Book VIII of the Republic of Plato is very clear in its intent. Socrates had just finished describing his ideal state in the previous book, the Aristocratic Republic. However to truly decide whether this is the best political regime in terms of the happiness of its citizens, other regimes must be analyzed in comparison. There are four regimes which, in a sense, digress from the highest regarded Aristocracy. Each of which has a subsequent individual whose dominant characteristic, or order of the soul is in direct relation to that regime. However Socrates’ will also show that it is the individual who dictates the regime, and inevitable digression into the system below it. In this essay I will assess Book VIII and show how the principal virtue of each regime (and of the individual therein) eventually becomes its principal vice and digression.
Philosophy is a subject or idea that I constantly think about, but in my head I always thought it was because I had an overactive imagination. One may even say, maybe I looked to in depth at certain topics and ideas. After approaching the topic, I can say that maybe I have a philosophical mind. One would think the basis of philosophy is to ask the questions that can not be answered or hope would be answered. However, philosophy is so much more and contains many parts and schools of thoughts that one realizes the basis of knowledge begins with a question; begins with philosophy.
Soren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche are widely regarded as the two greatest thinkers of the 19th century. Known as the fathers of the existentialist movement, these two philosophers have revolutionized the way we see the world. Even though it has been over a century since they have both died, the very fact that their texts are being taught in modern curriculum’s, is a testament to how influential their works truly are. Though both men have similarities, in the sense that they wish to discover the true meaning of ones existence, they both come to two completely different conclusions. Though both state philosophy as a means to enrich and appreciate the life you possess, Religion, the major difference between these two thinkers, is what is wrong with their purposed ideas of living a meaningful life.
As Stephanie Ericsson makes clear in her essay “The Ways We Lie”, the world has been desensitized to lying. Concealment of the truth has become a staple in our society, due to cultural pressures on political, social, and economic fronts. Ericsson describes our acceptance of lies as “a cultural cancer that eventually shrouds and reorders reality until moral garbage becomes as invisible as us to as water is to a fish.” Although Ericsson is right in her point that lying has become a daily part of our lives, she is wrong in the sense that it is an exclusively negative thing. Morally, lying is frowned upon in nearly all circles. The art of concealing the truth is probably most openly frowned upon by those who most avidly use it to their advantage, and in and of itself that is an example of how they do so. However, as Ericsson views lying as something that shrouds or burdens reality, lies are actually the very fabric of our existence. Countless things, ideas, and occurrences all around us each and every day are the result of mistruth or misguided truth. The order we perceive in our own personal lives, as well as on a global scale is at least somewhat dependant on one lie or another, whether it be one told by us, to us, or perhaps something even larger.
The question of individual responsibility, in my opinion, is the most important in the field of ethics. Coming to an adequate understanding of human potential and limitation in forming the best life possible has been a prime question of the philosopher for ages, as it pertains to so many other forms of inquiry i.e. education, political formation, social justice, and knowledge. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics is a work that delves into the problem of responsibility and attempts to provide an adequate outline for the development of the best human individual in relation with the best society in nature.
Husserl was a German Jewish philosopher. Being Jewish put him at a disadvantage due to the times and the place. After gaining his Ph.D in mathematics at Berlin university, he lectured at the universities of Göttingen and Freiburg. The Nazis had him relocated in favor of his previous apprentice, Heidegger. Husserl believed that the political and social crisis followed from an intellectual crisis. Modern science was unsuccessful to provide its promised answers.
Kant was enlightened by Hume’s theory of cause and effect. Hume and Kant agreed and disagreed to many concepts regarding metaphysics. Hume was accustomed to believe in necessary connection. “Humean doubt” is the belief that you can not know or trust that the future will resemble the past. In contrast Kant believed empirical knowledge is never necessary and universal however cause is necessary and universal. He believed that things were known necessarily and the cause of something was beyond experience and could not be known. Kant disagrees with Hume’s idea of cause not coming from experience.
Vegetarianism is a practice that vegetarians follow, which includes a diet of vegetables, fruits and sometimes selected animal products such as cheese or milk. This is a belief that vegetarians follow with respect to different origins. There are vegetarians all around the world, they don’t share the same religion but their belief stays the same. Some people prefer to be a vegetarian by choice while others have no other choice because their religion forces them to be one.
Augustine considers the theft of the pears halfway through Book II. What particularly disturbs him about this teenage prank is that he did it out of no other motive than a desire to do wrong. "I loved my fall [into sin]," he writes. The pears were not stolen for their beauty, their taste, or their nourishment (there were better pears at home), but out of sheer mischief.
Morality has always been an issue that I have tried with great intensity to pursue. I have had strong beliefs of what is right or wrong since I was a small child. Please don’t misjudge what I am saying - I have not always conducted myself in an ethically moral way. I have made many wrong decisions in life, followed many paths that I should have not followed, and done many things that would constituted as ethically immoral.