Back to Unedited Philosophy Quotes and Ramblings about Intequinism.
Translator: Benjamin Jowett (1885)
Place: Mineola, New York
8 October 2016
About Book II Davis (2000: 9) wrote: "Among theorists, Plato in the Republic raises the most fundamental questions. He desires to abolish private property and the family (c.1). But the end which he has in view is wrong. He wishes to make all his citizens absolutely alike; but the differentiation of function is a law of nature. There can be too much unity in a state (c.2). And the means by which he promotes unity is wrong. The abolition of property will produce, not remove, dissension. Communism of wives and children will destroy natural affection (c.3). Other objections can be raised; but this is the fatal one (c.4). To descend to details. The advantages to be expected from communism of property would be better secured if private property were used in a liberal spirit to relieve the wants of others. Private property makes men happier, and enables them to cultivate such virtues as generosity."
Davis seems to be in the same state as Rousseau, with his pity, whilst excluding Love. Maybe the best policy would be that 'all' people should create their own intellectual property and land should be more common, than is currently the case, to supply the "wants" of those who do not create their own intellectual property. On the other hand, maybe land would be used better, if controlled by people who can create intellectual property, which could increase land values.
"Hippodamus, who was not a practical politician, aimed at symmetry. In his state there were to be three classes, three kinds of landed property, three sorts of laws. He also proposed to (1) create a Court of Appeal, (2) let juries qualify their verdicts, (3) reward those who made discoveries of public property." (Davis 2000: 10)
"A state should consist of men who are equal, or
nearly so, in wealth, in birth, in moral and intellectual
excellence. The principle which underlies Ostracism is
plausible. But in the ideal state, if a pre-eminent individual
be found, he should be made a king (c.13)." (Davis 2000: 13)
14 October 2016
"Of the art of acquisition then there is one kind which is natural and is a part of the management of a household. Either we must suppose the necessaries of life to exist previously, or the art of the household management must provide a store of them for the common use of the family or state. They are the elements of true wealth; for the amount of property which is needed for a good life is not unlimited, although Solon in one of his poems says that,
'No bound to riches has been fixed for man.'
But there is a boundary fixed, just as there is in the arts; for the instruments of any art are never unlimited, either in number or size, and wealth may be defined as a number of instruments to be used in a household or in a state." (Aristotle 2000: p.40; I.8.14; 1256b)
Different views about maximum profit exist. Does "for man" imply plural or singular "man"?
18 October 2016
"Laws were made by Solon and others prohibiting an individual from possessing as much land as he pleased". (Aristotle 2000: p.73; II.7.6; 1266b)
20 October 2016
"To reward those who discover anything which is
useful to the state is a proposal which has a specious sound,
but cannot safely be enacted by law, for it may encourage
informers, and perhaps even lead to political commotions. This
question involves another. It has been doubted whether it is or
is not expedient to make any changes in the laws of a country,
even if another law be better. Now, if all changes are
inexpedient, we can hardly assent to the proposal of Hippodamus;
for, under pretence of doing a public service, a man may
introduce measures which are really destructive to the laws or
the constitution. But, since we have touched upon this subject,
perhaps we had better go a little into detail, for, as I was
saying, there is a difference of opinion, and it may sometimes
seem desirable to make changes." (Aristotle 2000: p.80; II.8.16;
"Hippodamus of Miletus (/hɪˈpɒdəməs/; Greek: Ἱππόδαμος ὁ Μιλήσιος, Hippodamos ho Milesios; 498 – 408 BC), was an ancient Greek architect, urban planner, physician, mathematician, meteorologist and philosopher and is considered to be the “father” of urban planning, the namesake of Hippodamian plan of city layouts (grid plan). He was born in Miletus and lived during the 5th century BC, on the spring of the Ancient Greece classical epoch. His father was Euryphon.
According to Aristotle, Hippodamus was the first author who wrote upon the theory of government, without any knowledge of practical affairs.
His plans of Greek cities were characterised by order and regularity in contrast to the intricacy and confusion common to cities of that period, even Athens. He is seen as the originator of the idea that a town plan might formally embody and clarify a rational social order." (From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippodamus_of_Miletus on 20 October 2016)
"From Hippodamus came the earliest notions of patent law. Hippodamus proposed that society should reward those individuals who create things useful for society. Aristotle criticized the practical utilitarian approach of Hippodamus and implicated the inherent tension in rewarding individuals for doing good; i.e. that by rewarding individuals for doing good, the individuals will do good for the reward over the benefit of the state. The state could actually suffer because of the allure of individual rewards, since individuals may propose notions that weaken the state. Aristotle essentially foreshadowed the inherent tension between private rewards for social benefits - the potential diversion between individual and societal interests. Aristotle's greatest criticism of Hippodamus, however, is that rewarding individuals "who discover something advantageous for the city ... is not safe, though it sounds appealing." For while innovation is of great benefit to the arts and sciences, "change in an art is not like change in law; for law has no strength with respect to obedience apart from habit, and this is not created except over a period of time. Hence the easy alteration of existing laws in favour of new and different ones weakens the power of law itself."
Hippodamus does not seem to have been involved in politics, but several writings attributed to him dealt with issues of the state, including Περί Πολιτείας (On the State), Περί Ευδαιμονίας (On Happiness), Πυθαγορίζουσαι Θεωρίαι (Pythagoras Theorems). " (From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippodamus_of_Miletus on 20 October 2016)