Analecto

16 de novembro de 2017

Notes on “The Republic”.

“A República” was written by Platão. Below are some statements made in that text. They may or may not reflect what I think about this subject. Questions about my personal opinion can be asked in the comments.

  1. The aging process kills youthful desires, which enslave the young men.
  2. Wisdom makes it tolerable to age.
  3. If you get you worked for your own money, you will feel how much it’s valuable.
  4. The fool, if very attached to material goods, feels despair when death is near, because he doesn’t know the future of his goods and his soul.
  5. Justice is not simply speaking the truth and giving someone what’s due…
  6. Is justice the virtue of caring for friends while harming enemies?
  7. If so, justice is useless in times of peace.
  8. We don’t always know who are our true friends.
  9. Justice implies caring for your enemies too.
  10. Justice is not the convenience of the strongest.
  11. Being strong doesn’t guarantee that your laws are going to be fair.
  12. A ruler doesn’t always know what is in the nation’s best interest.
  13. Ruling a nation means acting in the best interest of those who are under your hierarchy.
  14. Being unjust is profitable, but still wrong.
  15. Being unjust implies a degree of ignorance.
  16. You can’t practice justice if you are ignorant.
  17. Justice enables harmony, while being unjust causes chaos.
  18. An unjust person beings harm to themselves, as no one would trust them.
  19. If God is just, you better also be…
  20. If you are unjust, you can’t rule your own life with perfection, let alone rule the lives of others.
  21. Justice is more useful in a community level, rather than personal level.
  22. A person can not live completely alone.
  23. The differences between types of people make them more fit for certain roles.
  24. No city would be built if we didn’t need each other.
  25. The better a community is, the more allies it has.
  26. A community can only become interested in art, science or economy after the basic needs (water, food, shelter, health) are sorted out.
  27. Excess of resources makes the population ill, as it becomes easier to adopt unhealthy habits.
  28. In a community where the desire for futile stuff has become high, resources start to diminish too quickly, creating the need to take what already belongs to other communities.
  29. It would be ideal if each person had just one job, that could be executed expertly.
  30. Desire to learn already makes you philosopher.
  31. There’s good and bad literature, the bad literature being the one that has no contact with reality, that is, a literature that lies to the reader.
  32. Fiction counts as bad literature.
  33. A religion that teaches that gods can have wars between themselves ends up sanctioning violence between humans (“even gods fight”).
  34. Even if those stories had a hidden meaning, nothing can guarantee that a person wouldn’t get the meaning wrong.
  35. If a child learns something false, they won’t easily forget.
  36. If somehting bad happens, don’t blame the gods.
  37. A “real lie” is the one that exploits the listener’s ignorance.
  38. Overcoming the fear of death requires fiction writers to not write scary stuff about afterlife, that is, exercise a kind of censorship.
  39. Fiction appeals to emotion, harming the full exercise of reason.
  40. You can’t go to war if you aren’t ready to die.
  41. If you can live without someone, you don’t need to cry when that person dies.
  42. Laughter should also be avoided.
  43. The government can lie, but only if the lie is told on the population’s best interest.
  44. Fiction writers shouldn’t write bad things about gods or heroes, to not encourage bad behavior among normal humans who see gods and heroes as role models.
  45. There should have no sad music.
  46. There should have no calm music.
  47. There should have a list of allowed musical instruments and a list of banned musical techniques.
  48. Other artist should abide to those restrictions, not only writers and composers.
  49. Music has educational value too.
  50. Real love isn’t lust.
  51. It’s wise to improve your body as well as your mind.
  52. A warrior needs it’s own diet.
  53. A good diet is supposed to be simple.
  54. If there is a great demand for doctors it is because there are a lot of ill people.
  55. It’s shameful to need doctors to treat self-inflicted illnesses and injuries.
  56. A judge must be able to recognize an unjust act without acting against justice himself.
  57. Physical education has the role of keeping the body in shape, so that people wouldn’t need doctors so often.
  58. Physical education (gymnastics) must be practiced alongside music, as physical education alone could make a person turn “brute” and music alone could make the person too soft.
  59. A warrior needs to stay firm in what he believes.
  60. A warrior needs to live off state, rather than having own properties, so he can fully commit to his job.
  61. Community happiness comes first, personal happiness comes second.
  62. A person shouldn’t be wealthy to the point of not needing to have a role in society.
  63. Excess of wealth causes temptation to work less.
  64. You shouldn’t be filthy rich, but shouldn’t be dirt poor either.
  65. There should be no marriage.
  66. Four cardinal virtues: wisdom, courage, moderation, justice.
  67. Every ruler must be wise and moderated, while the ruled people must be courageous and moderated.
  68. Jobs come in four kinds: manufacturer, warrior, ruler and merchant.
  69. It’s just to exercise the work that you are most useful at, rather than exercising many jobs or hopping from one to another.
  70. Sciences are separated from each other due to intimate differences, which appear when humans start to focus on a different object.
  71. The soul is divided in three parts: reason, emotion and appetite.
  72. A person is just when reason dominates emotion, which dominates appetite.
  73. Women should receive the same education as men.
  74. No such thing as “man’s job” or “woman’s job”, but each person must pick the job they are most useful at.
  75. There are laws that go against nature.
  76. Nuclear family must be abolished.
  77. State must interfere in sexual relationships in order to guarantee that the next generation will be better than the previous.
  78. A person must deserve the right to reproduce based on how useful they are to the community.
  79. Children are raised by state.
  80. A woman should feed random children, rather than electing one (her own child).
  81. Age of consent: 20 for women, 30 for men.
  82. Procreation must be authorized by state first.
  83. Children see older people as “dad” and “mom”, even if they aren’t biologically so.
  84. Children should watch the war.
  85. Children, before going to watch the war, must be taught to flee.
  86. Soldiers who are taken captive shouldn’t be rescued.
  87. Science is a discourse about how things truly are, while opinion is a discourse about how things seem to be.
  88. The philosopher looks for stable knowledge, one that doesn’t change with time.
  89. If you love wisdom, you are likely virtuous.
  90. A philosopher isn’t afraid of dying.
  91. Because most people are dumb, philosophers are seldom heard, making them almost completely useless for state and public life.
  92. A philosopher who ends up preaching a stupid idea probably had a philosophical nature that was perverted by poor education.
  93. Philosophy is dangerous for status quo.
  94. The philosopher should rule the nation.
  95. If a group of philosophers takes control over the nation, it would still take some time for the new laws to appear.
  96. Laws shouldn’t be made in a rush.
  97. A ruler who is dumb or doesn’t love his people must be impeached.
  98. A ruler should be able to enjoy studying, or isn’t fit for the task.
  99. A philosopher must be both wise and healthy.
  100. If something isn’t good, we wouldn’t want it, unless we mistook it for good.
  101. “Good” and “pleasant” aren’t the same, although they can overlap in a same object.
  102. You can find pleasure in doing something bad.
  103. If you can speak about what other people think, you are supposed to be able to speak about what you think as well.
  104. Science and truth are siblings.
  105. You can put your thoughts in a scale of clarity, from most obscure to clearest: I suppose (most obscrure), I believe, I understand, I know (clearest).
  106. Appearance is misleading, so you can’t judge an object from it’s appearance.
  107. Practicing science can be confusing, to the point of causing a person to regret practicing it.
  108. The wise feels pity on the ignorant.
  109. The wise man may behave pathetically in public life.
  110. Nevertheless, the wise man should not isolate himself from others.
  111. Education is to turn the student’s soul towards truth, rather than opinion.
  112. A philospher must worry about the others as well, not only about himself.
  113. The philosopher must use opinions as pedagogical resource.
  114. Everyone should know math, even soldiers.
  115. If you want to reach the truth, you can’t do so without calculation.
  116. Math should be taught in school as mandatory class.
  117. Geometry can completely change the way you analyze things.
  118. Astronomy can also be useful for everyone.
  119. Imperfect study shouldn’t be encouraged.Calculus, geometry, astronomy and dialetics are responsible for turning a person away from opinion and towards the truth.
  120. You can not learn dialetics without learning mathematics first.
  121. Exact sciences are universally valid.
  122. Philosophy’s bad reputation comes from those who practice it without being prepared or without having talent, that is, people who are bad at it.
  123. Children should learn math by playing games, as it’s easier for them to remember what they learned with pleasure.
  124. Learning dialetics at an young age can make a person turn rebellious, because the youth will notice that many things he used to believe are incorrect, causing hatred towards society.
  125. Dialetics can only be taught to people with a stable mind.
  126. Women can rule the state, if they are fit for the job.
  127. No human government lasts forever.
  128. An oligarchy is a form of government exercised only by rich people, who use the poor as resource poll.
  129. Wealth and virtue generally go into different directions.
  130. The problem with oligarchy is that rich people are often terrible rulers.
  131. Plus, poor people and wealthy people sometimes conspirate against each other.
  132. Oligarchs sell public goods, empoverish their territories and attract bad reputation.
  133. A state with too many poor people is a state with too many crimes, both perpretated by poor and wealthy people.
  134. An ignorant person prefers money over dignity.
  135. People’s rebellion can turn an oligarchy into a democracy.
  136. The election of better qualified people can turn a democracy into an aristocracy.
  137. Democracies highly regard freedom.
  138. A tyrant needs to ensure that people will need him.
  139. A tyrant needs war.
  140. A tyrant’s need for war makes him hated by his people.
  141. A tyrant needs to kill those who oppose to him.
  142. To control his own territory, a tyrant may need help from other nations.
  143. A tyrant uses public wealth to reinforce his army, thus defending himself.
  144. Everyone has wild, irrational desires.
  145. We often dream about them.
  146. A tyrant is defenseless without servants.
  147. Some people think that something is only worth being done if it brings them money.
  148. Under a philosopher’s guidance, people can better conduct their ambition and desire for money.
  149. Impulse and desire must be moderated, but never eliminated.
  150. Money and power can’t compensate a soul’s decadence.
  151. Beautiful lies can destroy a person’s intelligence.
  152. An artisan makes physical objects using a mental model as base.
  153. If someone seems to know everything, they are lying.
  154. Fiction is a lie and should be treated as such, that is, shouldn’t be taken seriously.
  155. Falsifications are a toy or a game; believing something false as if it was true is silly.
  156. Reason should moderate suffering.
  157. Emotion is what makes us feel despair.
  158. Emotion harms the free use of reason.
  159. Suffering excessively isn’t masculine.
  160. The more you laugh, the harder it will be to contain your laughter next time you see something funny.
  161. The body can only die from age, illness or physical damage.
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