From the Plato Reading: What is division of labor? Why does Plato think it is so important?
From the Plato Reading: From a Business point of view, can you see why the vision of Er and religions such as Christianity might conflict with the ideas that greed is good, that society should seek to be prosperous, that wanting more from life is better than a life of sacrifice? Explain your feelings on this. Do not use fuzzy logic or hazy definitions. Be specific.
From the Plato Reading: Dialogue is a writing style often used by philosophers in Antiquity. Persons in dialogues are not necessarily real. The philosophic truth is not that this or that person lived. Personalities are manufactured to convey truth, they are not the truth themselves. With this in mind, discuss in your own words which parts of this dialogue are meant to be literal, and which are purely figurative.
From the Plato Reading: Explain how ideas about business might be influenced by fear (or hope) of an afterlife? Remember, the afterlife (assuming there is one) is not necessarily a good place, in some superstitions it is a terrible place, a hell. How would this impact greed for profits, avarice, and even things like ambition?
From the Aristotle Reading: Explain the two kinds of value that goods can offer people.
From the Aristotle Reading: Aristotle says it is easy for philosophers to get wealth. If so, why do they not do it more frequently? Explain this in your own words.
From the Epicurus Reading: Explain how Critical Thinking leads to tranquility. Use your own words. The word ‘tranquility’ appears many times in the essay about Epicurus. The actual Greek word used by Epicurus was ATARAXIA [pronounced “attar-akk-see-yuh”]. It means “peace of mind, absence of pain”. Pain here does not mean physical pain, but disagreement or discord, unsettledness, mental uncertainty, doubt. Epicurus taught that truth leads to ataraxia, peace of mind. Error creates a kind of pain in the mind, which must always be resolved, or the pain will continue. To deny this is self-deception. This is the basis of the modern, scientific idea that one must be calm and dispassionate in the search for truth. Why? Simply because emotions cloud human judgment. Once more, here is the question, from the Epicurus Reading:Explain how Critical Thinking leads to tranquility. Use your own words.
From the Epicurus Reading: Why did other intellectuals slander and libel Epicurus?
From the Epicurus Reading: What is the purpose of human existence, according to Epicurus?
From the Epicurus Reading: Briefly explain how Epicurus teachings allowed people to think of profits as something good rather than bad. Explain the reasoning necessary to do this. Use your own words. Consider first: religious views about business and people eager to seek profits were generally negative from the 2nd to the 18th centuries CE, for examples:
Thou shalt not covet – Moses
Thou shalt have no other gods before me – Moses
A man cannot serve God and mammon – Jesus
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you – Jesus
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven – Jesus
Go, sell all that thou hast, give unto the poor, then come follow me – Jesus
Thou shalt not charge interest for loans – Mohammed
Note: Epicureanism revived in the Florentine Renaissance [see Petrarch in the glossary for more information.] and many thinkers began to question the old religious hostility to profits and interest. As Epicurean influence rose during the Renaissance, so did acceptance of a life of refined pleasure. Refined pleasure is not gluttony. Indeed, Epicurus taught that gluttony is just excessiveness. “All things in moderation” is an Epicurean principle. “Know Thyself.” is another Epicurean principle.
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