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Earned Bachelor Degree from the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences (Class of 2013) Major: Political Science Minor: Sociology ------------------- I am your typical nerd/geek/otaku. I like to ride my bike, read, write, and surf the internet. Otaku(noun)(おたく/オタク)- is a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, and/or video games.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Aristotle: The Nicomachean Ethics -- Foundations of Political Thought Blog Post #2

Foundations of Political Thought Blog Post #2
Text: Aristotle: The Nicomachean Ethics (pages 3-9,13-16, 18-25, 27-30) Book I: i-vii, vii-xi, xiii
Editor's note: I'm covering pages 3-9
Posted on February 28, 2012 at 11:27 p.m.

In Aristotle's first book, titled "The Object of Life", Aristotle attempts to educate his readers on the essence of life and attempts to shed some thoughtful insight as to man's purpose in the grand spectrum. He also talks about the role of political science and the purpose (goal, objective, or ends) of one's pursuits (Book I: i-ii). For the most part, I agree with a majority of what Aristotle states and I would argue that his reasoning is fairly sound. However, when he stated that "...a young man is not a fit person to attend lectures on political science, because he is not versed in the practical business of life from which politics draws its premises and subject matter." (Book I: iii). I wholeheartedly disagree, because a student is one whom is willing to learn (or at least SHOULD be) and as such should not be denied the right to partake in the bountiful knowledge that can be gained from attending such lectures simply because they have not lived as long as their would-be mentor. Aristotle's claim that because of a young male's tenacity "to follow his feelings" he will make no progress is far-fetched and too accusatory of the young or youthful at heart. Aristotle seems to view all young men as impudent and incapable of self-restraint. If one were to give them the time and patience necessary to learn, I'm sure that they would meet or exceed their potential for understanding.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thucydides: On Justice, Power, and Human Nature -- Foundations of Political Thought - Blog Post #1

Thucydides: On Justice, Power, and Human Nature, 66-95 (Book III, sec.37-68, 81.2-85; Book IV, sec. 47.3-48)
Post Started: February 2, 2012 at 8:47p.m.

Selected Section: Book III, sec.37-68 (I focused just on the the Mytilenean Debate for the sake of a shorter argument. The Plataean Debate is also pertinent to the ideas presented here, albeit with an alternate result as the final outcome.)

This passage, a debate between Cleon and Diodotus (as told by Thucydides) concerned what penalty should be given to the Mytileneans for their betrayal of the alliance they had once formed with Athens. The Mytileneans had been a former ally of Athens until in the summer of 428 when they rebelled alongside those residing on the island of Lesbos. On the one hand of the debate, Cleon advocated that those Mytileneans of military age should all be put to death as retribution for their insolence and those remaining Mytileneans not of military age should be enslaved while Diodotus on the other hand, vehemently rejected and opposed this cruel suggestion of capital punishment.

I was more in favor of Diodotus as he stated that "We should not...[rely] on capital punishment to protect us, or set such hopeless conditions that our rebels have no opportunity to repent and atone for their crime as quickly as possible." It seemed a rather harsh proposal to have the women and children atone for the sins (or unjust actions) of a select few (those that lead their followers to rebellion) and have them bare the burden for years to come, possibly making them MORE resentful than their fathers had been of Athenian Empirical rule especially considering that the casualties of war alone are a sufficient enough punishment (at least in my own opinion). By Cleon's judgement, it would only serve to "rub salt on an open wound". Diodotus instead thought that the assembly should "impose moderate penalties to ensure that we will, in the future, be able to make use of cities that can make us substantial payments".