« Philosophize This!

Episode #004 ... Plato

2013-07-01 | 🔗

In this week's episode, we learn about Plato's "Symposium", which you might think of as philosophy's version of fan fiction. We also learn about Plato's "Theory of Forms" and ask ourselves what makes a tree, well, a tree. This leads to discussion of Plato's famous "Allegory of the Cave" and calls into question whether or not everything we see is merely a shadow of its true self. Finally, we learn about Plato's views on society and government and why he thought democracy was one of the worst forms of government, second only to tyranny.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For more information about this or any episode of the podcast out the website at philosophize this org. We have additional content further reading, and scripts of every show? All three, of course, But if you value the shows an educational resource and you want to help, keep it going, you can find out more about how to do that at dot. Com philosophize this or it notably you're buying something from Amazon this week anyway. Concern clicking through our banner. It's at the bottom center of the landing page of philosophize. This org. Small percentage goes back to the show. It may just be a click for you, but every little bit adds up there, key for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday, and I hope you have the show hello everyone. It's me Stephen West. This is philosophize this and I gotta tell you This episode was really close to being a two part episode cause when you're dealing with Philosopher that are as influential is. Plato was and have a body of work as extensive as Plato's is. It starts to become very different
to make one single forty five a conglomeration of all of it. On that same note, a guy named Alfred North Whitehead famously said, all of western philosophy. Subsequently, after Plato, consists of a set of footnotes to Plato and his work footnotes. That's it by the end of this episode, you're gonna understand why he said that, and hopeful you'll understand why it was almost a to partner Plato, wrote twenty seven treatises, practically twenty seven full length books. And the reason I decided to keep it down to one part is because I saw the content that was gonna, be in the second episode and I I ask myself what would I want in a philosophy podcast now I don't think anyone here is listening to this podcast, so they can one day be the curator of the play, Doh Museum or something I don't think anyone wants to know what the guys favorite color was. You want to know the essential. What were his mode. Notable contributions. The philosophy now
global being one said, either ended up influencing future philosophers or shaping the world we live in and now that we're dead, with philosophers that have most of, if not all, of their work surviving. To this day, we can't cover everything. For example, Plato, wrote, treaties about the nature of the physical world and human beings and the origins of the universe called the Timaeus. It's brilliant. I mean it's fascinating, but not necessarily game changing in the philosophical world. So what Gonna do out of respect to the people that don't care to hear the non essentials of these philosophers starting this week with the timaeus in any other non essential work of future philosophers, I'm just gonna. It up a synopsis of it and send it out as additional content, with the weekly email I send out to let people know a new episode came out in who's interested enough in philosophy to want to expand their understanding of it even further to that level. My hats off to you you're awesome
please let me be the guy that digs through dozens of sources to bring you an unbiased account of it. Are you can sign up to get an email when a new episode comes out on Stephen, I show net, but on to play to play experienced heartbreak and three hundred and ninety nine BC He watched from the sidelines in horror as his teacher, his friend, and mentor. Socrates was put on trial and convicted the death, and there was nothing he could do about it. He was angry with the city of Athens and rightfully so their witch hunt, mentality. Following the Peloponnesian war killed his best friend and he decided at that point He needed a little change of scenery a twelve year into scenery. It turns out it was like the movie wild Hawks, he just left town crestfallen. He went an extended road trip where you learned a lot about the world and a little about self along the way. It was a transformative road trip Change the entire way he looked at the world for the rest of his life.
You could almost think of this road trip as an extension and finishing of his education, see here studied under Socrates for a long time, learning the socratic method and argument, and then he said need a broad like many do in school. He studied with Euclidean The is the pythagoreans some. So he made it all the way to Egypt. Now what happened? ecstasy still open for debate, some sources say he was captured towards the end of his road trip and sold into slavery, and then his friends rescued him and brought him back to Athens some say, something else entirely triggered the event. But what is certain is that something made him decide and three eighty seven b c to return to act, and found his infamous school called the academy, a school that would they operational for almost nine hundred years in one form or another school, whose name is where we get our modern word academic. He took it upon himself
with this new school of wisdom not only can along the thoughts of his beloved teacher Socrates, but to also foster and develop future philosophers, but Plato, wasn't satisfied with the definition of the word philosopher, remember Pythagoras, if you'd that it's a lover of wisdom that wasn't good enough for him. He felt more was necessary to be a good candidate to go to his school Plato. Didn't like the definition of philosopher included people that just always love The here, a new fact I'm sure we ve all known someone like who is talking about some guy goes to the gross. To restore, buys a diet, Peach Snapple looks under the cap and sees did you know, Your body is made up of eighty percent water and then run telling everybody about it. Personally, I have no problem with this guy and neither has played over that matter aside from the annoying evangelizing of a random fact, Plato just didn't think this I should be considered a philosopher. Plato would see him as a site sear or someone
when joys, wisdom for the practical benefits or the spectacle, not the wisdom itself, Plato, thought non philosophers live in a sort of dream like state, they see things they think are beautiful, and then naively think that the objects themselves encompass. What beauty is really Plato thought if they looked a little deeper. What they would see is beauty itself. He didn't think to be a philosopher we should be pursuing wisdom because he loved to revel in the fact of the day who philosopher someone who uses their brain merely us tool in the process of arriving at wisdom now developing future. Full Philosophers through a school was only half of his initial plan. He was also committed to continuing the work of his friend and Mentor Socrates, and, as we talked about last episode, he wrote the apology which was the story of Socrates, is trial. Defence and conviction. He was nowhere near done. Preserving his name, see
Plato was another one of these brilliant philosophers that chose to write down their work in an entertaining, and sometimes poetic way to try to get people to. Listen to the ideas underneath the story for the record Plato was really good at it. He was a philosopher but many historians say that his writing is the best writing in all of ancient Greece, even better than famous poets like Homer and Hesiod, and personally, I agree. You have to read some of this stuff, guys it's truly amazing you can, even by them in paper back at Barnes and Noble now, even them translations keep your interest, which is saying something considering it was meant to keep the interest of people that lived thousands of years ago. It's really high quality stuff. A lot of what made it so entertaining was that he wrote it as a story with people just having normal conversations about normal things and then eventually. Casually weaving in a philosophical discussion about some abstract idea. Plato would use real people real.
Real personalities of people that lived at the time and them as a mouthpiece deliveries, philosophy, a guy went to school with said to me once that Plato's. Writing is like cross over fan fiction and its true. This is a good modern comparison, actually, for anyone that doesn't know, crossover fan fiction would be like if crazed fan, wrote a short story about Edward and Bela from the twilight franchise. Enrolling at Hogwarts and Plain quitted with Harry Potter, Plato would have different fly suffers indifferent public figures having conversations that they never actually have sometimes even that didn't even live at the same time as each other later would Oftentimes need a character in these stories that people could perceive as the quintessentially wise person and whenever that demand arose. He chose to the name of the wisest person he knew. Socrates, he was conscious, the tight casting Socrates as a wise person in every book, so that the legacy of Socrates
should be, that he was a wise person. Kind of like a certain actors are I cast in modern movies, like myself, Michael Sarah walking down the street. I would instantly jumped conclusion and assume that he's a meek reserve person, I dont know Michael Sarah, really the only thing that Tell me: is he plays that character really well in movies away? no doubt deliberate doing doing this in the case of Socrates making making, the wise man and his dialogues to leave a legacy. Unfortunately it Do a little bit of confusion. Socrates was a philosopher himself and never wrote anything down so by me. Him the central character in a dialogue. That's actually conveying Plato's philosophy, it can sometimes be got to discern which views are the views of Socrates and which are the views of Plato himself. Twenty seven treaty, and all these are separated down into three distinct periods. So when they were written in each of these period Mark large changes and played his way of thinking and the sun
Jack matters covered, see, in Plato's? Early dialogues, he deals with issues that concerned Socrates exclusively, not only that, but he dressed them in a way that Socrates would have addressed them his socratic method, it's almost like he felt it. obligation to carry on Socrates, is legacy after he was put to death, but then throughout the coroner. I'll give his writing the Socrates and his starts dealing with more issues of government, metaphysical claims, etc. The fact that Socrates changes and is a completely different person in one writing. As opposed to another writing. It shows the progression of Plato as a philosopher, and to be honest. It really does it matter that might Socrates wouldn't have been offended? Socrates wasn't kind of guy that had a set of unfaltering beliefs anyway. Member here swore that swore that he knew nothing and was always trying to get to the bottom of what things actually were, what I succeed you didn't doing in this case is to keep the Spirit of Socrates alive,
the ever changing ever questioning spirit of the socratic method, an example of this continuation of Socrates and the way he did philosophy lies in one of Platos treatises from the early years called the symposium. This symposium is one of Plato's, most famous works and keep in mind all the characters. Yours from this dialogue are written by Plato. Just can since the sheer genius of how well encapsulates each of the characters in the reputation that they had at the time writing years later, probably decades later, depending on who you believe, and it's not like. He had a price. I bet stenographer sitting in the room. Try recounting The conversation you had fifteen years ago, the world symposium means a drinking party played a writes about a foot and see dinner party were several people take turns after dinner, standing up in front of the group and giving their thoughts on and trying to get to one of these deep socratic definitions of the concept of love. You know how it starts. What the end goal is when you love someone whether it overall is actually a
Benefit to mankind or not, and they were all kinds of people at this dinner party wrote about gender like Alcibiades play right. Like Aristophanes and most notably, Socrates? Stop he's being a playwright that writes comedy. He fittingly give a clause. I humorous and metaphorical account for what love is he talks of the time when men and women were actually fuse together, bad to head for arms four legs we're actually in a spherical shape, and we would roll around everywhere? Apparently, there were three sexes back then too. You could be all male or female. and then androgens or like a hermaphrodite like half male half female, the all male forms were said to have descended from the sun, the females from earth than the androgynous couples from the moon. Apparently, we had for arms and rolled around ever where we were also a little feisty too, because something happened or retreated
take over the God realm and Zeus, was just about to throw lightning Edison kill us all, but he decided I mean he. Why did to, but he didn't want to deprive himself of all the offerings and sacrifices that humans were gonna give him. So he just said his lightning bolts from killed to stun mode separated us in half that way they could it twice the offerings they were getting before so Aristophanes, First, a sexual attraction or erotic love as the disease. You're humans have to find their other half. They may seek it out for their entire lives without finding it, but the urges- and killings that attaches to people is our way of trying to get back. Our other half that was taken from us. Apparently. This is also why people often say they feel hole when they are in love with someone to put it another way: Aristotle. He's believes love, it's actually a quest, a pursuit to fill is that your lacking in that once were yours
IRAN in the dinner Party, Socrates, doesn't agree with me. He agrees that it's a quest, but he doesn't we love something because at one point it belong to us. He thinks we love something because we find it beautiful or good. Socrates breaks down the concept of love and tries to distil it down to its essence, as he would write, he claims to have gotten this enlightened account of what love is from a conversation he once had with an older priestess. He explains it like this man seeks immortality. We can't live forever. That is certain. So what we all do it seek. Turning to forms of immortality Plato saw these alternative forms is coming down to one of three things. Firstly, you could have children, you know a little piece of yours. Pass through them and then again through their children seal it forever in a one second, we by doing some really noteworthy thing. They could see famous and written down in the history books or thirdly, you
create some body of work. That's ever green or important enough that future generations hold it up in high regard like play The symposium, ironically enough, all three these things are creating offspring, either physical aspirin? made with someone, you love or intellectual offspring, where we use our desire for being loved to motivate us to achieve these things almost like where peacocks and things we accomplish? Intellectually? Are colorful feathers were adding to our tail. Now these people But we want love from we think they're beautiful, but to played out there just inferior copies of an ideal form of beauty which will touch on later but what is basically saying is that we accomplish what we choose accomplish in life in our career, Here's our cars are children. We do all of this out of a love of beauty that we then transmute into motivation to get things done. I know it. Some you were saying: well that doesn't love that's lost or whenever you want to call your right. Plato thought this was
The first step on a staircase of love love, be broken down into a few different stages each day. Its leading to the next stage and eventually come at the appreciation of the ideal form of beauty itself. It starts with the love of the person's body or exotic love. This is both sexual attraction or just thinking a person is an attractive person like what we Just talked about. He says that after a while of this, you eventually realise that someone, you think is beautiful, has a lot common with all the other people who, you think are beautiful, therefore, making this really hot person not as much of a rare pokemon tons of then, once you realize this, you realise that all the variants at the body can have that makes it beautiful is nothing in comparison to the variants of things that can make the sole beautiful or more so, to us modern folk, their personality. Then the arts You used to measure whether someone is beautiful or not has everything to do with their personality, even if that personality exam.
Inside of a mangled or ugly body. Eventually, begin begin to transcend even the personality? Stop loving individual people that inhabit an individual individual body. You start to love, broader, broader things like concepts themselves fall, fall in love things like the arts or certain laws will fall in love with a law or biology, or things like that. You know, and then finally, at the top of the staircase you fallen of, with the ideal form of beauty itself? Socrates says that if its past the will to live life anywhere. It's here at the top of the staircase, because when you're in love with a single human being your vulnerable. Have leave you they could die or go live farm upstate, like my dog, did it's a painful life of servitude to this person, whereas loving the form of beauty itself. You never feel vulnerable.
Because its eternal and unchanging, it's never gonna, give you up. It's never gonna. Let you down here's the problem, it will never love you back, and you know this. It's a perfect eternal structure, it doesn't have any use for love, doesn't have a useful, west searching for something. It's lacking. It's perfect this what's known as platonic love- and it wasn't just in tended to be used to find a life partner and we wouldn't use it anyway. We heavy harmony for that now there was also supposed to be used to look past superficial properties of laws or people in government, or even things like bridges. Do these things just appear to be beautiful or of substance, or should their worth judged by the qualities that actually vary between them and other things like I could do sub like a UFC fighter. I could wear the fourchan shirts I couldn't, By a half naked stack summits, PDF on the bill of it. So it's a flat as a u r c fighters hat when their walking out, but
examined me a little closer and Do me a little closer cause? I'm not fool! Anyone by the way and you'll find not that I don't know how to fight whatsoever and data white is never gonna book me for a main event fight cause, there's no substance behind the look, so eventually Plato got tired of dealing with just moral issues and started trying to answer questions like the pre socratic sauterne answer. You know about what the cosmos is made out of and how did it get here and it's kind of funny. He arrived at the same conclusion about both morals concepts like justice and beauty are eternal and not defined by the perception of one person that sees them any thought that nature and the things we saw where the exact same way eternal unchanging and not based on perception. Plato agreed with Socrates that finding the eternal definition of things like justice was an extremely important thing, because how can you follow
suffice about something accurately. If you don't even understand the definition of the concepts your philosophizing about. How can you talk about justice without knowing exactly what justice is too Plato the entire quest of turnover, I'm the definitions of these things should be done through the socratic method. Two or more people discussing thing with no malicious intentions, or course in the race, but just giving their best guess based. Their own experiences. Having the other guy NIT picking relentlessly, but he also asked the question. My guess is, after being combined weekly frustrated after years of wondering what anything actually is that if we arrived at the perfect, eternal definition of justice or beauty or whatever. How would we even be able to recognise that it was deep in doll, be all perfect form? and not just some flawed perception like we usually have, but not just the perfect form of moral concepts. Have the perfect
form of everyday objects. I mean what is a tree exactly right, what is a photograph exactly? Is there a perfect definition of what the essence of a tree is Plato thought just as there is an elusive difficult to define version of what justices, there's an elusive, difficult to define version of what a tree is or all physical objects. For that matter. A perfect tree, that all trees we see around us are just inferior copies of that perfect tree, to put it in their way. He describes it like this. When we see a tree, we know it's a tree we can reckon, a a tree when we see but but are all very different. No two of them are the same. One may have in like a not he or a random branch there. Some trees may have one kind of bark, one kind of leaves. There's a lot of different kinds of trees. We still recognise it as a tree because it has a sort of tree Venus for anyone wondering if it means in
I'm the more on that decided to use tree as an example. So I have to say the word tree: Enos Plato and his work is dogs, endogenous or something, but we can recognise tree Enos. You know that thing that makes us be a tree. We recognise it at some level and attach a definition to a tree. So if we analyze what the since up a tree is long enough. We can our stand. What a tree is by definition right. We can conceive of what the perfect tree really is what does it actually exist anywhere in the world. No Plato thought that that perfect tree along with the perfect forms of everything else it exists, including the concepts of just said beauty exist in a magical world of forms. That's completely separate from the material world that we live in humans, can't see or smell or touch the world of forms, but they can think really high
hard for a really long time about the definitions of these things are concepts and access the the world of forms. The reason not only that but to Plato the world of forms is the true reality and that entire world. We live in and everything in it, including people and trees and dogs throb just inferior copies of the quintessential person, the quintessential tree in the quintessential dog that exists in the world, the forms. This concept is known as his theory of forms and it's a pretty strange way of looking at the world and all the things in it so to try to put it into context. Let me explain it like this. This is usually the point in the pond, where go into some long. Winded example that no one understands trying to relate the material. Do you guys, but luckily, for Plato, did it for me, except This is an incomprehensible at all. It's actually so genius hits. The thing is most known for its called his allegory of the cave. Here's a quote from it behold human beings living in an underground den which has a mouth opened.
Towards the light and reaching all along the den here. They have been from there childhood and have their legs and next chain, so they cannot move and can only see before them being prevented by the chain. From turning round their heads above and behind a fire is blazing at a distance and between the fire and the prisoners. There is a raised way and you will see if you look a low wall built along the way like the screen which marionette players have in front of them over which they show the puppets. End quote two Plato typical human existence is a pretty depressing thing. So imagine if, from the moment you were born, you were tied up and held prisoner inside of a dark cave being forced to face the dark back wall of that cave Now some translation say the light sources of fire, some say it's only the sun but either My shadows are cast of you and the other prisoners tied up around you under the back wall of the cave. Now also for the sake of including all the other things in the world. Plato include
that there's also a pathway between you and the fire where people walk by. Every so often they hold up in everyday item like a tree or a dog, so that the shadow of that three or dog is cast on the back. While the cave Plato says that, if you talk to them, they they would have no idea about the world. That's going on behind them from birth. The only maybe ever seen or known, about the shadows of the actual items being cast on the cave wall. He compares the everyday expense Hence that humans have seeing a tree or a d, Again, the real world is like seeing them Shadow of the actual item on the cave wall, he continues by saying if a prisoner manages to untie himself turn around and look at the actual items and see the fire or in some translations. He would leave the cave and eventually see the sun which symbolizes complete truth. He'd be confused and his eyes would strain at the sun and most likely he would just turn back around stick to the shadows on the cave wall, because its existence is known for so long
not to mention it probably feel really dumb he's been sitting there, since he was a baby and could have untied himself this whole time and didn't realize it played a thought that everything on earth that we had the ability to perceive with our senses had occurred, responding form in the world. The forms when we use our senses to perceive something like when we see it smell it or touch it we're essentially sing shadows on the cave wall beyond True way to know what something is is to untie yourself. In turn around and see them for what they actually are, and we, do that is through reason and thought remember how philosophers like Democritus and emphatically would just trying to find a cop my said, accounted for the changing world. We perceive, as opposed to permit ease his idea that the world is eternal and unchanging. While with played his theory of forms, he was basically do. And the same thing, the material world that we live in and perceive the shadows on the cave wall it seemingly changing, but
through reality is in a completely separate, eternal unchanging world the world of forms. He thought it was a philosophers job to identify, as me, We have these forms, as they can and life being able to ty yourself and see the truth for what it actually is, gives a person a unique perspective of understanding that no one else around and possesses it's kind of like watching a football game with the pro football players sitting right next to you like, you guys, are both watching the exact same game, but this is so much more than you do here stand subtleties and strategy that you're completely ignorant to Plato thought true wisdom did this with all the things we see in the world. Here's another quote from the republic about a prisoner that manages to untie himself while still blinking, through the gloom and before yes become sufficiently accustomed to the environment darkness. He is compelled and courtrooms or elsewhere, contend about the shadows of justice or the images that cast the shadows and wrangling debate about the notions of these
things in the minds of those who have never seen justice itself end quote now: it's the note there's a lot of really smart people that dont think Plato literally thought that a separate world existed with perfect forms of everything just floating around everywhere. They say he probably Just stating in a melodramatic way that concepts like justice or beauty exist, independent of just actions are beautiful things. Human beings commonly mistake, just act kids and the definition of justice. As being the same thing, I mean he did speak of a different having like world, but really he may just been marking a contrast between considering what is a just action here and now and what is the eternal unchanging definition of justice regardless of time and place, but There's one glaring problem with his theory of forms and the allegory of the cave. How can even know. What the ideal form of any thing is. How can we know the difference,
Queen reasoning to an imperfect form of a tree or reasoning to a perfect form of a tree. Plato says but although we don't realize it bore all born with knowledge of everything in the world of forms, or is he put it? What we call learning is only a process of recollection He thought that human beings can be broken down into two separate parts: the body in the soul, the bodies responsible for the inferior senses, the things we used to perceive the world around us in a flawed way, the sole, on the other hand, has ability to reason, and we, is the soul, the perceived the world of forms? He thought that are so was eternal and at one point lived in the world the forms before we were born and it really wants to go back. So when we see it pre with our senses. We recognise that it's a tree, but we need to use our soul or reason to remember exactly what a tree is. The idea that learning is just a process of recollection is called his theory of innate knowledge, and he tells a story supposedly proving to be true
Socrates, talking to his friend Meno, while simultaneously teaching, a slave boy who doesn't really understand anything about math. But Socrates is I help him remember what he was born with here's a quote from it. Come now try to tell me how long each side of this will be. The sight of this is two feet. What about each side of the one which is its double? Obviously, Socrates? It would be twice the You seem to know that I am not teaching the boy anything, but all I do is questioned him, and now he thinks you the length of the line on which an eight foot figure is based. Do you agree? I do and does he know, certainly not He thinks it is a line twice the length yes watch him now. Electing things in order, as one must recollect tell me boy, do you say that a figure double the size is based on a line double the length. Now I mean such a fool.
Here s a that's, not long on one side and short on the other, but equal in every direction like this one and double the size. That is eight feet. End quote: he goes on for a while, never teaching the boy anything but asking questions and getting the boy to arrive at new conclusions all on his own. This is a great example of the socratic method of questioning at work and a great example of Socrates. Being a midwife ideas, like we talked about last night, so you can really see in this story that the boy had no idea what the answer was before Socrates questioned him, and then Socrates gives birth to new ideas. Just as he claimed to do when he was questioning people on the streets of Athens. Plato thought this story and the fact the slave boy was too. Nothing but was somehow able to arrive at a new understanding, was proof that were born with total knowledge of everything in the world of forms and then standing, the world of forms is just a process of using your souls ability to reason to remember them. The theory of form
It may seem a little weird, that's because it is in effect if Plato enough time he may have agreed with you. The theory went through several different stages. Were certain aspects of it change throughout his life? No doubt because other philosophers but argue about it with him, and you recognize there was a problem with it and try to win up to account for it, but he was the first one to designate what the path to having true knowledge was yeah was addressing the surfaced idea of relativism which led him to basis thoughts on something eternal like the theory of forms, but this a break through any pissed homology epistemological simply put is what do we know, and how do we know it? And although we ve heard so, while other philosophers echo the concept of the senses being inferior to reason when trying to arrive at knowledge of the world, we live in places, explanation for why it is better, really set him apart and because of this is useful, credited with single handedly laying the groundwork for seventeenth century rationalism. Now, please
It wasn't done changing philosophy just yet. Even had a lot to say about the role of government in a civilised society. Player was an aristocratic leaders that hated democracy. The convoy Socrates. Probably added to this, but is thinking, was just like there's an ideal form of justice or beauty Plato, says, there's an ideal form of government, any crafts. The sort of utopia laying out exactly what the ideal government would be and why it should be that way. The big The problem he saw was with the leadership that typically elected to office here, he's giving it count of why leaders never seem to get things done quote such what's the kind, fiction. I had when I arrived in ITALY in Sicily, for the first time when I I've been saw what they called there. The happy life a life filled the italian and Syracusan banquets with men gorge, themselves twice a day and never sleeping alone at night and following all the other customs that go with this way of living, I was profoundly display
for no man under Heaven was cultivated. Such practices from his youth could possibly grow up to be wise, so miraculous Attemper is against nature or become temperate or indeed acquire any other part of virtue. End quote. People that are born into a rich lifestyle of indulgence and Platos eyes were among The worse that could ever possibly governor population, Platos the of what an ideal city is starts at the beginning of the republic, one of his treatises, where the character Socrates, comes across a guy named breasts. Amicus press hammock has tell Socrates that morality is nothing more than a set of rules forced upon the week by strong people who have the power to impose them. He thinks if you can bring the law get away with it. You should, and if you can change rules and get a bunch of people to follow suit, you should do that to you finish by saying that a manual ex morally always ends up worse off than a guy who acts immorally or, to put it more. In terms nice guys
on this last Socrates doesn't have my to say then, but in the interest of guinea, the bottom of it after thrust him. If he had left his friends played devils, advocate and try to argue against sock, Peace and get him to explain why it isn't true. Socrates explains not my point, out the merits of an individual that acts justly, but by pointing out the merits of a just state or a system of government that acts justly. He says it'll be easier to understand it. Looked at on a broader scale, player was not only gonna point out what the ideal form of government is, but he's also gonna make the case for whites in your own self interest to act morally, simultaneously, in a single writing tackling to gigantic tasks that have plague brilliant humans ever since. This is I Plato's amazing, by the way right there, so first Plato, defined the ideal city would need to have. It would need a police force right or some sort of protective enforcement to protect it from
evaders and prevent civil wars from breaking out- and he goes on to say- that everyone should work in the area that best accentuates the individual gifts they have, for example, if your naturally gifted at Matt, you would work in the math field. If your naturally gifted in the arts, you be an artist, etc. Now, honestly, I know we're talking about a utopia here and it isn't necessarily viable in the real world, but doesn't it greatly benefit society to have things this way it really makes you wonder how many super geniuses that could have cured diseases ended up being. Wash your manager talk about the potential of a society This idea in place is endless and whatever, I think about it and action. I think of us in from a movie about a completely different area of Greece that was facing conquest. We heard spot was on the warpath. We were able to join forces in his blood. You seek welcomed
join us only a handful of soldiers against Ursus was wrong to expect spot his commitment to at least much oil. Doesn't you where's your profession butter and you akkadian? What is your profession stopped us? laxity spot. What does seal friend approved soldiers than you do So in this scene, Kingly Unitas or if you're on him Pr Leona DOS comes across Europe is on the way to Thermopylae and De Arcadians point out
but he only brought three hundred soldiers and their shock. They don't know how their ever gonna beat Xerxes, but Leon I must point out the Arcadians didn't bring any soldiers they brought potter's and blacksmiths by having specialization and a society that accentuates the natural gifts of the population. How can you lose, and, let's be honest, those three hundred Spartans would stop jerks easy, a quasi motorway. Let him mountains. Plato even said women would have the ability to work their way up in the city, just as much as men would, which was an unprecedented belief back then,. Plato city would be made up of a hierarchical class structure that would consist of three classes. The producers, which were like farmers, blacksmiths artisans partisans of the working class, and the other two were the guardians and the rulers. The rulers would be chosen. And the best guardians and the guardians would be chosen from children that looked like they would be good rulers. With the right training and guidance Plato notice that
as always, when rulers act selfishly or immorally, that the problems start to arise for the population. So, all the rulers were chosen from the guardians and the guardians, or in a sort of interim boot camp phase. They would have a much better stock to pull from but the training and guidance of these guardians needed to be perfect. There were cultivating their future president. After all, so all the guardians live a communal lifestyle with no private property which even goals for their. Why in children there were forbidden to touch or own over our gold or any other riches. All of these precautions were taken, so they didn't have something to corrupt them. The only motivating aspect should be the improvement of the state. They would be strictly regulated when it came to diet exercise in either the type of sir. Answer poems they heard in their malleable years. They would make sure all the stories they heard had the main character or heroic
story acting in the way they would want one of their leaders to act. In short, his utopia would involve spoons, eating only positive influences the children from very young age, in an attempt to remove them. From their ego, fabricate a moral compass and each them to think rationally, all in an attempt to eventually yield a leader that would be flawless. Plato says that this would be the ideal form of a city specialization each person using their natural gifts and capabilities to their highest potential. He continues making his case by saying that I just city has all of its parts working together well and. This is comparable to a human being, who has all of their parts working together. Well and just as the city has three classes says the human soul, ass three parts as well. Firstly, the appetite of part of the soul, which is the desire for sex or money which is comparable to the producers who live as they do to make money. Secondly, the spirited part of the soul, which
honor, fame or notoriety and is comparable to the class of the guardians and, lastly, the rational part, the soul, which desires knowledge and is comparable to the ruling class? He compares the idea the state of a city to the ideal state of a human being. The human shouldn't, let his desires for sex or food or fame or glory overtake him. He should make decisions based on reason this is the same reason why city should be ruled by reason, or people cultivated to think purely rationally played a thought that the only way for the system of government to ever be implemented would be for the public to elect philosophers as their kings or for the current kings to educate them so in the area of philosophy. These people that used reason tat. Untie themselves from the back while the cave and see the absolute truth played a thought that wisdom earned them the stamp of the ruler, the way he saw it,
who, better to rule everyone than someone who understands the exact definition of moral values or what justice or fairness, is instead of flawed people rolling everyone that always imposed their biased and oftentimes corrupt views on the entire populous, this supreme form of government, I just laid out is what Plato would call an aristocracy. Plato thought the lesson, Sighted people were to be a leader. The better things would inevitably turn out. An aristocracy is ruled by a philosopher king and therefore is managed by wisdom and reason played a thought. There were five main types of regimes that could potentially governess society and they were on a hierarchy from best two worst and explains how each form of government subsequently devolves into the next worst form of government. The five in order were an aristocracy. I was the best, then, that devolves into a democracy than that devolves into an oligarchy, then that devolves into a democracy and then lastly, tyranny.
Now the meanings of these five types of governments are not even close to the modern definitions of them, but there are enough similarities for us to understand what he means and see as brilliance. The aristocracy is the best form of government and devolves into it, democracy when someone misjudges, who a good candidate for the guardian position would be so instead of it. Someone who's completely removed from their ego and rational. You get someone who may still incredibly smarten rational, but the main driving forces, not the acquisition of knowledge. It's the acquisition of honor, still pretty noble, but not as no was knowledge. This form of government is also known as a military dictatorship. This love of conquest, causes them to allow themselves to own property, usually through military conquests right, and this was actually the system of government in sport at the time, then the democracy, eventually falls into an oligarchy and played a saw this happening because, as the desire for
honor comes into play, doing Something in one self interest always keeps going and do things in the desire of money. Is the next logical step in the equation. The people in power want to protect their financial interests, so they make it rich ruling, the poor sort of dynamic and that's what an oligarchy as they still some morals I mean they're thrifty, but only for the cause of saving not being wise or for the benefit of the city. The people in the oligarchy admire power and money, so they put the rich in office and despise the poor. This form of government is destined to fail because eventually, class warfare will arrive. Then the rich will be against the poor and there will always be more poor than rich. So then, what inevitably happens is the poor revolt and the oligarchy devolves into a democracy or A society ruled by the masses when you're in it democracy. Freedom is seen as the Supreme Good and back and Plato's time, people onto the market
they were seen as self indulgent, focused on immediate gratification of food, sex and other short term pleasures, and he saw the democratic state as an undisciplined pandemonium. When freedom is the most important tenant of a society. Eventually, Plato thought through policy dictated by them asses laws cease to exist, and then democracy devolves into a tyranny where there still all this, of indulgence of a democracy. But then there are no laws either. Society is in chaos and then a tyrant eventually seizes power. So, as I said at the beginning, a guy, Name Alfred, North Whitehead, famously said that all subsequent western fella, if he is merely footnotes to Plato and his work. Now I think most people here this and they instantly think it's an extreme exaggeration, but I think it comes I how you interpret it. No Plato didn't every philosophical breakthrough that was to come back in the early third century BC. Tv
apply that he did would be dishonest, but maybe I'll Whitehead was alluding to the fact that the questions a pistol, apology and metaphysics it played a last throughout the years were analyzed and considered by other philosophers who came up with their own questions and treatises based on them, and you could say when the philosophers of today are still trying to answer the questions that Plato initially brought up all those years ago. So much of his Work found relevance throughout the years. His aunt, higher body of work was put to use for Christianity by people like protagonists and Saint Augustine. Just the allegory of the cave alone, acted as a perfect metaphor for lost in chains for the look around at an inferior world and then, finally managing to untie yourself in fine Jesus Christ, your personal, Lord and safer shines, the light of absolute truth upon you speak in a witch philosophize, this one
think about Platos idea of the world around us not being exactly as it seems to have. You ever had an experience that chain sure perception of something so the I thought you were seeing it as it actually is for the first time hey guys appeal up blossom, Why is this and want to make sure you never miss in episode? Consider signing for email notifications, whenever anyone so it is released. I will pursue really send you an email telling you it was released along with it sort summary to pick your interest picture guarantee, to make a smile and pretty much what's interesting in the philosophical world that week you can sign up on the front page of steel, and West should not net and, as always, Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday,
Transcript generated on 2020-10-01.