Utopia

  • Borne from ideas of Sparta
  • The law of nature is the law of the stronger. but for convenience we have made institutions to restrain the strong (republic)
  • Kids taken away from their parents at birth. Call everyone of respective age brother/sister father/mother.
  • Three seperate classes of gold, silver iron; guardians, soldiers, peasants
  • Massively influenced everything authoritarian
  • Geared around having enough food and its idea of justice is ‘everyone doing their part without interrupting each other’
  • Child-bearing engineered by guardians
  • Philosopher kings
  • People can be upgraded and downgraded through the classes but it’s mainly hereditary
  • One of the major dichotomies is that Plato believes he can ‘prove’ his society is a Utopia, while Thrasymachus believes that there is no question of proving or disproving, only if you like it it’s good for you and if not not. And the decision cannot be made by reason, only by force, actual or concealed (justice is the will of the strong). This is an open question. Not everything improves by lot, christ taught it was ok to pluck ears of corn on the sabbath but that it’s wrong to hate your enemies; these ethical innovations imply some standard other than majority opinion. is there objective truth or falsehood in such a statement as pleasure is good in the same sense as snow is white? this is the birth of democracy

Theory of ideas

  • distinction between reality and appearance (parmenides)
  • why do children learn arithmetic? why did the puritans hate music and ritual? this.
  • a philosopher is a lover of wisdom (rather than a lover of knowledge), loves the vision of truth
    • the man who loves beautiful things, the philosopher who loves beauty itself
    • the man who only loves beautiful things id reaming, the man who knows absolute beauty is wide awake.
    • knowledge vs opinion. man who has knowledge has knowledge of something, of something that exists. knowledge is infallible.
      • but opinion can be mistaken. opinion cannot be of what is not, nor of what is. thus opinion must be of what is and is not.
        • this is possible because what is beutiful is ugly, just is unjust etc. all particular sensible objects have this contradictory character
    • so opinion ofs of the world presented to the senses, whereas knowledge is of a super sensible eternal world. opinion with beautiful things, knowledge of beauty itself.
    • he says that it’s self contradictory to suppose a thing can be both beautiful and not beautiful, thius particular things have this contradictory character. therefore particular things are not real.
    • universals: an animal is a cat, because it participates in a general nature common to all cats.
      • but it means something which is not belonging to a particular thing, but to some kind of universal. it is eternal, since it is not born when a cat is born or dies. (this is the logical part)
      • metaphysical part: the word can means a certain ideal ‘cat’ created by god, and inuqie. particular cats take part in the nature, but imperfectly. THE cat is real, but particular cats are only apparent.
      • when individuals have a common name, tey also have a common idea or form. there are many beds, but only one idea or form of a bed. there can only be opinions of individual beds, but knowledge of Bed
      • “it is only among fools that the wise are judged to be destitute of wisdom”
    • what is philosophy:
      • divine view. immerse yourself in detail before seeing the whole (this is more russells words) in a sudden moment
    • understanding and reason, of which reason is higher. because understanding is used in maths, but in this case we can only say ‘let a be blah’ but we can’t know that it is so
      • but if there is only one line, this cannot be because there must be three lines for a triangle etc
    • allegory of the cave; relation to guardians. lol
    • science and truth are like good, but good is beyond it.; they work by means of ‘good’. similar to how one can see clearly in the light.
    • the lasting part of universals: we cannot express ourselves in a language composed wholly of proper names, but must also have general words such as man, dog, cat etc. also similar, before and so on. they are not meaningless and it is difficult to see how they can have meaning if the world consists entirely of particular things.
      • however plato makes the mistake is saying you could go ‘human is human’ but actually human is more of an adjective in the case of a universal; he thinks beauty is beautiful -self-comments:
        • does the thing take part of the whole idea? or only a part?
        • when an individual partakes of an idea, the individual and idea are similar. therefore there will have to be another idea, embracing botht the particulars and the original idea. and for this there will have to be more, ad infinitum
        • perhaps ideas are only thoughts, but thoughts must be of something
        • ideas cannot resemble the particulars that partake of them (b)
        • ideas must be unknown to us, because our knowledge is absolute
        • if god’s knowledge is absolute, he will not know us, and therefore cannot rule ius
      • comments:
        • note that when one says something is ugly and beautiful at the same time, we can always decide which parts are ugly and which are beautiful. there is no actual contradiction
        • if appearance really appears, it is part of reality
        • plato believes in a heavenly many things rather than a heavenly one (like parminedes)
        • what is timeless must be uncreated
        • russell: any hypothesis, however absurd, may be useful in science, if it enabled a discoverer to conceive things in a new way. but when it has served this purpose by luck, it is likely to become an obstacle to further advance
          • belief in ‘good’ as the key to scientific understanding of the world was useful (we tried to figure that planets moved in a circle, which led us to later discovering elipse and then imperfect elipse)
      • Immortality
        • death of socrates basically jesus
        • christianity similar with this doctrine of duality of soul and body, reason and sense-perception. but with two major differences: they like marriage and they would not accept that the Creator was doing evil in creating the sensory world

        • russell: liberation from bodily pleaseures left hitler and other ecclesiasticals to fall in love with power instead

Knowledge and perception

  1. Knowledge is perception
  2. Man is the measure of all things
  3. Everything is in a state of flux