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Nicholas Baima
Florida Atlantic University
  1. Republic 382a-D: On the Dangers and Benefits of Falsehood.Nicholas R. Baima - 2017 - Classical Philology 112 (1):1-19.
    Socrates' attitude towards falsehood is quite puzzling in the Republic. Although Socrates is clearly committed to truth, at several points he discusses the benefits of falsehood. This occurs most notably in Book 3 with the "noble lie" (414d-415c) and most disturbingly in Book 5 with the "rigged sexual lottery" (459d-460c). This raises the question: What kinds of falsehoods does Socrates think are beneficial, and what kinds of falsehoods does he think are harmful? And more broadly: What can this tell us (...)
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  2. Intrinsic Valuing and the Limits of Justice: Why the Ring of Gyges Matters.Tyler Paytas & Nicholas R. Baima - 2019 - Phronesis 64 (1):1-9.
    Commentators such as Terence Irwin (1999) and Christopher Shields (2006) claim that the Ring of Gyges argument in Republic II cannot demonstrate that justice is chosen only for its consequences. This is because valuing justice for its own sake is compatible with judging its value to be overridable. Through examination of the rational commitments involved in valuing normative ideals such as justice, we aim to show that this analysis is mistaken. If Glaucon is right that everyone would endorse Gyges’ behavior, (...)
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  3.  21
    True in Word and Deed: Plato on the Impossibility of Divine Deception.Nicholas R. Baima & Tyler Paytas - 2020 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (2):193-214.
    A common theological perspective holds that God does not deceive because lying is morally wrong. While Plato denies the possibility of divine deception in the Republic, his explanation does not appeal to the wrongness of lying. Indeed, Plato famously recommends the careful use of lies as a means of promoting justice. Given his endorsement of occasional lying, as well as his claim that humans should strive to emulate the gods, Plato's suggestion that the gods never have reason to lie is (...)
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  4.  15
    Socrates, Thrasymachus, and Competition Among the Unjust: Republic 1.349b–350c.Nicholas R. Baima - 2020 - Ancient Philosophy Today 2 (1):1-23.
    In Republic 1, Thrasymachus makes the radical claim that being just is ‘high-minded simplicity’ and being unjust is ‘good judgment’. Because injustice involves benefiting oneself, while justice involves benefiting others, the unjust are wise and good and the just are foolish and bad. The “greedy craftsperson” argument attempts to show that the unjust person's desire to outdo or have more than everyone is a symptom of her ignorance. Many commentaries have found the argument problematic and unclear. However, this paper argues (...)
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    On the Value of Drunkenness in the Laws.Nicholas R. Baima - 2017 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 20 (1):65-81.
    Plato’s attitude towards drunkenness (μέθη) is surprisingly positive in the Laws, especially as compared to his negative treatment of intoxication in the Republic. In the Republic, Plato maintains that intoxication causes cowardice and intemperance (3.398e-399e, 3.403e, and 9.571c-573b), while in the Laws, Plato holds that it can produce courage and temperance (1.635b, 1.645d-650a, and 2.665c-672d). This raises the question: Did Plato change his mind, and if he did, why? Ultimately, this paper answers affirmatively and argues that this marks a substantive (...)
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  6.  85
    Persuasion, Falsehood, and Motivating Reason in Plato’s Laws.Nicholas R. Baima - 2016 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 33 (2).
    In Plato’s Laws, the Athenian Stranger maintains that law should consist of both persuasion (πειθώ) and compulsion (βία) (IV.711c, IV.718b-d, and IV.722b). Persuasion can be achieved by prefacing the laws with preludes (προοίμια), which make the citizens more eager to obey the laws. Although scholars disagree on how to interpret the preludes’ persuasion, they agree that the preludes instill true beliefs and give citizens good reasons for obeying the laws. In this paper I refine this account of the preludes by (...)
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