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Week 7: (Wed) PHIL324 Take Home Midterm Done. Signed-off-by: Tj Hariharan <Tj@archlinux.us>

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Tj Hariharan authored on 13/Jun/2012 20:57
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+\documentclass[12pt,english,titlepage]{article} %report for homework
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+
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+\usepackage{babel}
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+\usepackage{times}
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+\usepackage{pifont}
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+\usepackage{moreverb} %for quotes etc.
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+\usepackage{alltt}  
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+\usepackage{setspace} %for double spacing.
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+\doublespacing %double spacing.
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+
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+%-------------
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+\begin{document}
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+\title{PHIL 324: Midterm}
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+\author{Name: Tejas (Tj) Hariharan [202052370]} 
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+\date{\today}
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+\maketitle %title page.
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+
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+\section{Question 1}
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+Aquinas' basic definition of `Law' is that a Law is ``A directive/ordination 
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+of reason, for the common good, promulgated, and enforced by the rulers of the 
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+community'' (notes, pg. 47). Whatever is ultimately meant by this, we can say 
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+at least, that Aquinas thought of Law as something that is not only a 
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+directive of reason but also enforced by someone. His theory of law, however, 
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+involved distinguishing four kinds of Law, which are, in the end, seen as 
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+special forms of each other (as shall be explained later). Eternal, Natural, 
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+Human and Divine. 
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+
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+Now, of Divine law we are all familiar, it is simply and merely the `will of 
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+God' (Notes; pg. 48), divine law serves the purpose of governing things that 
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+our outside of human reach or reason, such as internal drives and to give a 
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+firm grounding, as human judgement is fallible and uncertain (and by 
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+definition, God's is not). 
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+
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+Now, it follows, naturally that eternal law, is but a case of divine law, as 
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+the eternal law is merely what God has willed for the universe to do, and to 
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+happen, it is, rather, the result of the divine law. And, in a similar fashion 
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+the Natural Law is but a case of application of the eternal law. Therein, lies 
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+the puzzle, it would seem that we can speak of disobeying the natural law, but 
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+not the eternal law, one may speak of committing a horrific act of evil, that 
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+is irrational as well as, in every sense of the term immoral, and if history 
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+is any indication there are plenty of people who do such acts. However, it 
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+would be quite foolish, to consider, for more than a moment, disobeying the 
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+eternal laws, those laws that are willed by God as governing all of nature, 
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+those laws, that ultimately Govern how everything is and behaves (in other 
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+words what we may call `scientific laws' in common parlance), no matter how 
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+many people disobey every rational person's conception of \textit{right}, 
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+under no circumstances can I ever hope to be able to fly like a bird, of my 
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+own accord. 
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+
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+However, Natural Law, to Aquinas, is but an application of the eternal law, it 
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+is but, those laws that are natural for us to follow, as rational creatures 
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+(which assumes that we are all `rational creatures'). Arguably, then, Natural 
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+Law, or at least what Aquinas considers to be such, is not prescriptive, as we 
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+think of morality, it is descriptive, in the sense that it is what we do if we 
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+follow our ``inclinations to [our] proper ends'' (notes, pg. 48). However, it 
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+must be noted, that the way this is phrased, means that we MAY ignore to 
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+follow our `proper ends' as it were, as it happens the eternal laws guide us 
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+toward `natural law' only assuming we choose to follow our `proper ends', if 
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+not our inclinations need not conform to what would be `natural law'. This, 
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+ultimately gives us a choice, even within the strict system of Eternal Law, we 
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+are bound to the Eternal Law, but may choose to do evil by ignoring our 
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+`proper ends' as God had imprinted upon us.  
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+
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+\section{Question 2}
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+The Character Trasymachus, from Plato's dialogue claims that ``justice is 
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+nothing but the interest of the stronger party''. On the one hand, it is a 
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+claim that someone like Machiavelli would agree with, given his views on 
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+power, but a view that Hobbes would disagree with given his views on morality. 
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+
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+Machiavelli's ideas of morality is that it is as something that is ultimately secondary to 
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+the struggle to power, and as something that comes about as the result of 
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+power. It is clear that he views of moral standards as something that is 
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+socially influenced and thus can be changed by those in power. (Notes, pg. 65)
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+
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+
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+Hobbes, on the other hand is that ``justice requires government'' (Notes, pg. 
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+76), in the sense that there is no such thing as just or unjust until at least 
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+we have some sort of covenant or contract to establish what is means. In this 
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+sense, justice would be the interest of the stronger part, at least in the way 
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+that justice would not exist if someone is not there to say what it means. But 
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+to Hobbes, justice is a covenant, not merely an act of power. The covenant and 
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+the meaning of justice is something that we come up with together; ``we deal 
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+with each other not with the sovereign'' (Notes, pg. 80). Thus, it seems, that 
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+no matter who is in power, true justice comes about as a result of a 
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+covenant made between men. It is thus possible for an absolute ruler to be 
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+unjust, if, it happens that everybody else has agreed upon such a conception 
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+of justice (for instance, to Hobbes, Hitler would have been an unjust ruler, 
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+even to his people and the Jewish, regardless of his power and influence over 
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+their ways of thinking).
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+
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+However, the problem remains that if there is a power that rules from the 
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+start, then there would never be any place for a conception of justice that is 
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+outside of the notions of that power, would there? 
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+
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+In my view, history has often revealed to us that morality, is understandably 
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+anthropocentric. In Aristotle's days, even the wisest, and possibly most 
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+morally inclined of men thought nothing of slavery to some extent, for 
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+instance, something that would boil the blood of anyone who is considered 
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+moral by today's standards, this informs us that morality, and consequently 
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+justice is ultimately a social phenomena. Our views on what is right or wrong 
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+is influenced by the people around us, by our social phenomena and 
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+understanding of the world, which is necessarily and ultimately influenced by 
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+those in power. Thus, it is obvious to me, in this sense at least, that the 
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+trasymachian claim is true, at least in the general sense. 
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+\section{Question 3}
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+Both Locke and Rousseau talk about the social contract, and maintain that they 
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+are the central device via which human beings form political communities. 
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+However, they differ in both their view on the origin and basis of the social 
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+contract as well as (consequently) what the contract means and its importance.  
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+
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+The basic idea of the social contract is that, we as humans (and for differing 
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+reasons) come together and decide on some common rules to live by. The 
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+original idea was rather simple, by ourselves we are quite selfish and in 
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+order to live together we must come to some common agreements, and thus the 
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+social contract is born.  
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+
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+Locke's social contract theory, comes out of a belief that we are, if left 
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+alone, in what `the state of nature' where we are free to do as we please, 
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+however, we are ultimately governed by the laws of nature (notes, pg. 88), which are (like 
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+Aquinas' view on this) ``moral laws'' (notes, pg. 88). However, while the 
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+natural law would bind us to not harm each other, without more rules (as it 
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+were), a government perhaps, we would have no way of keeping private property 
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+and would likely live in fear of (notes. pg 96 - 99) giving up those liberties 
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+which are afforded to us God (such as Life, Health and so on). It is to 
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+protect, these rights, that come out of notions of our ownership of our own 
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+bodies as well as other objects (notes, pg. 98), that we come together to form 
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+the social contract. Thus the importance of the social contract is first and 
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+foremost, to ensure the continued use of private property and liberties 
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+thereto such as Life, Health and so on. 
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+
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+On the other hand, Rousseau's conception of the Social Contract comes from the 
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+idea of the `general will' (Notes, pg.  109). ``total alienation of associate, 
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+with all his rights to the whole community'' (Ibid.), says Rousseau, is the 
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+origin of the social contract. Thus, the emphasis is not on personal liberty 
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+and health and personal rights, but collective rights and liberty. This is 
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+quite an important difference, as to Locke nothing is more important than the 
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+personal freedoms, as outlined above, and individual rights. This would likely 
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+mean that, Rousseau would likely vote for more of a welfare state than one 
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+that has minimal intervention, like Locke (to whom the only function of the 
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+contract is to ensure the ability for all to function within the framework of 
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+private ownership and property, a `watchman state' if you will).  
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+
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+
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+\end{document}