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Category Archive for 'Roots of Western Thought 2014'

Rough Justice

What is justice? Why should we be just? The definition of justice is important to explore as students of wisdom and philosophy. Justice, as The Republic discloses, should not be universally assumed to be beneficial. It must be defined, since some may believe that it is better to look out for their own interests than […]

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Socrates and those around him launch into a discussion involving the guardians of this new city they are constructing. They decide what qualities are most important for a guardian to possess. They discuss everything from music and gymnastics to their happiness. The various qualities they discuss form an interesting picture in which it seems like […]

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The first major myth of the Republic is the Myth of Gyges, presented not by Socrates but Glaucon. Within it, he evokes a vision of mankind as unjust by nature, incapable of controlling their greed if given the opportunity. The Myth of Gyges, however, does more than just present a portrait of humanity as self-interested […]

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The noble lie that takes place in Book III of Plato’s Republic seem to provide a simple explanation of why some people have a higher place in the social hierarchy than others; it also provides an explanation for why certain people are predisposed to do certain jobs. Socrates says it this way, “ All of […]

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Twenty years has past since Odysseus departed his Kingdom to fight in the Trojan War. When he returns to Ithaca, Odysseus masks his identity allowing him to test those whom he use to know. Odysseus is specifically interested in testing his wife Penelope, whom he holds many concerns. Humans often falsely conceptualize desire for love, […]

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I think that both Odysseus and Penelope have changed the most throughout this book and through the journeys that they took individually. In some ways I feel that as the time that they had not seen each other grew the more of their true qualities came out as they waited to be reunited with one […]

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On Justice

In Book XXII of The Odyssey, Penelope’s suitors are brutally slaughtered by Odysseus and Telemachus in a way seemingly unequal to the suitors’ offenses and transgressions, leading the readers to understandably question the justified nature of the targeted killing.  This question, however, also underscores the uncertainty of whether or not Odysseus, in particular, is justified […]

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  Odysseus’s Scar             Throughout The Odyssey a detailed physical description of Odysseus is never given. The readers can assume certain aspects of his appearance such as his age and strong build but Homer never provides other details such as hair or eye color. Homer does not speak of Odysseus having a prominent nose or […]

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Once Odysseus finally returns home to Ithaca, the goddess Athena disguises him as a lowly beggar so that nobody will recognize him and so he can safely plot the murder of the suitors in his home. The first person he meets in Ithaca while he is disguised is Eumaeus, followed by Telemachus, then his nurse […]

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Throughout The Odyssey Athena has been helping Odysseus and his son Telemachus, yet we are led to believe that she might actually be angry with Odysseus in some way. If this were true, then why would Athena go through so much trouble to disguise Odysseus and help him plan the deaths of the suitors? She […]

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