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Flashcards in Callicles Deck (30)
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1

Nature and convention are opposed

P1: Convention ordains that doing wrong is more contemptible than suffering wrong.
P2: In nature (a world without laws) everything is more contemptible if it is also worse.
P3: In nature suffering wrong is worse than committing it.

Nature and convention are thus opposed.

2

Being wronged is not a real man's experience

P1: Those who are wronged are like slaves because they are incapable of defending themselves against unjust treatment.
P2: Slaves are not real men.
Being wronged is not a real man’s experience.

3

The weak in society make the rules

P1: The weak in society constitute the majority.
P2: Conventional justice benefits the interests of the weak majority at the expense of the strong.
C:The weak in society make the rules.

4

Conventional justice is merely a construction of the weak designed to protect themselves from the strong

P1: The weak in society make the rules.
P2: In making rules, they look after themselves and their own interests.
P3: Their interest is the criterion they use to dispense praise and criticism and to define ‘justice’.
P4: The weak claim that ‘injustice’ is trying to have more than others, and so stop the strong (those capable of getting more) from having more by calling it ‘unjust’.
C: Conventional justice is merely a construction of the weak designed to protect themselves from the strong.

5

Right can be determined by obervation of natural justice

P1: What occurs in nature is ‘right’ purely by virtue of its natural status.

C: Right can be determined by the observation of natural justice.

6

It is right for the strong to dominate the weak

P1: Nature provides evidence that it is right for the better to have a greater share than the worse, for the more capable to have more than the less capable.
P2: Examples from non-human societies and other cultures prove that right has been determined as: the superior dominate the inferior and have more than them.
P3: The superior act in accordance with the natural essence of right, or ‘natural law’.

C: It is right for the strong to dominate the weak.

7

Convention is enslaving

P1: Convention dictates that the attempt to have a larger share is immoral (i.e. insists on equality).
P2: Therefore convention opposes ‘natural right’, which dictates that it is right for man to take what he wants.
P4 (minor c) Equality is unnatural.
P3: Convention, via man-made laws, stifles natural right.
Convention is enslaving.

8

Philosophy cannot bring one distintion, political or social prestige.

P1: Philosophers don’t understand their community’s legal systems.
P2: Philosophers don’t understand how to address public or private meetings.
P3: Philosophers lack the experience to distinguish themselves as a ‘gentleman’, with standing in society.
C: Philosophy cannot bring one distinction, political or social prestige.

9

Philosophers are completley out of touch with human nature.


P1: Philosophers don’t know what kinds of things people enjoy or desire.
Philosophers are completely out of touch with human nature.

10

The philosophical life is not the good life

P1: A man earns distinction through political participation.
P2: One will not develop into a ‘real man’ unless he involves himself in the heart of his community’s life (the agora).
P3 (minor C): A good, moral life is one where one participates in public life.
P4: Philosophers avoid ‘the thick of the agora’, they are essentially refugees from life.
The philosophical life is not the ‘good’ life.

11

Philosophy is only for the young

P1: A certain amount of philosophy makes one a ‘cultured person’.
P2: Teenagers require philosophy as a means of helping them become cultured.
P3: Philosophy has no benefits for the life of a ‘real man’, as it is akin to ‘whispering in a corner with young men’.
C: Philosophy is only for the young.

12

Philosophy renders a man incapable of defending himself

P1: A philosopher lacks experience in using rhetoric to assist himself or his friends.
P2: Learning philosophy, instead of learning how to operate within the world of practical affairs, leaves a man ill-prepared.
C: Philosophy renders a man incapable of defending himself.

13

Right consists in the rulers having more than their subjects

P1: The better are those who are clever in matters of politics and courageous enough to act of their intentions.
P2: It is naturally right for the better to have more.
C: Right consists in them, the rulers, having more than their subjects.

14

Those that live the good life are not ruled by anyone

P1: The only authentic way of life is to do nothing to hinder or restrain the expansion of one’s desires (enslavement).
P2 (minor C): Self-restraint and conventional justice involves limiting one’s desires and thus is a kind of enslavement.
P3: Human happiness is incompatible with enslavement to anyone (including oneself).
C: Those that live the good life are not ruled by anyone, including themselves.
OR
That if a person has the means to live a life of sensual, self indulgent freedom, there’s no better or happier state of existence.

15

Self-restraint or the absence of desire is not the good life.

P1: A good life is one where we constantly feel pleasure.
P2: A person ‘fully satisfied’ will no longer feel pleasure, as they do not get the pleasure of satisfying a need.
P3: Self-restraint denies us pleasure.
C: Self-restraint or the absence of desire is not the good life.

16

Nature and convention are thus opposed EVAL

Animal altruism exists, like between the pilot fish and shark. There is conventional agreements in the animals world.

It is the naturally strong who ordain convention. Therefore, a reflection of nature.

17

being wronged is not a real man's experience EVAL

Victimhood is often beyond our control. We cannot always adequately defend ourselves.

Suffering and being wronged is a part of life. To say that to live well one cannot be wronged is ignoring much of human experience.

18

The weak in society make the rules EVAL

This makes them the naturally strong by being the majority. They do so for everyone's benfit.

19

Conventional justice is merely a construction of the weak designed to protect themselves from the strong EVAL

Will of a strong majority in numbers rather than a strong minority in physical terms. It is a communal morality with everyone's intersts.

Egalitarian countries are those that are stronger.

20

Right can be determined by obervation of natural justice EVAL

Naturalistic fallacy. What is ought to be. The natural does not necessarily have anyhting to do with the ethical.

21

It is right for the strong to dominate the weak EVAL

Naturalistic fallacy. What is natural is not always what is right.

Focus is very much on strength, and the ability to dominate. What about reason?

Strong protecting the weak in society can be considered just as natural.

22

Convention is enslvaving EVAL

They are necessary for a functioning society. It is not a coincidence that the strongest and most liveable states are those that have strong conventions in place.

Gives us different kinds of freedoms that are not available in a world without laws. Freedom from fear.

Those who try to dominate others accumulate more fear and are enslved by the need to protect themselves.

Convention allows us to forgo our more barbaric tendencies like for violence to cultivate other natural capacities such as reason or empathy.

23

Philosophy cannot bring one distinction, political or social prestige EVAL

Philosophy is not designed for this purpose. It is designed to give us practical wisdom to live morally.

Philosophy can lead us to other goods that Cal has not considered, such as wisdom.

True, philosophy cannot lead us to these things.

But are these things necessary to the good life, if they rely on the actions and opinions of others?

24

Philosophers are completely out of touch with human nature EVAL

Not all philosophers avoid the "thick of the agora." This is a generalisation. In fact, an understanding of human nature is almost necessary to make moral claims.

25

The philosophical life is not the good life EVAL

We can strive for distinction in areas other than political prestige with philosophy.

His representation of the philosophical life is superficial. Perhaps a good life could involve developing practical skills to negotatie political and legal arenas to serve the good.

26

Philosophy is only for the young EVAL

Philosophy may have more value for the young, but it can be practiced at any age. It never stops being relevant.

27

Philosophy renders a man incapable of defending himself EVAL

It does not make a man incapable. They have the logic and practical knowledge to argue. But a commitment to the moral life might mean a student of philosophy may forgo these practices.

28

Right consists in the rulers having more than their subjects EVAL

Just because the politically competent might be 'better' and 'cleverer' does not mean that they necessarily should have more.
Implications: if right consists in rulers having more, then this will just result in corrupt societies which will not enable individual flourishing. It will only lead to corrupt communtiies.

29

Those that live the good life are not ruled by anyone EVAL

Authentic way of life could be doing whatever feels right and natural to you. Not necessarily a freedom to do whatever you want.

Desires can be enslaving.

30

Self-restraint or the absence of desire is not the good life EVAL

Although pleasurable, not always good to seek fulfilment of one's desires. Unable to control ourselves means we lose some aspects of our freedom.