Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature (PHIL 181)
Professor Gendler explores some aspects of the question of what sorts of non-rational persuasion are legitimate for a government to engage in. She begins with two modern examples that illustrate Plato's view on state censorship. She next turns to the text itself and outlines in detail Plato's argument that since we are vulnerable to non-rational persuasion, and since a powerful source of such persuasion is imitative poetry, such poetry must be censored by the state. Drawing on a number of earlier themes from the course, she then discusses several implications of the fact our limited ability to rationally regulate our non-rational responses to representations makes fiction both potentially powerful, and potentially dangerous.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Two Modern Examples of Plato on Censorship
16:08 - Chapter 2. Plato on Censorship
24:42 - Chapter 3. Plato on Education
30:27 - Chapter 4. When Engaging with Fiction Can Be Beneficial
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu
This course was recorded in Spring 2011.
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