Administrative Thought and Ethics

The “Allegory of the Cave” tells about Plato’s idea of the reality of the human situation. In the Allegory, Plato envisioned human existence as like slaves chained together in a deep, dark cave dimly illuminated by a fire burning some distance behind and above them.

They chained and fettered in such a way that they have no way to see what is behind them. The Analogy of the Cave tells us that the appearances of things around us and as we understands them, are merely shadows of reality. The realities of these things are inaccessible to us.

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2. According to Plato, what are the “Forms?” How does Plato’s doctrine of the forms
tie in with the Allegory of the Cave?
The “Forms” for Plato is a unified theory of reality, knowledge, and value. In other words, the Forms are concepts or ideas which are eternal rather than physical things. Forms are the incorporeal, eternal entities which constitute the ultimate realities.
Reality of things lies in the world of perfect world of Forms or Ideas, and physical things are merely shadows of reality.   Plato’s doctrine of form tie with the Allegory in the Cave in the context that both tells that the realities are intangible. What we see around us are merely shadows or imitation of the reality which are ideas or forms.
 What does Aristotle say about Plato’s doctrine of the forms and account of the good?
 Aristotle regarded Plato’s doctrine of form as old ideas. According to Aristotle, Plato separated ideas from the physical forms of things. Plato held that physical things are merely shadows of what is real; Aristotle says that it is the substance that makes things real, and the essence or the substance of material things do not exist separately form those things.
Aristotle says that for anyone to be good, he must first be able to manage his own family well. That is, goodness is reflected by how individual play his or her role in the family. However, the highest good according to Aristotle can be obtain if we chose to desire a particular objective and is not complicated by desires of everything merely to satisfy our cravings (Aristotle, p. 1)
According to Aristotle, what are the “virtues of thought?” Which of these do we use in making decisions about politics and ethics?
The virtues of thoughts according to Aristotle are reason and choice or desire. Aristotle explained that if is reasoning are true and desires are right, it results to an intellect that is true and practical. Of these two, we use choice or desires most in making decisions about politics and ethics because choice or desires directs efforts towards the good actions. In other words, those who have these virtues are men who are capable to make a choice and whose reasoning are true.
What is the main point that James Scott is trying to get across in his book, Seeing Like a State?
The main point that James Scott is trying to get across in his book is that the state as most powerful institution is the great architect of modernization of the society as well as its deterioration by designing a social life that would not be in conflict with progress.
It features an authoritarian state which placed “a single planning authority rather multiple source of invention and change; in place plasticity and autonomy of existing life, was a fixed social order in which positions were designated” (Scott, p. 93). Scott emphasized that high modernism emphasis does not all brings blessings but it also greatly brings disgrace and destruction.
 Briefly compare and contrast the following sets of opposing concepts:
  Monism vs Pluralism
In a nut shell, Pluralism stands for the distributive form of being while the monism for the collective form. Monism held that there is one right way of resolving value conflicts-either by appeal to some supreme value, or to some authoritative ordering value. Pluralism on the other hand refers to the subset of public values such as liberty, justice, equality, and community.
 Rationalism vs. Anti-rationalism
Rationalism is concern about the good of the society whether religious or not. It seeks to make morality the sole agenda of life and it declares that must be guided by reason and regulated by science. Aside from being the opposite, Anti-rationalism believes that rational belief alone cannot produce either exciting or justifying reasons. This view held that moral truth cannot be derived an objective judgment of right and wrong.
Purposive State vs. Civil Association
Purposive state according to Michael Spicer is a political association “in which individuals recognize themselves as united or bound together for the joint pursuit of some coherent set of sustentative ends while civil association” (p. 15).
Spicer explained that purposive state is a planned social order that is a “method of establishing order that consist in limiting freedom of things and men to stay or move about at their pleasure, by assigning to each a specific position in the prearranged plan” (Spicer, p. 15).
Civil association on the other hand is “one in which men and women see themselves as essentially free to pursue their own particular interests and values. Civil associations according to Spicer “understands themselves as bound together by their recognition of their acknowledgment of certain rules of conduct” (Spicer, p. 21).
Work Cited
Aristotle (Trans. Ross, W.D.) “Nicomachean Ethics” Book I (Happiness)
Scott, J.C. “Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed” USA: Yale University Press
Spicer, M. “Public Administration and the State: A Postmodern Perspective” USA: The University of Alabama

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