« Learning to Fly with Sun-Mi Hwang's Wishful Hen | Main | Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek's "New" Comparative Literature as BOTH Theory and Method »

January 19, 2015

Proto-Utopia and Plato's _The Republic_

Image Source: http://insideiim.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Ax1boprCIAE312h.jpg

Class,

In the comment box below,

. . . the note-taker/scribe from each group should retype the question your group discussed today in class and provide an answer with quotations from the text to support your answers. You MUST put the page number (or, paragraph number if there are no page numbers) in parentheses after any quotation used.

Enter your work on this text as prescribed in class. For example:

Remember: I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this.

We are beginning to use some concepts in our discussions that you may or may have had practice using before. I want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the words we use in class (no more blank stares!) so be sure you are looking up words you don't feel you yet "own" (means, making it a part of your personal vocabulary) by utilizing your dictionaries to the fullest.

~Dr. Hobbs

_____________________________________

To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at January 19, 2015 09:43 PM

Readers' Comments:

Lyndsey Pospisil


Dr. Hobbs


HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA01


24 January 2015




Question: What is Polemarchus’s attitude? Why does he fare poorly under Socrates’ examination?




Answer: In Book 1 of “The Republic,” by Plato, Polemarchus’s attitude about the subject of justice proves a very narrow and simplified definition of the subject. Polemarchus states that it is just to restore whatever is due to another person; he also acknowledges that “the debt of friend to friend is to do good to one another, and not harm them” (Plato 7). This same idea is later found with Polemarchus’s account of enemies; “the debt of enemy to enemy is… harm” (Plato 8). Overall Polemarchus’s attitude represents that of a young man who doesn’t see the big picture, if you will, of life. Polemarchus’s definition of justice seems to be based upon an individual’s personal relationships rather than actual characteristics of justice, this being precisely the reason as to why he fares poorly under Socrates’ examination.




Socrates asks Polemarchus to define the term enemy and the term friend. Polemarchus states that a friend is someone in which an individual would love because he or she is “honest,” while an enemy is someone in which an individual would hate because he or she is “wicked” (Plato 11). Socrates examines these definitions, and ultimately challenges them the point in which Polemarchus chooses to redefine the terms.




Socrates makes the point that those we view as a friend don’t always remain our friend, and those we view as an enemy don’t always remain our enemy (Plato 12); as humans we lack the ability to always make the correct judgment calls about people. Additionally, Socrates also challenges Polemarchus’s ideas by questioning if a just man would hurt anyone at all. Socrates later proves his point when he and Polemarchus conclude that … “[they] have discovered that, in no instance, is it just to injure anybody” (Plato 13-14).




Overall, it seems as though the ideas of Polemarchus fare poorly under Socrates examination because they are too simplistic in their original forms. Polemarchus gives his answers and ideas without fully considering the exceptions and how these exceptions can ultimately skew his original statements.

Posted by: Lyndsey Pospisil at January 24, 2015 07:25 PM

Madison Brunk
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
25 January 2015

Question: Method: How does Socrates propose answering the question, what is justice?

Answer: On the matter of justice, Socrates does not believe that you can accurately and comprehensively define it. Rather than offer his position, he allows the men he is with to offer their positions and definitions of justice while he cross-examines them. Socrates’ “belief is that the subject is beyond our powers” led to the end of book one avoiding a conclusion on the topic. (Plato 15) However, Socrates does include hypotheticals and analogies from political and ethical issues in order to refute their arguments and further discussion in an attempt to fully define the complex system of justice.

Posted by: Madison Brunk at January 25, 2015 01:28 PM

Mekayla Davila
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA01
25 January 2015

Question:

8. What is Thrasymachus’s definition of justice?

Answer:

Thrasymachus defines justice as the advantage of the other people, not the person being just. That there is no reward for acting in a justly manner. He attempts to explain to Socrates his examples of his belief. He claims that when a man acts just it is the unjust man who reaps the benefits. He uses an example of property taxes where the just man will pay more on the same amount of property as an unjust man who is paying less. He believes justice is in the interest of the stronger and injustice is advantageous to itself. (Plato, pp.25-26).

Posted by: Mekayla Davila at January 25, 2015 06:52 PM

Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: Contemporary World View CA01
23 January 2015

Question: For what purpose are the guardians included in the kallipolis?

In Plato’s Republic the philosopher outlines the necessary components that make up an ideal utopia. Plato’s utopian city is given the name Kallipolis and the guardians play the most significant role in the city because they become the de facto rulers of the utopia. Along with the auxiliaries and the producers, the guardians make up the components of a utopian city. They guardians are the people that are also known as the philosopher-kings and are in charge of ruling the city and protecting it from the unjust. In Book II of the Republic Plato writes that “Would not he who is fitted to be a guardian, besides the spirited nature, need to have the qualities of a philosopher?” (Plato Book II). This quote shows that Plato felt for a city to become a utopia the rulers, or guardians, must maintain the qualities of a philosopher. The most paramount quality found in a philosopher must be that determination to gain knowledge above all else. The guardian, therefore, must be willing to sacrifice many things, including his public image, in order to ensure that knowledge comes before all else. Plato feels this is the case because, for a city to actualize into a utopia, the ruler must have full knowledge of the Form of the Good and the Guardians are the only ones who have attained this knowledge. The guardians therefore become the most important part of the utopian society because they are able to differentiate between what is good and what is bad for the society, thus helping to maintain the utopian lifestyle that has been provided.

Posted by: Dalton Hart at January 25, 2015 07:05 PM

Stephen Pinol
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View
25 January 2015

Question: What, if anything, is wrong with Thrasymachus’s definition of justice?

Answer: In Plato’s Republic, Thrasymachus gives his own definition of justice to Socrates and the crowd that is with him. He basically believes that justice only helps those that are strong. He uses the example of a tyrant benefiting from justice because he is the one that makes the rules. The tyrant benefits from “justice” because he is strong and those that are scared to do wrong suffer from the tyrant. He proposes that men are afraid of injustice because they are afraid of being harmed by it. I feel that this definition of justice is partially right in a sense that justice lies in the hand of those that want change. But this doesn't mean that people without a power position can’t do anything to bring justice to the table. If you have a bad ruler, then you must rally together to give justice. In my personal opinion, true justice will always prevail no matter how powerful a man or women thinks they are. This is the great thing about humanity and what we are capable of doing.

Posted by: Stephen Pinol at January 25, 2015 11:38 PM

Racheljoy Capitola
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World CA01
25 January 2015

Question: 15) The Guardians: What are the essential qualities (not purpose) of the guardians? Why does Socrates think they must be philosophical? In what way are guardians like dogs?

Answer: In the second book of Plato’s “Republic,” the guardians are described to be perfectly balanced warriors. The guardians must be gentle to their friends but fierce to their enemies, highly intellectual but physically fit, and spirited in the art of war but honorable in their lives. According to Plato, “a perfect guardian of the state will be philosophical, high-spirited, swift-footed, and strong” (Plato 70). Overall, a guardian is someone who possesses “opposing qualities” or traits that allow them to be sound defenders.

One of the most essential qualities of a guardian is his philosophical nature because it stabilizes a person’s high-spirited nature. Socrates compares guardians to dogs because dogs are always learning and relying on instinct. A dog can distinguish between a friend and an enemy because a friend is a familiar face while an enemy is a stranger; thus, dogs have a natural disposition for philosophy. Philosophy teaches “knowledge and ignorance” (Plato 70), which is a quality that guardians must have in order to be as “marvelous” as a dog, especially in an occupation that requires constant balance and natural judgment.

Posted by: Racheljoy Capitola at January 25, 2015 11:48 PM

Bethanee Victoria Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 “The Contemporary World View” CA01
26 January 2015

Question: What is Plato’s Attitude towards Socrates’ methods and results?
Answer: I believe that Plato thought highly of Socrates and his methods. The Republic is almost entirely narrated by Socrates as he and others discuss the utopic society. Plato clearly writes the work in a Socratic seminar/ method type way that all conversation is taking place to exchange knowledge. “Then justice is not good for much. But let us consider this further point: Is not he who can best strike a blow in a boxing match or in any kind of fighting best able to ward off a blow?” (Plato, The Republic, Book 1). Throughout the work, Socrates is always asking questions from someone’s answer, trying to get to the very core of what they believe. In this, I feel you see that Plato appreciated the questioning of things. He felt that by asking the questions the more you can begin to understand the more you think, the more enlightened you become.

Posted by: Bethanee Reynolds at January 26, 2015 10:04 AM

Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
26 January 2015

"Consequently, the just soul and the just man will live well, and the unjust man ill" (Book 1 "The Republic" by Plato, page 41, Davies and Vaughn translation).

Question- Why, exactly, does Socrates think that it is good to be just?

Answer- Socrates argues that everything has a proper function, which is its virtue. Without virtue, nothing can function. He uses examples of body parts such as eyes not using their virtue of sight. Since the soul is part of the body, its virtue is life. When a soul is virtuous, it is good and just, and when it is not good and just it is miserable. If a person is miserable and given to vice, he cannot live. Thus, the soul needs justice to survive (Davies and Vaughn 39-41).

Posted by: Annie Hays at January 26, 2015 11:36 AM

Kenna Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View
25 January 2015

"What then is the education to be? Perhaps we could hardly find a better than that which the experience of the past has already discovered, which consists, I believe, in gymnastic for the body, and music for the mind." (Book II: The Republic, pg. 71, line 3, Nottingham translation)

Question:

16. Education of the Guardians: How does Plato propose to educate the guardians? Why does Plato ban Homer and Hesiod from the kallipolis?

Answer:

The guardians were to be educated in body and in mind. They must possess both spirit and gentleness (Plato 68-69). The guardians must also be philosophical with a love of learning like a guard dog learning to recognize friends and enemies (Plato 69-70). After some discussion, Plato and his company concluded the following: "...a perfect guardian of the state will be philosophical, high-spirited, swift-footed, and strong." (Book II: The Republic, pg. 70, line 20, Nottingham translation)
In order to produce this guardian, the must be trained in body and mind. Authors of fables used to teach children (prospective guardians) must be censored and controlled to ensure the values being taught are those that the philosophers deem appropriate (Plato 71-72). Gods and heroes should be glorified and uplifted without hinting at any faults. The writings of Homer and Hesiod gods and heroes are sometimes portrayed with faults and qualities unbefitting of their status. Plato feared that this would create negative role models for youth; therefore, such works should be banned from their ideal city. The first stories a child hears should uplift virtue and the ideals of the philosophers (Plato 73-74).


Posted by: Kenna Dieffenwierth at January 26, 2015 02:17 PM

Glen Pringle

Dr. Hobbes

HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01

25 January 2015

Question: How does Socrates’ method of discovery here compare with that exemplified in the Euthyphro?

Answer: Remarkably similar, the method of elenchus is present in both of these writings. The beginning of the Republic starts out with Socratic dialogue that mirrors the dialogue found in Euthyphro. This is where the similarities quickly end. Socrates and Thrasymachus quickly reach a deadlock- aporia-and the former decides to entertain the idea of a new way to argue for justice. He abandons his method of elenchus and decides to begin the discussion anew.

Posted by: Glen Pringle at January 26, 2015 03:10 PM

Rachel Cunio
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
26 January 2015

Question: What is Thrasymachus’ attitude towards Socrates’ investigation?

Answer: Because Thrasymachus clearly defines justice as “nothing more than the advantage of the stronger” (Plato 14), he is appalled at Socrates’ lack of solid explanation in his investigation of justice. Thrasymachus’ response to Socrates asking for a definition of justice that is not “ironical” (Plato 13) shows Thrasymachus’ lack of satisfaction with Socrates’ philosophical stabs at defining justice through asking questions. Following his explanation of why justice is the advantage of the stronger, Thrasymachus is further disgusted by Socrates’ picking apart of Thrasymachus’ explanation of justice until Thrasymachus is finally subdued by Socrates’ description of justice as a virtue and injustice as a vice. The irony is that although Thrasymachus is initially dissatisfied with Socrates’ insufficient explanation of the definition of justice, in the end it is Socrates who admits that “I know nothing” about justice (Plato 31).

Posted by: Rachel Cunio at January 26, 2015 03:18 PM

Chadd Crosson

Dr. Hobbs

HON 351

26 January 2015

Question: What prompts Socrates to introduce luxuries into his city? How is the luxurious city different from “the healthy one”?

Answer: Socrates has created a city known as the “healthy city” which is one that is solely governed by necessary desires. The city only produces things, which are deemed indefinitely necessary for life. Glaucon does not view this city in the same way and ultimately disapproves the idea of such a city existing. He refers to the city as the "city of pigs" (Plato 372). He pointed out that everyone desires necessary things as well as unnecessary. We, as humans, are simply not content with just the necessaries of life. This prompts the transformation of the simplistic city into one, which has a “fever” or some flaw. The demand for luxuries prompts for those with skills such as merchant or tutor. This also prompts the need for warriors for battle.

The most prominent difference between a luxurious city and a healthy one is the fact that one is based entirely on necessities and the fact that no man is completely self-sufficient. We must collaborate to fill all needs. A “healthy one” contains no injustice. The implementation of luxuries into the city creates injustice and alters the integrity of the city, moving it more and more away from a real healthy one.

Posted by: Chadd Crosson at January 26, 2015 03:18 PM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
HON351 Contemporary World View CA01
26 January 2015

Question:
What were Cephalus’s definition and attitude on justice?

Answer:
During his house party, Cephalus explains that his definition of “justice” is honesty and the giving others what is due to them. He goes on to say that people should try to live their lives justly and with caution lest they drive themselves mad from the injustices they put on others. As Cephalus puts it, a man’s sense of justice becomes clearer as he nears death, and he starts “calculating and reflecting whether he has done any wrong to anyone (Plato 5).” Cephalus expresses the importance one should put on oneself to be honest and fair to others as a fight against the woes and evils of life. Though Cephalus’s issue with his definition of justice is that it is from the perspective of business where giving others what is due to them is money rather that respect or advice.

Posted by: Craig Graves at January 26, 2015 05:01 PM

Stephen Pinol
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View
27 January 2015

Question: Socrates claims, "One loves something when one believes that what is good for it is good for oneself.” (412d) Is this true? What role does it play in Socrates' discussion?

Answer: Socrates is discussing the interaction of love between the man and a boy in how it relates to education. He believed that these types of relationships were vital to a boy’s education. Eros, which is the proper love, is what allows us to go to new heights of knowledge. This type of love gives us the motivation of studying and this is why I think Socrates made his claim. In my own opinion, I think we as humans are always motivated to better oneself in any way. As a man, I feel that we are more motivated by things that we love because they bring out the good in us. So yes, it is true that we only love things that are good for us. Although there may be addictions or other harmful things for our bodies, if one believes that it is good for them and will get them through the day, then people will continue to love that substance. We are a selfish race and it is hard to find that love when we are not willing to open ourselves up to another person.

Posted by: Stephen Pinol at January 27, 2015 08:40 PM

Lyndsey Pospisil
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA01
27 January 2015

Question: What makes an action, as opposed to a soul, unjust or just, according to Socrates? Do you agree with Socrates? Why or why not?

Answer: According to the text, Socrates believes that just actions have to do with an individual performing the tasks that he is to perform in society, and nothing more. Additionally, Socrates also mentions that just actions include the actions we perform in society based on the role we play within the society. When an individual does what he is supposed to do, such as a shoemaker making shoes or a road worker working on roads, then he is promoting just actions within the society. Actions become unjust when an individual, such as a shoemaker, attempts to do the work of a road worker, for example. Additionally, Socrates explains that the soul has three components, and when each component of the soul is working together, this then leads a man to be just and will ultimately lead him to justice.
Socrates explains that unjust actions are a direct result of the soul not being in harmony with these three essential components. Socrates states, “Must it not then, as the reverse of justice, be a state of strife between the three principles, and the disposition to meddle and interfere…” (Plato p. 164). With this quote, Socrates alludes the fact that just actions include not interfering with the aspects of society that does not involve you. Additionally with this quote, Socrates also makes the point that just actions are a result of a soul that is in harmony with these three components that leads to justice.

Posted by: Lyndsey Pospisil at January 27, 2015 09:36 PM

Mekayla Davila
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View
27 January 2015

Question:
What is the “one great thing” the guardians must always guard? Why is this so important? Do you agree? Why or why not?

Answer:
The one great thing that the guardians must always guard is education. Socrates believed that if the guardians focused on education they would be able to make decisions on policies that need to be discussed. Everything that dealt with the law would be left to the judgment of the properly educated rulers. The emphasis on education was so great because it was believed to be the foundation for building and aiding the community to flourish (Plato, pp.133-34). I do believe with this philosophy because even now in the contemporary world education is extremely important and those who are more educated hold high positions within society.

Posted by: Mekayla Davila at January 27, 2015 11:51 PM

Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
28 January 2015

Question- The Ideal State will not have to worry about being conquered. Why?

Answer- The Ideal State has two defenses against invasion: the best soldiers and allies. Earlier Socrates says that in order to defend against wealth and poverty there will be no money in the city. Wealth creates "laziness," and poverty creates "meanness" (Davies and Vaughn 131). Since there is no way for people to get rich and stop performing their best, the Ideal State will have the best soldiers. Should two invaders attack, the city only has to tell one of the invading states that should the two unite and conquer the third group, all the spoils will go to this possible ally. "Do you think that any person, after being told this, would choose to wage war against lean and wiry dogs, instead of making common cause with the dogs against fat and tender sheep? I fancy not" (132). It will be easy for the finest warriors and their greedy ally to overtake the third state, although Socrates does not mention what to do if only one invader attacks, if the alliance does not work, or if the ally turns on the Ideal State.

Posted by: Annie Hays at January 28, 2015 09:25 AM

Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: The Contemporary World View
28 January 2015

Question: Explain Socrates conception of justice in the state and why he believes that his account gives us the essence of justice. Can you think of elements of justice that have been left out of his account? Do you think that Socrates could bring them into his account? Explain.
Answer: Socrates gives the definition of justice when outlining all of the necessary components of the just city. Justice, as defined by Socrates, is the idea that each citizen should only be asked to do what he or she are best suited for. In other words, justice allows each citizen to focus on what he or she is best at, whether it be farming, education, or any other job. When attempting to define justice to Glaucon, Socrates states “You remember the original principle which we were always laying down at the foundation of the State, that one man should practice only one thing, the thing to which his nature was best adapted,” (Plato 147). This quote by Socrates give his most clear definition of what justice in the just society is. The main thing that has been left out of Socrates account is the man or woman who has no clear role within the society and what they are left to do. To account for this, Socrates could include a special group whose job it is to work across all fields in order to gain a better understanding of all things within the society.

Posted by: Dalton Hart at January 28, 2015 12:27 PM

Madison Brunk
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
28 January 2015

Question: Describe the three cardinal virtues other than justice and explain how they are exemplified in the ideal state. (427e-432b)

Answer: Socrates describes three cardinal virtues, along with justice, including wisdom, courage, and temperance. The first, wisdom, refers to a virtue that should be held by the ruling class, which allows them to make educated decisions to counsel. Courage is described as the “self-keeping…which teaches what kind of things and what kind of things should be feared” which belongs to the Auxiliary class (Plato 142). The last, temperance, is a virtue that allows a society to cooperate, the classes fulfilling their goals and keeping order in order to maintain the structure of the entire state.

Posted by: Madison Brunk at January 28, 2015 02:18 PM

Bethanee Victoria Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA01
28 January 2015


Question:
What qualities must the rulers have and why? Which quality seems to be most important? (412c – 414)


Answer:
It is said, “There can be no doubt that the elder must rule the younger” (Plato, The Republic, Book III), there for the eldest shall rule the youngest. It is clear that the qualities of the Rulers must be wise and efficient. They must take special care of the state. Furthermore, they must love what they care for; that is most important for you take care of best what you love. In addition, to continue to find rulers the youth will be watched from a young age to see that they are virtuous always and are educated. Rulers are also the only people allowed to lie, “…if anyone at all is to have the privilege of lying, the rulers of the State should be the persons…” (Plato, The Republic, Book III), they are allowed to lie only to the public to protect the state, because caring and loving the state, is the most important quality the ruler can have.

Posted by: Bethanee Reynolds at January 28, 2015 02:23 PM

Kenna Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View CA01
28 January 2015

Question: 21) What is Adiemantus' objection to communal property for the guardians? How does Socrates respond to this? Are you convinced by Socrates? Why or why not? (419a-421c)

Answer: Adiemanus' objection to communal property for the guardians is that the city belongs to the guardians, but they are not allowed to enjoy it.

"What will be your defence, Socrates, if anyone objects that you are not making these men very happy, and that through their own fault? For the city really belongs to them and yet they get no enjoyment out of it as ordinary men do by owning lands and building fine big houses and providing them with suitable furniture and winning the favor of the gods by private sacrifices and entertaining guests and enjoying too those possessions which you just now spoke of, gold and silver and all that is customary for those who are expecting to be happy?" (Plato 419a).

Adiemanus goes on to compare the guardians to hired mercenaries who do not have anything to do except keep guard (Plato 419a-420a). He insists that they need to be able to own property so that they may pursue their desires and interests in order to maintain their happiness.

Socrates responded by stating that the goal of the city was not the happiness of a single class, but the highest degree of happiness for the city as a whole (Plato 420b). He gives an example of painting a statue and someone objecting because the eyes are not colored and detailed right. His response to such a person is that each part of the statue is painted in a way that results in the beauty of the statue as a whole. If the eyes are too detailed, they might lose their purpose and will no longer fit with the rest of the statue (Plato 420d). "And so in the present case you must not require us to attach to the guardians a happiness that will make them anything but guardians" (Plato 420d). He continues on this idea to point out that the pursuit of individual happiness could lead to a break down of the roles in an ideal society. If you give farmer riches, then why would he continue to farm? The farmer plays a vital role in providing food for the society. Enough food will lead to the greater average happiness of the whole city. If the farmer is given riches, he might neglect his duties. This could lead to starvation and a loss of those riches leaving the whole city in a miserable state (420e-421a). People who hold vital positions in the city could be allowed to fool around. Socrates expressed that guardians should focus completely on fulfilling their role for the good of the state rather than pursue any measure of personal gain. The guardians are too important to have fun.

Socrates is blatantly ignoring the fact that humans have various needs and require outlets to maintain a healthy psyche, and he is undervaluing the individual. When individuality is encouraged, advancements can be made. The system will never improve or progress if people are not allowed to think outside the box or explore their strengths and weaknesses. In Socrates' model, people will be denied the right to discovering themselves or advancing in life simply because they were given an important job. They are stripped of the right to have their own lives. Socrates first assumes the worst in human nature by assuming that if the people with the most important jobs are compensated accordingly, they will not fulfill their duties. He then assumes the best in human nature by insisting depriving people with important jobs of the basic joys in life will result in their quiet obedience. If you do not keep your guardians happy, what will prevent a revolt? Why would they give their lives for a city that will give them nothing in return? If someone is happy and comfortable, they will be able to bring a more positive energy to their work and will be more likely to do their job well. Socrates is too extreme with his hive mentality.

Posted by: Kenna Dieffenwierth at January 28, 2015 02:29 PM

Racheljoy Capitola
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
28 January 2015

Question: 22) What's wrong with the existence of extreme wealth in the Ideal State? With the existence of poverty? (421d-422a)
Answer: In Book 4 of Plato’s “The Republic,” Socrates describes the Ideal state as a city where there is no currency. Wealth and poverty cause conflict in the state because they “deteriorate the production of the artisans, and the artisans themselves” (Plato 181). In other words, the existence of different, unequal conditions puts the stability of the city in danger. The example Socrates uses is that of a potter: a potter who becomes rich through his trade will end up growing careless and spoiled, while a potter who is poor will not have the ample supplies to produce the best products in his trade. (Plato 180) Hence, the pottery industry is not producing its finest output.
Socrates also warns that excess wealth “produces luxury and idleness and innovation” while poverty leads to “meanness and bad workmanship as well as innovation” (Plato 181). A rich person may not be motivated to train, fight, or work to their best potential because of their materialism; meanwhile, a poor person may train, fight, and work with bitter feelings or with disregard for quality because of their unfair circumstances. Therefore, the conditions—and existence—of wealth and poverty threaten the balance of the city.

Posted by: Racheljoy Capitola at January 28, 2015 02:43 PM

Glen Pringle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
28 January 2015

Question: Summarize the nature of the guardians' lives. Why can't the guardians have private property or touch gold and silver?

Answer: The guardians serve as protectors of the city. In Plato's The Republic, Socrates and Glaucon consider the work of the guardians to be the most important among the classes of people. “...The work of the guardians is the most important, it requires most freedom from other things and the greatest skill and devotion.” (Plato 49) One of the major problems that is found within the idea of guardians is that of their nature. Socrates finds it difficult to accept the idea that the gentle nature and the high-spirited nature can co-exist, creating the perfect guardian. “Yet it seems impossible to combine them. It follows that a good guardian cannot exist.” (Plato 50) In order to be incorruptible, the guardians are led away from temptations. They are given common housing and are not allowed to touch gold or silver, because “many impious deeds have been done that involve the currency used by ordinary people.” (Plato 93)

Posted by: Glen Pringle at January 28, 2015 02:45 PM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
27 January 2015

Question:
Explain how each of the three cardinal virtues other than justice are exemplified in the individual soul. (441c-442d)

Answer:
According to Socrates, the four virtues that guide individuals are justice, wisdom, courage, and temperance. Justice, as the party guests had previously explained, entails being honest with others and treating each other with respect and fairness. Wisdom, as Socrates puts it, comes from being educated and practiced. In other words, wisdom is found in those who have learned and can show others what they have learned, usually as members of the state or ruling class. Courage is described as a willingness to stand for one’s beliefs or stand against those who may be stronger than oneself. This, Socrates says, is oftentimes found in soldiers of the nation’s army and other fighting-based professions. Temperance is explained to be one’s ability to control or regulate his or her desires and pleasures, thereby becoming more focused on tasks at hand. Socrates says that each individual has the capability to express these 4 virtues of justice, wisdom, courage, and temperance. He also says that these virtues can work “in behalf of the entire soul, and to the principle of high spirit to be subject to this and its ally (Plato 141).” This is to say that though certain individuals exemplify wisdom or bravery (the rulers and soldiers, respectively), most people can show the qualities of these virtues and are made a whole person by them.

Posted by: Craig Graves at January 28, 2015 02:51 PM

Rachel Cunio
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01

Question: What role does the "myth of the metals" play in Socrates' ideal state? (414b-416a) Explain why this is what Socrates calls a falsehood in word only (as opposed to a "true" falsehood). Think of some contemporary analogues of this myth, and discuss some of the concerns one might have about a government deploying such a device.

Answer: The myth of the metals is a “falsehood” (Plato 91) that Socrates reluctantly describes as a way to keep the lower class citizens of the ideal state under control, using the gods as an authority for the myth. Socrates explains that the gods created guardians or rulers of the state using some gold mixed in, “because they are most valuable” (Plato 91), while the auxiliaries, farmers, and craftsman are made of silver, iron, and bronze respectively. In Socrates’s ideal state, this is a falsehood in word only because it is noble in that it is “useful against enemies” (Plato 58) and protects society from doing “something bad” (Plate 58), such as attempting to overthrow the guardians.
In any fictional dystopian society, myths like the “myth of metals” are used. For example, in Veronica Roth’s Divergent, the people are told what could be called a “myth of factions,” because they are made to believe that each person has an innateness that makes them suited for only one faction. Of course, as soon as a Divergent (someone who fits into multiple factions) appears, problems arise for the government in the form of a threat. People do not appreciate deception (Socrates himself was hesitant to use wide-scale deception) and would be unsupportive of a government that deliberately used falsehood as a method of control. Eventually, this lack of support could turn into revolution, something that is disconcerting to societies. Another concern with a government using a myth to control the people is the underlying question of why the government finds it necessary to deceive in order to maintain order. Taking such a drastic measure could mean that the government is doing something that the people would disprove of (on top of the deception), which is also concerning. Governments using falsehoods such as the “myth of metals” can be effective only if the people are unaware of its use.

Posted by: Rachel Cunio at January 28, 2015 03:16 PM

Jacob Gates
Dr. Hobbs
Contemporary Worldview HON 323 CA01
28 January 2014

Question: Socrates argues that the individual soul must have three parts because the state does. (435d-e) What is his argument and what is wrong with it?

Analysis: His argument is that the things humanity embraces or creates must reflects a part of humanity itself. His argument is flawed because it assumes that all states have three parts, and that everything a person makes reflects that person.

Posted by: Jacob Gates at January 28, 2015 03:21 PM

Chadd Crosson
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: The Contemporary World View
28 January 2015

Question: Socrates proposes a process of elimination to find justice in the ideal state. (427e-428a) What problems do you see with this approach?

Answer: An ideal state is a republic split into three categories of citizens who each possesses distinct capacities and natures. Justice in the ideal state coincides with justice in an individual’s soul. Socrates suggests using a process of elimination by using four virtues. The digression before attaining justice outputs three principles of the soul: passion, reason, and appetite. The combination of these three in harmony produces justice according to Socrates. The problem with this is the process by which we discover these things, “...but if we had recognized the other three first, that in itself would have made known to us the thing we were seeking" (Plato 428). The way in which we get to justice can be disruptive because you need the marriage of the virtues in a systematic way to uncover the real findings of justice.

Posted by: Chadd Crosson at January 28, 2015 03:36 PM

Rachel Cunio
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01

Question: What role does the "myth of the metals" play in Socrates' ideal state? (414b-416a) Explain why this is what Socrates calls a falsehood in word only (as opposed to a "true" falsehood). Think of some contemporary analogues of this myth, and discuss some of the concerns one might have about a government deploying such a device.

Answer: The myth of the metals is a “falsehood” (Plato 91) that Socrates reluctantly describes as a way to keep the lower class citizens of the ideal state under control, using the gods as an authority for the myth. Socrates explains that the gods created guardians or rulers of the state using some gold mixed in, “because they are most valuable” (Plato 91), while the auxiliaries, farmers, and craftsman are made of silver, iron, and bronze respectively. In Socrates’s ideal state, this is a falsehood in word only because it is noble in that it is “useful against enemies” (Plato 58) and protects society from doing “something bad” (Plate 58), such as attempting to overthrow the guardians.
In any fictional dystopian society, myths like the “myth of metals” are used. For example, in Veronica Roth’s Divergent, the people are told what could be called a “myth of factions,” because they are made to believe that each person has an innateness that makes them suited for only one faction. Of course, as soon as a Divergent (someone who fits into multiple factions) appears, problems arise for the government in the form of a threat. People do not appreciate deception (Socrates himself was hesitant to use wide-scale deception) and would be unsupportive of a government that deliberately used falsehood as a method of control. Eventually, this lack of support could turn into revolution, something that is disconcerting to societies. Another concern with a government using a myth to control the people is the underlying question of why the government finds it necessary to deceive in order to maintain order. Taking such a drastic measure could mean that the government is doing something that the people would disprove of (on top of the deception), which is also concerning. Governments using falsehoods such as the “myth of metals” can be effective only if the people are unaware of its use.

Posted by: Rachel Cunio at January 28, 2015 03:44 PM

Mekayla Davila
Madison Brunk
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
1 February 2015

Group 5
Question #32

Question:
What is Socrates’ argument for there being at least two parts of the soul? What are his arguments for there being another part in addition to these two? Do you think that he has successfully shown that there are really “parts” to the soul, and that there are exactly three of them? Explain your answer

Answer:
Plato believed in the soul having two parts: rational and irrational appetitive. The rational part of the soul is where humans get reason and logic. The irrational appetitive part is where physical desire stems from. Then he mentions that there is a third part called the irrational non-appetitive. Plato explains how each of these parts of the soul matches up with the generalized structure of the local state. Within the state, there are different jobs and titles that each plays a certain role within society. The Guardians/ rulers are considered the rational and reason part of the soul; they are the ones who use logistics and tactics to provide a stable government. The auxiliaries/ warriors are thought to be the irrational non-appetitive part of the soul, they are the ones who are spirited and fight for the beliefs of the society. And lastly are the craftsmen/ skilled workers; they are the irrational and desires part of the soul; this is how the citizens get fed and when the physical desire of the community is met. We do believe that Plato has successfully shown that there are different parts of the soul because of the way he correlates them to the government and how each are separated by different groups but still make up the whole of society. (Plato 150-162)

Posted by: Mekayla Davila at February 1, 2015 06:40 PM

Dalton Hart & Lyndsey Pospisil
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: The Contemporary World View CA01
2 February 2015
Question: Socrates wants Glaucon and Adiemantus to accept his account of courage as an account of “civic” courage. Evidently, he believes that a full account of the virtue of courage would be somewhat different, or at least fuller, than his account. What do you think his account of civic courage leaves out of a full account of courage?
Answer: When dealing with his account of courage, Socrates points out that courage within the civilians lacks a sense of importance. The full account of courage can be found within the auxiliaries, or the soldiers, within a utopian city. After acknowledging the true courage within the auxiliaries, Socrates states “The rest of the citizens may be courageous or may be cowardly but their courage or cowardice will not, as I conceive, have the effect of making the city either the one or the other,” (Plato 142). This shows that any courage exhibited by the civilians does not necessarily have an effect on the town as a whole because the auxiliaries are the citizens who are able to truly influence the city. Therefore, the “civic courage” that Socrates speaks of is a type of courage that does not affect the city in any great form.

Posted by: Dalton Hart & Lyndsey Pospisil at February 1, 2015 09:27 PM

Mekayla Davila
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
1 February 2015

Question:
The Good: What is the ultimate object of knowledge, according to Plato? Why is knowledge of the Good essential for proper rule?
Answer:
Plato describes the Form of the Good as the ultimate object of knowledge because from this form stems intelligibility and the capacity to obtain actual knowledge as well as bringing all of the other forms into existence. Plato explains how the form of the good allows things to be seen and comprehended and proceeds to compare it to that of the sun by which the sun is not sight itself but makes sight possible. He says the sun is considered the “visible” realm so therefore the form of the good is the “intelligible” realm giving truth to what is known. Plato then tells how the form of the good allows for the understanding of difficult concepts such as justice. This is why knowledge of the good is essential for proper rule. Once one has grasped the form of the good is when he has reached the highest level of cognizance and understanding. He is no longer a philosopher in training but a philosopher king and so he would be able to rule and make judgments because he is understanding of all. (Plato 246-50)

Posted by: Mekayla Davila at February 1, 2015 10:13 PM

Rachel Cunio, Jacob Gates, and Glen Pringle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
02 February 2015

Question: What principle does Socrates invoke to defend the view that the feature of states that makes them just will be the same as the feature that makes individual people just? Think of some examples that fit this principle and some that don’t. Do you think this is a sufficient reason to agree with Socrates that there is such a correspondence? Why or why not?

Socrates claims that just people make just societies. To defend this, Socrates uses the principle that what people create, specifically justice in this case, reflects those people themselves. However, this is not sufficient reason to agree with Socrates that there is such a correspondence because even Socrates himself admits that “if something different [other than justice] is found in the individual” (Plato 110), it needs to be examined before it can be effective in a perfect city. Even just people can be effected by jealousy, and this may lead those just men to do unjust things. Hence, just men cannot always act justly, meaning that even a society composed of men who are just may not be a just society.

Posted by: Rachel Cunio, Jacob Gates, and Glen Pringle at February 2, 2015 02:47 AM

Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: The Contemporary World View CA01
2 February 2015

Question: What is the overall goal in the education of philosophers? How do the various subjects contribute to this goal? What are “summoners” and what educational work do they perform? What is “dialectics”, and why is it important to the pursuit of truth?
Answer: The overall goal in the education of philosophers is to teach them the Form of the Good and to teach them the right direction in life. When describing what his Allegory of the Cave is, Socrates speaks directly about education, stating “[Education] is the power upon which he who would act rationally either in public or private life must have his eye fixed,” (Plato 257). Socrates is arguing that education should not be intended to make one person appear academically sophisticated, but should instead make one a better person in their life. The two main subjects that Socrates states the philosophers must learn are mathematics and dialectics. Mathematics are used to understand the world in a set of numbers, therefore making it easier for the philosopher to understand the world. Dialectics then become the most important type of education because true dialectics allow the philosopher to argue, or get his or her point across in a way that allows the majority of the population to understand the underlying purpose, or at least come close to such an idea. A true sense of dialectics will also allow the philosophers to teach the younger generation of philosophers. The summoners that Socrates speaks of are the ones whose job it is to present puzzles, or contradictions, to the philosophers in order to help them avoid falling prey to fallacious ideas within the city. When the young philosopher is able to see past the flawed arguments of the summoners, he or she then becomes able to see past many erroneous ideas and is then able to move forward with true education.

Posted by: Dalton Hart at February 2, 2015 09:25 AM

Kenna Dieffenwierth and Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
2 February 2015

Question 10:
How does Socrates go about refuting Thrasymachus’s account?

Answer:
According to Thrasymachus, justice is always for the advantage of the stronger individuals and earns more of a profit. Socrates starts his task of refuting Thrasymachus’s ideas of justice by asking many inductive questions and providing his definitions of justice. Socrates states that Thrasymachus’s idea of justice is injustice as it went against the honesty valued by true justice. Socrates says “justice is both wisdom and virtue, and injustice is ignorance… justice is likewise stronger than injustice (Plato 36).” In other words, the injustice that Thrasymachus supports as justice is not a virtue at all. Branching off from his statement of justice being wisdom and virtue, Socrates states that one must be first just to know what injustice is and how to practice it. That is to say, that one must know one’s opposite to know what to do. And finally, Socrates says that justice is needed for a healthy soul. Since justice is a virtue, and the practice of virtues denotes a healthy soul, it is only logical that the practice of justice would be needed for a healthy soul.

Posted by: Craig Graves at February 2, 2015 11:04 AM

Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbes
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01

Question- The Forms: Is Beauty, per se, visible or otherwise open to sensation? What do beautiful things have in common, that make them beautiful? Why does Plato think that the Forms are the proper objects of knowledge?

Answer- Actual Beauty itself is not visible since it is an idea like Justice. "If there be anything so constituted, as at the same time to be and not to be, must it not lie somewhere between the purely existent and the absolutely non-existent? It must" (Davies translation 209). Socrates means that humans can understand an idea like Beauty or Justice through physical things in this world. Humans see the Forms by using their opinions (212). Since opinions are subjective, and all humans have different opinions, there are no traits that all beautiful things have in common (213). However, philosophers can try to search for true Beauty, even in imperfect things that are also ugly. Essentially, philosophers try to define the form of Beauty for everyone else, and if they can define a form it can become a proper object of knowledge (215).

Posted by: Annie Hays at February 2, 2015 11:26 AM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View
2 February 2015

Question 44:
The Sun Analogy – In what way is the Good like the sun? What is the relationship of the Good and truth on Plato’s account? How is Good related to being?

Answer:
The Good, according to Plato, is an idea of the form of God or an ultimate form of knowledge. The Sun, likewise is also a point of knowledge in that it can provide light by which to see and learn. The Good relates to the concepts of science and truth while the Sun is to light and vision. Each of these can be considered synonymous with each other in this instance as they all denote what can be perceived in the world. Though, as Plato says, “it is right to regard light and vision as resembling the sun, but wrong to identify them with the sun (Plato 252).” The same is true for science and truth with the Good. This is because the Good, like the Sun, should be held in a higher regard than the ideas of light, vision, science, and truth. The Good, by extension of this relationship to the Sun, is related to being in that individuals need experience with science and truth to achieve a full, healthy life.

Posted by: Craig Graves at February 2, 2015 12:26 PM

Lyndsey Pospisil
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA01
2 February 2015


Question: When are these students finally ready to rule? At what age? Does this apply only to men or to women as well?

Answer: According to Plato, the students are ready to rule at around age 50. It is stated in the text, “… when they have reached fifty years of age, then those who still survive and have distinguished themselves in every action of their lives, and in every branch of knowledge, come at last to their consummation…” (Plato, Book VII). Before this, the children are taken from early childhood and are trained and taught for years, going through multiple test, to see who is most fit to be a ruler when they reach the appropriate age. It is not until the children go back into the cave, for nearly 13 more years, and prove their wisdom and loyalty and gain experience in ruling. This applies to both men and women. According to the text, it is stated that, “Yes… Glaucon, and of our governesses too; for you must not suppose that what I have been saying applies to men only and not to women, as far as their nature can go… you are right… we have made them to share in all things like the men” (Plato, Book VII).

Posted by: Lyndsey Pospisil at February 2, 2015 01:30 PM

Kenna Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
1 February 2015

Question: 45. The Line: What is the significance of Plato’s Line metaphor? How are knowledge and opinion related to reality? How are belief and imaging related to reality?

Answer:

"Represent them then, as it were, by a line divided into two unequal sections and cut each section again in the same ratio (the section, that is, of the visible and that of the intelligible order)..." (Plato 509d-509e).

The line is divided unevenly into two sections: the visible and the intelligible. The line metaphor shows the relationship between the physical world and the world of ideas. Each of the two sections is divided into two subsections.

"Assume these four affections occurring in the soul: intellection or reason for the highest, understanding for the second; assign belief to the third, and to the last picture-thinking or conjecture, and arrange them in a proportion, considering that they participate in clearness and precision in the same degree as their objects partake of truth and reality” (Plato 511d-511e).

This metaphor will be more clearly explained by assigning letters to the sections of the line: A,B,C, and D. Sections A-B make up the Intelligible realm, while sections C-D make up the visible realm.

Section D is illusion. Reality can be seen through its shadows or reflections (Plato 510a). Section C is belief. Belief aids in the comprehension of physical objects by using the information provided by the senses. Sections C and D make up opinion.

Section B is mathematical forms (science). These forms allow for a person to understand what they can't physically experience. An example given is a mathematician drawing images on paper in order to describe reality. The images are a reflection of the reality used to bring about greater understanding (Plato 510d-510e). It is considered an unbiased form of knowledge. Section A is intelligence. An intelligent mind can comprehend reality (the forms). Sections A and B combined are knowledge.


Posted by: Kenna Dieffenwierth at February 2, 2015 01:42 PM

Stephen, Chadd, Beth
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View
28 January 2015

Question: Glaucon & Socrates agree on an argument, which will show in a preliminary way that the just life is better than the unjust at the end of Book IV. What is the argument? Is it a good one? Why or why not?

Answer: It’s a good argument because Glaucon makes a point that those who want to do justice are afraid of doing unjust acts while those subject to unjust acts, are afraid of doing just acts. By providing justice to a society, it makes justice on the individual more easily acceptable and attainable. We believe that this is a good argument because people are more susceptible to follow the crowd whether it is good or bad. Therefore, in a sense, if more people are trying to live a just life, then everyone will follow their example to become a better society as a whole rather than trying to rule by tyranny or injustice.

Posted by: Stephen, Chadd, Beth at February 2, 2015 01:43 PM

Madison Brunk
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
2 February 2015

Question: The Sun Analogy: In what way is the Good like the Sun? What is the relationship between the Good and truth, on Plato’s account? How is Good related to being?

Answer: In Plato’s account, Socrates creates an analogy to explain the relationships between knowledge, truth, and goodness. He discusses the way that goodness, in its essential form, is what illuminates the world & truth disseminates from goodness. In this way, Plato says, it is like the sun, “bearing the same relation in the visible World to sight and its objects, which the chief good bears in the intellectual world to pure reason and its objects” (Plato 251). The sun provides light, which allows objects and color to be seen the same way that pure goodness provides truth, which allows knowledge & intellect to be seen.

Posted by: Madison Brunk at February 2, 2015 01:50 PM

Annie Hays and Racheljoy Capitola
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
2 February 2015

Another translation from Gutenberg: “I replied as follows: The same thing clearly cannot act or be acted upon in the same part or in relation to the same thing at the same time, in contrary ways; and therefore whenever this contradiction occurs in things apparently the same, we know that they are really not the same, but different.”

Group Question: Explain the principle that "the same thing will not be willing to do or undergo opposites in the same part of itself, in relation to the same thing, at the same time." (436b)

Answer: Basically, Socrates is laying the foundation for his argument on why the soul is divided into several different parts. A single part can only desire one thing. Therefore, since a soul can be in conflict with itself, then that must mean that a soul is divided into multiple parts which each have their own wants and desires.
The example Socrates gives the reader is of a man who stands at a fixed spot but can move his arms and head in either direction. “If it were said of a man who is standing still, but moving his hands and his head, that the same individual is at the same time at rest and in motion, we should not, I imagine, allow this to be a correct way of speaking, but should say, that part of the man is at rest, and part in motion: should we not?” (Plato 152) The soul works in the same way as the man does: it can rest at a fixed point but be pulled into motion depending on the desires and virtues struggling against each other at the same time. These different parts in one great whole (the soul) account for why a person may feel thirsty and hungry at the same time (but the desire for one or the other could be stronger) or why a person may want to be violent but feel morally wrong at the same time.

Posted by: Racheljoy Capitola and Annie Hays at February 2, 2015 02:46 PM

Racheljoy Capitola
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
2 February 2015

Question: 52) How is the study of philosophy (i.e. the dialectic) a real danger? How can the danger be avoided?

Answer:In Book 7 of Plato’s “The Republic,” the study of philosophy is a danger because it can lead to insubordination. The example Socrates uses is of a child who, after reaching adulthood, learns that his parents were not his birthparents and have kept his adoption a secret; furthermore, his discovery may cause him to lose respect for his parents and put more value on flatterers than teachers. Overall, a dialectic philosopher could become a rebel that has “abandoned his loyalty, and to have become lawless” (Plato 292).
In order to prevent philosophy from corrupting the youth, Socrates argues that the truth should be hidden and revealed only when the people are mature enough to handle the truth. People who have proven that they have good character and won’t be heavily influenced by startling truths will be given the ability to discover the knowledge of the “cave” without threatening the justice of the city: “Then, as soon as they are fifty years old, those who have passed safely through the temptations, and who have won every distinction in every branch … must be forthwith introduced to their final task.” (Plato 293) Basically, experience over time will reveal the philosophers who won’t let their loyalties waver and endanger the utopia.

Posted by: Racheljoy Capitola at February 2, 2015 02:47 PM

Rachel Cunio
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
02 February 2015

Question: Life in the kallipolis: What is Plato’s attitude towards women? What work will women do in the kallipolis? What treatment does Plato propose for “defective” children?

Plato’s explanation that in the kallipolis “everything should be in common, except that the females are weaker and the males are stronger” (Plato 125) reflects his attitude towards women. Initially, Socrates stated that if women are used “for the same things as the men, they must also be taught the same things” (Plato 125), arguing that women and men should be educated equally. However, Plato does not wish for Socrates to deny that “a woman is by nature different than a man” (Plato 127). Hence, the compromise is that while “one sex is much superior to the other in pretty well everything” (Plato 129), (referring to the general superiority of men over women), women that excel in certain areas or have certain qualities should be allowed to work accordingly, and are therefore divided into three classes just as the men are. Furthermore, in the kallipolis another job of women is to “belong in common to all the men” (Plato 131), sometimes even as prizes and rewards. If an inferior or “defective” child is born, Plato suggests that they be taken to “hide in a secret and unknown place” (Plato 134), which is another way of suggesting infanticide in order to the “guardian breed…pure” (Plato 134).

Posted by: Rachel Cunio at February 2, 2015 03:05 PM

Bethanee Victoria Reynolds
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA01
Dr. Hobbs
2 February 2015

BOOK VII
Questions:
As twenty-first century denizens of the world, what are we to make of Plato’s scheme of education as presented in The Republic?

Answer:
In the allegory of the cave, the idea of education is presented and how we learn in different stages. Plato says through Socrates “Once one has seen it, however, one must conclude that it is the cause of all…” (Plato, The Republic, Book VI), this clearly shows that we learn through experience. We cannot understand until we see and believe and know. From the age of childhood, education happens. The prisoner, in the cave, learned what was presented, to him and as more was shown to him the more, he learns, believes and understand; similarly to as child gets older it experiences and from that the child learns which leads to understanding. That is education. In this century, the method Plato uses in the allegory is the how education is today it just does not seem as harsh because those being taught are not called prisoners.

Posted by: Bethanee Reynolds at February 2, 2015 03:14 PM

Glen Pringle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
2 February 2015

Q: What is the“one great thing”
the guardians must always guard? Why is this so important? Do you agree? Why or why not?

A: In The Repulic, Plato establishes the guardians as the protectors of the city. Their role as protectors cements their role in the philosophers' perfect city. Besides their day-today-tasks, Socrates claims that there is one great thing that is guarded above all else. "...though I'd rather call it sufficient, than great." (Plato 99) The education of the guardians is the most important thing that they guard. "If once started well, it moves with accumulating force like a wheel." (Plato 99) I agree with the sentiment of Plato. It is important for the future of the city to invest in the future.

Posted by: Glen Pringle at February 2, 2015 03:21 PM

Chadd Crosson
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351
2 February 2015

Question: What is the difference between being and becoming, as Plato uses these terms? Which things are beings and which are in the state of becoming?

Answer: The distinction between what was real and what was simply appearance hounded Greek thinkers leading to conflict of what one knows by reason and what is known by senses. The world extends into space and always going through change based on what is perceived by the senses. The distinction had to be made between the World of Forms and the Sensible World. Knowledge of forms is attainable through reason, such as trees, houses, people, etc. These types experience hardship and endure situations, but ultimately remain unchanged. Objects of the world in a Sensible World are in constant change and thus are always becoming. What is real never changes, so the world in this view is not entirely real. A tree can be a part of both worlds but is interpreted and seen as two different things. One is the tree itself while the other is the idea or thought of the tree.

Posted by: Chadd Crosson at February 2, 2015 03:24 PM

Stephen Pinol
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View
3 February 2015

Question 65

Question: Summarize and evaluate the second “proof.”

Answer: In a basic summary of Socrates second proof, he believes that the just are happier than the unjust (580d). He then continues to say that there are three types of persons: one who pursues wisdom, another who pursues honor, and another who pursues profit. All of the people we can find in each type of society due to the way they were brought up as a child. Nevertheless, he argues that those that pursue honor and profit are both in a way selfish and unjust because they are seeking to better themselves. We cannot trust their judgment because they cannot see other ways of life clearly. Therefore, his final argument is that we should trust the wisdom lover’s or someone that is ruled by reason judgment in his way of life as the most pleasant, since he is able to consider all three types of life clearly.

Posted by: Stephen Pinol at February 4, 2015 01:18 AM

Mekayla Davila
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
3 February 2015

Question:
Why will even the ideal state deteriorate?

Answer:
In Chapter VIII of The Republic, Plato explains that even though these rulers are the all-knowing ones and these governments supposed to be extremely successful the ideal state will too eventually begin to deteriorate. His initial explanation is that all things that come into being must perish. Even such a wonderful system will suffer dissolution because it cannot reign forever. This is due to multiple reasons the main being that the rulers are only simply human. This insinuates that they make mistakes when choosing the next generation of rulers so that eventually the wrong people will occupy positions within the government. This shift in executive order will create turmoil for the government as a whole and eventually lead to its deterioration. (Plato 299-300).

Posted by: Mekayla Davila at February 4, 2015 02:16 AM

Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
4 February 2015

Question- Socrates argues that there are just as many types of people as there are types of cities or states. What is his argument? What is wrong with that argument?

Answer- Socrates claims that there are just as many types of people as there are cities/states because the forms of government arise from moral dispositions of the rulers. "Consequently if there are five varieties of commonwealth, there must be also five varieties of mental constitution among individuals" (Davies translation 298). The problem with this argument is that people are not as cut and dry morally as Socrates claims. Some democracies put the right people in the right positions, and they lead justly (317). Some oligarchs will seek more in life than simply hoarding wealth (308). Perhaps there could be good democratic or oligarchical leaders. Another issue with Socrates' idea is that he admits in a democracy there will be a great multitude of characters, but he said there are only five character types possible (315). Since five is not a great multitude, Socrates contradicts himself.

Posted by: Annie Hays at February 4, 2015 11:01 AM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
HON351 Contemporary World View CA01
4 February 2015

Question 67;
Summarize the third proof.

Answer:
The third proof that Socrates and Plato present to the party in The Republic is that that those who practice being just are happier than those who are unjust. Socrates explains that being just exercises the rational thinking of the soul, and the soul needs this rational thinking to be healthy. He also says that just people are not subjected to the pains of life as much as unjust people because just actions are fulfilling. Being unjust can cause pain to an individual and pain is not a pleasant experience. For this reason, as Socrates puts it, the absence of pain from being unjust is the presence of pleasure from being just. He says “genuine pleasure is not a release from pain, nor is genuine pain a release from pleasure (Plato 355),” but rather that “it is pleasant as a subject to be filled with the things that are appropriate to it (Plato 357).” Things that are appropriate to a person is an aspect of being just, so it is logical to say that being just is pleasurable.

Posted by: Craig Graves at February 4, 2015 12:13 PM

Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: The Contemporary World View CA01
4 February 2015

Question: How is it that a tyrannical personality who becomes a real tyrant is really “in greatest need, and is truly poor” True?
Answer: Socrates spends much of Book IX showing how the tyrannical man is the one who needs the most and is truly the most unhappy. The first way in which Socrates shows that the tyrant is “truly poor” is from his insatiable desire for more. Socrates envisions the tyrant’s dreams, claiming “every day and every night desires grow up many and formidable, and their demands are many,” showing that the tyrant, fueled by his unrestrained power, will constantly desire for more and will therefore be unhappy with his inability to gain all that he seeks (Plato 333). Socrates furthers this image of the power hungry tyrant by comparing him to young birds that have no mother to feed them, “When he has nothing left, must not his desires, crowding in the nest like young ravens, be crying aloud for food,” showing that eventually the tyrant’s ability to achieve his desires will run out and he will therefore be left with nothing expect unachievable desires and goals (Plato 333). Socrates goes on to show that with any tyrannical government the people will see the power hungry leader and will eventually grow tired of this. The people are then much more likely to revolt against the tyrant. This will leave the tyrant with the constant fear of being overthrown by the people closest to him. Therefore, the tyrant is always in the “greatest need” because he is always fearful of something wrong happening that he has himself caused. Socrates concludes his portrayal of the tyrant by claiming that the tyrant is the most unjust man in any society and therefore a tyranny must be avoided at all costs.

Posted by: Dalton Hart at February 4, 2015 01:06 PM

Madison Brunk
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
3 February 2015

Question: What are lawless desires? Explain Socrates’ s conception of the “tyrannical” personality?

Answer: Socrates, in Book IX, describes the differences between just & unjust men using a hypothetical tyrant ruler. This tyrant ruler, despite having an excess of wealth and prosperity, will be governed by his lawless desires. Lawless desires are “wild and lawless appetites that reside in every one of us” that lead us toward heinous acts. These lawless desires, though present in everyone, control and overwhelm the spirited parts of the tyrant’s soul However, the just man will not be governed by these laws and will be free, despite having limited wealth and physical freedom.

Posted by: Madison Brunk at February 4, 2015 01:56 PM

Lyndsey Pospisil
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA01
4 February 2015

Question: What are Socrates’s objections to democracy? Do you agree with him that it is one of the worst forms of government? Why or why not? What sort of argument might one come up with to defend democracy against his attacks?

Answer: Socrates’s objections to democracy lie mainly with the fact that democracy leads to an unorganized city that focuses on freedom. Socrates explains that within a democracy, the city runs ramped with the idea that everyone is entitled to live their live as they please. It is stated, “The manner of life in such a State is that of democrats; there is freedom and plainness of speech, and every man does what is right in his own eyes, and has his own way of life” (Plato, Book VIII). A city governed by a democracy has no structure and each individual does not have a specific role within the city; each person can do as he or she pleases with his or her life under the notion of freedom. Socrates states, “Such is democracy; - a pleasing, lawless, various sort of government, distributing equality to equals and unequals alike” (Plato, Book VIII).
According to Socrates, a democracy’s lack of structure and importance of a unified State will ultimately lead to tyranny. Socrates explains that “Tranny springs from democracy” due to an “excess of freedom” (Plato, Book VIII). Individuals ruled under a democracy do not see anyone as their master and begin to break laws because they do not think that they apply to them. Socrates states, “Slaves are on a level with their masters and mistresses, and there is no difference between men and women” (Plato, Book VIII). This is why democracy will eventually lead to tyranny.
I personally do not agree with Socrates that democracy is one of the worst forms of government; however, I do understand why he would come to this conclusion based on the utopian city he has been building throughout “The Republic.” Is a city really a utopian city if everyone is placed within a strict class system with no hope to move up within society? I would argue that there is no perfect government. The government and society described by Socrates is no better than a democracy. Each government has its pros and each government has its cons. The society that Socrates describes seems perfect in structure on paper, if you will, but when it comes to people actually living within this society, the outcome would be no better than a democracy. Eventually, individuals within Socrates’s society will become sick of the class system and attempt to revolt against the rulers and guardians. It seems like Socrates’s ideal government is one extreme, that of strictness, while democracy is the other, that of freedom.

Posted by: Lyndsey Pospisil at February 4, 2015 02:22 PM

Bethanee Victoria Reynolds
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA01
Dr. Hobbs
4 February 2015
Book VIII
Questions:
Why is a “democratic” state of the soul objectionable? If you agree with Socrates’s criticisms of the democratic soul, he would insist that you must also agree with his criticisms of the democratic state. Explain why. Do you think that you must? Why or why not?

Answer:
The “democratic” state of the soul is objectionable because it was irrational. The human soul is like a miniature state therefore, if it is ruled in a democratic fashion the soul will not function. Plato felt that the artificial sense of equality that democracy created among people was irrational. Not everyone knows what is good, for the state and though citizens should have opinions, the opinions should not control the states interest and future. The irrational of democracy is that the ruling class/ largest most influential class is of men who know nothing about politics or the state, “The people are a third class, consisting of those who work with their own hands; they are not politicians, and have not much to live upon. This, when assembled, is the largest and most powerful class in a democracy. True, he said; but then the multitude is seldom willing to congregate unless they get a little honey.” (Plato, the Republic, Book VIII). Plato apparently believes that the democratic state and the democratic soul do not work because of the irrationality of it all. In the way that democracy is being defined here, it is agreeable and understandable to say that Plato’s criticisms of democracy are relevant. They are relevant because in this type of democracy, chaos and disorder will arise and from that, a tyrant will step up and prevail in the fourth socioeconomic society.

Posted by: Bethanee Reynolds at February 4, 2015 03:01 PM

Racheljoy Capitola
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
4 February 2015

Question: 58) "When wealth and the wealthy are honored in a city, virtue and the virtuous are prized less." What arguments might support this claim?

Answer: In Book 8 of Plato’s “The Republic,” Socrates argues that those who are wealthy will “end by becoming lovers of gain and covetous” and “despise the poor” (Plato 306). When the wealthy gain prestige, corruption can easily infiltrate the city. The wealthy will favor the wealthy for positions and discriminate against the poor; therefore, the city will be put out of balance. Socrates warns against an oligarchy institution: “… the essence of an oligarchical constitution … forbid any share in the government to those who have not property up to the stipulated amount. And they bring about measures by violence with arms in their hands, if they have not previously succeeded in establishing the proposed constitution by the alarm which they have inspired?” (Plato 306).

Also, the virtuous will be overshadowed by the wealthy in this type of system. A poor person who is honorable and may be better at a subject than a wealthy person could be denied a high position based off of the poor person’s lack of materialism and status. Overall, Socrates described examples of a city being torn between the rich and poor because honor and talent are not emphasized.

Posted by: Racheljoy Capitola at February 4, 2015 03:03 PM

Kenna Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
4 February 2015

Question: What is the difference between necessary and unnecessary desires? What role does this distinction play in Socrates’ views?

Answer: Desires that are instinct and does good for the individual are necessary. "Well, then, desires that we cannot divert or suppress may be properly called necessary, and likewise those whose satisfaction is beneficial to us, may they not? For our nature compels us to seek their satisfaction" (Plato 558d-558e).

Desires that can be controlled or avoided all together and that are not beneficial to the individual are considered unnecessary. “And what of the desires from which a man could free himself by discipline from youth up, and whose presence in the soul does no good and in some cases harm? Should we not fairly call all such unnecessary?" (Plato 559a).

An example given is food. Food is necessary for good health and survival in general so the desire to eat is good. Seeking out unhealthy foods or unhealthy amounts of food damages the body so the desire to eat excessively is evil. The desire to eat for health and survival is necessary, but the desire to eat for pleasure is unnecessary (Plato 559a-559c).

Socrates is all about the "Good." Justice, truth, philosophy, and the Good are intertwined in the mind of Socrates and, though vague, shape all of his personal philosophies. It would make sense that what he deems to be necessary desires are in line with reaching the "Good."

Posted by: Kenna Dieffenwierth at February 4, 2015 03:16 PM

Glen Pringle
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View CA01
4 February 2015

Q: What are Socrates’s objections to democracy? Do you agree with him that it is one of the worst forms of government? Why or why not? What sort of argument might one come up with to defend democracy against his attacks?

A: In the Republic, Socrates finds democracy reprehensible. He considers it one of the four unjust constitutions of city and man. After the death of the oligarchy, democracy is considered the next logical step. "The rulers...buy up their estates and thus increase their own wealth and importance" (Plato VIII) I agree and disagree with his sentiment about democracy. While I believe that it is an excellent system, it is easy to abuse by the rich and the powerful. "There can be no doubt that the love of wealth and the spirit of moderation cannot exist together in citizens of the same State to any considerable extent; one or the other will be disregarded." (Plato VIII)
In order to defend democracy from his attacks, an effective technique would be to argue for the inherent good and dignity in the human person. The idea that there is a social obligation to do good and help others would be at the forefront of this conversation.

Posted by: Glen Pringle at February 4, 2015 03:16 PM

Rachel Cunio
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
04 February 2015

Question: Explain what the four kinds of corrupt governments and
characters are. Why does each kind of government collapse and
lead to the next kind?

Answer: The first kind of corrupt government is that of the Spartans, which Socrates refers to as the “Laconian” or “constitution praised by most people” (Plato 214), and later on “timocracy or timarchy” (Plato 215). The characters of this form of government are “victory-loving and honor-loving” (Plato 215). Socrates explains that timocracy comes from aristocracy when the just rulers mistakenly choose the wrong successors and a revolution breaks out, eventually leading to a “compromise on a middle way” (Plato 217). Socrates explains that this form of government will have aspects of the original aristocracy (the just government) and oligarchy. He claims that the “fighting class” (Plato 218) will be kept from any physical labor or anything relating to money, but the people will fear selecting “wise people” (Plato 218) as rulers because wisdom would be a less valued quality for a ruler in a timocracy. Socrates also explains that a character of the timocracy would be “obstinate,” warlike, appreciative of the arts, obedient to leaders, kind to educated people, and rough on slaves (Plato 219).

Socrates goes on to explain that a timocracy is transformed into an oligarchy by the treasure house, when leaders use the gold for their own purposes and consequently value the money over virtue (Plato 221). Socrates explains how this gold-valuing corrupts the men and by extension, the timocracy, eventually leading to establishing a “wealth qualification” (Plato 221), essentially splitting the city into two, “one of the poor and one of the rich” (Plato 222). In an oligarchy, which is based on “property assessment” (Plato 223), Socrates explains that most characters except the rulers are “beggars” (Plato 223).

Socrates continues on to describe that oligarchy falls into another form of government, democracy, when the beggars’ hate for “those who’ve acquired their property” (Plato 226) transforms into a revolution in which the “poor are victorious” (Plato 227). Socrates explains that the character of a man in a democracy is one who is “pleasant, free, and blessedly happy” (Plato 232).

Finally, Socrates explains that a democracy becomes a tyranny when it gets “bad cupbearers” as leaders and the equality becomes to widespread over the majority and the people of the city begin to “take no notice of the laws” (Plato 234). The character of a tyranny is a brutal leader who “dominates a docile mob” with his “special leadership” skills (Plato 236). Socrates sums up the character of a tyranny by explaining that the tyrant is “transformed from a man into a wolf” (Plato 236).

Posted by: Rachel Cunio at February 4, 2015 03:23 PM

Chadd Crosson
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351
4 February 2015

Question: Why does it make no difference to Socrates’s argument whether the ideal state exists?


Answer: The distinction of whether or not the ideal state exists matters little to Socrates’ and the argument he presents since it is simply a model and framework being presented. The argument presented distinguishes between the intelligible world and the visible world. “It makes no difference whether it exists anywhere or will exist.” (Plato) The most we can grasp is a matter of intellect while everything we are witnessing is not what is real. Socrates is lazy in his intellectuals. The distinction regarding the ideal state will always be debated, and no real definitive conclusion will be reached because it is only a matter of opinion. The ideal state is representative of what one wants it to be, or what one feels is “perfect” pertaining to their beliefs. The ideal state is only something we can imagine though it is likely unattainable in reality.

Posted by: Chadd Crosson at February 4, 2015 03:24 PM

Dalton Hart & Jacob Gates
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: The Contemporary World View CA01
4 February 2015

Question: Use the “find” command to look for all passages where Plato discusses “art” and “artist.” Does his use of “art” coincide with our use of the concept in the twentieth century? Does he seem to characterize certain things as “art” that you would not?
Answer: During the discussion between Glaucon and Socrates, the subject of art and the purpose of art is discussed at great length. Although Socrates claims that are may be used to deceive the person who is admiring the art, as the piece of art is not real, he does state that art has a purpose. Socrates states, “the excellence or beauty or truth of every structure, animate or inanimate, and of every action of man, is relative to the use for which nature or the artist has intended them,” meaning that art is relative to the person who is admiring or using the art (Plato 370). The concept of art being relative to the beholder fits well with the way that art is conceptualized in today’s society. Once a piece of art is completed, it is forever out of the artist’s hands and becomes something only for the person admiring or using it. Socrates considers nearly all objects to be some form of artistic expression and this seems to hold true in today’s society. Whether it be a masterful artwork or a simple sign, today’s society views all things as some sort of art and therefore all things that Socrates deems as art would likely be classified as art in today’s society.

Posted by: Dalton Hart & Jacob Gates at February 7, 2015 03:38 PM

Dalton Hart
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: The Contemporary World View CA01
11 February 2015

Question: According to Plato, in book ten, Socrates says he would be happy to allow the poets back into the city if anyone could come up with a valid argument. What argument/s could be offered to counter Socrates’s reasoning? Explain.
Answer: Socrates claims that poets should be banished from the ideal city because they do not do anything. All poets, according to Socrates, simply imitate the work of others in the form of poetry and then relay that poetry as a sense of knowledge of something they have not created, only imitated. The argument that would allow poets to be more accepted in Socrates’ society would be for the poets to first create something, a chair or bed, as Socrates states, and then imitate that object within their poetry. This would be allowed because the poets would then have a more keen sense of what they are imitating as opposed to simply observing the object. Socrates states, “do you suppose that if a person were able to make the original as well as the image, he would seriously devote himself to the image-making?” (Plato 366). Although it seems odd that any person who could create a real bed would then write poetry about the bed, this sort of action would be one of the ways that poets would be allowed back into the ideal city.

Posted by: Dalton Hart at February 7, 2015 03:51 PM

Racheljoy Capitola
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
9 February 2015

Question: According to Plato, in book ten, are people less willing to do "the right thing" when nobody is watching? How much do people respect justice, virtue, and courage? Explain.

Answer: In Book 10 of Plato’s The Republic, people are more likely to give into more evils (such as grief and discord) when they are not in the public eye. “When he is alone, I fancy, he will venture to say much, which he would be ashamed to say in the hearing of another person, and he will do much, which he would not like any one to see him doing.” (Plato 382) The previous quote argues that people are prone to being less lawful and courteous when they are alone because of their inherent contradictory souls. However, justice, virtue, and courage are present in every “double man” to counteract the evil and vice side of every person. Evil can infect a person’s soul and decrease a person’s physical health, but it cannot destroy a person’s soul; therefore, justice, virtue, and courage can always be found by someone and used to lift them up to a good person. But, unless a person is reached out to, he will not respect the good in society because people are more inclined to covet “weeping and bewailing” because irrationality (which is what poets’ promote) is easier to fall victim to, even for the most ideal “good” people. (Plato 385)

Posted by: Racheljoy Capitola at February 8, 2015 03:08 PM

Racheljoy Capitola & Madison Brunk
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
9 February 2015

Group 3 Question: Plato is critical of "imitative" art. Use the "find" command on your web browser to find all the passages in the text using the word "imitative." What is the nature of Plato's criticism of "imitative" art?

Answer: According to Socrates, imitative art is a form of deception. His argument is similar to his allegory of the cave—imitative art is like the shadows which distract people from the truth and form images that reflect (but are not the true) object. Poetry, especially, hides the truth in lies: “Speaking in confidence, for I should not like to have my words repeated to the tragedians and the rest of the imitative tribe—but I do not mind saying to you, that all poetical imitations are ruinous to the understanding of the hearers, and that the knowledge of their true nature is the only antidote to them.” (Plato 5)

More so, imitation in any form can lead to misunderstandings. People who imitate need to be enlightened on what they are copying because they could be duplicating a harmful action or object without understanding the consequences: “And still he will go on imitating without knowing what makes a thing good or bad, and may be expected therefore to imitate only that which appears to be good to the ignorant multitude?” (Plato 133) If people are not careful, they could let imitative poetry “implant an evil constitution” because the act of imitation has an underlying “irrational nature which has no discernment of greater and less”; thus, imitation leads away from the ideal truth that embodies and ideal utopia. (Plato 199)

Posted by: Racheljoy Capitola & Madison Brunk at February 8, 2015 03:10 PM

Stephen Pinol
Dr. Hobbs
HON-351 The Contemporary World View
8 February 2015

Question: According to Plato, in book ten, is it a person’s own fault if they lead an unjust life? Explain.

Answer: Socrates defends the idea that it is in the persons mind to lead a just life. In each book, he argues that a balanced soul and those with rational will always lead a just life. Those that do not have the type of conscious can work to that level but sometimes choose not to. The just life lives in every human’s soul to do well and it is only destroyed by outside influences. This is why Socrates defends the wisdom lover because they separate themselves from the rest to better themselves and life just and peacefully. The rewards of justice are also another thing that lives within each person. We all want to reap the good that comes from it because it makes our soul feel good.

Posted by: Stephen Pinol at February 8, 2015 07:35 PM

Kenna Dieffenwierth & Rachel Cunio
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
9 February 2015

Question: 4. Plato’s theory of forms distinguishes “appearance” and “reality.” Use the “find” command to look for passages where he discusses these concepts. What does he see as the difference between them? Where does art fall into this schema?

Answer: Artists create an appearance. An appearance is an imitation or mirror of things the artist sees; however, the appearance is not the real thing. Appearance is a reflection of reality (Plato ch. 10 ln. 31). Artists are imitators; therefore, they are farther removed from the truth or reality (Plato ch. 10 ln. 69). A painter creates appearances (Plato ch. 10 ln. 33). Appearances are removed from the reality, so they can be made without knowledge of reality. Each appearance is an individual perspective on reality. Because they are removed from the reality, appearances can be misleading or inaccurate. They are not reliable depictions of the truth. Appearances are the subjective interpretations or depictions of an objective reality. Justice confers reality and results in an accurate appearance. Justice should only be acknowledged in its true form, and people that truly posses justice will not be deceived by appearances (Plato ch. 10 ln. 291).

"In like manner the poet with his words and phrases may be said to lay on the colours of the several arts, himself understanding their nature only enough to imitate them; and other people, who are as ignorant as he is, and judge only from his words, imagine that if he speaks of cobbling, or of military tactics, or of anything else, in metre and harmony and rhythm, he speaks very well - such is the sweet influence which melody and rhythm by nature have. And I think that you must have observed again and again what a poor appearance the tales of poets make when stripped of the colours which music puts upon them, and recited in simple prose" (Plato ch. 10 ln. 101).

Poets simply imitate the world around them and other writers with fancy words. They are ignorant of the reality. If you stripped away their fancy writing techniques and fluff, their work would be reduced to a "poor appearance" of reality.

Posted by: Kenna Dieffenwierth at February 9, 2015 01:10 AM

Mekayla Davila
Dr. Hobbs
351 HON Contemporary World View CA01
8 February 2015

Question:
According to Plato, in book ten, is Socrates’s argument against imitation valid? Is imitation really bad? Explain.

Answer:
Plato originally begins saying how poets imitate the worst parts of the soul rather than the good parts. The rational parts of the soul are quiet and stable which makes it not easily understood or imitated therefor leaving the bad parts to be copied. From this Plato expresses that poetry appeals to the worst parts of the soul and even corrupts the best of souls. However, Socrates then argues against these notions. He states that the soul cannot be destroyed because it is immortal. He claims that injustice or other vices are bad for the souls but these do not destroy the soul because other would not survive as long as they do. According to Socrates’s argument I do not believe imitation is necessarily bad because it cannot harm the soul in any true way, it only creates a negative view but does not rid of it all together. (Plato 372-76).

Posted by: Mekayla Davila at February 9, 2015 03:09 AM

Annie Hays
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary Worldview CA01
9 February 2015

Question- According to Plato, in book ten, Socrates clearly dislikes poets strongly. What is the poets’ function in society? How are they viewed? Explain.

Answer- The poets need to be banished from society according to Socrates. Poetry only imitates images, so it is too far removed from the truth. This corrupts people who do not know what the truth is. "I am quite sure you will not denounce me to the tragedians, and the whole company of imitative poets... all imitative poetry would seem to be detrimental to the understanding of those hearers who do not possess the antidote in a knowledge of its real nature" (Davies translation 368). Furthermore, poets tend to focus on vices and negative emotions, and people should only hear about good things or they will be corrupted (384). If people listen to poets, they will not know the truth and become corrupted by all the negativity in the poets' tales. They can only ruin society.

Posted by: Annie Hays at February 9, 2015 09:01 AM

Mekayla Davila and Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
8 February 2015

Question 2:
Plato’s concept of “forms” or “ideas” is introduced beginning at paragraph 16. What is the difference between “beds in the world” and “the idea of a bed?” Where does “art” fit into his hierarchical scheme of reality?

Answer:
According to Socrates, art is flawed because it is the furthest removed thing from the truth, which is the idea of an object or concept. The ideas of objects and concepts are thought to be perfect versions, and they can fulfill the requirements of what those objects or concepts should be. These objects and concepts in the world are flawed in that they are typically made by or considered by humans. That is to say, that any influence humans have on objects and concepts makes them imperfect and flawed as each person will see differently. Socrates says, “the manufacturer of these articles is looking at the form while constructing (Plato 369),” which means that anything made in the world is one level removed from the perfect form. Socrates goes on to say that art, as previously stated, is also flawed because it is a representation of a representation of the perfect form, by that making it two levels removed from the ideal.

Posted by: Craig Graves at February 9, 2015 10:55 AM

Lyndsey Pospisil
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View
9 February 2015

Question: For what reason/s did Plato decide to end The Republic by invoking the myth of Er? Some speculation may be necessary, here.

Answer: The myth of the Er deals mainly with the concept of the soul and choosing the right new life. According to the text, the soul chooses its life. Plato decides to end The Republic with the myth of Er because it proves how imperative philosophy really is. The only way a soul can choose the right new life is if philosophy is utilized. When philosophy is not utilized in this decision, sometimes the right life is chosen, and sometimes the wrong life is chosen. It is stated in the text, “for if a man had always on his arrival in this world dedicated himself from the first to sound philosophy… he might, as the messenger reported, be happy here, and also his journey to another life and return to this, instead of being rough and underground, would be smooth and heavenly” (Plato, Book X). With this statement, the importance of philosophy in choosing the right life is what sets aside a philosopher from another person. A philosopher is the only one that really knows how to distinguish between the right life and the wrong life.

Posted by: Lyndsey Pospisil at February 9, 2015 01:16 PM

Kenna Dieffenwierth
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
9 February 2015

Question: 83. According to Plato, in book ten, The Republic ends by explicating an immortal soul and the afterlife as a final justification for living a just life. If one does not believe in an afterlife of any kind, do Socrates’s arguments still hold power? If so, how?

Answer: Yes, Socrates's arguments still hold power because, by his thought process, the Just will eventually see an earthly reward and will most likely hold office at the end of their life (Plato 396). The just will be rewarded by the gods and by men during their lifetime. "Such then, I continued, will be the prizes, the rewards, and the gifts, which are bestowed on the just man, in his lifetime, by gods and by men, in addition to those good things which justice of itself placed in his possession" (Plato 396-397). The true nature of the Unjust will eventually be uncovered for all to see (Plato 396). The Just will live an overall happier and more successful physical life compared to the Unjust. If an individual does not believe in an afterlife, they can still receive rewards during their physical life for being just.

Posted by: Kenna Dieffenwierth at February 9, 2015 02:10 PM

Group 1
Annie Hays
Stephen Pinol
Bethanee Reynolds
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA01
Dr. Hobbs
6 February 2015

Question:
To Understand Plato’s views on art, it is necessary to place them into the context of his theory of “Forms.” First read the explanations in Plato of “theory of forms,” “theory of knowledge,” “nature of forms,” and “art.” Plato’s concept of “forms” or “ideas” is introduced beginning at paragraph 16. What is the difference between “beds in the world” and “the idea of a bed.” Where does “art fit into his hierarchical scheme of reality?

Answer:
Artist is the lowest person on the totem pole. There is the direct source, God himself and then there is the secondary source that is the connection between God and the people. This source is the carpenter (Judeo-Christian Jesus) he is an imitation of god. The Painter imitates the imitation there for he does not really know the truth he makes things in his own image. This makes the painter a third imitation source that is too far removed from the truth. Painter is simple-minded and has no depth of the truth. The artist uses deceptive techniques to obscure the truth and reality, which drives men to knowledge.

Posted by: Bethanee Reynolds at February 9, 2015 02:46 PM

Bethanee V Reynolds
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA01
Dr. Hobbs
9 February 2015

Book X
Question:
How does Socrates criticize Homer and other poets? For example, how is the imitative poet’s product like “illusory painting” and “sorcery”? To what part of human nature do poetry and such practices appeal? Summarize Socrates’ criticisms of poetic imitation.

Answer:
He criticizes Homer and all poets by banishing poetry from the utopic city. He goes on to say that, poets create unrealistic fantasies that their ideal of the truth is not the truth. Poetry is so far removed from the truth that it is their own story, filled with lies and falsities that can be a hindrance to a perfect city when all that we learn should come from God and his direct imitator. Socrates claims that poets pervert the soul, “poetical imitations are ruinous to the understanding of the hearers, and that the knowledge of their true nature is the only antidote to them,” (Plato, The Republic, Book X) and keep people from gaining true knowledge. Poetry and such practices appeal to the worst part of the soul, the uncivilized, wild part of the soul; it arouses passion, which keeps men from learning and moving past the primal state. Poetry is not healthy not stable and it keeps society in an uncivilized state and should not be allowed because of its falseness and inaccuracies.

Posted by: Bethanee Reynolds at February 9, 2015 02:48 PM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
9 February 2015

Question 79:
According to Plato, in book ten, do the “forms” exist outside human thought? Can knowledge exist without man’s understanding of it? Explain.

Answer:
The Forms, as Plato says, do exist outside of human thought because they can only be perfect if they are untouched by the imperfect humans. Plato goes on to say that humans can only make representations of the forms and can never fully fathom the concept of the forms. The very first of anything is the only perfect version as all other versions after that first one are merely clones or representations of it. “If God created two beds, only the first is the true bed as all other are made after it, thus following its likeness (Plato 371).” This quote means that humans can never fully grasp the perfection of the forms as each attempt to understand will be slightly different than the last and the true perfection can never be exactly copied. Based upon this, Knowledge can exist with human’s understanding it. There is only the true perfect form of the knowledge and the instant a person tries to comprehend it, his or her version of it will take root as an imperfect duplicate of the perfect original.

Posted by: Craig Graves at February 9, 2015 02:49 PM

Rachel Cunio
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA01
09 February 2015

Question: In explaining his views on representation, Socrates uses as his example the making of a bed. What does he mean when he says that there are “three different kinds of bed”? Who are the three different makers of those beds, and which of them is the furthest removed from the “real” bed? What is this real bed”?

Answer: When Socrates refers to “three kinds of beds” (Plato 267), he is referring to the idea of forms or representation. The first bed Socrates discusses is the bed that “a god makes” (Plato 267). This is the only bed, according to Socrates, that takes the true nature of what a bed should be. The second bed Socrates discusses is “the work of a carpenter” (Plato 267) and is an attempt to create the ideal nature of a bed that cannot succeed perfectly. The third bed is the image of a bed created by a painter, whom Socrates refers to as “an imitator” (Plato 268). This third bed, created by the painter, is furthest removed from the truth because the painter is not only imitating a bed, but he is imitating the bed created by the carpenter. The bed created by the carpenter, “the works of a craftsman” (Plato 268), already only has the appearance of being a bed, because it is only acting as a mere representation of the true nature of the real bed, which is created by a god.

Posted by: Rachel Cunio at February 9, 2015 02:59 PM

Ashlee English
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
19 January 2016.

QUESTION # 5: What is Cephalus’ attitude towards the question of what is justice?

ANSWER: Cephalus’ was in agreement with Socrates with his definition of justice. They both agree that there is more to justice than the basic level of “to speak the truth and to pay your debts” (Plato 213). However, the entirety of what justice encompasses seems to be a mystery to both men. Cephalus, although agreeing with Socrates does not provide any anthology like he did in previous responses. Also, it could be inferred that Cephalus’ short response was due to an errand he had to do and could not answer Socrates comprehensively. Overall Cephalus’ attitude was towards the question was indifferent.

Translation Used

The Republic by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett

Posted by: Ashlee English at January 19, 2016 04:26 PM

  • Jamee Townsend
  • Dr. Hobbs
  • HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
  • 19 January 2016

Question: What is Thrasymachus’s attitude towards Socrates’ investigation?

Answer: In Book I, Socrates begins a debate with Cephalus about the definition of justice, and the argument is continued by Polemarchus after his father must leave to look after the sacrifices. While the two men are arguing back and forth, Thrasymachus “…had many times started out to take over the argument…but he had been restrained” (Bloom, 13). After Socrates poses another question as a means of conveying his points, Thrasymachus- “hunched up like a wild beast”, finally broke his silence and yelled wildly at the two men to show his distaste with their argument (Bloom, 13). As the disagreements continued, he repeatedly scolded Socrates and demanded that he explain “clearly and precisely” instead of using his “usual trick” of refuting everyone else’s arguments (Bloom, 14-15). Therefore, Thrasymachus was displaying a very irritated and combative attitude towards Socrates, and also announced to the group his disapproval of Socrates’ methods of argument. But by the end of Book I, Thrasymachus subdued to entertaining Socrates’ endless questions, after he begins to agree with much of what he is arguing.

Posted by: Jamee Townsend at January 19, 2016 10:53 PM

Kaelyn Cardona

Dr. Hobbs

HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02

20 January 2016


Question 15: The Guardians: What are the essential qualities (not purpose) of guardians? Why does Socrates think that they must be philosophical? In what way are guardians like dogs?

Answer: In the discussion of the utopian State, the question as to who is tasked with guarding the republic arises. The qualities sought in the Guardians of the State are carefully considered, for their duty is essential to the expansion and defense of the nation.

Firstly, the importance of devotion is discussed. “One man cannot practice many arts with success,” according to Socrates; therefore, the Guardian may not be a “jack of all trades” (Plato 45). Instead, the Guardian must be entirely involved in the art of war from his earliest years and work to condition their skill, technique, and application over time. The Guardian, in this sense, would have a “natural aptitude” for their craft and bestow regular attention upon perfecting their guardianship, for one cannot become “a good fighter all in a day” (Plato 46).

Following the discussion of devotion, a metaphor is construed, comparing the Guardian to a well-bred dog. The bodily qualities of the animal are ideal for that of a solider because of the sharpness of their sight, the tenacity behind their strength, and their overall spirit and bravery. “The presence of [the unconquerable spirit] makes the soul of any creature to be absolutely fearless and indomitable,” is the justification for the comparison of the dog to the warrior, for a Guardian is to have all those qualities if they are to fight well (Plato 46).

The need for favorable mental qualities is brought up for debate thereafter, and the conflicting qualities of a Guardian being both gentle in nature and spirited poses an impasse between them. The contradiction of the two aforementioned qualities seems to make the ideal Guardian impossible to attain. However, Socrates hearkens back to his example of the dog, leading him to liken the animal’s instincts to a philosopher’s mind. As a result, he comes to the conclusion of a Guardian needing to be like a philosopher. “[The dog] distinguishes the face of a friend and of an enemy only by the criterion of knowing and not knowing,” therefore, he decides that the Guardian must be able to overcome the “test of knowledge and ignorance” (Plato 48). The quality of being a lover of wisdom and knowledge is then dubbed essential.

In conclusion, the qualities of a Guardian are as follows: they must possess swiftness and strength in body, a spirited soul, and a philosophical mind (Plato 48).

Posted by: Kaelyn Cardona at January 20, 2016 10:27 AM

Dominique Bauer

Dr. Hobbs

HON 315 – Contemporary World View CA02

19 January 2016

Question: What is Polemarchus’s attitude? Why does he fare poorly under Socrates’ examination?

Answer: In Book I of The Republic of Plato, the attitude of Polemarchus comes out in his discussion of justice with Plato. His father, Cephalus initially start the conversation, and the reader can tell that the two have a slightly different attitude. Polemarchus’ attitude is one that is more energetic, but not necessarily better. The reader can understand that there is a chance that Polemarchus’ responses are not entirely thought out, and the consequences of this can be seen in the examination by Socrates. The attitude that Polemarchus demonstrates is almost like that of a young politician. It would almost seem as though he feels he knows everything there is to know about the topic, but when asked to justify or explain his thoughts, he struggles slightly. This can be demonstrated by his statement “most certainly it will not … but I no longer know what I did mean. However, it is still my opinion that it is justice to help one’s friends, and hurt one’s enemies” (Plato 11). What can be inferred from this bold statement is that even though he may have been wrong initially, and that he may not even remember what he said, Polemarchus still believes he is right, despite evidence to support he may be wrong.


Polemarchus ultimately fares poorly under Socrates’ examination because he truly does not know the topic thoroughly. It would seem as though he has only looked at the issue from one side and not considered any of the other definitions of justice. The comparison to a young politician is applicable here because sometimes a young politician who has yet to experience situations that would give him more insight on how to better defend his points. Because of Polemarchus’ lack of experience or research, he is unable to defend his points thoroughly and as a result, he does not do as well as someone like Cephalus would under Socrates’ examination.

Posted by: Dominique Bauer at January 20, 2016 11:33 AM

Michael Barbee


Dr. Hobbs


Honors 351


20 January 2016

“Undoubtedly.
And our State must once more enlarge; and this time the will be nothing short of a whole army, which will have to go out and fight with the invaders for all that we have, as well as for the things and persons whom we were describing above.” (The Republic Book II Somewhere in there because I used a digital version)


Question: For what purpose (not qualities) is the class of guardians introduced to the Kallipolis?

Answer: The “Guardians” were created for the purpose of defending the city from anyone who would look to conquer them. However, in the text, it says that the city will eventually be too populated to sustain in its current area. This overpopulation would lead to “a slice of our neighbors’ land will be wanted by us..”(Plato), meaning that the “Guardians” would also need to be the conquerors. The premise of the guardian class is that a shoemaker would not work in husbandry, so there must exist a group which consists of masters of the art of war.


"And the shoemaker was not allowed by us to be husbandman, or a weaver, a builder --in order that we might have our shoes well made; but to him and to every other worker was assigned one work for which he was by nature fitted, and at that he was to continue working all his life long and at no other; he was not to let opportunities slip, and then he would become a good workman. Now nothing can be more important than that the work of a soldier should be well done. But is war an art so easily acquired that a man may be a warrior who is also a husbandman, or shoemaker, or other artisan; although no one in the world would be a good dice or draught player who merely took up the game as a recreation, and had not from his earliest years devoted himself to this and nothing else? "(Plato)

Posted by: Michael Barbee at January 20, 2016 12:58 PM

Melissa Bryan
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View
20 January 2016

Question: What is Thrasymachus’s definition of justice?

Answer: Thrasymachus believes that justice is the advantage of the stronger (Grube, page 1, 338c). Also, he said that it is the advantage of the established rule (Grube, page 15, 338e). Essentially, Thrasymachus believes that justice comes about when rulers or the upper class creates rules for the lower class to follow. Justice now having an adherence to certain rules enables a group of people to act in common. However, a person can be very just, and it does not benefit the person but, in the end, it benefits the stronger person in power. In this case, one may say that injustice is better than justice. This is because those who do not behave justly tend to do better than those who do. Thus, Thrasymachus proposes that justice is a means to benefit the rulers and undermine the lower class. Hence, he believed that justice in his society was not just.

Posted by: Melissa Bryan at January 20, 2016 01:02 PM

Andrew Thriffiley
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View
20 January 2016

Question:What prompts Socrates to introduce luxuries into his city? How is the luxurious city different from “the healthy one”?

Answer:Socrates is prompted to introduce luxuries into his city because Glaucon brings up the idea of the citizens possibly having to live miserably and the idea that the people of the society deserve to feast. The idea of shopkeepers working the market also brings about the idea of the luxurious city, since more wealth would come into the city from the trading in the market (Plato 52-53).

The luxurious city is different from the healthy one because the described luxurious city will continue to have citizens who always will be striving for more. The continued gaining of wealth would lead the city to have to forge an army, so they may protect the capital acquired (Plato 55).

"And the land, perhaps, which at first sufficed to support the inhabitants, will, instead of being sufficient, become too little; or how shall we*say? Just so, said he. Must we not then cut off a part from the neighbouring country, if we would have enough for arable and pasture, and they in turn from ours, if they on their part devote themselves to the accumulation of boundless wealth, going beyond the limits of mere necessity?" (Plato 54). This quote directly references the objections to the possibility of the luxurious city. It gets at the point that what once was enough in Socrates' healthy city becomes next to nothing in the concept of a luxurious city.

Posted by: Andrew Thriffiley at January 20, 2016 01:59 PM

Jasmine Daniels
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View
20 January 2016

Question: 16. Education of the Guardians: How does Plato propose to educate the guardians? Why does Plato ban Homer and Hesiod from the kallipolis?
Answer: Plato proposes to educate the guardians about music and poetry to feed their soul and physical education to nurture their body. To educate the guardians in music and poetry he suggests that they be taught by the use of stories. He also clarified that the stories be specifically chosen and consist of both true and false stories. However, Plato insists that the guardians not be taught any false stories about the gods or heroes. As a result, he bans Homer and Hesiod from the Kallipolis because their works spoke falsehoods about the gods and he did not want those falsehoods to be taught to the young and especially the guardians. Book II states, “Whenever anyone says such things about a god, we’ll be angry with him, refuse him a chorus, and not allow his poetry to be used in the education of the young, so that our guardians will be as god-fearing and godlike as human beings can be.” (Plato 56)

Posted by: Jasmine Daniels at January 20, 2016 02:40 PM

Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
20 January 2016

Question 9: What, if anything, is wrong with Thrasymachus’s definition of justice?

Answer: Socrates points out several flaws with Thrasymachus’s view of justice. Thrasymachus defines injustice as a virtue because it favors the stronger and justice as a vice because it favors the weak. Socrates counters Thrasymachus by arguing that justice is indeed a virtue because it is associated with wisdom, while injustice is a vice because it is associated with ignorance: “Then the just has turned out to be wise and good and the unjust evil and ignorant” (Plato 25, Dover ed.). According to Socrates and his companions, because justice is associated with wisdom, it is more powerful than injustice: “A statement was made that injustice is stronger and more powerful than justice, but now justice, having been identified with wisdom and virtue, is easily shown to be stronger than injustice, if injustice is ignorance” (Plato 25, Dover ed.).

Socrates further claims that justice brings harmony, while injustice brings discord. Even among robbers and bandits, justice is necessary for a group to work together: “I should like to know also whether injustice, having this tendency to arouse hatred, wherever existing, among slaves or among freemen, will not make them hate one another and set them at variance and render them incapable of common action?” (Plato 26, Dover ed.). The unjust are incapable of working in harmony. Therefore, justice is necessary to maintain a group or nation.

Lastly, Socrates theorizes that justice is a virtue because it satisfies the soul. According to Socrates, everything has a purpose: eyes are made to see, ears are made to hear, etc. When these parts do not fulfill their purpose, they have a defect. Socrates philosophizes that like body parts, souls also have a purpose; justice is “excellence of the soul” while injustice is “defect of the soul” (Plato 29, Dover ed.). Therefore, an unjust soul can never be happy because it is not fulfilling its predetermined purpose. Because of this, “injustice can never be more profitable than justice” (Plato 29, Dover ed.).

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds at January 20, 2016 02:57 PM

Grace Lederer
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
20 January 2016

Question: How does Socrates go about refuting Thrasymachus’s account?

Answer: Book I of the Republic begins with Socrates and some of his students discussing the meaning of justice. Thrasymachus’s listens to Cephalus and Polemarchus with mounting frustration until finally boiling over and proclaiming that Socrates is a poor teacher, for he learns from others and never teaches, always questions and never answers. Socrates then asks Thrasymachus for his definition of justice to which he responds, “Justice is nothing else but the interest of the stronger,” (Butler-Bowdon, pg. 22).

Socrates then begins to break down Thrasymachus’s argument through his typical fashion of questioning. Thrasymachus says there are different types of governments, and whether they be tyrannies, democracies, or aristocracies, they are all the ruling power of the state. Socrates agrees and then Thrasymachus goes on to say that these powers then impose laws upon their citizens that serve their own interests. Subjects of these governments are then determined to be just or unjust through their compliance with the set laws. Socrates than asks Thrasymachus if he agrees that rulers can sometimes be fallible in their judgment. Thrasymachus agrees. Socrates then goes on to say that since that is so, justice can be both following and not following the laws set by the government.

Thrasymachus is confused for a moment and Socrates elaborates further saying that if justice serves the interests of the stronger, and the government is capable of making mistakes that are not in their best interests, then justice is both following and going against what the government says. Thrasymachus makes the weak argument that rulers are experts and do not make mistakes. Socrates agrees to this for the sake of the argument and then offers to clarify with a different example and brings up the physician and boat captain. Socrates argues that both of these professionals, though considered “the stronger” act in the best interest of those beneath them—a physician gives no thought to himself when prescribing to patients, as does a captain when navigating with his crew. Thrasymachus scoffs at this bit of reasoning and refutes it with the argument that a shepherd takes care of and fattens his sheep not for their sake, but for his own. Thrasymachus then makes the great leap to say that the happiest of men is indeed the criminal, because of all the ways he is able to benefit monetarily and socially from working outside the bounds of the law. Thus, concludes Thrasymachus, justice is indeed the interest of the stronger, while injustice is the interest of the individual man.
Thrasymachus then attempts to exit the scene, feeling that he has won in defending his position. Socrates asks if Thrasymachus is really going to leave after making such suggestive remarks without staying to learn and ratify whether they are true or not. Thrasymachus says he is not as interested in the inquiry as Socrates tends to be.

Socrates persuades Thrasymachus to stay and debate further. Socrates then goes on to say that all the crafts—whether they be medicine or sailing or building, have separate functions yet arrive at the same end result—payment, which could be considered a separate craft unto itself. Socrates points out that although these crafts lead to payment, this is not the only good that comes from them, as medicine yields good health, sailing begets trade, and building creates houses. Socrates then says that rulers also need payment, whether it be honor, money, or penalty from refusing. Ambition and avarice are considered disgraceful, so rulers do not openly seek the first two forms of payment. Socrates says that the good are compelled to rule out of fear for someone unfit taking over instead, and therefore true rulers are concerned with the good of the people. This backs up Thrasymachus’s earlier claim that true rulers do not make mistakes.

However, Socrates continues on with the discussion, getting Thrasymachus to admit that those who are learned is the arts are wise and those who are not are fools. With much reluctance, Thrasymachus agrees with Socrates saying that those who are wise are just and those who are ignorant unjust, which refutes his earlier statement that people have much to gain in being unjust.

Socrates makes one last argument to solidify their newfound understanding of the value of justice. Socrates names body parts and their functions, saying that when deprived of their excellence, they cannot perform their functions properly. In the same way, when the soul is deprived of its excellence—which the two had now determined to be justice—it could not reach its end, which was a well-lived, happy life. When a soul suffers the defect of injustice, the person lives a miserable life.

This is how Socrates ultimately refutes Thrasymachus’s argument that the unjust man has much to gain.

Posted by: Grace Lederer at January 20, 2016 03:06 PM

Karra Rutherford
Dr. Hobbs
HON 350 The Contemporary World View CA02
20 January 2016

Question: What is Plato’s attitude towards the Socratic method and its results?

Answer: The dialogue in the first book of the Republic exemplifies how inquiry can stimulate critical thinking about possible solutions or answers and drive discussion. However there are limits to the effectiveness of inquiry in problem solving, and it can not always be the sole or primary method used. In the last paragraph of the chapter Socrates expresses that he is not satisfied with the discussion, he compares it to having tasted several dishes without having had the chance to fully appreciate each one; one question led to the discussion of various subsequent questions, without even having answered the initial question of interest. I believe that what Plato was trying to portray was that while the Socratic method is a useful tool for driving discussion and critically evaluating our thought process during problem-solving it is not without flaw. (Plato 29)

Posted by: Karra Rutherford at January 20, 2016 03:21 PM

Revision- Ashlee English
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
19 January 2016

QUESTION #5: What is Cephalus’ attitude towards the question of what is justice?

ANSWER: Cephalus’ was in agreement with Socrates with his definition of justice. They both agree that there is more to justice than the basic level of “to speak the truth and to pay your debts” (Plato 213). However, the entirety of what justice encompasses seems to be a mystery to both men. Cephalus, although agreeing with Socrates does not provide any anthology like he did in previous responses. Also, it could be inferred that Cephalus’ short response was due to an errand he had to do and could not answer Socrates comprehensively. Overall Cephalus’ attitude was towards the question was indifferent.

Translation Used
The Republic by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett

Posted by: Ashlee English at January 20, 2016 04:51 PM

Melissa Bryan
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
20 January 2016

Question 8: What is Thrasymachus’s definition of justice?

Answer: Thrasymachus believes that justice is the advantage of the stronger (Plato 1). Furthermore, he said, “This, then, is what I say justice is, the same in all cities, the advantage of the established rule” (Plato 15). Therefore, Thrasymachus believes that justice comes about when rulers or the upper class creates rules for the lower class to follow. Justice now having an adherence to certain rules enables a group of people to act in common. However, a person can be very just, and it does not benefit the person but, in the end, it benefits the stronger person in power. In this case, one may say that injustice is better than justice is. This is because those who do not behave justly tend to do better than those who do. Thus, Thrasymachus proposes that justice is a means to benefit the rulers and undermine the lower class. Hence, he believed that justice in his society was not just.

Translation Used

The Republic by Plato, translated by G.M.A. Grube and revised by C.D.C. Reeve.

Posted by: Revision-Melissa Bryan at January 20, 2016 04:55 PM

REVISED
Grace Lederer
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
20 January 2016

Plato’s Republic Question

Question: How does Socrates go about refuting Thrasymachus’s account?

Answer: Book I of The Republic begins with Socrates and some of his students discussing the meaning of justice. Thrasymachus listens to Cephalus and Polemarchus with mounting frustration until finally boiling over and proclaiming that Socrates is a poor teacher, for he learns from others, never teaches, always questions, and never answers. Socrates then asks Thrasymachus for his definition of justice to which he responds “Justice is nothing else but the interest of the stronger” (Plato 22).

Socrates then begins to break down Thrasymachus’s argument through his typical fashion of questioning. Thrasymachus says there are different types of governments, and whether they be tyrannies, democracies, or aristocracies, they are all the ruling power of the state. Socrates agrees and then Thrasymachus goes on to say that these powers then impose laws upon their citizens that serve their own interests. Subjects of these governments are then determined to be just or unjust through their compliance with the set laws. Socrates than asks Thrasymachus if he agrees that rulers can sometimes be fallible in their judgment. Thrasymachus agrees. Socrates then goes on to say that since that is so, justice can be both following and not following the laws set by the government.

Thrasymachus is confused for a moment and Socrates elaborates further saying that if justice serves the interests of the stronger, and the government is capable of making mistakes that are not in their best interests, then justice is both following and going against what the government says. Thrasymachus makes the weak argument that rulers are experts and do not make mistakes. Socrates agrees to this for the sake of the argument and then offers to clarify with a different example and brings up the physician and boat captain. Socrates argues that both of these professionals, though considered “the stronger” act in the best interest of those beneath them—a physician gives no thought to himself when prescribing to patients, as does a captain when navigating with his crew. Thrasymachus scoffs at this bit of reasoning and refutes it with the argument that a shepherd takes care of and fattens his sheep not for their sake, but for his own. Thrasymachus then makes the great leap to say that the happiest of men is indeed the criminal, because of all the ways he is able to benefit monetarily and socially from working outside the bounds of the law. Thus, concludes Thrasymachus, justice is indeed the interest of the stronger, while injustice is the interest of the individual man.

Thrasymachus attempts to exit the scene, feeling that he has won in defending his position. Socrates asks if Thrasymachus is really going to leave after making such suggestive remarks without staying to learn and ratify whether they are true or not. Thrasymachus says he is not as interested in the inquiry as Socrates tends to be.
Socrates persuades Thrasymachus to stay and debate further. Socrates goes on to say that all the crafts—whether they be medicine or sailing or building, have separate functions yet arrive at the same end result—payment, which could be considered a separate craft unto itself. Socrates points out that although these crafts lead to payment, this is not the only good that comes from them, as medicine yields good health, sailing begets trade, and building creates houses. Socrates says that rulers also need payment, whether it be honor, money, or penalty from refusing. Ambition and avarice are considered disgraceful, so rulers do not openly seek the first two forms of payment. Socrates says that the good are compelled to rule out of fear for someone unfit taking over instead, and therefore true rulers are concerned with the good of the people. This backs up Thrasymachus’s earlier claim that true rulers do not make mistakes.
However, Socrates continues on with the discussion, getting Thrasymachus to admit that those who are learned is the arts are wise and those who are not are fools. With much reluctance, Thrasymachus agrees with Socrates saying that those who are wise are just and those who are ignorant unjust, which refutes his earlier statement that people have much to gain in being unjust.

Socrates makes one last argument to solidify their newfound understanding of the value of justice. Socrates names body parts and their functions, saying that when deprived of their excellence, they cannot perform their functions properly. In the same way, when the soul is deprived of its excellence—which the two had now determined to be justice—it could not reach its end, which was a well-lived, happy life. When a soul suffers the defect of injustice, the person lives a miserable life.

This is how Socrates ultimately refutes Thrasymachus’s argument that the unjust man has much to gain.

Posted by: Grace Lederer at January 20, 2016 10:42 PM

Dominique Bauer
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 – Contemporary World View CA02
19 January 2016

Question 6: What is Polemarchus’s attitude? Why does he fare poorly under Socrates’ examination?

Answer: In Book I of The Republic of Plato, the attitude of Polemarchus comes out in his discussion of justice with Plato. His father, Cephalus initially start the conversation, and the reader can tell that the two have a slightly different attitude. Polemarchus’ attitude is one that is more energetic, but not necessarily better. The reader can understand that there is a chance that Polemarchus’ responses are not entirely thought out, and the consequences of this can be seen in the examination by Socrates. The attitude that Polemarchus demonstrates is almost like that of a young politician. It would almost seem as though he feels he knows everything there is to know about the topic, but when asked to justify or explain his thoughts, he struggles slightly. His attitude can be demonstrated by the statement “most certainly it will not [. . .] but I no longer know what I did mean. However, it is still my opinion that it is justice to help one’s friends, and hurt one’s enemies” (Plato 11). What can be inferred from this bold statement is that even though he may have been wrong initially, and that he may not even remember what he said, Polemarchus still believes he is right, despite evidence to support he may be wrong.
Polemarchus ultimately fares poorly under Socrates’ examination because he truly does not know the topic thoroughly. It would seem as though he has only looked at the issue from one side and not considered any of the other definitions of justice. The comparison to a young politician is applicable here because sometimes a young politician who has yet to experience situations that would give him more insight on how to better defend his points. Because of Polemarchus’ lack of experience or research, he is unable to defend his points thoroughly and as a result, he does not do as well as someone like Cephalus would under Socrates’ examination.

Posted by: Revised - Dominique Bauer at January 21, 2016 10:36 PM

Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
25 January 2016

Question 30: Socrates argues that the individual soul must have three parts because the state does. What is his argument and what is wrong with it?

Answer: Socrates argues that since the state is made up of individuals, a state must reflect the qualities of those individuals. He claims that, “in each of us there are the same principles and habits which there are in the State; and that from the individual they pass into the State? --how else can they come there?” (Plato 105, Dover ed.). Therefore, a state must be a reflection of the individual. According to Socrates and company, the state has three characteristics: passion, rationality, and desire. Socrates declares that since the state has these characteristics, so does the individual: “Take the quality of passion or spirit; --it would be ridiculous to imagine that this quality, when found in States, is not derived from the individuals who are supposed to possess it, […]; and the same may be said of the love of knowledge, […], or of the love of money” (Plato 105, Dover ed.). Logically, since the state is a reflection of the individuals that inhabit it, individuals must also possess these three characteristics.

Socrates takes his claims further by saying that there are three parts of the soul because there are three parts of the state. In the state, the guardians possess rationality, the auxiliaries possesses spirit, and the workers possess desire. Because “the same principles which exist in the State exist also in the individual,” there is a rational part of the soul, a spirited part of the soul, and a desirous part of the soul (Plato 105, Dover ed.).

Socrates’s argument has several flaws. Firstly, what constitutes an “ideal” state is subjective. While Socrates and his friends agree that the ideal state has three parts, other individuals might come to a different conclusion. Others might argue that the ideal state has five parts, or seven, or thirty. Secondly, Socrates’s argument that the soul follows the state is problematic. If one cannot agree that what constitutes a state, how can one agree what constitutes a soul? There are many different kinds of states: democracies, monarchies, communist societies. Is it fair to say that there are different kinds of souls? Wouldn’t all humans have similar souls? Does what kind of soul you have depend on what state you’re living in? Thirdly, states and souls are inherently different. My body has a foot. Is it fair to say that my entire body is a collection of feet? Or that my foot is a miniature body? Just because an individual is part of the state doesn’t mean an individual is equal to a state. Therefore, Socrates’s entire argument that souls have three parts because the state has three parts is invalid.

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds at January 24, 2016 05:21 PM

Kaelyn Cardona
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
20 January 2016
Question 15: The Guardians: What are the essential qualities (not purpose) of guardians? Why does Socrates think that they must be philosophical? In what way are guardians like dogs?
Answer: In the discussion of the utopian State, the question as to who is tasked with guarding the republic arises. The qualities sought in the Guardians of the State are carefully considered, for their duty is essential to the expansion and defense of the nation. With the discussion of devotion, the comparison of a dog's guardianship to that of a human, and the clarification of philosophy's importance in a warrior's mind, Socrates paints the foundation of what it means to be a Guardian of the ideal State.
Firstly, the importance of devotion is discussed. “One man cannot practice many arts with success,” according to Socrates; therefore, the Guardian cannot be a jack of all trades (Plato 45). Instead, the Guardian must be entirely involved in the art of war from his earliest years and work to condition their skill, technique, and application over time. The Guardian, in this sense, would have a “natural aptitude” for their craft and bestow regular attention upon perfecting their guardianship, for one cannot become “a good fighter all in a day” (Plato 46).
Following the discussion of devotion, a metaphor is construed, comparing the Guardian to a well-bred dog. The bodily qualities of the animal are ideal for that of a soldier because of the sharpness of their sight, the tenacity behind their strength, and their overall spirit and bravery. “The presence of [the unconquerable spirit] makes the soul of any creature to be fearless and indomitable,” is the justification for the comparison of the dog to the warrior, for a Guardian is to have all those qualities if they are to fight well (Plato 46).
The need for favorable mental qualities is brought up for debate thereafter, and the conflicting qualities of a Guardian being both gentle in nature and spirited poses an impasse between them. The contradiction of the two aforementioned qualities seems to make the ideal Guardian impossible to attain. However, Socrates hearkens back to his example of the dog, leading him to liken the animal’s instincts to a philosopher’s mind. As a result, he comes to the conclusion of a Guardian needing to be like a philosopher. “[The dog] distinguishes the face of a friend and of an enemy only by the criterion of knowing and not knowing,” therefore, he decides that the Guardian must be able to overcome the “test of knowledge and ignorance” (Plato 48). The quality of being a lover of wisdom and knowledge is then dubbed essential. In conclusion, the qualities of a Guardian are as follows: they must possess swiftness and strength in body, a spirited soul, and a philosophical mind (Plato 48).

Posted by: Kaelyn Cardona at January 25, 2016 10:03 AM

Kaelyn Cardona
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
20 January 2016
Question: What’s wrong with the existence of extreme wealth in the Ideal State? With the existence of poverty?
Answer: In Book IV of The Republic, Socrates discusses the consequences of extreme wealth and poverty in the ideal State. “There seem to be two causes of the deterioration of the arts,” according to Socrates, and they are wealth and poverty (Plato 90-91). He claims: “under the influence of poverty or of wealth, workmen and their work are equally liable to degenerate” (Plato 91). Therefore, the presence of wealth and poverty in the State are “new evils” that the guardians are wary of, for the former is the “parent of luxury and indolence” and the latter is “of meanness and viciousness” (Plato 91). Socrates exemplifies the dangers of both wealth and poverty with the potter. A rich potter would no longer desire to endure the pains of labor, becoming careless consequently; in contrast, the impoverished potter is unable to afford the tools for his trade, which results in him being unable to exude his skill and train apprentices (Plato 91).
In addition, the variance of wealth in a State leaves it separated in the perspective of Socrates for he believes it is “divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other the rich” (Plato 92). As a result, the State is at war with itself, and that wrong can only be righted if the State treats its citizens equal regardless of financial status (Plato 92). Each class has its strengths; for the lower class has the fighting will of boxers and the qualities of an athlete, whereas the wealthy are superior in the arts and sciences (Plato 91).

Posted by: Kaelyn Cardona at January 25, 2016 10:13 AM

Jasmine Daniels
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View CA02
20 January 2016

Question 16: Education of the Guardians: How does Plato propose to educate the guardians? Why does Plato ban Homer and Hesiod from the kallipolis?

Answer: Plato proposes to educate the guardians about music and poetry to feed their soul and physical education to nurture their body. To educate the guardians in music and poetry he suggests that they be taught by the use of stories. He also clarified that the stories be specifically chosen and consist of both true and false stories. However, Plato insists that the guardians not be taught any false stories about the gods or heroes. As a result, he bans Homer and Hesiod from the Kallipolis because their works spoke falsehoods about the gods and he did not want those falsehoods to be taught to the young and especially the guardians. Book II states, “Whenever anyone says such things about a god, we’ll be angry with him, refuse him a chorus, and not allow his poetry to be used in the education of the young, so that our guardians will be as god-fearing and godlike as human beings can be.” (Plato 56)

Posted by: Revision Jasmine Daniels at January 25, 2016 11:58 AM

Melissa Bryan
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
25 January 2016

Question 26: Describe the three cardinal virtues other than justice and explain how they are exemplified in the ideal state.

Answer: The three cardinal virtues other than justice are wisdom, courage, and moderation (Plato 94). Socrates says, “Now, this very thing, good judgment, is clearly some kind of knowledge, for it’s through knowledge, not ignorance that people judge well” (Plato 103). Therefore, wisdom is one having a certain amount of knowledge to be able to make sound judgments.

Furthermore, he said, “Courage is a kind of preservation […] that preservation of the belief that has been inculcated by the law through education about what things and sorts of things are to be feared. And by preserving this belief “through everything,” I mean preserving and not abandoning it because of pains, pleasures, desires, or fears” (Plato 104). Hence, courage is the means for one to be willing to carry out one orders and endure anything without the fear of resulting dangers or circumstances.

Then, in regards to moderation, he said, “Moderation is surely a kind of order, the mastery of certain kinds of pleasures and desires” (Plato 106). Therefore, moderation is when a city is in control of itself and of its pleasures and desires (Plato 107).

Thus, one can say that the rulers are the ones in the ideal state with the wisdom as they have the knowledge on how to manage the state effectively. They are the top of the social structure of the ideal state. Secondly, the guardians who are normally the soldiers are the ones with the courage, as they need it the most for them to defend the state. Lastly, moderation for the lower class of the social structures namely the workers. Moderation is granted to all in the ideal state because everyone, in essence, should be able to control oneself and one’s pleasures and desires.

Translation Used

The Republic by Plato, translated by G.M.A Grube and revised by C.D.C Reeve.

Posted by: Melissa Bryan at January 25, 2016 01:43 PM

Andrew Thriffiley
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
25 January 2016

Question 17: What qualities must the rulers have and why? Which quality seems to be the most important?

Answer: The ruler of the state must be the best at what they do. The state can not perform to the fullest potential by anyone less than the best as discussed by Socrates. "And in this case, since we want them to be the best of the guardians, must they not be the best guardians, the most regardful of the state?” (Plato section 412c). The guardian must be the most intelligent of all the people that they rule over. If they are lesser to anyone, then it leads to a chance of being discredited by other members of the state.

The ruler must be an elder in the state because they are the wisest, and the youth needs to be lead by a far more knowledgeable man than themselves. A good leader must think for the state rather than look out for themselves in the long run of things. If the ruler becomes easily persuaded by others on the outside or their wants, this will cause the state to change their rules based no longer on the benefit of the town, but it will be for the sake of whoever has the bigger voice in the matter (Plato sections 413a). Leading without wavering is the most important quality of the ruler. A ruler who can stay true to his state is one that will be most successful.

The ruler must be watched close from when they are young and learning until the day in which they become old enough to step into the role of leader, and this method allows for a complete understanding of who the ruler has been throughout their life.

Posted by: Andrew Thriffiley at January 25, 2016 01:58 PM

Dominique Bauer
Dr. Hobbs
HON – 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
25 January 2016

Question 23: The Ideal State will not have to worry about being conquered. Why?
Answer: In the Republic of Plato, the Ideal State will not have to worry about being conquered because of the way that the State is structured. In the Ideal State, there are three main classes of people: rulers or guardians, auxiliary, and traders. When these three classes “do their own business, that is justice, [. . .] [they] will make the city just” (Plato). What is meant by this is that if the classes stick to their duties, then the State will have justice, and when there is justice, there is not as much evil in the State. If for some reason, the classes do not get along, it will be the “greatest harm to the State” (Plato), so when all the classes are specializing at what they are good at, then justice will prevail, and the state will ultimately be protected against being conquered. In all, the reason the Ideal State cannot be defeated is that all the citizens are working to the best of their abilities in the field they are most qualified to work in. Also, because of this, there is no need for rebellion within the State, which helps provide a sense of unity in the event of the State being attacked.


Posted by: Dominique Bauer - Question 23 at January 25, 2016 02:59 PM

Jasmine Daniels
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View CA02
25 January 2016

Question #24: What is the “one great thing” the guardians must always guard? Why is this so important? Do you agree? Why or why not?

In book 4 of The Republic, Plato explains further about the duties of a guardian and states that the one great thing that the guardians must always guard is the education of the citizens within the city. Plato states, “if our citizens are well educated, and grow into sensible men, they will easily see their way through all these, as well as other matters which I omit; such, for example, as marriage, the possession of women and the procreation of children, which will all follow the general principle that friends have all things in common, as the proverb says.” (Plato 279) I agree with this statement because education is the basis of all knowledge that leads to further learning. In addition, to be a guardian one must first be educated, which increases its importance.

Posted by: Jasmine Daniels at January 25, 2016 03:15 PM

Grace Lederer
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 CA02 The Contemporary World View
25 January 2016
Question #32: What is Socrates’ argument for there being at least two parts of the soul? What are his arguments for there being another part in addition to these two? Do you think that he has successfully shown that there are really “parts” to the soul, and that there are exactly three of them? Explain your answer.
Answer: Socrates identifies three distinct parts of the soul: reason, spirited, and appetitive. His argument for there being at least two parts of the soul centers on the duality of man’s motives. One part of the soul may think that one decision is best, while the other part of the soul thinks just the opposite. This confliction can be representative of the logical vs. the appetitive with the example of the appetitive yearning to drink because it is enjoyable while the logical choosing not to drink because it is unhealthy. Socrates’ describes the third element of the soul—spiritedness—as a kind of emotional part that “take[s] up arms for reason” (Plato 149) in the same way auxiliary men do for rulers. Plato also points out that children are born with spiritedness, even if they never go on to develop much reason.
Through Socrates’ argument, there is certainty that the soul is not a singular entity because a unified entity would not work against itself as the soul does in the human struggle of making decisions based on reason over appetite. However, his argument for spiritedness as a completely separate third entity needs more development because the spiritedness they describe could be interpreted as a manifestation of either reason or unfettered desire. When Socrates says a man thinks he has been wronged and “his indignation boils over and fights obstinately for what he thinks right…[he] won’t give up the struggle till death or victory, or till reason calls it back to heel and calm it,” (Plato 148) this could be viewed as an example of the appetitive taking over.

Posted by: Grace Lederer at January 25, 2016 03:17 PM

Karra Rutherford
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: Contemporary World View CA02
25 January 2016

Question: Summarize the nature of the guardians’ lives. Why can’t the
guardians have private property or touch gold and silver?

Answer: The guardians are to be disciplined from a young age to exhibit only the best qualities, and their lives are to be dedicated to the protection and management of the State. “Guardians, setting aside every other business, are to dedicate themselves wholly to the maintenance of freedom in the State, making this their craft, and engaging in no work which does not bear on this end, they ought not practice or imitate anything else; if they imitate anything at all they should imitate from youth upward only those characteristics which are suitable to their profession – the courageous, temperate, holy, free, and the like.” (Plato 66 – 67)

Much of the chapter is spent describing the training and education of the guardians that will ensure that they are best fit for the position. This includes a heavily censored literary and musical education as to prevent exposure to “ill spoken” verses that invoke the fear of death, encourage lying, or violent emotions. (Plato 56, 59, 60) Socrates first mentions the acceptance of gifts and money when referring to the censorship of the Gods and great Heroes receiving gifts for favor and compensation, “we must not let them be the receivers of gifts, or lovers, or money.” (Plato 61) This must be censored according to Socrates because it attributes impiety to the Gods and Heroes, and this would encourage a laxity of morals in the guardians. (Plato 62 – 63)

Property is then readdressed at the end of the chapter, “In the first place, none of them should have property beyond what is absolutely necessary;” (Plato 88) Depriving them of excess possessions is meant to protect their virtue as well as remove temptation to abuse their power and prey on citizens of the state. In addition they will be told a myth that they are composed of Gold and Silver given to them by God, “the diviner metal within them,” and to handle earthly precious metals which are tainted with unholy deeds would be to “pollute the divine”. (Plato 88)

Posted by: Karra Rutherford at January 25, 2016 03:18 PM

Jamee Townsend
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
25 January 2016

Question #34: What makes an action, as opposed to a soul, unjust or just, according to Socrates? Do you agree with Socrates? Why or why not?
Answer: During Book IV, Plato distinguishes the three separate parts of the soul-rational, spirited, and appetitive. Each has its own function, and instead of allowing the individual parts to rule you or conflict with each other Socrates says a man “sets his own house in good order and rules himself […] and harmonizes the three parts.” (Plato 443) He believes that after the soul is in order, a person can then perform an action that helps to preserve this state of balance, and it will be considered a just action. Some examples he provides include: “concerning the acquisition of money, or the care of the body, or something political, or concerning private contracts,” all of which are supervised by wisdom (Plato 443). On the contrary, Socrates states that an unjust action would somehow disturb the balance between the parts of the soul, and would be supervised by opinion. Although I agree that an action that does not benefit your own soul is unjust, I think it is key to consider that an action you might consider just for your own benefit might disagree with another person’s soul. Socrates also stated that you shouldn’t mind other people’s business, but if I hurt someone’s soul, my own state would be affected.
Translation used:
The Republic of Plato, Translated by Allan Bloom

Posted by: Jamee Townsend at January 25, 2016 03:23 PM

Jamee Townsend
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
19 January 2016

Question: What is Thrasymachus’s attitude towards Socrates’ investigation?
Answer: In Book I, Socrates begins a debate with Cephalus about the definition of justice, and the argument is continued by Polemarchus after his father must leave to look after the sacrifices. While the two men are arguing back and forth, Thrasymachus “had many times started out to take over the argument […] but he had been restrained” (Plato 13). After Socrates poses another question as a means of conveying his points, Thrasymachus- “hunched up like a wild beast”, finally broke his silence and yelled wildly at the two men to show his distaste with their argument (Plato 13). As the disagreements continued, he repeatedly scolded Socrates and demanded that he explain “clearly and precisely” instead of using his “usual trick” of refuting everyone else’s arguments (Plato 14-15). Therefore, Thrasymachus was displaying a very irritated and combative attitude towards Socrates, and also announced to the group his disapproval of Socrates’ methods of argument. But by the end of Book I, Thrasymachus subdued to entertaining Socrates’ endless questions, after he begins to agree with much of what he is arguing.
Translation used:
The Republic of Plato, Translated by Allan Bloom

Posted by: Jamee Townsend-#1 Resubmission at January 25, 2016 03:25 PM

Ashlee English
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
25 January 2016

QUESTION #18: Socrates claims that “one loves something when one believes that what is good for it is good for oneself.” Is this true? What role does it play in Socrates’ discussion?

ANSWER: Most persons would say what is good for ourselves what we love. In addition, if one does what he loves they will never work a day in their lives. Plato illustrates Socrates making a similar claim in The Republic. Socrates claim is true because if someone is suited to a position in society based on his or her natural affinity for that position. However, it restricted the individuality of a people because; “they will have to be watched from at every age… forget or cast off their duty to the State.” (Plato 281) placing them in a cookie cutter role in society. Socrates insight in this discussion is the articulating and idealizing the fictional city of Kallipolis.

Translation Used
The Republic by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett

Posted by: Ashlee English at January 25, 2016 04:57 PM

Ashlee English
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
25 January 2016

QUESTION # 46: The Cave Allegory: Why does Plato compare ordinary sense experience to the experience of prisoners in the cave? How are the objects of sense experience related to reality? What do the different elements of the Cave (images on wall, puppets, firelight, outer world, actual objects, sun) represent? How are those returning to the cave received?

ANSWER: In The Cave Allegory Plato compares ordinary sense to that of prisoners inside of a cave due to the ignorance one has before one is enlightened. Therefore, the prisoners who are present in the cave from birth only know what they see from reflected shadows on the wall. Similarly, a child’s perception of what they initially perceive, “the truth would be nothing but … the images” (Plato 362), until they are told otherwise. Additionally, ‘ordinary sense’ in the real world, is synonymous to cluelessness. In this moment of cluelessness, you rely on our basest of observatory abilities, to draw conclusions and adapt to the situation. Although base observation does not dispel ignorance on the topic, it is enough of an experience to refer to in future encounters with the same subject.
The elements in the cave allegory are symbolic of the enlightenment process. The shadows represent a dark way of thinking due to the lack of knowledge form the stimuli encountered. The firelight represents the truth, which illuminates the dark way of thinking. The actual objects and the sun are symbols of the physical evidence of enlightenment, and the final zenith of reality. Sadly, in the allegory after a few of the prisoners experienced enlightenment they sought to share their knowledge with the others. However, they would not be welcomed with the new knowledge, as they would be contradicting their initial ideas, understanding and perceptions of their world.


Translation Used
The Republic by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett

Posted by: Ashlee English at January 26, 2016 10:09 PM

Melissa Bryan
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
27 January 2016

Question 26: What kinds of virtues should the students possess who study this curriculum and who would become philosopher-kings?

Answer: The kinds of virtues that these students should possess who study this curriculum are reason, moderation, courage, and high-mindedness. The ones who would become philosopher-kings are the ones who have gone through the several stages education and practical political training. The first stage is that the philosopher-kings should attain their initial education in music, poetry, physical training, and elementary mathematics (Plato 194). Then, the second stage involves them two or three years of compulsory physical training, which is like a military service that, most countries have (Plato 209). Thirdly, those who are most successful in these studies next receive ten years of education in mathematical science. Fourthly, those who are again most successful receive five years of training in dialectic (Plato 211). Then, those who are still most successful receive fifteen years of practical political training (Plato 211). Lastly, those who are also successful in practical politics are “compelled to lift up the radiant light of their souls” to the good itself and are equipped to be philosopher-kings (Plato 211).

Translation Used

The Republic by Plato translated by G.M.A Grube and revised by C.D.C Reeve.

Posted by: Melissa Bryan at January 27, 2016 01:49 AM

Melissa Bryan
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
27 January 2016

Question 50: What kinds of virtues should the students possess who study this curriculum and who would become philosopher-kings?

Answer: The kinds of virtues that these students should possess who study this curriculum are reason, moderation, courage, and high-mindedness. The ones who would become philosopher-kings are the ones who have gone through the several stages education and practical political training. The first stage is that the philosopher-kings should attain their initial education in music, poetry, physical training, and elementary mathematics (Plato 194). Then, the second stage involves them two or three years of compulsory physical training, which is like a military service that, most countries have (Plato 209). Thirdly, those who are most successful in these studies next receive ten years of education in mathematical science. Fourthly, those who are again most successful receive five years of training in dialectic (Plato 211). Then, those who are still most successful receive fifteen years of practical political training (Plato 211). Lastly, those who are also successful in practical politics are “compelled to lift up the radiant light of their souls” to the good itself and are equipped to be philosopher-kings (Plato 211).

Translation Used

The Republic by Plato translated by G.M.A Grube and revised by C.D.C Reeve.

Posted by: Melissa Bryan at January 27, 2016 01:50 AM

Karra Rutherford
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: Contemporary World View CA02
27 January 2016

Question: Is Beauty, per se, visible or otherwise open to sensation? What do beautiful things have in common, that make them beautiful? Why does Plato think that the Forms are the proper objects of knowledge?
Answer: According to Plato, beauty is an idea, which itself is not visible. Perceivable objects or subjects that we consider beautiful are impressions of the nature of beauty but are separate from the absolute idea. “But take the case of the other, who recognizes the existence of absolute beauty and is able to distinguish the idea from the objects which take part in that idea, neither putting objects in the place of the idea nor the idea in the place of objects.” (Plato 144) Sensations are subject to opinion, which Plato defines as the intermediate between what is and what is not. In short, what is perceived as beautiful by one person can also be perceived as ugly by another. (Plato 145, 147) Knowledge consists purely of what must be and is infallible, in contrast to opinions, which may not be and may be wrong. Following these definitions, the subject of opinion cannot be a subject of knowledge and vice-versa. (Plato 145 – 147) The forms, which are understood to be absolute, unchanging truths, are then the appropriate subjects of knowledge. Those who understand these forms are then said to know beauty, Socrates poses the following question, “ But those who see the absolute and eternal and immutable may be said to know, and not to have opinion only?” which is then confirmed to be understood as true. (Plato 148)

Posted by: Karra Rutherford at January 27, 2016 11:02 AM

Kaelyn Cardona
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
27 January 2016

Question: In what way is the Good like the Sun? What is the relationship between the Good and truth, on Plato’s account? How is Good related to being?
Answer: For one to understand what it means to be good, sight is essential. Socrates explains “that sight is by far the most costly and complex piece” in comparison to the other senses, for absolute comprehension relies on it (Plato 172). Consequently, for humans to see and comprehend colors, there must be light, supplied abundantly by the Sun, so Socrates makes the connection that the eyes are most like the Sun (Plato 172). Deriving from sunlight is the power to perceive good from bad with clarity (Plato 173). Socrates believes the Sun can radiate truth that is seen by the eyes and understood by the soul, for truth is light, hence the term enlightenment; when one is in the dark, however, they can only surmise opinions and walk through life blindly (Plato 173). Additionally, the truth is derived from the light, or good, for one attains the power of knowledge through observation and because of the beauty of truth, Socrates believes it is synonymous with good (Plato 173).

Posted by: Kaelyn Cardona at January 27, 2016 11:17 AM

Jasmine Daniels
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View CA02
25 January 2016

Question #53- Book VII: When are these students finally ready to rule? At what age? Does this apply only to men, or to women as well?

According to Plato the students are only able to rule when they reach the age of fifty. The students who are to rule must include, “those who've survived the tests and been successful both in practical matters and in the sciences must be led to the goal and compelled to lift up the radiant light of their souls to what itself provides light for everything.” (Plato 211) In addition, Plato goes on to state that women are also included because they are to go through the same tests as mean and should be treated equally. In Book VII Plato writes, “And ruling women, too, Glaucon, for you mustn't think that what I've said applies any more to men than it does to women who are born with the appropriate natures. That's right, if indeed they are to share everything equally with the men, as we said they should.” (Plato 212)

Posted by: Jasmine Daniels at January 27, 2016 02:05 PM

Andrew Thriffiley
Dr. Hobbs
HON351 The Contemporary World View CA02
27 January 2016

Question: When should this education begin and what should be
acquired at specific ages? What other interesting education
principles are found in this section?

Answer: The education should begin when the child is very young, so they can learn the knowledge and virtues necessary to be the best possible philosopher-king. The study of geometry and other preliminary studies need to be instructed out of their want because no form of learning should ever come forced ( Plato section 536d-536e). The studies also include gymnastics once the geometry is learned, so they me prepared to fight in battle with the opposition. It is discussed more in depth about sending children to war, “that we also declared that we must conduct the children to war on horseback to be spectators, and wherever it may be safe, bring them to the front and give them a taste of blood as we do with whelps?”, And this shows that any clear attempt to get the kids involved in war would have rounded them into the perfect philosopher-king (Plato section 537a). This training will go on until around the age of twenty when the students are ready to continue learning.

The real test of a great student is to show their proficiency with the dialectic nature which is allowing them to challenge the truths of opinions mentioned to the student. The ability to question higher thinking displays the mark of a good philosopher-king because it fulfills the best characteristics of a great philosopher. At the age of thirty, the list is shortened to test on the best pupils to see if they are ready for the position they may receive.

Posted by: Andrew Thriffiley at January 27, 2016 02:08 PM

Dominique Bauer
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
26 January 2016
Question 42: What is the ultimate object of knowledge, according to Plato? Why is knowledge of the Good essential for proper rule?
Answer: According to Plato, the ultimate object of knowledge is truth. When reading Book VI, it beings with a discussion of knowledge, and the reader begins to see how the discussion of what the ultimate object of knowledge unfolds. Through the discussions that take place, it is understood that knowledge is “a sort which shows them the eternal nature not varying from generation and corruption” (Plato). By this, it can be inferred that when the truth of something is seen, then the person in knowledgeable, whereas if the person allows corruption from outside temptations to interfere, then the truth is not found. . Also, it is mentioned that a Philosopher is someone who is knowledgeable, and part of this is because he or she is “absorbed in the pleasures of the soul, and will hardly feel bodily pleasure” (Plato). In other words, a philosopher is a person who is knowledgeable because any outside temptations do not influence him or her; he or she only strives for the truth. Having knowledge of the Good is essential for the proper rule because having an understanding of the Good means that a person only seeks the truth, and this is why philosophers make the best rules.

Posted by: Question 42 Dominique Bauer at January 27, 2016 02:37 PM

Grace Lederer
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 CA02 The Contemporary World View
27 January 2016

Question: Life in the kallipolis: What is Plato’s attitude towards women? What work will women do in the kallipolis? What treatment does Plato propose for “defective” children?
Answer: In Book VI, Plato declares that family and private property in the Guardian and Auxiliary class is to be abolished. To end the family, Plato proposes mating festivals where men and women essentially breed and then give the children up to be raised communally. Such a system rids the state of distracting loyalties that come with family life. In regards to women, Plato does thinks that they are also born logical, spirited, or appetitive and should be classified in society as such. However, Plato still does not see women as equal as he asserts, “It is natural for women to take part in all occupations as well as men, though in all women will be the weaker partners” (Plato 165).
In regards to “defective” children, Plato believes that they should be killed. Though it may seem strange for Plato to make such a claim, infanticide was already practiced widely in Sparta, and sometimes in Athens. Plato defines children as defective as those who were conceived by parents who were past the age of sexual peak, those who were conceived outside of the sanctioned mating festival, and those who had the possibility of being born out of incest due to mating between forbidden groups. Plato’s argument for the disposal of such infants is not only based on genetic defects, but the possibility of the child having character flaws passed on from their parents who conceived outside of the state’s prescribed manner.

Posted by: Grace Lederer at January 27, 2016 03:01 PM

Jamee Townsend
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
27 January 2016

Question #41: Philosopher-Kings: Why does Plato think that only philosophers are equipped to rule? Why does he think that a proper philosopher will be virtuous? Why are philosophers generally not well esteemed? Under what conditions can a philosopher properly flourish?
Answer: Plato thinks that one Philosopher-King whom has the right nature, education, and grasp certain elements of life is fit to lead. Socrates supports this by saying, “philosophers are those who are able to grasp what is always the same in all respects.” (Plato 163) He also uses the analogy of a blind guardian to make his point that an unknowledgeable leader would be just as dangerous to the city as a blind guardian. A proper philosopher will be virtuous because their entire soul seeks the truth, so there is nobody more virtuous than those whose love and live by the truth. According to Socrates, most philosophers are generally not well esteemed because they are either vicious because they have been corrupted by family and friends to use their knowledge of politics or other fame and money collecting ventures; or “the most decent of those in philosophy are useless to the many.” (Plato 169) He also says that a philosopher will properly flourish with the qualities “courage, magnificence, facility at learning, and memory.” (Plato 170)
Translation used:
The Republic of Plato, Translated by Allan Bloom

Posted by: Jamee Townsend at January 27, 2016 03:39 PM

Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
27 January 2016

Question 38: What one change to political organization would most help our approaching the kallipolis? Why does Plato think that only philosophers are entitled to rule? What theory of knowledge and reality supports Plato’s contention?

Answer: Socrates proposes that the kallipolis is almost perfect, but could be improved with one “reform of the State,” the addition of philosopher-kings. Socrates argues that the kallipolis needs a wise and just ruler in order to meet its maximum potential: “Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, […] then only will this our State have a possibility of life and behold the light of day” (Plato Book V, Jowett translation). Socrates claims that the philosopher-king is mandatory for making the kallipolis a reality because they give the society “political greatness” and “wisdom” through philosophy.

According to Socrates, only philosophers are entitled to rule because they are occupied with truth, not appearance. Socrates defines the true philosopher as those “who are lovers of the vision of truth” (Plato Book V, Jowett translation). Since knowledge and truth is equal to virtue and goodness, philosophers are the most virtuous of all citizens. Until philosophers are kings, “cities will never have rest from their evils,--nor the human race, as I believe” (Plato Book V, Jowett translation). Since philosophers are ruled by reason and love of knowledge, they are more just than other members of society. Therefore, it is their duty and privilege to rule over the other classes and prevent “evil” from ruling over society.

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds at January 27, 2016 04:22 PM

Kaelyn Cardona
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
1 February 2016
Question: “When wealth and the wealthy are honored in a city, virtue and the virtuous are prized less.” What arguments might support this claim?
Answer: If one were to place virtue and wealth on a scale, one would rise, and the other would fall, for there is no balance between them (Plato 210). In Book VIII of The Republic, Socrates specifies the honor associated with riches in the government and the resulting dismissal of virtue: “what is honored is cultivated, and that which has no honor is neglected” (Plato 210). The low-income citizens respect the wealthy class, for they are the lawmakers of the government and can afford citizenship because they own property, which places value on trade and making money. Consequently, the citizens of the State would not be concerned with virtue; instead, they become obsessed with obtaining wealth and power. The mindset of the oligarchic State, according to Socrates, “will not allow the [people] to worship and admire anything but the riches and the rich man, or to be ambitious of anything so much as the acquisition of wealth and the means of attaining it” (Plato 213). As a result, “a man of cultivation” is not valued by society, and he subdues his artful, noble desires because they yield no profit, which creates a state of avariciousness (Plato 213).

Posted by: Kaelyn Cardona at February 1, 2016 10:25 AM

Ashlee English
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
31 January 2016

QUESTION # 62: What are lawless desires? Explain Socrates’s conception of the “tyrannical” personality.

ANSWER: According to Socrates, lawless desires are “the unnecessary pleasure and appetites … conceive to be unlawful” (Plato 408), which some individuals control better than others do. Consequently, these lawless desires are indicative of the personality of the tyrannical man. Also, the tyrannical personality is suppressed until he is “under the influence of nature, or habit, or both, he becomes drunken… passionate” (Plato 409) revealing his true nature. Based on this individual’s personality, Socrates indicates it would create a destructive path. Because, of this individual’s inability to control their baser desires, a life of bankruptcy and crime would ensue to fund their escapades. However, this individual if rich (i.e. son of a Democrat) would become a tyrant oppressing his subjects.


Translation Used
The Republic by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett

Posted by: Ashlee English at February 1, 2016 11:46 AM

Michael Barbee
Hon 351 - Contemporary World View CA02
Dr. Hobbs
31 January 2016


Question: Discuss the image now described. What part of a person does the human being represent? The lion? The many-headed beast? Why is the beast many-headed?

Answer:

The image now being described is that of the “ideal soul” and how it should appear as they continue to discuss justice and injustice. They discuss the perfect image of the soul to be as something that grows into a single being, to quote the text it is said “An ideal image of the soul, like the composite creations of ancient mythology, such as the Chimera or Scylla or Cerberus, and there are many others in which two or more different natures are said to grow into one.”(Plato 853). The human being is to be the outer hull of the being and unable to look after himself (Plato 858) with qualities of the lion. The man is then said to be the caretaker of the many-headed beast and foster the gentle qualities while maintaining the wild ones not allowing the monster to grow out of control. By doing so this is intended to serve as a means to make the lion-heart his ally rather than have it continue to tear at him and starve him from the inside. The description goes on to show that injustice is fostered by an uncontrolled growth in parts of the lion and parts of the many-headed monster, more specifically the serpent “And men are blamed for pride and bad temper when the lion and serpent element in them disproportionately grows and gains strength?”(Plato 921). The image seems to portray an internal struggle of satiating the lion’s hunger and desires while nurturing the many-headed beast, both of which are inherently wild and unstable. As one side of the battle seems to soothe the other would grow out of control creating a very tricky balance in the two.

Posted by: Michael Barbee at February 1, 2016 01:48 PM

Andrew Thriffiley
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
1 February 2016

Question: Why will even the ideal state deteriorate?

Answer: The first reason that the ideal state will deteriorate over time is because of the questionable decisions that rulers will eventually make. If the rulers have to keep picking men that they believe will be perfect for the state at some point, the philosophers will make a mistake, and the wrong person gains power. The power will indeed go to their head, and the philosopher-king will start only to look out for the people closest to him as shown but Socrates' worries. "Enslaving and subjecting as perioeci and serfs their former friends and supporters, of whose freedom they had been the guardians, and occupying themselves with war and keeping watch over these subjects.” (Plato section 547c). The quote expresses that the thoughts will no longer be about the city as a whole, but it rather becomes about what is best for the individuals.

Socrates becomes anxious about the rulers seeing the advantages of war being too high, and the idea of peace not outweighing the gains won from war. At war, the city can acquire land, and it can also generate money from the crisis, which in the end will lead to the downfall. The biggest concern is about the government itself and how it will run. It will start to deteriorate so that it will only be beneficial for certain members of the state, and this can be deadly. If this occurs, the state will start treating people unfairly, and this leads to a division of the state. One final worry is that the classes will begin to end as well, so this would, in turn, mean the people without a class become criminals and become a burden on the society as a whole.

Posted by: Andrew Thriffiley at February 1, 2016 01:56 PM

Dominique Bauer
Dr. Hobbs
HON – 351 The Contemporary World View
1 February 2016

Question 66: Why is pure pleasure not merely the absence of pain, and pure pain not merely the absence of pleasure?
Answer: In book IX of The Republic of Plato, the discussion of what defines pleasure and what defines pain ensues. At first, it is thought that pleasure is as simple as the feeling felt after a person undergoes pain. However, as the discussion continues, it is concluded that it is not that simple. One point to consider is there is “a neutral state which is neither pleasure nor pain” (Plato). What this means is that there is a point that a person experiences in which he or she does not truly feel pleasure, but also is not experiencing any pain. One way to look at this is that the person is merely indifferent to either feeling.
Furthermore, the conversation had in the text leads to the discussion of three different types of persons, and each has a different idea of what pleasure is. The three discussed were “lovers of wisdom, lovers of honour, and lovers of gain” (Plato). Because there are these three different types of pleasure, then simply having the absence of pain be the definition of pleasure, would not be sufficient. Each person will feel pleasure differently, and it will not necessarily come from a lack of pain. Although this is the case, it is discussed that not all three experience the greatest pleasure, the only one who really does is the lover of wisdom, and he actually possesses the ability for feel pleasure from all three categories (Plato).
One last reason pure pleasure is not merely the absence of pain, and pure pain not merely the absence of pleasure is because there are instances where one can experience pure pleasure, and not have felt any pain at all to know that it is a pleasure. The example given in the text is the sense of smell. The conversation goes on to say that smells “are very great and have no antecedent pains; they come in a moment, and when they depart leave no pain behind them” (Plato). What can be inferred from this is that one can experience pure pleasure, and not have had to suffer some sort of pain to know the meaning of the moment.

Posted by: Question 66 - Dominique Bauer at February 1, 2016 02:19 PM

Grace Lederer
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 CA02 The Contemporary World View
27 January 2016

Question 61: Why is a “democratic” state of the soul objectionable? If you agree with Socrates’s criticisms of the democratic soul, he would insist that you must also agree with his criticisms of the democratic state. Explain why. Do you think that you must? Why or why not?
Answer: I disagree with Socrates’ reasoning against a “democratic” state of soul. Socrates describes the formation of a democratic soul as one with an oligarchic core that has been raised in a narrow economical state. When this soul finally “gets a taste of honey, and can be provided with every variety of refinement of pleasure, his internal oligarchy starts to turn into a democracy” (Plato 296). Plato then goes onto say that outside forces will provide support for the different sides of this one man’s soul, causing him to have an internal battle.
Such an argument could seem sensible at first, but when one thinks further, all souls have outside forces trying to influence their decisions, and I believe that such an internal conflict could happen equally with an oligarchic or tyrannical soul. Yes, the conflict may be more pronounced in a democratic soul because the basis of democracy lies in making decisions based on the most supported idea, however, this problem still exists in the other archetypes of the soul.

Posted by: Grace Lederer at February 1, 2016 02:26 PM

Jasmine Daniels
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View CA02
1 February 2016

Question #71- Book IX: When, according to Plato, might slavery be the best thing for a particular kind of person? (What does this passage tell us about the attitude of Plato and his friends toward manual laborers?)

According to Plato, slavery is the best thing for those who are tyrants. This is because tyrants give in too easily to their inner desires, which should otherwise be controlled. As a result, Plato means for these individuals to do is to enslave their inner ‘beast’ that craves those desires. As stated in The Republic, “He who is the real tyrant, whatever men may think, is the real slave, and is obliged to practice the greatest adulation and servility, and to be the flatterer of the vilest of mankind. He has desires which he is utterly unable to satisfy, and has more wants than any one, and is truly poor, if you know how to inspect the whole soul of him: all his life long he is beset with fear and is full of convulsions, ad distractions. . . ” (Plato 440)

Posted by: Jasmine Daniels at February 1, 2016 02:34 PM

Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
1 February 2016

Question 72: What complexity of feeling does Socrates admit to even as he insists that we must banish all “representational poetry” from the ideal Republic? And how, more generally, can the author Plato make his character Socrates banish poetry when he himself (Plato) is a maker of fine dialogues—texts surely not devoid of artistic ability and form?

Answer: Even though Socrates insists that poetry must be banished from the kallipolis, he mourns the loss of great poets such as Homer. Socrates laments, “I have always from my earliest youth had an awe and love of Homer, which even now makes the words falter on my lips, for he is the great captain and teacher of the whole of that charming tragic company; but a man is not to be reverenced more than the truth, and therefore I will speak out” (Plato 252, Dover ed.). Socrates has admired Homer since he was a child and cherishes his poetry. However, epic poetry fails to accurately represent the truth and therefore it must be banished from the kallipolis. This is not a concession Socrates makes easily. He eventually says, “So too must we after the manner of lovers give her up, though not without a struggle” (Plato 265, Dover ed.). He acknowledges that banishing poetry is a great loss to society, but is absolutely necessary for the good of the kallipolis.

The key difference between Plato and Homer is that Plato represents the truth while Homer represents falsehoods. Even though Plato hides his true beliefs by using Socrates as a character, it’s fair to say that he agrees with much of what Socrates says in The Republic. Plato and Homer are both writers and thus have a similar skill set, but Plato leads his reader towards the truth while Homer leads his reader further from it. Socrates cautions that some members of the kallipolis might confuse poetry with real life and thus be led away from the truth. Therefore, banishing it is for the good of the kallipolis as a whole: “poetry being such as we have described is not to be regarded seriously as attaining to the truth; and he who listens to her, fearing for the safety of the city which is within him, should be on his guard against her seductions and make our words his law” (Plato 265, Dover ed.). As a master of rhetoric, Plato respects Homer’s skill, but in the end decides truth is more important than the enjoyment one receives from poetry.

Posted by: Ashley Reynolds at February 1, 2016 03:12 PM

Jamee Townsend
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
1 February 2016

Question #63: How is it that a tyrannical personality who becomes a real tyrant is really “in greatest need, and is truly poor” True?

Answer: In book IX, Socrates provides his conception of the “tyrannical” personality but then adds that a person with this personality who becomes an actual political tyrant “is in greatest need, and is truly poor.” Although this seems contradictory because a tyrant is also a man of much power and control over the people, often having many saving and lots of money; Socrates explain himself efficiently with a hypothetical scenario. He describes a tyrannical man with many slaves that suddenly get lifted with his family, “property and domestics in a desert place where none of the free men is going to be able to help him.” This man used to be safe because the “city as a whole defends the individual private man,” but in an isolated environment, he is outnumbered by his slaves and will live in fear of them. Socrates concludes, “Therefore, the real tyrant is […] a real slave to the greatest fawning and slavery, and a flatterer of the most worthless men.” As a tyrant he would also have more money and resources to fulfill many of his lawless desires, making him the most unjust man, and as a result, the most unhappy according to Socrates. (Plato 259-260)

Translation used:
The Republic of Plato, Translated by Allan Bloom

Posted by: Jamee Townsend at February 1, 2016 03:13 PM

Karra Rutherford
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: Contemporary World View CA02
1 February 2016


Question: ”When wealth and the wealthy are honored in a city, virtue and the virtuous are prized less.” What arguments might support this claim?

Answer: The first argument that supports this is the appointment of rulers in the oligarchical state; those with property are the ones that are appointed leadership roles and positions in the government while those who lack property are excluded from the run of the state. The individuals’ ability or qualifications to rule is not taken into account, Plato likens this to “if pilots were chosen according to their property, and a poor man refused permission to steer, even though he were a better pilot.” (Plato 211) Citizens mirror these values by utilizing their spirit and reason only in the pursuit on compiling more money and admiring only riches and rich men. (Plato 213)

The rulers are aware of their power because of their wealth they continue to benefit from society at the cost of allowing it to plunge into despair. Plato states “[The rulers] refuse to curtail by law the extravagance of the spendthrift youth because they gain from their ruin; they take interest from them and buy up their estates and thus increase their own wealth and importance.” (Plato 215) As a result, those that were once from good families are reduced to begging and crime, they grow to hate and conspire against the rich minority. (Plato 215) This eventually leads to the development of the Democracy. The democratic man is a slave to his desires, “he lives from day to day indulging the appetite of the hour.” The freedom that he values is nothing but disorder and imbalance, and it strays far from the values of moderation, modesty, and temperance. (Plato 220 – 221)

Posted by: Karra Rutherford at February 1, 2016 03:23 PM

Melissa Bryan
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 Contemporary World View CA02
1 February 2016

Question 56: Explain what the four kinds of corrupt governments and characters are. Why does each kind of government collapse and lead to the next kind?

Answer: The first of the four kinds of corrupt government is a timocracy or timarchy. Timocracy arises from the aristocracy, so it is the second-best city next to Kallipolis (Plato 213). It involves the Cretan or Laconian regime (Plato 214). The rulers of timocracy desire for honor, victories, and good reputation. Also, the character of the timocracy government is someone who is “more obstinate and less well-trained in music and poetry, though he’s a lover of it, and he’s love to listen to speeches and arguments though he’s by no means a rhetorician. He would be harsh to his slaves rather than looking down on them as an educated person does. He’d be gentle to free people and very obedient to rulers, being himself a lover of ruling and a lover of honor[…] He’d be a lover of physical training and hunting, on his abilities and exploits in warfare and military activities” (Plato 219). Therefore, such a ruler would focus more on war than that of wisdom.

Then, the second kind of corrupt government is an oligarchy. This occurs when the rulers no longer desire for honor but the desire for wealth. According to Plato, “A government resting on a valuation of property, in which the rich have power and the poor man is deprived of it” (220). The rich thus rule and the poor man has no share in ruling. Hence, the rulers involve in the oligarchic government use their souls to rule their necessary appetite. Their necessary appetite is their greed for wealth and acquiring more lands. An oligarchic character comes about when the son of a timocratic father sees his father lose everything and because of not wanting the same to happen to him. The son becomes greedy, forgets about honor, and tries to acquire as much land as possible to attain wealth (Plato 223).

Another kind of government is democracy whereby unnecessary appetites rule the souls of the rulers. According to Plato, “Democracy comes about when the poor are victorious, killing some of their opponents and expelling others, and giving the rest an equal share in ruling under the Constitution, and, for the most part, assigning people to positions of rule by lot” (227). This government has the most diverse population like a coat embroidered with every type of ornament (Plato 227). In this government, there are no requirements to rule, so it lacks rulers but not variety and it distributes equality to both equals and unequal people alike (Plato 228). Thus, the character of this government is the life of a man who believes in legal equality and freedom (Plato 232).

Lastly, tyranny is another form of government whereby lawless and unnecessary appetites rules the soul of the ruler (Plato 213). According to Plato, “A tyrant is anyone who tastes the one piece of human innards that’s chopped up with those of other sacrificial victims must inevitably become a wolf” (Plato 236). Hence, a tyrant comes about when a city starts to praise a man, nurturing him, and making him feel great (Plato 236). A tyrant takes advantage of his people and gets rid of (kill) anyone that poses a threat towards his reign. Thus, the people could have continued to enjoy the freedom given to them by the democratic government, but now they are slaves to slavery because of tyranny (Plato 240).

Translation Used
The Republic by Plato translated by G.M.A Grube and revised by C.D.C Reeve.

Posted by: Melissa Bryan at February 1, 2016 10:15 PM

Ashlee English and Jamee Townsend
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
2 February 2016

QUESTION # 84: According to Plato, in book ten, Socrates clearly dislikes poets strongly. What are the poets’ function society? How are they viewed? Explain.

ANSWER: The poets’ function in society is to ‘elude the hearers’ of their poetry according to Socrates. Moreover, this is so as they are not true philosophers in the sense of the word. Poets only learn enough, as they must “all the arts and all things human things virtue and vice… unless he knows his subject” (Plato 429) their poems will not be believable. Additionally, poets are considered pseudo-philosophers, “if [poets] had been able to educate and improve… not been a mere imitator” (Plato 430) they would be a valuable asset to society. Consequently, poets have no place in Kallipolis.


Translation Used
The Republic by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett

Posted by: Ashlee English and Jamee Townsand at February 2, 2016 09:48 PM

Andrew Thriffiley, Kaelyn Cardona Group 5
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
2 February 2016

Question #78: According to Plato, in book ten, is it a person’s own fault if they lead an unjust life? Explain.

Answer: According to Plato, in book ten, it isn't a person's fault if they fall into an unjust life. He attributes a big part of the unjust life as being a vice of the soul. It is something that comes from inside of us, which brings people down the wrong path. Plato compares the unjust life to eating bad food. "Even the badness of food, whether staleness, decomposition, or any other bad quality, when confined to the actual food, is not supposed to destroy the body; although, if the badness of food communicates corruption to the body, then we should say that the body has been destroyed by a corruption of itself." (Plato 267). The statement is showing that the badness presented to a person in life doesn't cause the person to become unjust; however, it is the badness triggering the evil thoughts, thus leading to a criminal life.

Plato makes a big point to state that the body can not be born corrupted. Natural infection can not occur, so this means outside sources are influencing the unjust life that is lead by a person. The soul can not be destroyed entirely by an inherent evil, but an external evil, especially higher power, can corrupt the soul. An unjust life is also compared to a disease because the injustice creeps into the person's life, so it slowly kills the good in their heart leading to the vice of the soul coming out, which is an unjust life. Plato gives a solution saying, "the soul must always be the same, for if none be destroyed, they will not diminish in number." (Plato 268). The idea is that if a soul is never allowed to experience an unjust life, then the vice of the soul will never come out.

Posted by: Andrew Thriffiley and Kaelyn Cardona at February 3, 2016 09:32 AM

Michael Barbee, Grace Lederer
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View CA02
1 February 2016

Question: For what reason/s did Plato decide to end The Republic by invoking the myth of Er? Some speculation may be necessary, here.

Answer: The myth of Er at the end of Plato’s Republic is a story about a man who had died and was resurrected on his funeral pyre to tell about his experiences in the afterlife. Er tells the people about the immortal soul and choosing the host for the next life, and speaks of the judgement of God. The story of Er is told as a means to further expand upon the justice versus injustice discussion carried throughout the book. At one point Socrates describes “the most unjust person” who may appear to be just to all but act unjustly. A man seemingly fitting this description is alluded to in the myth as it says;
“Of piety and impiety to gods and parents, and of murderers, there were retributions other and greater far which he described. He mentioned that he was present when one of the spirits asked another, 'Where is Ardiaeus the Great?'

Ardiaeus had lived a thousand years before the time of Er, a tyrant of the city of Pamphylia. He had murdered his aged father and his elder brother, and was said to have committed many other abominable crimes. When asked of Ardiaeus, the spirit replies, “He comes not hither and will never come” (Plato).

With this reference to Ardiaeus it seemingly discredits the statement that there could be an unjust man who is so convincing that he could fool the gods. The myth also describes a cycle of reward and punishment that comes with the virtues of the soul during life and makes a statement on what is seemingly free will. Virtue is also seen as a living entity as in the line “Virtue is free, and as a man honours or dishonours her he will have more or less of her; the responsibility is with the chooser --God is justified.”(Plato) showing that as a person lives they create their afterlife based upon their actions, and showing God--a single God at that--to be the ultimate authority on justice.

Posted by: Michael Barbee at February 3, 2016 12:35 PM

Dominique Bauer and Melissa Bryan
Dr. Hobbs
HON – 351 The Contemporary World View CA02
2 February 2016
Question 75: How much hope does Plato offer us that poetry may be saved from complete banishment? What kinds of poetry might Socrates permit in his Republic? What would have to be demonstrated before he would permit poetry “designed merely to give pleasure” in his state?
Answer: In book X of The Republic of Plato, a discussion ensues about poetry in the Ideal State. As has been discussed previously, Socrates was not a huge supporter of poetry because it does not help people reach the truth. However, Plato does shows a little hope that poetry is savable from complete banishment when he allows for the possibility that someone might be able to construct a defense of poetry that would change his mind (Plato 264). As the conversation continues, it is revealed that if Socrates were to allow poetry in his state, it would have to be “hymns to the gods and praises of famous men are the only poetry which ought to be admitted into [the] State” (Plato278). In other words, the only type of poetry that is deemed acceptable is that which is in worship to the gods. In addition, in order for this poetry to be deemed acceptable, it must “bring forward that proves it ought to have a place in a well-governed city, we at least would be glad to admit it, for we are well aware of the charm it exercises” (Plato 278). This is what have to be demonstrated before Socrates would permit poetry “designed merely to give pleasure” in his state. In addition to Lovers of poetry who can show that, poetry not only gives pleasure but also is beneficial both to constitutions and to human life.

Posted by: Question 75: Melissa and Dominique at February 3, 2016 01:03 PM

Jasmine Daniels, Ashley Reynolds
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 351 Contemporary World View CA02
1 February 2016

Question #74 Book X: How does Socrates criticize Homer and other poets? For example, how is the imitative poet’s product like “illusory painting” and “sorcery”? To what part of human nature do poetry and such practices appeal? Summarize Socrates’ criticisms of poetic imitation.

Socrates criticizes Homer and the poets by stating that they have no real knowledge of what they write about because they are imitating others. “And so, when we hear persons saying that the tragedians, and Homer, who is at their head, know all the arts and all things human, virtue as well as vice, and divine things too, for that the good poet cannot compose well unless he knows his subject, and that he who has not this knowledge can never be a poet, we ought to consider whether here also there may not be a similar illusion” (Plato 461, Gruber ed.). In addition, this lack of knowledge for what they write about can only be fixed by gaining proper knowledge about the subjects. Plato states, “Speaking in confidence, for I should not like to have my words repeated to the tragedians and the rest of the imitative tribe–but I do not mind saying to you, that all poetical imitations are ruinous to the understanding of the hearers, and that the knowledge of their true nature is the only antidote to them” (Plato 457, Gruber ed.). Lastly, Plato describes that, “the imitator, I said, is a long way off the truth, and can do all things because he lightly touches on a small part of them, and that part an image. For example: A painter will paint a cobbler, carpenter, or any other artist, though he knows nothing of their arts; and, if he is a good artist, he may deceive children or simple persons, when he shows them his picture of a carpenter from a distance, and they will fancy that they are looking at a real carpenter” (Plato 461, Gruber ed.).

Posted by: Jasmine Daniels & Ashley Reynolds at February 3, 2016 02:57 PM

Karra Rutherford
Dr. Hobbs
HON 351: Contemporary World View CA02
8 February 2016

Question: According to Plato, in book ten, are people less willing to do "the right thing" when nobody is watching? How much do people respect justice, virtue, and courage? Explain.
Answer: During his discussion of the Poet’s imitation of Man, Socrates mentions the inconsistencies within Man’s soul and the tendency to hold opposing opinions. He applies this to a hypothetical situation in which a man has lost his son, and poses the question, “Tell me: will he be more likely to struggle and hold out against his sorrow when he is seen by equals or when he is alone?” To which they agree that being seen makes a significant difference in behavior. Socrates then follows his question with another, “When he is by himself will he not mind saying or doing many things which he would be ashamed of any one hearing or seeing him do?” There is a principle or law which influences Man to act in a way that is proper or good when in public but he is also ruled by his basic emotions and desires which influence him to do the opposite. (Plato 261) Following this argument, if acting rationally is what is right to do, men are more likely to do the right thing when in the public eye. This principle can be applied to “all the other affections of desire, pleasure, and pain.” However, these affections must be controlled if happiness and virtue are desired. (Plato 264) Virtue, justice, and courage are the true nature of the human soul; the soul is immortal and cannot be destroyed by internal or external evils. The just nature of the soul is in constant opposition to the unjust nature of the mortal body. (Plato 266 – 268) The virtues of the soul are beautiful and revered. Socrates then goes to describe how justice and virtue will be rewarded in both life and afterlife. (Plato 268 – 269)

Posted by: Karra Rutherford at February 11, 2016 01:46 PM

Google
My Blog

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some rights reserved. 2006.