1 Study Questions on Plato's Republic (Fall 2016) Undergraduates Prof. De Chiara-Quenzer (6 November 2016) Dear Students, To help you in your preparation for your exam on Wednesday on Plato's Republic, I have created the following sample essay questions. These are not necessarily the questions that will appear on the exam, although some of the questions on the exam might be quite similar. If you use these sample essay questions, along with all the study guides, and class notes to review the material for the exam, you will be ready to respond to any question asked of you on the exam. Remember you will also have some choices on the exam. In Book 4 of the Republic, Socrates explains the four virtues in the ideal state. 1. - 2. - 3. - Explain thoroughly each of these virtues, as they are present in the state. Courage as civic courage: The preservation of the beliefs that has been operated by the city state From upbringing and education, auxiliaries would absorb the laws in the finest way possible so it is their role to ensure that citizens follow this law. Wool analogy: wool has to be picked out first, the whitest one, than prepared in various ways before dyeing purple to make sure color doesn’t wash out. (Wool – auxiliaries, various ways – education/upbringing, purple – laws by rulers) Courage for soldiers in battlefield: to not be scared of death because of Hades, don’t be scared in the battle. Wisdom: Having good judgment/reason on what is good or bad for the city, for the city well being Not any kind of knowledge produces wisdom, only certain kind. Example: Farmers have knowledge to farm but it does not make them wise. Knowledge of ruling Rulers have to do what is best for the city internally and externally Moderation: An order, the mastery of pleasure and pains The agreement between what is naturally worse and better as to which of the two is to rule both in city and individuals This creates harmony as every class agrees on this despite gender, strength, etc For craftsmen: to obey the rulers and the willingness to obey because in terms of law, rulers have good judgment. 2 4. Justice: doing one’s own work and not meddling with what is not one’s own - No citizens should have what belongs to another or be deprived of what is his own - One should stick with his own class or crafts to ensure that there are more plentiful and better quality goods, since everyone is not born alike, different in nature with different tasks suiting different people. - It is also injustice to meddle and exchange between classes, especially if someone in craftsmen or auxiliaries becomes rulers. If you had to select one of them as the most important, above the others, to provide for the well-being of the ideal state (the happiness of the ideal state), that is, according to what Socrates' has been presenting as the well-being of the ideal state, which one virtue would you choose? Give a thorough defense of your choice. Give a thorough discussion of why you did not choose each of the other virtues. - Justice is the most important. Justice is what is possible for the other virtues of wisdom, courage, and moderation to grow. Since classes are practicing justice, the rulers can develop wisdom, while the auxiliaries can develop courage. If a craftsmen goes to auxiliaries, there wont’ be courage in the auxiliary. - Without justice, no courage and wisdom. City will be in chaos since no good judgment, and no perseverance of the law so what follows is the lack of moderation. In Book 4 of the Republic, Socrates explains the four virtues in the soul of the person. Explain thoroughly each of these virtues as they are present in the soul. 1. Wisdom in reason: To avoid internal threats from appetite and spirited. To make good judgments/ decisions. Wisdom makes sure that the soul exercises foresight on behalf of the soul a. Reason: Forbids irrational appetitive part such as lust, hunger, and thirst 2. Courage in spirited: To preserve the reasoning and withstanding good decisions. Spirited part be attentive to appetite. Appetites are strong so get them to focus on good and not rule the soul a. Spirited: emotions such as anger, jealousy, sadness, passion, pleasure 3. Moderation: The agreement that the rational part is the ruler. Moderation is experienced in every class. 3 a. Appetitive: it is the nature of what one wants, what it is his will to have 4. Justice: Each do its own functions. a. Justice could also be the actions that the soul engages in. Allowing appetite and spirited to be tamed will relate to just actions conduct by ourselves. i. Actions that are not licentious, stubborn, soft, slavish Explain the ways in which the practice of each of them contributes to the well being of the person. If you had to select one of them as the most important, above the others, to the development of a good soul, that is, according to what Socrates' has been presenting as a good or virtuous human being, which one virtue would you choose? Give a thorough defense of your choice. Give a thorough discussion of why you did not choose each of the other virtues. - If spirited/appetite makes decision – no wisdom. - If appetite is able to persevere the bad reasoning, no courage. - Justice is needed to make sure the other virtues are functioning. In the ideal state, Socrates argues that the rulers should be philosophers. Explain thoroughly the unique qualities that only philosophers possess (that are not present in the other classes). - Wisdom: Philosophers are lovers of learning: love the whole of it; love all kinds of it, and all aspects. - Fake philosophers are lovers of sights and lovers of sounds, but not true philosophers because they are petty crafts. Not from the physical state but the transcend world, which is unchanging. - True philosophers are knowledgeable and not just full of opinable. So they are capable of not seeing the beautiful things but for the beauty itself. They do not only see just things but the just itself. They love and embrace the things that knowledge is set over. Explain thoroughly why Socrates believes that these unique qualities will make a ruler most effective as a ruler of the ideal state. 4 - This is the only change needed to ensure the ideal state Socrates’ envision happens. Political power and philosophy entirely coincides to ensure happiness for public and private. - They have good judgments because they know the actual knowledge of the form in everything. Form: a type of thing you can know (Form does not need to be tangible: i.e. truth, justice, etc) - Knowledge requires understanding, and understanding is referred to the goodness. The philosopher kings have wisdom as they have knowledge, rule is justified. - - - Explain thoroughly the other important qualities Socrates believes the ruler of the ideal state should have that will make him/her best equipped to rule the ideal state. These will be qualities shared with at least some of the other citizens in the ideal state. Moderation Justice Correct upbringing and education, e.x. stories in children. o No wailing and lamenting o No violent laughter because it presupposes violent mood o No lying, except if you are the ruler and its for the good of the city o Don’t be money lovers or bribable with gifts. When they were young they must be kept away from all crafts and focus on the craft of warcrafts instead. One-person one craft. No excessive pleasure (homosexuality) Balance in physical training and music/poetry, both aim for the good of soul o Avoid savagery and softness. To be courageous and orderly Rulers are picked from the class of auxiliaries because they are knowledgeable, capable, and caring for the city Believes that the city is advantageous to oneself. Rulers must be strong-willed to always believe that they must do what’s best for the city and cannot change their belief voluntarily or involuntarily (persuaded or because of time). No one should possess private property, share one housing, cannot handle gold or gifts No marriage, only attend festivals Here you are to evaluate the qualities that Socrates believes rulers (philosopher-kinds) must have. Which do you think are the most valuable or beneficial to the leader of the ideal state in order to lead the 5 state well? Why? Which do think are unnecessary or disadvantageous to the leader of the ideal state in order to lead it well? Why? - Most valuable: there is a form for everything, so a form of how to rule perfectly. The understanding of the form is truly what is unique to them. You want them to make judgments. - Unnecessary: the lack of private property, no marriage, can’t have material goods. The rulers have the morale character already so these things might not matter. No incentives. - Communism: deprived of ownership of wife and children. This is disadvantageous and not good for their spirit of love, which is not necessarily a bad spirit that the reason need to hide. Now with each of the ideas you evaluated, you are to discuss them in regard to The President of the United States today. Do you find Plato's most valuable ideas likewise relevant or valuable to the good leadership of the President of the United States? Why? Do you find the ideas you deemed to be unnecessary or disadvantageous to the philosopher-king similarly unnecessary or disadvantageous to the good leadership of the President of the United States? Why? - Some of his ideas are irrelevant. The US is democracy and builds on progression, for the people based on the people’s ideas and interest. Judgments are based on the citizens because they were the one who choose which kind of judgments to rule over them. – that only rulers can make judgments because they are wise, so they know the interest of the people and what is better for the state. To think that people is homogenous with a single interest. More free will now. - Nonetheless, they still have to be wise. Do what is best for the city all the time. - The one craft of ruling only since young is not applicable. In Book II, Glaucon asked Socrates to establish what justice and injustice are in the soul so that he (Glaucon) could be better convinced what were the advantages and disadvantages of being just and unjust. In light of the conversion in Books II -X, we come to see what justice and injustice are. According to Socrates what are justice and injustice in the soul? How does justice affect the overall well being of the soul? 6 - Justice could also be the actions that the soul engages in. Allowing appetite and spirited to be tamed will relate to just actions conduct by ourselves. Actions that are not licentious, stubborn, soft, slavish How does injustice affect the overall well being of the soul? - feeds the beast and lion to make it strong, starve the human and make it dragged around. - Wretched if enslaves the most divine part for temporary and short-lived pleasure o Intemperate, stubborn, softness, slavishness - Perfectly unjust: by exterior might be worshiped, but internally is broken. What does Socrates see as the advantages to having a just soul? What do you think might be some of the disadvantages to having a just soul? - Having a just soul means that each part of the soul does their own function. Having reason the dominant part of the soul will avoid internal threats, as Socrates worries that the greatest danger is from within. - Appetite can be good appetites and reason need to enforce that. Good appetite practiced through habit from upbringing. - Don’t let spirit and appetite step out of boundaries and make decisions - Disadvantage is that reason might be problematic at times if it does not listen to spirited and appetite. They need to make judgments from the information. - Unjust do get the advantage in terms of outcome or physically wise. What are the ideas in the myth of Er that support Socrates's view that it is better to be just than unjust? - Afterlife: sent to Hades to be judged. Those who are judged as just will go to the Aisle of the Blessed for 1000 years, while those who are judged as unjust will go to Tartarus for 1000 years. Those who are deemed to be very unjust might not even leave. In the Myth of Er, Socrates's describes the choices made by the two types of just souls for their next life on earth? What lesson/s are we to learn about justice from this? 1. Conventionally just person. On Earth is just, but does not value justice as itself but because of the fear of punishment. (Ring of Gyges – if no he has the ability to be unseen, performs unjust actions). 7 a. Afterlife: chooses a life with more rewards and less consequences – the external benefits because they look attractive from a far, choosing the life of a tyranny that is hard especially practicing virtue through habit and not philosophy. 2. Just for the sake of itself and others (ex. Consequences) a. Knows the correct combination of factors that will keep him just and happy. In Book V, Socrates explains how philosophers are different from lovers of sights and sounds so that Glaucon and Adeimantus will not confuse philosophers with lovers of sights and sounds. - - - - - - Thoroughly explain what Socrates says is distinctive about philosophers that distinguishes them from lovers of sights and sounds. Fake philosophers are lovers of sights and lovers of sounds, but not true philosophers because knowledge is unchanging but music/art have different views towards it. Lover of sight and sound only engages in opine on what is beautiful or not. It is the intermediate of knowledge (what is) and ignorance (what is not). Opinion could lead to false opinion, which is ignorance because you think you are right. True philosophers are knowledgeable and not just full of opinable. So they are capable of not seeing the beautiful things but for the beauty itself. They do not only see just things but the just itself. They love and embrace the things that knowledge is set over. In a nutshell, lovers of sight and sound use the power of opinion to grasp that which and which is not (opinable thing). Philosophers uses the power of knowledge to grasp that which is (knowable thing) Beautiful things and sound do participate in beauty itself, it is an attribution, but there is another layer, which is the form of the good. This enables the power of knowledge to grasp other aspects of beauty Opinable is visible realm (images, visible objects), while knowable is intelligible realm (hypotheses, forms). Lovers of sight and sound have only opinions on images and objects because these things are changing. They have the existence on being but not permanent. Explain why Glaucon and Adeimantus confused lovers of sights and sounds with philosophers. 8 - Both of them likes learning, but shallow. They only see the surface. For example with sound, they only listen to everybody instead of understanding. - They also don’t know the Transcend world. Both are lovers of learning but different kind of learning. The philosophers love learning on objects that not in this World. In Book VI, Socrates presents, the analogy of the sun to the form of the good. In light of that discussion, explain what the form of the good is, how it is related to the other forms, and why it is relevant to Plato's view of the knowledge of the philosopher. - Sun is the form of the good. The eye is the mind (reason), sight is intelligence, and light is the truth. Too see in the analogy is to know the intelligible realm. Unless there is light, our eyes cannot see even with the power of sight. Sun is neither the light nor the sight; it is their cause and something higher. - The form of the good gives the truth to the form and the power of knowing to the knower. They must exist for us to use our intelligence to grasp other forms. In Book VII, one finds the famous allegory of the cave. You are to select four very significant and different ideas from the allegory, and explain their meaning. It is essential that you select four ideas that are substantially different from each other. If they are not substantially different, then they will not be counted as part of your answer. 1 - People are chained to look at a wall. Behind them is a fire and an elevated walkway where puppeteers use objects to show shadows. They come to believe that the objects are their reality. One of them becomes unchained and sees the object. From images to visible objects. - They come outside at the night and see the different objects and the moon and come to hypotheses. - At daylight, he finally comes to realize the true forms, through accepting them by seeing that their shadows are just images. Finally, he can see the Sun, which is the form of the good. - Coming out from the cave to the outside can only be done by the rulers after correct education. From the visible realm to the intelligible realm. Since he is a rule, he feels obligated to tell all his friends back in the cave of his new discovery because they also want them to be free from ignorance. 9 - In the cave, he have to adjust his eyes again. His friends ignore and belittles him. The people who are chained have false opinions. Thinks it’s reality and have a distorted view of what is real (ex. Meno) - - After you explain each idea as it appears in the allegory, then explain where and how they are presented earlier in the Republic. In the divided line: looking at the images as object means that you are the chained one. In the ideal state: everyone should be sufficiently educated, so no one is chained. Auxiliaries are those who are holding the puppets and try to preserve the laws and beliefs. They try to make the people unchained by telling them they are fake. They want everyone to be unchained and have the same beliefs that the rulers has established. Auxiliaries and craftsmen believes in the same law and should have the same insights and opinions about the law. Only the virtues should be different. Plato and his vision of the ideal state. Select four of the most distinctive and essential ideas/features that are part of Plato's ideal state. 2 - Specialization: Everyone can only do one craft abundance and quality cause by nature. (triparte of the state) The healthy one is no longer adequate so find the need to expand, by auxiliaries. Finally rulers oversee. - Picking the ruler: observed from childhood, set tasks that make them forget conviction by deceiving. Set competitions in times of pain and pleasure to really see how they react. - Education system: stories and then physical education vs music poetry o Changes in story concerns: Courage: don’t fear hades Lamenting and wailing: self-sufficient, keep strong and focused in battlefield Violent laughter: no violent mood Truth and lying: destructive to a city Moderation: obey rules from wise rulers, ruling the pleasures Money and gifts: not easily bribed 10 o Imitation narrative is dangerous because it can because it can settle into habits o Physical: courageous (opp: savage/ignorant), music/poetry: orderly (opp: softness/quick-tempered if spirited) o Noble Lie They were nurtured from the earth than delivered to the world Makes them fight for their land harder like their mother and citizens like brothers - Gender equality – women can be in any class, differences are inconsequential, only nature is important, ex in auxiliaries there are many roles. With regard to each idea/feature, explain why Plato sees them as appropriate or beneficial to the ideal state? Evaluate each of those ideas as it relates to living in a political state today. Do you find Plato's idea to be relevant or insightful or valuable? Why? Do you object to the idea? Why? - gender equality: relevant more options because what if they are the ruler that is actually better. They fear that someone worse is ruling, but just because she is a woman, then she cannot rule. There are a lot of female rulers, ex South Korea president. - Self contradictory and half communism. Ideal state is equality and justice, but then again expounds communism, depriving two classes from private ownership and natural family life. But, a class is free to do so, which is not equal. - Communism: deprived of ownership of wife and children. This is disadvantageous and not good for their spirit of love, which is not necessarily a bad spirit that the reason need to hide. - Favors intelligence over characters. Expects someone interest to be fixed since young. - disadvantageous and not good for their spirit of love, which is not necessarily a bad spirit that the reason need to hide. - Valuable: Rulers should promote the well being of citizens instead for self. Always view what you can do for the country instead of what the country can do for you. Looks down on tyrants. 11 - Valuable: the importance of education. No one is automatically privileged from wealth, birth, or gender. Based on nature. 1 For example, if you were to discuss justice (as it operates in the state) or the principle of one person and one art as it is used in the ideal state, these overlap considerably so you would want to consider them as the same significant idea for the purposes of this essay. Likewise if you wanted to speak about Socrates' discussions on how visible and intelligible objects are both different but also related to each other, you might want to draw from a number of passages in Books V and VI (that we have covered), but the separate passages would not constitute separate significant ideas. 2 Some ideas overlap significantly. For example, censorship and lying and deception overlap considerably, so think of them as one significant idea. In this way you will avoid giving a narrow discussion of Plato's vision of the ideal state. Likewise, if you were to select the idea of one person - one art, this would overlap considerably with his view of the virtue justice and parts of the noble lie, so since these ideas overlap considerably, you want to treat them as one significant idea in Plato's vision of the ideal state.