Introduction to the Texts
Thales was one of the first philosophers apparently
- Strange way to figure out the age of a person is that everyone has their genius moment when they are 40
- Predicted solar eclipse.
Aristotle (4th century BC)
In total, we're going through 200 years
Geography is spread widely. Might be interesting to know how this could affect things.
- Not a single text from all these people, but we have people like Aristotle who talked about the pre Socratics that could give us good info.
- Lots of sources are different and second-hand reports or stories.
- Actually quotations, but only fragments
- They are grouped in a certain way which is already a step towards a type of interpretation and could be taken out of context.
Lots of room for interpretations.
- Speaking through the characters: is he taking on a position? Is he for or against a certain idea? Makes us think about it
- Lecture notes. Might be short and not explaining a lot since he would have conducted that orally. But we get his free-flowing thoughts and in an informal fashion.
- Pursuing knowledge for the sake of knowledge, not for some other means like an instrumental good.
An authoritative figure needs to hold down the example of justice and the right in society. When this figure is misconstrued or not acting in this way, the social contracts society acts in begins to dismantle. When one contract breaks, what sustains someone from not breaking another? An eye for an eye might be primitive, but it might also described the reactions in this way. If the police don’t hold their contract to protect and serve, what sustains people they are negatively effecting to retaliate?
The question of rational fact vs nonrational fact could be well explained through this quote of MLKJ when describing the connection of the white man with the black man:
John Donne placed it years ago in graphic terms, "No man is an island entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." And he goes on toward the end to say, "Any man's death diminishes me because I'm Involved in mankind. Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee." And so we are all in the same situation: the salvation of the Negro will mean the salvation of the white man. And the destruction of life and of the ongoing progress of the Negro will be the destruction of the ongoing progress of the nation.
MLKJ uses this to enforce his argument that it's true all humans need one another, and we can't fight racism with anti-white action. The effectiveness of this would really depend on how well the quote by Donne resonates with the listener. But, if it resonates correctly it can be viewed as truth. This falls under the actions of propaganda. Purely the action of convincing someone. Would this then argue against the idea that any social construct is true? This could bring us back to the idea of politics not needing truth, but only communicating and persuasion. Is there any way for the individual to come to some sort of political truth themselves? Or is it purely based on the communicative abilities of others? MLKJ makes a point to use this quote in a way that would grab the audience to further believe his point. The analogy must have some aesthetic weight to it that can create an emotion or a convincing feeling, whatever that may be, to properly capture the audience.