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philosophy (Book Review Sample)


The task involved reviewing chapters and given sections of a book named "Philosophy here and now: Powerful ideas in everyday life". There were some questions from the end of chapters and sections of each chapter to be discussed and reviewed based on the reader's understanding.
The source for the task was the book only, and it was apa STYLE written with double-spaced lines.


Writing to Understand
Critiquing Philosophical Views
Section 8.2
Plato thinks democracy is no better than mob rule. According to Plato, a system of rule by the most qualified people to govern is the only type of system that can assure members of society get their due. This system of rule is called meritocracy. Plato thinks it is better than democracy because, in democracy, emotions get in the way of people’s thinking, which causes bad decisions. I think that democracy is no better than mob rule, too, because, in a democracy, there is a larger percentage of people whose rights are ignored. For instance, 60 percent of people may vote for a particular item and the other 40 percent against it. This means that the views of the forty percent will not be counted hence making their choices unheard. Furthermore, in a democracy, there is a chance that leaders with no expertise are elected. Popular spinsters are elected in this case, and they would be appropriate in manipulating popular opinions, which is not a good cause.
Plato believes that it is possible for a society to be just without equality among its citizens because a just state is a harmonious community that is governed by reason, just like a virtuous person who acts as a tripartite that is being presided over by the rational faculty of the soul. This is true because, in a society, all the interests that appear to be conflicting can be harmonized depending on the different parts of the society they belong. This harmony can lead to the best righteous, rational, political orders in the society, which are the best to be in unity, thereby allowing the flourishment of all parts of the society but not at the advantage of others. For a society to function wholly, each person must attend to their respective roles and responsibilities assigned to them either by society or by the rule of law. This means that in each society, there must be classes within it. Each class of society has their roles and function. Hence, inequality could be of a safer point of view in a functioning society which has classes of people in it. As long as these classes of people interact well without coinciding with their roles, there would be no episode or instance of inequality in that society hence proper functioning.
Plato believes his just society to be well-ordered, rational, and harmonious. These are the traits which Plato suggests are sufficient enough to ensure justice in a society. Justice can be disguised as something which makes a society internally harmonious better. It is regarded as a sort of specialization. A society can be called just if the state decides which kind of life the citizens in it live. This is true because the citizens in this society that is well-ordered, harmonious and rational, their kinds, should be of their own and perform duties appointed to their own places. Society, in this case, is considered a perfect whole in which every member of it is expected to function not just for themselves but for the benefit of the whole. A society which is organized is suited for survival. When the people are in their natural states, where the coordination of the parts in the society is destroyed, this destruction leads to disintegration and dissolution. This means that justice, in this case, is the people’s sense of duty. Hence Plato is right in his concept of a just society because justice is a part of a person’s virtue and the connection that joins people together in society. Justice cannot be the right of the stronger people in the society but the effective harmony of everyone.
In Plato’s republic, the guardians deserve to be rulers because they are the most intelligent and intellectually gifted. These attributes guarantee wisdom and hence mean that intellectually superior people make good leaders. From a philosophical point of view, intelligent and gifted people will always be good leaders or rulers because they always understand true goodness and justice in such a way that other compatriots could not. These people are the ones that can understand that the biggest self-benefit is interlinked with living a virtuous life, hence making them act in a moral way and no because of self-interest. Intelligence in leadership is a good thing. Intelligence offers more benefits in leadership than most people think. When we ignore intelligence in leadership, we may end up with leaders who are psychopathic, narcissistic and even overconfident. Intelligence is a major indicator of learning capabilities; hence, there should be a very benefit of having a very fast processing capacity in one’s brain. This is because it will enable one to make quick sense of ambiguity, handle complex problems and acquiring of new knowledge. These are qualities of a good leader that is intellectually superior to people who may have in most cases.
Plato’s just society is pinned on three key components; the three types of people who are moved by their appetites, moved by the spirit and those moved by reason. In a just society, according to Plato, these kinds of people should perform their functions. In my own opinion, I would live in a state that is patterned after Plato’s just society. This is because it makes sense for a society to be operating in a way that every individual is tasked with their unique role, which they must fulfil. This means that every group in society should be tasked with their functions to ensure that there is the happiness of the state as a complete whole. This would therefore mean that no certain group in the just society should enjoy it at the expense of the other. This can only be achieved through each individual performing their socially determined role. Having a society which operates in a way everyone is tasked to perform their own functions is an advantage because they will be focused on their tasks with no interferences hence bringing harmony and productivity to the society as a whole.
Critiquing Philosophical Views
Section 8.3
Hobbes says that once people cede power to a strong governmental authority, the authority wields total authority over them; the government’s power is unalterable and absolute. I think such a government is not necessary for people to live in peace. This is because power is very fearsome, and once power is given to such a government, there will be no turning back on the use of it because the government can create a worse environment than the state of nature that exists. The Leviathan has many descriptions which would fit the current state of the world today. Hobbes believed that governments should protect the less fortunate or protect their citizens from poverty. He states that no king can be rich or secure, whose subjects are poor and too weak through wants. Therefore, according to Hobbes, a sovereign way to keep his job is to care for the poor people’s needs. Currently, the pandemic has caused more jib to be lost in the modern world, and according to Hobbes, it would be the government’s job to attend to this problem by focusing on human life rather than reopening the economy.
Hobbes believes that there is no such thing as justice until the Leviathans are established. This means that justice does not exist independently of an authority to define and enforce it. I can agree with Hobbes in this statement because justice can be found or established in a community or society by the members of that community without needing the sense of rule or authority in place. People’s way of independently establishing justice is different from a ruler’s point of view. This is because the kind of justice established or enforced by the rulers or the established government or authority can never be representative of the meaning of justice, but it will be the will of the ruler or the authority. In the real world, justice is a universal idea which must be accepted by every member of a community or society; that is seen as a contract that authorities or governments, like courts, establish with the support from the majority to practically enforce it. However, justice can only exist on its own without the influence of a systematic approach to it.
Locke thinks that people have a right to rebel against a government that abuses its power. This is because the state serves people and not people serving the state. I agree with this statement because once a government abuses power given to it by its people, it would mean that the citizen’s rights have been violated, and the obligations of the government to the people are voided. People have the right to rebel against the government abusing its power because, during its formation, the people gave up some of their liberties and transferred them to another political body. This gives them a political right to dismantle the government if it is ignoring their rights. People enter society for the preservation of their properties, and when the power they decide to distil upon the government for the protection of their properties, it is therefore said that they have lost the trust of the same government. After this establishment, it will be then easy to determine that the government has failed and cannot be trusted anymore. This then calls for the dissolution of the same government under these conditions.
The United States was founded according to the principles of classical liberalism. This means that the primary emphasis of the approach is placed on ensuring that the freedom of the people in a society is secured by limiting government powers. These liberal views were responsible for the industrial revolution in the US and other countries. This is because the approach advocated for civic liberties...

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