Political Theory: why statecraft and soulcraft must be practiced together.

Word Count: 2071 |

1. Based on Thiele’s interpretation of Plato and Aristotle, explain why statecraft and soulcraft must be practiced together.
a. Plato stated that a truly just city would occur if and only if everyone over the age of 10 was discarded, the remaining young citizens possessed an innocent and uncorrupted soul. Plato suggested that every time a law was made to contain a certain act, that another act took the place of the previous one, requiring more laws to restrain each and every one. If the soul was crafted in terms of virtue, this can construct justice. If the soul is not crafted in an education of virtue, laws would be needed for restraints, but laws cannot produce virtue, they can only postpone political devastation. A well crafted soul is that of which its ordered parts work in harmony where reason rules over infatuation and desire. According to Plato, it is the duty of a philosopher to order the souls of fellow citizens. If the job of mending souls was done well, Plato believed, the harmony within individuals would produce harmony between individuals (Thiele 156). Hence, identity of the individual and social interaction is positively related. If well ordered souls in turn create a well ordered city, beneath the creation of both is justice. In order for this to occur, that is to say a just political system to occur, statecraft and soulcraft must be practiced together. In theory, statecraft and soulcraft are one in the same. The characteristics of citizens are determined by the structure and institutions of the political system. In turn, the political system that is established is determined by its citizens. A citizen whose soul was not crafted in terms of justice, thus a soul lacking virtue, cannot properly form a political order. With a faultily constructed political rule, its citizens will not be suitably educated. An improperly ordered soul would have negative effects on the citizen population as a whole, particularly citizens of youth, whose souls are extremely susceptible to influence. That is to say, if the citizens of a city possess ill-ordered souls, they themselves and the political order are both unjust. In turn, if citizens possess well ordered souls, the political order itself will be just.
2. What’s the difference between Plato’s and Aristotle’s understanding of reason.
a. Plato believes that one whom loves wisdom seeks wisdom because he does not already possess it. According to Plato the path to wisdom and insight is through reason. Reason is the spark of the divine in man; it is what separates man from beast (Thiele 157). Reason does not fill our souls alone. Passion and appetite, which crave to go their own direction, also share our soul. Passion and appetite should be kept in check, under the eye of reason. An ordered soul is one where reason rules alone. The power of reason within an ordered soul controls passion and desire. Reason in the well-ordered soul ensures the happiness of the individual while reason ensures happiness of the whole city. Plato also described law as the embodiment of reason. Law itself holds political establishments together, with reason drawing the picture for law, reason itself allows for political and also social order. As thought by Plato, there are as many types of political regimes as there are souls since political establishments reflect the order or disorder in the souls of citizens. Plato argued that the best regime is aristocracy (corresponds to the soul that loves goodness and justice). He believed that this regime is free of danger due to its leaders are motivated by reason rather than the longing for supremacy. Like Plato, Aristotle believed that law is the embodiment of reason, and that freedom was established and bounded by law. Aristotle also agrees with Plato, stating that reason should regulate both the cravings of passion and appetite in the soul, and, citizens of the political realm. On the other hand, Aristotle does not agree with Plato’s sense of reason in a solitary class. Aristotle believed that reason did not represent a merely intellectual power within ones soul. Unlike Plato, Aristotle believed in practical sense of reason, or prudence. Prudence allows for free thought and understanding because it is based on experience, it allows one to make the right decision at the right time. Dislike Plato, Aristotle believed that prudence was used not only by a solitary class, such as philosophers, but by a wide range of the public. For Aristotle, practical reason was put to use in day to day situations by the populace. Therefore, all whom embrace politics, according to Aristotle will develop a strong faculty of practical reason. Aristotle criticizes Plato’s view on which political regime is best. Though admitting that aristocracy is the best possible regime, he argued that it is a very dangerous political structure for the reason that it could be very easily corrupted. Aristotle believed the best practical regime, which is extremely stable and easier to achieve, is what he called polity. A polity incorporates both aristocratic and democratic values. Where the population’s use of reason day to day increases stability and citizens learn to rule and to be ruled. For Plato’s argument, reason is purely intellectual and exercised by philosophers. Aristotle argues that reason is a practical power, which everyone may use.
3. Can we interpret the right to abortion (pro choice) as a negative liberty? Why?
a. The concept of negative liberty refers to freedom from interference by other people. Negative liberty generally includes an individual’s rule not only over his body and mind, but also over his personal possessions. According to most negative libertarians, private property is considered as an addition of one’s self. We most certainly can interpret the right to abortion as a negative liberty. With abortion pertaining to the female body, it is her own negative liberty to have the right to have an abortion. One can even go as far to say that the baby itself is the property of the woman carrying it. Therefore within the definition of negative liberty it would be that the baby is the private property of the woman and she has the right to decide. Negative libertarians uphold that freedom entails mastery of one’s private domain, they would say that to be free means that no one being is permitted to limit one’s body, mind, or property. Abortion is a very private matter; a female in this situation is not going to tell the world about her dilemma. With the right to an abortion being a negative liberty, the woman herself is in an open space where she may follow her wish to have or not to have her baby without the impositions and criticism of others. With abortion in the framework of negative liberty, she should have freedom from state interference and grounded in a conception of women as independent actors.
4. Can we interpret gay pride parades as positive liberty? Why?
a. Positive liberty refers to the opportunity and ability to act to fulfill one’s own potential, as opposed to negative liberty, which refers to freedom from restraint. Inherent to positive liberty is the idea that liberty is the ability of citizens to participate in their government. In other words, positive liberty in the empowerment or freedom to do or achieve something. Positive liberty is interested in action by citizens in the government. Unlike negative liberty, positive liberty is not a form of freedom from restriction. Positive liberty symbolizes not deficiency but achievement. Positive liberty also contains having the resources necessary to accomplish a specific thing, certain task. These means of attainment may be physical, political, economic, or social. In other words being positively free is to be capable and autonomous of realizing one’s will. As a social statement gay pride parades are a form of freedom which one of homosexual customs would use to express self interest. Gay pride parades may very well be interpreted as a positive liberty. To define if an individual is free is much more complex for positive libertarians. To be positively free one must first find what that person wants to do, and then one must determine if they are actually capable of satisfying ones desire. Further, one may think on the decision that what one thinks one wants or needs is in actuality what one really wants or needs. Homosexuals have gay pride parades because they wish to express who there are socially. With having the opportunity and the means necessary, the ability, to produce a social convention such as a gay pride parade, one can certainly be interpreted to have the positive liberty to do so. If the gay community wishes to have gay pride parades, they are positively free to do so to express themselves.
5. Why economic rationality is parsimonious?
a. Economic values and conventions grow widespread prevalence in our thought and speech because they are professed to reflect the dictates of rationality. Much of contemporary life can be accounted in economic terms because rational thought and economic thought have become practically one in the same. By allowing one to secure the best means to accomplish something, rationality methodically measures the costs and benefits of these actions. Theorists of economic rationality do not believe that individuals are selfish, but they state that an individual would act in a way to gain efficiency rather than selfishness. This relationship between rationality and efficiency is a key characteristic of rational decisions. Rationality is also based on the fact that individual actors strive to attain satisfactory results rather than optimal results. With environmental goods such as air and water being nonexcludable, while these goods exist, everyone will reap the benefits. With these goods in existence, individuals will accumulate the benefits that they deliver regardless if the individual themselves make a contribution to the preservation of such environmental goods. Every individual that opts for this “free ride” is making an economically rational decision due to the fact that allowing others to wear the burden on their back of the preservation of these goods and still reaping the benefits is extremely rational coming from an economic viewpoint. Therefore, economic rationality is parsimonious because an economic rational actor is frugal and efficient in gaining rather than spending.
6. Why does Napoleon’s negative connotation of ideology still persist?
a. When Napoleon first came to power he was highly in favor of the “science of ideas”. But after his failed campaign in Russia, he soon lost interest in superior ideas and became obsessed with holding on to power. He began to criticize ideologues saying that they were fake laws for fake commonwealths. Under the rule of Napoleon, ideology became a useless unrealistic set of beliefs. Marx took up the negative connotation of ideology derived from Napoleon because he also believed that ideas were not as important as material production. Marx believed that ideology produces a distorted or false consciousness. He did realize that if all thoughts are products of material conditions, then ideological thoughts must have some form of material origins. Marx believed that once the economic form of production became realigned with current method of production ideology would no longer be needed. Once this realignment occurred, it would replace ideology with a true conscious of humanity due to the elimination of class and conflict between them. In time, ideology became less negative; few forms of ideology began to be considered good and useful. Lenin’s modification of the Marxist view of ideology argued that ideology can be good or bad. For Lenin, there were only two types, socialist ideology and capitalist ideology. Lenin believed that socialist ideology was necessary to contest capitalist ideology. Socialist ideology contests the capitalist ideological view of production and property rights. Thus, ideology is at times the authority producing radical changes within class structure. Today, Lenin’s understanding of ideology is in wide use. It is still in use as Marx defined, thus ideology is a negative label implying an individual’s thinking and principles are determined by ones social stature or class recognition.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Allegory Of American Pie By Don Mc Lean

Ask anyone what was the defining moment in the rock history of the 1960s was and all you will get is a one word answer: Woodstock. The three day rock festival that defined an era was only one of many music festivals of the '60s. But Woodstock has come to symbolize, "an era of peaceful, free- loving, drug- taking hippie youth, carefree before harsher realities hit..." (Layman 40). The Woodstock festival ended a century filled with many metamorphoses of rock'n'roll, from the era of pop music to the rebirth of folk music to the invention of acid rock. But some cynics say that rock'n'roll died with the death of Buddy Holly before the 60s even began. One such person is Don McLean. The poet behind the haunting epic song about the death of 'danceable' music, McLean wrote the ever popular song, "American Pie" (appendix 1). The most important song in rock'n'roll history, "American Pie", is the song about the demise of rock'n'roll after Buddy Holly's death and the heathenism of rock that resulted. Although McLean himself won't reveal any symbolism in his songs, "American Pie" is one of the most analyzed pieces of literature in modern society. Although not all of its secrets have been revealed, many "scholars" of the sixties will agree that the mystery of this song is one of the reasons it has become so successful- everyone wants to know the meanings of its allegories. Proof of "American Pie's" truth lies in the allegory of the song. Many People enjoy the song but have no idea what it means- Who is the Jester? What is the levee? When the deeper story is found, the importance of the song is unearthed. "American Pie" is not only a song, it is an epic poem about the course of rock'n'roll...

Carl Orffs Philosophies In Music Education

While Carl Orff is a very seminal composer of the 20th century, his greatest success and influence has been in the field of Music Education. Born on July 10th in Munich, Germany in 1895, Orff refused to speak about his past almost as if he were ashamed of it. What we do know, however, is that Orff came from a Bavarian family who was very active in the German military. His father's regiment band would often play through some of the young Orff's first attempts at composing. Although Orff was adamant about the secrecy of his past, Moser's Musik Lexicon says that he studied in the Munich Academy of Music until 1914. Orff then served in the military in the first world war. After the war, he held various positions in the Mannheim and Darmstadt opera houses then returned home to Munich to further study music. In 1925, and for the rest of his life, Orff was the head of a department and co-founder of the Guenther School for gymnastics, music, and dance in Munich where he worked with musical beginners. This is where he developed his Music Education theories. In 1937, Orff's Carmina Burana premiered in Frankfurt, Germany. Needless to say, it was a great success. With the success of Carmina Burana, Orff orphaned all of his previous works except for Catulli Carmina and the En trata which were rewritten to be acceptable by Orff. One of Orff's most admired composers was Monteverdi. In fact, much of Orff's work was based on ancient material. Orff said: I am often asked why I nearly always select old material, fairy tales and legends for my stage works. I do not look upon them as old, but rather as valid material. The time element disappears, and only the spiritual power remains. My...

Johann Sebastian Bach Biography

Throughout the history of music, many great composers, theorists, and instrumentalists have left indelible marks and influences that people today look back on to admire and aspire to. No exception to this idiom is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose impact on music was unforgettable to say the least. People today look back to his writings and works to both learn and admire. He truly can be considered a music history great. Bach, who came from a family of over 53 musicians, was nothing short of a virtuosic instrumentalist as well as a masterful composer. Born in Eisenach, Germany, on March 21, 1685, he was the son of a masterful violinist, Johann Ambrosius Bach, who taught his son the basic skills for string playing. Along with this string playing, Bach began to play the organ which is the instrument he would later on be noted for in history. His instruction on the organ came from the player at Eisenach's most important church. He instructed the young boy rather rigorously until his skills surpassed anyone?s expectations for someone of such a young age. Bach suffered early trauma when his parents died in 1695. He went to go live with his older brother, Johann Christoph, who also was a professional organist at Ohrdruf. He continued his younger brother's education on that instrument, as well as introducing him to the harpsichord. The rigorous training on these instruments combined with Bach?s masterful skill paid off for him at an early age. After several years of studying with his older brother, he received a scholarship to study in Luneberg, Germany, which is located on the northern tip of the country. As a result, he left his brother?s tutelage and went to go and study there. The teenage years brought Bach to several parts of Germany where he...


Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his artwork. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo?s poetry was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi even though he was complementing him. Michelangelo?s sculpture brought out his optimism. Michelangelo was optimistic in completing The Tomb of Pope Julius II and persevered through it?s many revisions trying to complete his vision. Sculpture was Michelangelo?s main goal and the love of his life. Since his art portrayed both optimism and pessimism, Michelangelo was in touch with his positive and negative sides, showing that he had a great and stable personality. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo Buonarroti was called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create for him a monumental tomb. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual revisions. The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to have sculpted figures representing Victory and bond slaves. The second level was to have statues of Moses and Saint Paul as well as symbolic figures of the active and contemplative life- representative of the human striving for, and reception of, knowledge. The third level, it is assumed, was to have an effigy of the deceased pope. The tomb of Pope Julius II was never finished. What was finished of the tomb represents a twenty-year span of frustrating delays and revised schemes. Michelangelo had hardly begun work on the pope?s tomb when Julius commanded him to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to complete the work done in the previous century under Sixtus IV. The overall organization consists of four large triangles at...

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin Ireland on October 16, 1854. He is one of the most talented and most controversial writers of his time. He was well known for his wit, flamboyance, and creative genius and with his little dramatic training showing his natural talent for stage and theatre. He is termed a martyr by some and may be the first true self-publicist and was known for his style of dress and odd behavior. Wilde, 1882 His Father, William Wilde, was a highly accredited doctor and his mother, Jane Francesca Elgee, was a writer of revolutionary poems. Oscar had a brother William Charles Kingsbury along with his father's three illegitimate children, Henry, Emily, and Mary. His sister, Isola Emily Francesca died in 1867 at only ten years of age from a sudden fever, greatly affecting Oscar and his family. He kept a lock of her hair in an envelope and later wrote the poem 'Requiescat' in her memory. Oscar and his brother William both attended the Protora Royal School at Enniskillen. He had little in common with the other children. He disliked games and took more interest in flowers and sunsets. He was extremely passionate about anything that had to do with ancient Greece and with Classics. Wilde during school years In 1871, he was awarded a Royal School Scholarship to Trinity College in Dublin and received many awards and earned the highest honor the college offered to an undergraduate, the Foundation Scholarship. In 1874, he also won the College's Berkley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a Demyship to Magdalen College, Oxford. After graduating from Oxford, Oscar moved to London with his friend Frank Miles, a well-known portrait painter of the time. In 1878 his poem Ravenna was published, for which he won the...

The History Of Greek Theater

Theater and drama in Ancient Greece took form in about 5th century BCE, with the Sopocles, the great writer of tragedy. In his plays and those of the same genre, heroes and the ideals of life were depicted and glorified. It was believed that man should live for honor and fame, his action was courageous and glorious and his life would climax in a great and noble death. Originally, the hero's recognition was created by selfish behaviors and little thought of service to others. As the Greeks grew toward city-states and colonization, it became the destiny and ambition of the hero to gain honor by serving his city. The second major characteristic of the early Greek world was the supernatural. The two worlds were not separate, as the gods lived in the same world as the men, and they interfered in the men's lives as they chose to. It was the gods who sent suffering and evil to men. In the plays of Sophocles, the gods brought about the hero's downfall because of a tragic flaw in the character of the hero. In Greek tragedy, suffering brought knowledge of worldly matters and of the individual. Aristotle attempted to explain how an audience could observe tragic events and still have a pleasurable experience. Aristotle, by searching the works of writers of Greek tragedy, Aeschulus, Euripides and Sophocles (whose Oedipus Rex he considered the finest of all Greek tragedies), arrived at his definition of tragedy. This explanation has a profound influence for more than twenty centuries on those writing tragedies, most significantly Shakespeare. Aristotle's analysis of tragedy began with a description of the effect such a work had on the audience as a "catharsis" or purging of the emotions. He decided that catharsis was the purging of two specific emotions, pity and...

Scholarship Essay About Goals

Ever since I was a young kid I have always been interested with aircraft. I was so curious of how airplane's fly. I remember taking my toys apart to see how it works. As a kid I wanted to go to the airport to watch the airplanes land and fly and pondered how this happens. Other kids wanted to go to the amusement places. As I grew older I became more and more interested in aircraft and the technology behind it. I always involved myself with aviation early on. I read books and magazines on aviation, took museum tours, built model airplanes. When I was younger my father would take me to aircraft repair facilities where I would watch in great fascination. In my teens, went up to the military bases and befriended many soldiers involved with aircraft and asked them numerous questions. I got to meet many aeronautics engineers and borrowed their old textbooks and read them till the wee hours of the morning. As technology improved with information superhighway, I logged on the web. Stayed up for hours and hours searching through web pages and web pages of information about aircraft and technology. I started my elementary school in the Philippines, then we moved to U.S. and continued my high school education and graduated. Enrolled at the CCSF to pursue my college education and now I am in the 2nd year in CCSF taking aeronautics. My goal now is to obtain my AS degree from the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) so I can transfer to a University and get a Bachelors degree and to continue for my Masters degree in Aeronautics Engineering. I will strive hard to reach the peak level of my career which is a Professor and hopefully to be an aeronautic professor so...

Circus Circus Enterprises Case Studies

Executive Summary: Circus Circus Enterprises is a leader and will continue to be in the gaming industry. In recent years, they have seen a decline in profit and revenue; management tends to blame the decrease on continuing disruptions from remodeling, expansion, and increased competition. Consequently, Circus has reported decreases in its net income for 1997 and 1998 and management believes this trend will continue as competition heightens. Currently the company is involved in several joint ventures, its brand of casino entertainment has traditionally catered to the low rollers and family vacationers through its theme park. Circus should continue to expand its existing operations into new market segments. This shift will allow them to attract the up scale gambler. Overview Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc founded in 1974 is in the business of entertainment, with its core strength in casino gambling. The company?s asset base, operating cash flow, profit margin, multiple markets and customers, rank it as one of the gaming industry leaders. Partners William G. Bennett an aggressive cost cutter and William N. Pennington purchased Circus Circus in 1974 as a small and unprofitable casino. It went public in 1983, from 1993 to 1997; the average return on capital invested was 16.5%. Circus Circus operates several properties in Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin, and one in Mississippi, as well as 50% ownership in three other casinos and a theme park. On January 31,1998 Circus reported net income of 89.9 million and revenues of 1.35 billion, this is a down from 100 million on 1.3 billion in 1997. Management sees this decline in revenue due to the rapid and extensive expansion and the increased competition that Circus is facing. Well established in the casino gaming industry the corporation has its focus in the entertainment business and has particularly a popular theme resort concept....

Effect Of Civil War On American Economy

The Economies of the North and South, 1861-1865 In 1861, a great war in American history began. It was a civil war between the north and south that was by no means civil. This war would have great repercussions upon the economy of this country and the states within it. The American Civil War began with secession, creating a divided union of sorts, and sparked an incredibly cataclysmic four years. Although the actual war began with secession, this was not the only driving force. The economy of the Southern states, the Confederacy, greatly if not entirely depended on the institution of slavery. The Confederacy was heavily reliant on agriculture, and they used the profits made from the sale of such raw materials to purchase finished goods to use and enjoy. Their major export was cotton, which thrived on the warm river deltas and could easily be shipped to major ocean ports from towns on the Mississippi and numerous river cities. Slavery was a key part of this, as slaves were the ones who harvested and planted the cotton. Being such an enormous unpaid work force, the profits made were extraordinarily high and the price for the unfinished goods drastically low in comparison; especially since he invention of the cotton gin in 1793 which made the work all that much easier and quicker. In contrast, the economical structure of the Northern states, the Union, was vastly dependent on industry. Slavery did not exist in most of the Union, as there was no demand for it due to the type of industrial development taking place. As the Union had a paid work force, the profits made were lower and the cost of the finished manufactured item higher. In turn, the Union used the profits and purchased raw materials to use. This cycle...

Evaluation Of The Effectiveness Of Trade Embargoes

Although I am a strong critic of the use and effectiveness of economic sanctions, such as trade embargoes, for the sake of this assignment, I will present both their theoretical advantages and their disadvantages based upon my research. Trade embargoes and blockades have traditionally been used to entice nations to alter their behavior or to punish them for certain behavior. The intentions behind these policies are generally noble, at least on the surface. However, these policies can have side effects. For example, FDR's blockade of raw materials against the Japanese in Manchuria in the 1930s arguably led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which resulted in U.S. involvement in World War II. The decades-long embargo against Cuba not only did not lead to the topple of the communist regime there, but may have strengthened Castro's hold on the island and has created animosity toward the United States in Latin America and much suffering by the people of Cuba. Various studies have concluded that embargoes and other economic sanctions generally have not been effective from a utilitarian or policy perspective, yet these policies continue. Evaluation of the effectiveness of Trade Embargoes Strengths Trade embargoes and other sanctions can give the sender government the appearance of taking strong measures in response to a given situation without resorting to violence. Sanctions can be imposed in conjunction with other measures to achieve conflict prevention and mitigation goals. Sanctions may be ineffective: goals may be too elusive, the means too gentle, or cooperation from other countries insufficient. It is usually difficult to determine whether embargoes were an effective deterrent against future misdeeds: embargoes may contribute to a successful outcome, but can rarely achieve ambitious objectives alone. Some regimes are highly resistant to external pressures to reform. At the same time, trade sanctions may narrow the...