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22 Cards in this Set

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Cardinal Virtues (Plato)

Plato describes the four cardinal virtues in The Republic to be:

-Wisdom (calculative) - see the whole
-Courage (spirited) - preserve the whole
-Moderation (appetitive) - serve the whole
-Justice (founding/preserving virtue) - "mind your own business" ie "tend to your soul"/"know yourself"

Justice is described by Plato to be the founding and preserving virtue because only once someone understands justice can he or she gain the other three virtues, and once someone possesses all four virtues it is justice that keeps it all together.

Wisdom is the virtue that will be found in the Philosopher Kings and Queens. Courage will be found in the Philosopher Kings and Queens and the guardians. Moderation and justice will be found in all of the above and the artisans.
Cave Allegory (Plato)

Prisoners in darkness (ignorance)

Shadows and reflections of reality

Brought into the light.

If brought back to the cave, now enlightened he would appear to the others still in the cave as a madman
Four Causes (Aristotle)

He posited four causes or principles of explanation: the material cause (the substance of which the thing is made); the formal cause (its design); the efficient cause (its maker or builder); and the final cause (its purpose or function). In modern thought the efficient cause is generally considered the central explanation of a thing, but for Aristotle the final cause had primacy.

Aristotle believed that a form, with the exception of the Prime Mover, or God, had no separate existence, but rather was immanent in matter. Thus, in the Aristotelian system, form and matter together constitute concrete individual realities;
Golden Mean (Aristotle)
Aristotle's Concept of the Golden Mean:

cowardice COURAGE rashness
sloth AMBITION greed
humility MODESTY pride
secrecy HONESTY loquacity
Gaurdians (Plato)
Those who understand the intelligible world, and are virturous enought to stand against temtation and do what is best for the community...political...Philosopher kings
Chain of Being (Aquinas)
In theory, there are but two classes of people: Nobles and Commoners. In practice, there are a huge number or gradations of both classes. These gradations are thought of as parts of a Great Chain of Being, which extends from God down to the lowest forms of life, and even to the trees and stones of the earth. This Great Chain, first described by St. Thomas Aquinas, is what holds the world together. The Great Chain is as follows:

God; Angels; Kings/Queens; Archbishops; Dukes/Duchesses;
Cogito Ergo Sum (Descartes)
I think therefore I am

Begins with Descartes assumption that nothing exists in his notion of systematic doubt...however, through the realization that he is aware of his own thoughts, he comes to terms that he must exist and works from that point forward onto the god and the body
Demiurge (Plato)
A Platonic deity who orders or fashions the material world out of chaos.

Plato describes the Demiurge as unreservedly good and hence desirous of a world as good as possible. The world remains allegedly imperfect, however, because the Demiurge had to work on pre-existing chaotic matter.
Disordered Love (Augustine)
How can an all-powerful/all good god allow evil...There is no evil, Augustine concluded! What appears to be evil is just the absence of good, in the same way that darkness is simply the absence of light. There is love in all of us, and love is a good thing. And God has given us free will, with which we choose how we will express this love.
Divided Line (Plato)
The Divided Line
Plato asks us to imagine a line divided into two parts. The larger part represents the intelligible world and the smaller, the visible world. Then, he says, imagine each part of the line further divided. As it turns out, the divisions in the segment for the intelligible world represent higher and lower forms, respectively. Moreover, the divisions in the segment for the visible world represent ordinary visible objects, on the one hand, and their shadows, reflections, and other representations, on the other.
Five Proofs (Aquinas)
1. Prime Mover
2. 1 self-sufficient, efficient cause...God
3. There must be in nature a necessarily existent being to provide existence from nothing
4. Every category has degrees, including a best, and the best of good is God
5. Reality has a natural order which could not have come from nothing, it must have only come from the creator who has set things as they are.
Forms (Plato)
The forms, according to Plato, are roughly speaking archetypes or abstract representations of the many types and properties (that is, of universals) of things we see all around us. There are, therefore, on Plato's view, forms of dogs, of human beings, of mountains, as well as of the color red, of courage, of love, and of goodness. Indeed, for Plato, God is identical to the Form of the Good.

The forms are supposed to exist in what is, for Plato, not inaccurately described as a "Platonic heaven." For Plato, when human beings die, their souls achieve some sort of reunion with the forms—reunion, because souls originate in and even, in life, have some recollection of, this Platonic heaven.
Natural Law (Aquinas)
Aquinas's Theory of Natural Law begins with the notion that God implanted his eternal law into the universe at the moment of creation. Man as a rational being can detect the parts of that eternal law which apply to him. This is called natural law and includes man’s awareness of the difference between good and evil, the importance of the preservation of life, the propagation of the species and the search for truth. So the moral rules which men recognize (such as those prohibiting murder, suicide, sex outside of a marriage open to the possibility of procreation) are not relative to time or place, but always apply due to their rootedness in the natural law.

Human law must also be consistent with Divine and natural law and must provide, therefore, for the sanctity of life, dignity of the individual, and responsibility of the state.
Illumination (Augustine)
According to Augustine what sets us apart from the animals is that God has given us both reason and understanding (albeit limited) to go along with the freedom to choose good over evil.
Intuition (Descartes)
To Descartes, inuition is an intellectual activity or vision of such clarity that it leaves no doubt in the mind. Intuition gives us clear notions but also some truths about reality. Because of intuition we can grasp the connection between one truth and another. Direct and immediate knowledge of the self, the external world, values, or other metaphysical truths, without the need to define the notions, to justify a conclusion, or to build up inferences.
Methodic Doubt (Descartes)
Descartes’ systematic doubt is the first method based on the assumption that everything is an illusion until it has been proven real. He illustrates this point by comparing the apparent reality of knowing that ones’ self is at some point doing some thing, but that in a dream a person may also “know” that they are at that same point doing that same thing, thus revealing that it is not possible to distinguish that which is reality from that which is a dream (or some other form of illusion). This method of doubt left Descartes with a bit of a quandary. If he was not sure of any reality, then how can he be sure of his (or anyone else’s) existence; only by his concept of cogito ergo sum could he establish any one truth, which is “I think, therefore I am.”
Recollection (Plato)
The Doctrine of Recollection is a Platonic idea which holds that we are born with a soul containing all knowledge; learning is simply recollecting what our soul already knows. It was presented by Socrates in the Phaedo as an argument for the existence of, and eternal nature of, the soul.
Seminal Principles (Augustine)
This was Augustine’s concept that living specimens contain the seeds, as it were, which allowed the entity itself to grow either into a fully developed form (and this is where the rub comes) – or give rise to other organisms unlike itself.
War of All Against All (Hobbes)
Hobbes believed that human beings in the state of nature would behave "badly" towards one another ("badly" in the sense of the morality that we would commonly apply: but Hobbes argued that people had every right to defend themselves by whatever means, in the absence of order). Famously, he believed that such a state would lead to a "war of every man against every man" and make life "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." Hobbes's negative view of human character was shaped at least in part by the Christian doctrines of original sin and total depravity; the Christian tradition is generally at one with Hobbes in supporting the need for government. However, Hobbes would strongly disagree with the Christian view of the innate, inherent, and inescapable sinfulness of human beings: in Hobbes's view, these problems are soluble by good government. As he incisively stated in its "De cive. Epistola dedicatoria", borrowing a well known aphorism from Plautus's Asinaria: "homo homini lupus" (man is wolf to man).
Hobbe's Political Philosophy
“In Hobbes' view, government exists primarily to a basic, natural instinct that all people have: to be protected from their greatest fear--an untimely, and especially untimely death." Hobbes notes an idea of “War of All Against All,” stating that humans in nature have the right to survive by taking what they need and/or hurting their neighbors in order to secure their safety.

However, due to a natural law that he believed that humans could perceive, it would be more advantageous to not war against others, as a state of constant war would usually result in the death of the individual. So we agree to not hurt someone if they agree to not hurt us. This moves into his idea of a social contract where one gives up self-governing to be governed by another (or group), known as the Sovereign. This person or body must given absolute power to make the law, and any violation of law against the state should be punished harshly. Considering the condition of Europe at the time, it is not difficult to understand Hobbes’ desire for strong and harsh leadership.
Aquinas Political Philosophy
Unlike Hobbes’ who appears to feel that the nature of man is to behave badly against his fellow man in order to preserve his own life and livelihood, and government is a device to hinder this nature; Aquinas believed that the state was a natural institution. In fact Aquinas believed that the state was a God-given function, which addresses the social component of Human nature. Advancing Augustine’s rudimentary principle of Natural Law, Aquinas expounds upon it by suggesting that all human law must coincide with the cosmic natural law which god had set in motion at the moment of creation.

Although the political Soveriegn has the authority of God, its purpose is to uphold the common good. In this way Aquinas continues to show the responsibility of Government to protect the people, and to adhere to its own laws, which of course, must coincide with the Natural Law of the universe. An important note that Aquinas makes is that of not losing sight of the individual when counting the common good. This illustrates his understanding of the concept of tyranny of the majority, and its confliction with Natural Law.
Aristotles Political Philosophy
While Plato felt there were five different forms of government -aristocracy, timocracy, plutocracy, democracy, and despotism -each a step by step decline of the previous form, Aristotle took a different stance. He theorized that there were six different forms of government possible, and only three of them were less than ideal.

Aristotle claimed that a government can rightly be ruled by:
1. Monarchy- rule of one.
2. Aristocracy - rule of few.
3. Polity - rule of many.

Aristotle also put forth that these same three forms of government can become pervereted when they no longer serve the good of the community for which they were formed, but then serve only the good for those in power. These three perverted forms are named tyranny (one), oligarchy (few), and democracy (many). While it seems that Aristotle perfered aristocracy -like Plato - he did not believe that it was imposible to have a good government in another form. It may have been unlikely, but it was possible.

I think because Aristotle believed all life had a purpose or potential, he had more faith -or belief - in the human race as a whole than Plato did. I am not saying that Aristotle was not an elitist, because let's face it - he was. He owned slaves, had a relativly cushy life and had a whole heck of a lot more time for thinking and contemplation than the avereage brick-layers son. But I somehow do not sense the same kind of contempt that Plato seemed to have for the common man. Maybe it was Aristotle's powers of observation and classification that made him more aware of not only the differences between all men, but also their similarities.