt to introduce a new political system with a view to improving the lives of individuals and how they interact within society ?
I am going to leave that open for now since we have not even begun to discuss the city, but you ask two different questions - the regime and improving the lives of individuals and how they interact within society. That it is not intended to be a model of an actual city does not mean it is not intended to improve our ways of life.
I have to confess I must have bypassed where Smith has discussed the main issue for Plato being the relationship between the regime and independent thought.
A main issue, not the main issue. It is from lecture 3. I touched on this in my post from page 3. August 27th. It begins with a quote from Smith:
He wants to replace that [certain notions of citizen loyalty and patriotism, created, shaped by the poetic tradition going back to Homer] with a new kind of, I want to call it rational citizenship, philosophical citizenship. He wants to replace that with a new kind of, I want to call it rational citizenship, philosophical citizenship. A view of citizenship that, again, relies on one’s own powers of independent reason and judgment and argument and in the course of defending this point of view … (3.2)

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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Georgeanna » September 15th, 2018, 2:05 pm

Fooloso4 - thanks for taking me back. I am guilty again of not following as closely as I should. This was a substantial post from you which seems to have gone right over my head. It is worth repeating in full, I think.

Fooloso4 wrote:
August 27th, 2018, 2:04 pm
Smith:
He wants to replace that [certain notions of citizen loyalty and patriotism, created, shaped by the poetic tradition going back to Homer] with a new kind of, I want to call it rational citizenship, philosophical citizenship. He wants to replace that with a new kind of, I want to call it rational citizenship, philosophical citizenship. A view of citizenship that, again, relies on one’s own powers of independent reason and judgment and argument and in the course of defending this point of view … (3.2)
While I think this is true to some extent, it is not so straight forward. Certainly Plato values reason, judgment, and argument, but to the extent that they are used, they are not used in a way that is independent of time and place, that is, independent of historical and cultural context.

In addition, most people are not as capable of independent thought as they might like to believe. They are led by public opinion. Plato did not intend to do away with public opinion but rather to shape it at a fundamental level. And in part this means shaping the opinions of the opinion makers.

In chapter 4 in discussing the Crito Smith adds that the laws as fundamental to the tradition. So, to whatever extent a new citizen is to replace the old, it is not a matter of starting over from scratch or a complete disregard for the tradition. He suggests that there is a tension here, but we should not think of it in terms a tension that can or should be resolved one way or the other, in favor of the city and laws or the individual.

Smith asks:
Do we believe him in this respect, I mean an important question, do we believe him again, is he being sincere in this or is he using this as it were a kind of rhetoric with which to envelope himself? What is this peculiar kind of piety that he claims to practice? (3.3)
I think the answer is both, and it relates back to the question of tradition. He is being sincere, but is enveloping himself with the language of gods and piety, that is, the language of the tradition. His “peculiar kind of piety” is not piety to the gods but to justice. Justice, as he indicates in the Euthyphro, cannot be in the hands of the gods because the gods do not act justly. While I think it evident that he did not believe in the Olympian gods, the question of whether he believed in a God or gods is complicated by the fact that we do not know what he might have meant when using terms such as ‘God’ and ‘divine’. It seems likely to me that he was a skeptic. Consistent with his knowing that he does not know, the existence of gods is not a question he could answer. He would, however, reject any claims about the gods that entail injustice to men. On the other hand, like the poets, he makes good use of divinity as a mode of persuasion. But it should be emphasized, unlike the sophists, he did not do this simply to win arguments, but rather to promote justice and the good of others.

Smith asks:
… in a sense, one could say maybe this is not Plato’s last word, I mean why does Socrates choose to stay and drink the hemlock?

… are the reasons Socrates gives Crito for refusing to escape, the reasons he puts in the mouth of the laws of the city of Athens, are those Socrates’s true reasons?

Smith hints that the final word might be found in Plato’s Laws.

The Laws begins:
Athenian Stranger: Tell me, Strangers, is a God or some man supposed to be the author of your laws?
Cleinias: A God, Stranger; in very truth a, God: among us Cretans he is said to have been Zeus, but in Lacedaemon, whence our friend here comes, I believe they would say that Apollo is their lawgiver
...
Athenian Stranger: And do you, Cleinias, believe, as Homer tells, that every ninth year Minos went to converse with his Olympian sire, and was inspired by him to make laws for your cities?
Cleinias: Yes, that is our tradition
Gods are said to be the author of laws, a matter of divine rather than human authority. Minos was the first king of Crete. His father was Zeus. His mother, Europa, was human and a foreigner, seduced or raped by Zeus in the form of a bull. So, the answer to the Athenian’s question in not a god or a man. Minos, the lawgiver, was half god half man. (A common theme in Plato is mixture - not this or that but some combination of opposites, differences, and likenesses).

As the dialogue progresses Cleinias tells the stranger that he has been given the task of creating the laws for a new Cretan colony and asks the stranger's help in creating the laws.

Here mythological beginnings are left behind. It is the task of humans to make the laws. Perhaps Plato’s last word on the matter is not the choice between obeying the law or being above the law but of making just laws. But just laws for citizens who are less than just is not sufficient. The goal of just laws is the education of just citizens.

In the dialogue Gorgias Socrates claims that he is one of the few if not the only living Athenian able to practice politics, the only one with the true political art (521d) I will not go into what this might mean, but it indicates that the true practice of politics was something other than the public life he shunned. It is to be found in the care of the soul. Gorgias was a sophist who taught and practiced the art of rhetoric, that is, persuasion and winning arguments. Socrates too practiced the art of rhetoric but with the goal of improving others.

The tension between the individual and the city can be thought of in terms of another of Plato’s favorite analogies: music. Harmony and dissonance in music is a matter of tension. Whether the tension is harmonious or dissonant is a matter of tuning. The best city, the city with the best laws, is in harmony with the best citizens, who in this case would most closely coincide with the best humans. It is in turn the best humans who are most capable of making the best laws. Once again we return to education. Socrates, and following him Plato, Xenophon, Antistenes and others practice the political art through the cultivation of the soul (psyche) of lawgivers and citizens, and to this end the art of the poets and sophists is put to extensive use..

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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Georgeanna » September 15th, 2018, 2:32 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
September 15th, 2018, 12:35 pm
Georgeanna:
I agree that the context is important - I understand that they are not written as well-prepared arguments. However, they are still presented by Plato as part of his bigger argument. As such, if we begin to accept any small analogies, then we are being moved towards an acceptance of the analogy of the city and soul. Here lies the persuasion. compelling or otherwise.
Plato never says anything. The few times he appears in the dialogues he is silent. This silence should be taken seriously. It is the characters in the dialogues who speak. We should not assume that what any of the characters say, including Socrates, represents Plato’s own views. In the Seventh Letter he says:
There neither is nor ever will be a treatise of mine on the subject. For it does not admit of exposition like other branches of knowledge ...
The subject he refers to are the “doctrines of Plato” or Plato’s philosophy. If we come to Plato looking for answers what we find will be images on the cave wall. Socrates calls himself a midwife. He helps others give birth to their ideas, but they get angry at him if they give birth to windeggs. Socratic philosophy is not a set of doctrines or claims, it is a practice.

The analogy of the city and the soul is not, in my opinion, intended to be his psychology. The Phaedrus, for example, offers a different image of the soul. The analogy is useful though. I think Smith might address this.
I don't understand why you say Plato never says anything. It is not my argument that Plato speaks in the dialogues. However, it is he who writes and puts words into the mouths of the players.

I am not assuming that the characters including Socrates represents Plato's own views.
But tell me, Why would anyone write a series of dialogues so as not to say anything. Why ?

There may well not be a treatise on Plato's philosophy written by him. This clearly is not his chosen method - but dialogue is.

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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Georgeanna » September 15th, 2018, 3:09 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 15th, 2018, 12:05 pm
Georgeanna wrote:
September 15th, 2018, 5:57 am


The difficulty does lie in separating which claims would be that made by Plato and which might be accepted by Socrates.
I have not read enough to be able to agree or disagree with your view that there is a sense expressed in the dialogues that capabilities are almost wholly innate. Can you point me to the relevant part, if possible. Or if this is totally outwith the coverage of the course, then is it worthwhile considering a separate thread ?

Locke is to be discussed, lectures 15,16 and 17 - following Hobbes, 12,13 and 14

https://oyc.yale.edu/political-science/plsc-114

I look forward to your continuing input.
As memory serves the dialogue is the Meno in which Socrates 'shows' that a slave has innate knowledge about the solution to a geometric problem.
I think the demonstration fails as it is based on an assumption that slaves are stupid but simply need direction, and what it really shows is that humans, slaves included have a rational sense.

As for Locke to follow up on the point I was making google Tabula Rasa.
Thanks, Hobbes.
I'm not sure that I will get out of Plato alive.
This could be a NeverEnding Story...

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Re: Getting started with political philosophy

Post by Georgeanna » September 16th, 2018, 3:46 am

A side topic :
For anyone interested in the slave story in the Meno :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meno%27s_slave

Note to any passing passionate personage:
If a topic - e.g. innate capabilities ; Socratic questioning - becomes seriously interesting, and plenty will, then please consider following it up elsewhere.

Thanks.

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