Thrasymachus’s is skeptical of the role of reason in establishing morality/ethics. His claim…

Mom! Abby peed on the couch! MOM?! MOM WHERE ARE YOU??? I need you quick!

…is literally that “morality is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger party”.

In looking at this exchange between Socrates and Thrasymachus, I was distracted by Socrates’ style of debate, and found myself pondering if he was setting up a false dichotomy, or straw-man with Thrasymachus. It almost seemed as if he was playing with his prey. While I don’t…

CRASH!!… mom? mom? I’m bleeeeeeding mom! Bean shoved a straw in my lip and now I’m going to DIE!! I need a band-aid!

…personally find Thrasymachus’s argument persuasive, his point is an important one to consider. In recalling the introduction of the Peter Singer text we are using, I found myself, oddly, thi…

Ring. Ring. Ring. MOM! The phone is ringing and I can’t find it, can I answer it mom!? MOM?!! JEFF!! Give me back the phone! I GOT IT FIRST MOM!!! MOM MOM MOOOOOM!!

…thinking of Hume.

I’m hungry mom! Can I have a go-gurt? Abby ate the last pink one and I don’t LIKE THE BLUE ONES! AND SHE PEED AGAIN! Gross, Abby. Go tell mom!

(If I read it right, Hume argued that our morality is based on belief rather than reason, and knowledge only comes of direct experience. While Hume and Thrasymachus might not have much else in common, this view of justice…

Bean chewed through Wii controller cord again and now my game won’t work! Put him on a timeout mom! MOM! He left his Chewies in bed and ATE MY WII! Can I hit him? MOM!?

…and morality as being subjective and relative is something I kept coming back to.) Socrates sets the stage by making a simple point, as noted, about the fallibility of government leaders- those in power.  If those in power are those who have morality vis a vis that power, then…

Mom, I can’t find Wubsy. Can you help me find Wubsy? Bean took the remote from me. Mom, can we go to the park? Mom, can I go on the computer? Why are you using the black keyboard and not my keyboard, mom? Where’s brothers? Mom?

…and procedes to dismember Thrasymachus’ position. He says “…morality is no more what is advantageous to the stronger party than it is disadvantageous to the stronger party.” Thereby rendering the position impotent, as it cannot be both and have any authority…

MOM!! THERE”S NO TOILET PAPER!! MOOOOOMMMMM!

It becomes amusing and looks more like baiting when Socrates proffers that Thrasymachus holds him to be a bully. Thrasymachus is- perhaps too narrowly- looking towards what he sees (fallible or not) as the ideal…

*ding dong* Hi! Mom? MOMMM? Your home teachers are here. MOM? What are you doing mom? Where ARE you MOOOMM?!!

…He is rather ham-fisted in his attempts, but I don’t think he’s the buffoon Socrates plays him to be. From what little I know of philosophy, I think centuries later Nietzsche pretty powerfully argues from a similar place of moral understanding.


About these ads