The Republic Book 2- Justice and the Kallipolis

There are two key points brought up in book 2. One is the idea that justice/living a just life is better in every way than injustice/ living an unjust life. The second is the theoretical construction of the perfect city (also called the kallipolis), and the rules that govern it.
One of the points Plato emphasizes is the concept of justice having inherent worth. He claims that one should not do the right thing for external reasons (such as rewards of power, money, fame or social acceptance). One should do the right things simply because it is right and should need no other motivation. The purpose of humanity is to enact justice; just as it is the state’s purpose to embody justice.
Plato then begins to talk of the ideal city. He claims that, in order for this city to be perfect, everyone must specialize in a specific task or craft. An individual in this city would do the work he or she is the most suited to/ the best at, and continue to do that task for the rest of their lives. In order to prevent any conflict (from external forces or forces within the city), guardian soldier-police would be instated. These soldier-police would be raised with a strong sense of justice so as not to abuse their power and authority. Their education would help shape this sense of justice and devotion to the city. For instance, they would not be allowed to hear stories or poems in which the gods deceive mortals/ each other or in any other way act unjustly, as it could make them eschew the moral code taught to them.
The city he describes seems, to me at least, to be very controlling and heavy on censorship. It makes me wonder if such a city were to exist how many people would actually want to live there.

Odysseus Would Be Horrible to Take on Roadtrips

So, the Odyssey.

It was really interesting reading this, especially right after Kierkegaard. Fear and Trembling is very analytical, and I found it very hard to read. I kept on having to stop and make notes to make sure I actually understood what Kierkegaard was saying. With the Odyssey, I had to make myself stop reading to make notes. I often found myself swept up in the narrative; especially during books 9-12 and 18-24.  The way the story was written made me feel as if someone was telling it directly to me; a sense of intimacy that I didn’t find in our previous readings.

I did find it hard to connect to the characters; especially Odysseus. I felt like the narrative was very in-depth about his emotions without actually giving me any context for them. I didn’t know much about him; I had no firsthand experience with him—aside from the stories everyone else told about him, I had no idea who he really was. I understand that the Odyssey is a continuation of sorts of the Illiad, and maybe if I had read that I would know more about Odysseus and therefore be more sympathetic to his plight. As it is, it took until book 9 for me to really begin to empathize with him.

Maybe I would have been more sympathetic if I hadn’t read the story; but instead listened to someone read/perform it. I find that having stories read aloud gives me a different perspective on how the narrative plays out. Since I have a tendency to skim text when I am reading, having things read to me forces me to slow down and really listen to how the author (or in this case, the translator) phrases things.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed the Odyssey; but I think I will have reread it again in order to fully appreciate some parts of it.

Intro Post

Hi there! I’m Bonney, in case you can’t tell by my username.

I have lived in Vancouver for my whole life; but I am still horrible at getting to places via transit. I always end up getting lost and having to ask random people for directions.

I have two cats; one of whom is sitting on me right now. If anyone else here has cats: do they do this thing where they sit  in the most inconvenient places? Like, you’re watching TV and then they just come up and sit right in front of you, blocking your line of sight. Cats are jerks. Adorable jerks, but jerks nonetheless.

I’m really looking forward to reading and discussing all the course material! There were never many opportunities to discuss what we were learning in my high school classes, and that’s always something I’ve loved doing. I’m also hoping to get better at citations, because I’m still not that good at that.