9/23 Notes and Commentary

  • Weird vibes today, just particularly not feeling class, maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been playing NBA Street V3 on the GameCube all afternoon…and becoming a streetball legend!
    • Seriously, I’m too nice at that game
  • Despite how much of a fuckboy Plato still is, the cave analogy was pretty cool, I’ll give him that
  • Powell seems to really love those polo shirts a bit tight on the arms; actually his entire outfit (polo, slim-fit khakis/corduroys, sperries) is akin to a one Mr. Hoxie
  • Kingsbury a bit rushed, looks a bit frazzled, hopefully he’s chillin alright
  • A class list, so that we can know each other’s’ first names? My god, it’s a miracle
  • There’s no way that he expects us to read that first part on the board as “class list”; the “-st” looks like a goddamn “d”
  • 3 Images of Philosophy: sun, divided line, cave; within Book 6
  • Book 7: education of the philosopher (topics and age)
  • Final Blow: banishing everyone over the age of 10 and then teaching the philosophies of the city
  • Murray just hit tapped shoe…I’ll take it I suppose
  • Books 5-7 are a digression from an examination of the question “what is justice and is it trustworthy?”
  • The one necessity for a just city and for this city to be actualized is the philosopher-king
    • Difficult for people to give themselves up to philosophic rule, to allow for the banishment of everyone over age of 10, and to give up freedom to choose mate
  • Idea of the Good=The Good
    • Form has a distinctive philosophic meaning; Forms are intelligible but not always visible
  • We should put a bust of Dry in that empty rectangular space above the chalkboard
  • Socrates acknowledges that philosophy will be a hard sell, and those with the correct nature will be swayed in many directions
  • Jesus H Christ there’s still 45 minutes (at least) left; you’d think this class would go by somewhat faster, I’m yawning up a storm
  • Dialectic: philosophic thought; relative things make us think
  • Brann: Republic is best criticism of political idealism; Socrates’ city is pure meritocracy
    • We’re the source of the problem: human desire for one’s own
  • Just start talking about what we read Murray, Jesus FUCKING Christ this is so fucking boring
  • Perfect justice cannot be attained because it goes against what they stand for
  • The purity of the cause is the success of the cause: that’s the reformers position: I will not compromise with my principles and I measure my success by lack of compromise
  • He finally got Ms. Fehmiu’s name right! Quite funny how he waited there for her to validate his correct pronunciation and he just said nothing
  • Ever wonder what it would be like to live in the Midwest, like Indiana or someplace like that? Probably would be hella weird
  • Difference between philosopher and logical alternative: a tyrant, someone who takes advantage of others for own good
  • I originally started taking notes like these to prevent myself from falling asleep: after Week 2 U learned that this is not possible
  • Philosopher as ruler must need 15 years in experiential learning after 20-30 years of learning and after 5-10 years of dialectic
  • It is possible to find the just man because Socrates is a perfectly just man; Mr. Brockelman just got Dry GOING, got damn haven’t seen that in a while
  • It really bugs me that Dry’s collar doesn’t fully cover his tie in the back, irksome to no end
  • Socrates hadn’t talked about true virtue because he hadn’t talked about ruler in the precise sense (philosopher): 2 different understandings of virtue
    • Some professors believe that it is their educational mission to make you sensitive to requirements of morality and social justice; others believe that educational activity should focus on cultivation of the mind (intellectual virtue)
  • The precise philosopher is focused solely on the latter, the intellectual; as a ruler though he must develop proper virtue as well
  • 197 (518 b-e): education is not simply putting knowledge into people, but directing people towards knowledge (turning people around towards the sun out of the cave) because the capacity to learn is already there
  • Sun: offspring of the Good, visible vs. intelligible
  • The comprehensive dialectic put together 2 types of knowledge, the quantitative and the qualitative (mathematics and poetry in Platonic terms)
  • Divided Line: attempt to describe 4 different types of apprehension (2 visible, 2 intelligible)
  • Cave: 4 levels of apprehension all within the visible that correspond to the 4 segments on the line and some other shit
  • 2 different adjustments of eyes correspond to 2 different problems of intellect
    • Man who escaped from cave goes back to cave to bring principles into city, harmonize it
    • The cave is the city: going back into the cave is to force him to rule
    • Perfectly just man given choice to rule: they will choose to rule because he has an obligation because they had the benefit of the education; they were given opportunity to get education so now you have the obligation to give back
  • Justice isn’t choiceworthy
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9/18 Notes and Commentary

  • Plato really could not have come up with a more underwhelming definition/phrasing of justice than that he described in Book 4; literally just don’t meddle in the business of others
  • Huge fan of the purple hat Mr. X (don’t know his name yet) is wearing, despite it being a Seahawks one
  • Class seems significantly smaller today; coincidentally the last day of the add/drop period if I remember correctly
  • Old man up front killing the socks and sandals game, redefining it really; but honestly so many kudos to him for taking this class, at his age all I’d want to do is eat Cheetos and watch The Real World
  • I’d say we spend approximately 10 minutes on Book 4; not like it was the assigned reading for yesterday or anything
  • “I can’t read [Dry’s] handwriting at all”-old woman up front
  • I think I’m going to make a Kickstarter for handwriting lessons for Murray, feel free to donate; actually I strongly encourage you to donate
  • Dry has yet to call out Mr. X for not taking off his hat yet, perhaps this is an off day
  • Are those slim-fit pants he’s wearing? That shit ain’t too baggy, that’s for sure
  • Eros = sexual desire, real gentlemen avoid it/aren’t persuaded by it
  • Kalos Kagathos = gentleman, one who has enough leisure to get education, is noble and good, object of education is to produce those kinds of individuals
  • “Ms. Marks is not here, she must be sick” he says with a sly grin
  • All those with education are male; cool
  • So pumped to hear, once again, Murray Dry lecture us about the value of a liberal arts education
  • Socrates reduces grand and heroic Achilles to a person with the lower vices of money and an arrogant disdain of the gods
  • Saw Billy Madison last night, haven’t laughed that hard in a long time; “If peeing your pants is cool, consider me Miles Davis”
  • No 1 person can imitate tragedy and comedy; while stories may be harmful to a city, could it not still be true that Homer is telling us something about human nature on a grand scale; Homer’s heroes not the best models for the city’s future leaders
    • Homer is only problematic is we take him seriously; take poets able to maintain order than the most talented or verbally beautiful
  • Homer clearly knows something, but is sent out for the good of the city
  • Guardians don’t get paid and don’t have any private property; response to Adeimantus’s claim that they’ll be unhappy with a notion of utilitarianism, do what’s best for the whole of the city
  • 40 minutes in and we get to where we left off last class, sick!
  • Noble lie: necessary because persuasive speech won’t convince all people; people fashioned from earth with a certain composition of metals in their souls that designate who is fit to rule; some people aren’t good enough and this justifies that to people
    • Some might not believe it
  • It’s been more than a semester’s worth of time with Mr. Dry and he still incorrectly calls me Mr. Dignam
  • He also just can’t match Ms. Fehmiu’s name to her face, almost comically so at this point
  • Jury=only purely democratic office; vintage Dry screaming at people with a wide smile on his face when someone finally reaches the answer, only to drop an old-school pop culture reference that he then needs to explain and provide an example of when someone else uses that reference in a similar context
  • Part 2 of noble lie, appeal to a divine source, the gods have given you a predetermined level of success and that is manifesting itself to Socrates; some people are better suited to judge who is best to rule; key to city is in education of the guardians; such complete education that you don’t need laws
  • Justice is based on consent of the governed
  • Noble lie: people fashioned and educated under the earth and sent up from mother earth, all siblings so that the city will be unified and patriotic; earth includes all mankind whereas the land is only the city; citizens are brothers and sisters; answers question of why we don’t have a world city
  • Need to buttress division into different countries with an argument that claims there’s a natural support for it
  • Murray Dray simply has no regard for the concepts of time and time limits
  • 4 virtues: wisdom, courage, moderation, justice; if you find the first 3, what’s left is justice; he assumes justice is a virtue, which was the question in the first place
  • Wisdom=good counsel, universal knowledge of what is good for the city, known in the guardians; courage=maintaining a proper opinion of what is shameful/terrible, done by the auxiliaries, expressly political
    • Virtues in a political sense, not simply philosophical
  • Wants to skip over moderation, but Glaucon won’t let him because as in the city and in man the realms of moderation and justice overlap; moderation is a control of one’s desires, an agreement about who should rule and who should be ruled; all-encompassing
  • Justice: the principle of specialization; his response to me saying that may have been the first thing he’s said to me without the slightest hint of criticism
  • Analogy is not city to man but city to soul; soul has 3 parts (rational, spirited, desirous)
    • Is spiritedness separate from the two or simply a blend?
  • Get me out of this damn classroom
  • Wisdom with rational, spirited with courage, moderation is a moderation of the soul, justice is specialization of parts of the soul
  • City, minding one’s own business is doing what their best at as citizens; man, best ordered soul, minding own business means men will be civic-minded; hasn’t yet told us what justice in man is
  • Book cannot end because he hasn’t answered what the activity of the well-ordered soul is; that activity of the perfectly just man is philosophy, not political
  • Sick Murray, just ruin the WHOLE damn ending to the book halfway through, just fuckin great, ruin the one thing that kept me reading this fuckin book

9-16 Notes and Commentary

  • Lifeguarded for Murray this Sunday; gotta respect the dedication at his age, but honestly not a great swimmer, stroke wastes a lot of energy and arms need to get out of the water more
  • Plato’s dialogue medium of making points is so goddamn stupid; just tell us that justice is good, don’t have Socrates say it
  • Marks spends a relatively good amount of time on other websites in this class, which is really quite a remarkable feat
  • Dry with a lighter-colored tweed jacket today, looks slimming
  • Not gonna lie, the older couple in the front row is hella adorable
  • This is probably the most inefficient way to hand out papers, just calling out names 1 by 1 in the Warner Hemicycle
  • You know, for the criticism he provides on elaborating on things, you’d think he’d be willing to assign papers with more than a 300 word limit/write legibly
  • Bold move by Mr. Gee dropping this class; not doing himself any favors in regards to a future rapport with Murray
  • I don’t know Mr. Kingsbury, but I’m going to assume he’s a Feb, just a hunch
  • Book 2, Glaucon/Adeimantus’ argument: people only partake in justice out of necessity for fear they will get caught acting unjust; they want him to prove that justice is preferred no matter the consequences because they want to know how they should act
  • A technical knockout of Mr. Bohlman, the “thoughtful student” that he is, by the Voracious Vermonter
  • Bohlman’s encounter with Murray is reminiscent of my first day of last year’s American Political Regime, where he bestowed upon me the descriptive adjective of “so naïve”
  • Sooooooo shocked we delved into a monologue about academic integrity, stunned really
  • Quick sack tap towards the Economics department on the cheating front
  • Overstreet definitely so nervous whilst answering that question
  • Book 4, Adeimantus poses question of whether or not the guardians might be unhappy because they receive no benefit from the city, and Socrates can apologize for that
  • 1st use of “apropos” this year! Can’t wait for him to use 5 times a class for every class for the rest of the semester!!!
  • Very excited for chicken parm tonight, finna have ~4 of them
  • I don’t get why people take notes on these ideological rants, they’re literally of no consequence to anything graded in this class
  • Justice=middle ground between following the best life and being subject to possible consequences of the worst life; laws are an agreement to say “I won’t violate your right, you won’t violate mine,” thus we’re better off this way
  • There are natural goods that put us in competition; cool
  • Homer is gone because of how he depicts the gods, can’t have them as models in the city
    • These stories in the wrong hands and told at the wrong time will undermine the kind of character we need in the city particularly in the primary/ruling class
  • Book 3: talks about tales of courage (63); references the Odyssey, where it states that he’d rather be a slave than dead; not a good example set for their guardians
  • General Patton = “a tough son of a bitch”; sounds like a swell guy; references a movie about Patton, I haven’t seen it, wonder what kinds of movies he watches
    • Movies Dry probably likes: The Wicker Man, 22 Jump Street (Not 21), Titanic
  • Murray is simply incapable of remembering Ms. Preston’s name
  • 3 qualifications of rulers: prudent (have practical wisdom), powerful, care for the city
    • Suggests element of intelligence, not simply moral wisdom
  • If anyone knows how to consistently beat the CPU on the 3rd course of the Expert level Match Race in 1080o Avalanche on the GameCube, advice would be appreciated
  • God is not the cause of all things, only the good (according to Socrates’ city); God is unchanging, not a wizard, doesn’t transform himself; God has no need to lie
  • Lie in the soul vs. Lie in speech; that which truly is vs. something in the service of benefit
  • Brockleman with the power play, sneezing within a minute of someone else sneezing
  • Homosexuality: no prohibition on that; difference between having a defective soul and a defective body, the former being more serious; proscription on excessive pleasure
  • “musical matter should end in love matters that concern the fair” (82)
  • Shouldn’t rely on diets that don’t make you ready and able to fight
  • Medicine that focuses on the body and the body in regard to the soul, not necessarily about prolonging life; training of the body for the sake of the soul
  • Noble lie/myth of the metals to persuade even the rulers and the rest of the city; Socrates’ gods don’t act on human beings; human beings and rulers may lie in speech for the sake of the city
  • The founders might want to introduce some noble lie; what does the fact that he’s suggesting a noble lie imply for the 3 criteria and using them for selection? Why is a lie necessary?
  • The3 lies are not sufficient because you need to persuade those not chosen for guardianship

9-11 Notes and Commentary

  • Motion to rename Plato, Fuckboy; personally I think it’s apt
  • Murray may have just attempted something technological, but I’m not quite sure; if the former if true that’s quite the feat
  • He’s literally said Ms. Fehmiu’s name wrong 8 times in the past class and 2 minutes into this one
  • Bold move by the new Mr. Khan to not respond to his own name in the class list
  • Wall with the “naïve candor” as he so eloquently puts it; “I take no offense”………..HA
  • Apology of Socrates: Socrates responds to claim he doesn’t believe in gods of the city by pledging his allegiance to a god-like being (Dimone) that has kept him out of politics, succeeded at refuting a piece of Malytus’s charge, but leaves unaddressed the question of whether he believes in the city’s gods; he finessed the question; uses irony (dissembles a whole truth about himself)
  • Republic Book 1: Socrates poses question of what is justice; Cephalus begins, undermined by Socrates so transitions to Polymechus, Socrates refutes and revises, then Thrasymachus bursts into the conversation quite enraged
    • Platonian philosophy is a dialogue, Socrates is a speaker for his philosophy
  • Thrasymachus tamed by the end of Book 1;
  • Absolutely savage of Dry to refuse any 8 am classes because they “aren’t his style”
  • There’s no way that Dry just referenced sexual persuasion to his future wife when she was a student to take the class; now THAT’S savage
  • different speakers have offered 3 different definitions of justice, he’s refuted all 3 by the end and then claims that he knows nothing and acknowledges that he did so illegitimately; How is Socrates able to refute arguments without having fully explored the subject of justice? Socrates leads interlocutor to get something that could be undermined
  • 1st scene defines politics; coercion and persuasion; what if the other side doesn’t listen? You can’t simply count on persuasion
  • Book 1=negative book of the Republic
  • Shots fired towards Ms. Preston for having the e-book
  • Assignment: 300 Words; What is the argument that Glaucon and Adymantus want, what is the charge to give him? Can choose one of the two topics
  • Assignment 2: How does Socrates respond in Book 2
  • There’s something defective about writing (you might not understand it): Plato writes in dialogue form and our access is through the interlocutors; we’re like Glaucon/Adymantus
  • Just a reminder that Dry’s WWE name would be The Pounding Father, so money
  • Dry might be the most non-linear thinker I’ve ever met, just so all-over-the-place
  • I don’t like Macs, but I particularly dislike Mr. Kingsbury’s red Mac cover; now, no disrespect to the man but boy do I detest that laptop
  • Logographic necessity: words are in specific places for specific reasons
  • How the hell did Chacos get so popular? They’re way too expensive and only slightly different from sandals, just a preposterous purchase in my eyes
  • Cephalus, 328b on page 4: goes to 331e (page 7); we learn that those who make money adore it twice as much as those who inherit it
    • Socrates asks Cephalus that he is on the threshold of old age and many complain about, what’s it like? Depends on the person, a matter of character/satisfaction
    • 5: Socrates asks what the primary good of his wealth and this leads him to change the topic to justice; Having wealth allows you to avoid all the bad things not having wealth makes you want to do (stealing, cheating, lying)
    • Socrates turns question to justice; implicit definition of justice of Cephalus is telling the truth and paying your debts, then how does Socrates refute that, example if a friend gives you something and then asks for it back in a dangerous state
  • Polemarchus: justice is doing good to friends and harm to enemies (page 8)
    • Socrates raises an important analogy (serves to refute both Polemarchus and Thrasymachus): justice and the arts (technical skills); does justice involve a certain kind of knowledge or a certain kind of sentiment
    • 1st account of justice is “what good is it?” seems limited, need more than just justice
    • If the just man is a good guardian, he can probably take it away; many skills are morally neutral
    • 11: the good are just and such as not to do injustice;
    • Definition changes: good to friends when they are good
  • Brockleman’s head of hair is outrageous, in a good way
  • Thrasymachus: coming in hot, guy sounds like a hardo, orator; outraged at what’s being said, attacks Socrates for his approach, he thinks he’s got an answer
    • Definition: Justice is the advantage of the stronger; the stronger lay down the law and making obeying the law, justice; the laws they make favor themselves; justice is someone else’s good, imposing what’s good for me on you and calling it law/justice
    • Socrates responds; suppose they’re wrong and make a mistake, make law something not good for them, then it’s advantageous and just for the ruled
    • Thrasymachus takes the position of conventionalism: justice is not natural or intrinsic but what it agreed upon; what’s right by nature is to take advantage of other; ruler in precise sense doesn’t make mistakes
    • What’s the relationship between a type of knowledge and justice? Justice-Arts analogy, if arts are viewed as autonomous (Thras’ view); if ruling is viewed as an art, then the ruler must act for the benefit of the ruled; this analogy completely flips Thras’ argument
    • 24: Socrates suggests no one willingly rules, they want pay/honor/something else (Glaucon is interested in the something else, shows he’s special)
  • OT, OT, OT (overtime)
    • 25: shifting from what is justice to is it good? Final fettering of Thrasymachus
    • 26: The unjust are good and prudent (virtue and wisdom); if injustice done on a large scale you rule tribes and nations; puts injustice in the camp of virtue and wisdom
    • 27: uses distinction between what’s like and unlike, the unjust man will try to get more than the just and unjust while the just will only try to get more than the unjust
    • 28: likeness is not identity, getting Thras to accept that justice is prudent

9-9 Notes and Commentary

  • And we’re back once more to the beautiful Warner Hemicycle; Murray Dry, never change
  • Naturally I begin the year not having read the assigned texts, fantastic, super pumped
  • My Anaconda don’t want reading…ever
  • A much smaller class than in the spring, I’m going out on a limb and assume we lost a significant portion of the class body when Professor Nelson dropped out of the class
  • Can we just set up a fund for writing lessons? It’s preposterous how illegible it is at this point
  • And we’re back again, the only professor on campus who can command complete silence upon saying a single word
  • Already telling the 1 super senior that everyone should go to her for help
  • Starbucks iced coffee is a poor decision prior to any class, let alone this one in particular
  • Subtle humbebrag saying that he hasn’t taught this course in a while because he’s been teaching upper level classes; so Murray Dry it hurts
  • Handful of old people in the class
  • Turnage clearly rattled by my earlier question of how he can wear a jacket in this classroom; proceeded to take off his jacket
  • Dry definitely listens to Creed unapologetically
  • Dry namedropping Leo Strauss like an animal
  • Wonder if he’s listened to “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift, and if so, his take on it?
  • 19c Page 66, “makes the weaker speech the stronger,” “meddlesome”; accused of worshipping other gods and corrupting the youth; vintage youth being corrupted by famous people
    • Learning how to do justice and get away with it
  • Snaps for the older gentleman in the back describing what “pinko” means
  • Priestess receives an oracle that no one is wiser than Socrates, he tries to determine truth of that, thinks the God must be wrong, believes the young are listening
  • That laugh to serious transition, so quick, just diabolical
  • Socrates makes the people who are refuted and whom he destroys philosophically hate him, not his forays into politics but because people are mad and jealous, got himself into trouble by questioning those deemed “wise”
  • Undermining fundamental beliefs of the youth and authority of the city
  • Oh Ms. Brown, rookie mistake answering a broad question from Dry, just goes on a tirade on how it’s secession and just slowly demeans her statement; bodybag city
  • It’s times like this I miss the constant willingness to participate of Mr. Hoxie
  • Dry screaming to us that he’s not a communist is too classic
  • Monday-writing assignment, Book 1, Plato’s Republic
  • Socrates in a direct democracy as opposed to a representative democracy
  • “Science as a Vocation”-Max Weber
    • Normative questions are value questions, they are not rational; not fact based questions, based on fact/value distinction
    • To come out clearly and take a stand is one’s “damned duty” in a democracy; interesting because this is a value and values are not knoweable, “damned” used because he can’t prove that it’s a fact so he can’t give a persuasive argument for it
    • Teacher should not impose a political position unto his/her students. Why? Demonstrates the impossibility of proving the value of intellectual integrity
    • Fact=true, procedurally driven; democratic end is freedom, sick!
  • Just realized the older gentleman in the back is killin the sandal with socks game, redefining the shoewear life
  • A new Mr. Khan is dominating the class discussion, wonder if he has transition lenses as well
  • Dry asks the class how he got onto a certain point, completely forgot how he got on a tangent, 1st time I can recall ever seeing that
  • Socrates proposes the equivalent of tenure, quite sassy, especially in the face of the death penalty; Plato saw that the Socrates way of life threatens the city, thus philosophers have to be careful in the way they engage in activity that question things people need to have settled
  • At least he’s trying to stay on time
  • Strauss-“What is Political Philosophy?”
    • All political action ultimately presupposes an opinion of the good
    • Quest for knowledge of all things means of God/world/man; philosophy not the same as wisdom; the attempt at gaining knowledge is worth it
    • Quotes Aquinas, the least knowledge of the highest things is more desirable than certain knowledge of the lower things
  • I think he’s asked Ms. Preston what her name is 5 times in this class alone. Hello senility?
  • Apology: likens himself to a Gadfly going around the city and saying “have you thought about virtue today?” Urges citizens to think about wealth and not virtue, but does it in such a way that implies its more about moral conviction than intellectual pursuits