That choice would be left to the philosophers among us - a small class, definitely not that of philosophy professors today, who know what is good, just and right for every citizen. And, Plato argues, we would be happier with their choices than we ever could be if we chose our lives for ourselves under the circumstances of our everyday world.
Perhaps he even received tenure for that contribution to philosophy. Heraclitus would have quickly come up with some ersatz, watered-down version of identity of practical value for dealing with property rights, oxen, lyres, vineyards, and the like. And then he might have wondered if that watered-down vulgar sense of identity might be a considerably more valuable concept than a pure and philosophical sort of identity that nothing has.
Okay, but I can think of something worse than that. Imagine Heraclitus as a cattle rustler in the Old West. But then when Heraclitus himself needs the concept of stable personal identity for something — maybe he wants to deposit his ill-gotten gains in the bank with certainty that the banker will give it back to him next time he shows up to withdraw it, or maybe he wants to bribe the sheriff to ignore his activities for the next while — all of a sudden Heraclitus is willing to tolerate the watered-down vulgar sense of identity like everyone else.
One can respond by becoming a saint or madman, or by becoming a pragmatist who is willing to continue to participate in human society while also understanding its theoretical limitations. Both are respectable career paths.
The problem is when someone chooses to apply philosophical rigor selectively. Heraclitus could drown in his deeper understanding of personal identity and become a holy madman, eschewing material things and taking no care for the morrow because he does not believe there is any consistent self to experience it.
Or he could engage with it from afar, becoming a wise scholar who participating in earthly affairs while drawing equanimity from the realization that there is a sense in which all his accomplishments will be impermanent.
Philosophical rigor, usually a virtue, has been debased to an isolated demand for rigor in cases where it benefits Heraclitus. A fair use of philosophical rigor would prevent both Heraclitus and his victims from owning property, and thus either collapse under its own impracticality or usher in a revolutionary new form of economic thinking.
An isolated demand for philosophical rigor, applied by Heraclitus to other people but never the other way around, would merely give Heraclitus an unfair advantage in the existing system. I argued he was wrong about his numbers. But I also argued he was unfairly making an isolated demand for philosophical rigor.
Once you learn about utilitarianism and effective charity, you can become the holy madman, donating every cent you have beyond what is strictly necessary to survive and hold down a job to whatever the top rated charity is.
This is what I accused Matt Yglesias of doing.
Presumably there are lots of government programs Yglesias supports — I suggested PBS — and he would never dream of demanding that we defund them in the hopes of donating the money to malaria prevention. Government spending seems to be a particularly fertile case for this problem.
I remember hearing some conservatives complain: This is, I guess, a demand for ethical rigor. Applied consistently, you become the holy madman demanding either total anarchy or some kind of weird system of tax earmarks which would actually be pretty fun to think about. Or the worldly scholar with a strong appreciation for libertarian ideas who needs a really strong foundational justification for spending government money on things that a lot of people oppose.
But this is the sort of uncouth behavior we expect of political partisans. Suppose there are scientists on both sides of a controversial issue — for example, economists studying the minimum wage.
The Science Czar of course we have a science czar! I have a huge amount of sympathy with the Science Czar on this one, by the way. The Science Czar notes that their study was correlational only, and that correlational studies suck.
We really can't show that minimum wages are any good without a randomized controlled trial.
The Science Czar worries about publication bias.The broad claim that Plato or the Republic is feminist cannot be sustained, and the label ‘feminist’ is an especially contested one, but still, there are two features of the Republic’s ideal city that can be reasonably called feminist. First, Socrates suggests that the distinction between male and female is as relevant as the distinction.
Word Count: The Republic by Plato builds an ideal and complete city between Socrates, Adeimantus, and Glaucon. The ideal city distinguishes between justice and injustice by establishing four virtues which are wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice (e). Summary: Book III.
The dialogue on theological principles picks up where it left off in the previous book. Soon after Socrates extends these aesthetic criteria to all State arts, not only literature and music.
But what he is constructing is not a reformed State, it is . From: Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2. BOOK II. CHAP. IINTRODUCTORY. As Scripture has called the Greeks pilferers of the Barbarian philosophy, it will next have to . In earliest times known by the title 'On the Soul', this dialog presents the Platonic Socrates' last hours before death, with Plato's proofs of the soul's immortality based on the argued-for premise that learning is recollection of Absolutes (Forms).
Book III: In order to encourage harmony within the city Socrates argues that it would be valuable for those Having described what he takes to be an Ideal City Socrates looks for what it might be about the a person must meet three criteria: (a) she must have had whatever experience is relevant, (b) she must be able to think clearly about.