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BPSC-111: Classical Political Philosophy

BPSC-111: Classical Political Philosophy

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BPSC-111 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Classical Political Philosophy, you have come to the right place. BPSC-111 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BAPSH courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BPSC-111/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BPSC-111

Assignment Name: Classical Political Philosophy

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


There are three Sections in the Assignment. You have to answer all questions in the Sections.


Assignment - I


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


Q1. Discuss Marxism as an intellectual construct. 20

Ans) Since the theory of historical materialism, which is at the core of Marxism, is the pinnacle achievement of the bourgeois intellectual, applying it to the intelligentsia as a whole is nothing more than an act of historical justice. Long before the emergence of bourgeois society, there were castes of erudite men. The capitalist social framework is incredibly intricate. While the relationships between the two basic classes are increasingly clear from an economic and political perspective, from the perspective of the division of labour, the population is increasingly divided into a vast number of sub-classes and occupational groups, each of which performs specific social functions and has its own unique character, interests, institutions, traditions, techniques, and psychology.


The professions make up one of the most significant segments of these middle-class groupings. The intelligentsia has historically developed alongside professions and continues to have a close relationship with them today. Professionals of one kind or another, such as teachers, writers, scientists, artists, politicians, etc., are typically considered intellectuals, however this is not always the case. It might be challenging to distinguish between the professional and the intellectual because they may be similar in person, if not in function. Every profession's practitioners are intellectuals in that they occasionally speculate about specific issues related to their line of work. However, the professional may only be considered to have genuinely changed himself into an intellectual when he undertakes the work of theoretical inquiry in a conscious, sustained, and comprehensive manner, reaching beyond his own specialty.


Finally, entire departments of philosophy and social sciences have formed as a result of the division of labour in academia, dedicated to the task of speculating on the most significant philosophical, historical, and social problems. As the professional theologian was the pinnacle of the mediaeval learned caste, the professional philosopher is the most complete representation of the modern intellectual.


The most disparate components can be combined inside intellectuals. We find middle-class intellectuals who assert that they are completely above class links, upper-class intellectuals who have developed sympathy for the proletariat, and proletarian intellectuals who have turned into sycophants of the ruling class.


The intellectuals have some social standing in bourgeois society, but they go through the same economic ups and downs as other middle class groups. More often than not, individuals who zealously serve society's leaders have the best regard and influence among intellectuals as opposed to those with the greatest intellectual prowess and accomplishments. The presidencies, professorships, editorial chairs, and research foundations go to such gentlemen.


A Marxist party can't, least of all political organisations, ignore the potential contribution that intellectuals may make to the working class's struggle for emancipation because Marxism, the science of the proletarian revolution, is itself the pinnacle creation of middle-class intellectuals, and every Marxist party has had its share of militants drawn from the radical intelligentsia. But it's important to comprehend the link between the revolutionary workers' party and the radical intelligentsia. Intellectuals are typically an auxiliary force of the party with their own unique talents to contribute to its work, yet some may attain a position in the leadership of the party by their talents, enthusiasm, and devotion. In the party, the mass groups it supports, and numerous party activities, intellectuals have a place. However, the majority of the party must be drawn from the working class's vanguard and be wholly supported by them. The party's core must be firmly proletarian, as must the party's leadership.


Q2. Explain Plato’s concept of Philosopher King. 20

Ans) The cornerstone of Plato's Ideal State was his conception of the philosopher monarch. It was formed from the belief that the philosopher possessed the knowledge, intelligence, and training necessary to rule. Since the goal of government was to promote the welfare of all people, it required talent and qualifications, just like any other job. A good monarch was one who improved his subjects' lives while simultaneously preserving their way of life. The philosophic rile, often known as the "rule of the philosopher monarch," is the most significant and distinguishing aspect of the Ideal State.


Plato emphasises the significance of having leaders who understand the shape of good throughout the Republic. Plato believed that the best person to rule was a philosopher who understood the concept of good, suggesting that knowledge could only be attained by a select few who had the time and the means to do so. For Plato, a divine organisation absolutely deserving of emulation and imitation was the Ideal State, ruled by a philosopher monarch. He stated that an ideal state is one that is founded on eternal, unchanging principles, implying that there is an ideal pattern that can be found and used to fix a sickly political system and make it into a beautiful creation. He made the implication that the political system was very pliable and could be shaped to take the proper imprint.


The state is very concerned about the imparting of such knowledge because the job of the ruler necessitates understanding of the forms. According to Plato, handing the state to leaders without this knowledge is equivalent to giving it to blind people. The philosophers must be convinced to rule even though they would prefer not to. The philosophy curriculum serves as an institutionalised tool for producing future rulers. Only after the successors have been raised and educated can the current rulers let go of their responsibility and return to the study of philosophy. The philosophers, according to Plato, must go through a rigorous educational programme and then serve in administrative roles for fifteen years in the city before they are raised to see the form of the good, which completes their education and grants them perfect knowledge.


Therefore, the guardians need a strong collection of knowledge, abilities, and talent in order to rule the ideal state. Here, Plato falls short of clearly articulating how good knowledge adds to the skills needed by the ruler. Although Plato is aware that knowledge of the good is not a requirement for being able to rule, there is a huge vacuum in his political theory because he does not explicitly explain how knowledge of the good's form is important in governing. Nevertheless, Plato had excellent arguments for his insistence that effective government requires knowledge of the good. His moral implications are essential, in his opinion. It aids in teaching intellectuals to hate worldly things and elevates rulers in importance. Thus, the moral rather than the cognitive effects of such knowledge might be used to support the significance of Plato's focus on the philosopher having total knowledge. Therefore, philosophers must be in charge—not because their absolute knowledge is useful in practical terms, but rather because it guarantees the right ideals.


Assignment - II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.


Q1. Write a note on Plato’s concept of justice. 10

Ans) One of the four cardinal Greek virtues, along with wisdom or prudence, bravery or fortitude, and temperance or self-control, was justice. Justice was characterised by Greek philosophers as virtue in action. Whether they applied it to a person, a country, or the entire world, they always viewed justice in terms of peace and order. Justice according to Plato was not founded on the law but rather on morality and ethics. It could be shown in carrying out one's responsibilities and giving back to society in accordance with one's talents. Plato agreed with the Socratic maxim that knowledge is a virtue and that it may end political injustice and wrongdoing.


According to Plato, the four cardinal qualities were present in the ideal condition. Due to knowledgeable rulers, wisdom would dominate, and courageous warriors would exhibit courage. The harmony in society brought about by a shared knowledge of who would be in charge would promote self-control, and justice would ultimately triumph because everyone would perform their own duties to the best of their abilities without interfering with others' tasks.


According to Plato, the state was an ideal, but justice was its actuality. According to Sabine, the Republic's view of justice is a product of its theory of the state. He added that Plato believed that the bond that binds society together is fairness. Justice serves the common good, according to Plato, and his conception of the political society. To survive, even a den of thieves would need to adhere to moral standards. Justice-based ideals must serve as the cornerstone of any state. A state's citizens must believe that their state upholds justice, and they must act in accordance with those values. The highest benefit that humans, both as individuals and as constituents of a broader political society, can achieve is justice.


Q2. Examine Aristotle’s views on human nature. 10

Ans) According to Aristotle, man is a social, political, and ethical person by nature. Humans are social creatures since they may always be found interacting with others in a polis or in a social setting. Aristotle also believes that it is a "characteristic of man that he alone has any sense of good and evil, of just and unjust," to add on to that.


So, in accordance with Aristotle, man is an ethical being by nature. According to Aristotle, a natural existence for humans is one that is filled with fairness. The human species differs from other animal species in this way. Humans can only fulfil the demands of their own nature and hence attain the status of proper humans by leading lives of justice. The ultimate goal of politics, according to Aristotle, is to make this process of personal growth possible. The ability of people to have a "happy life" in this sense is a product of political society. Aristotle referred to this as achieving "eudaimonia," or reaching one's full potential as a human being.


According to Aristotle, there must be laws or standards that serve as a benchmark for what is acceptable and wrong for individual moral actors if eudaimonia is to be realised. In the end, according to Aristotle, these laws represent the 'political justice' standards of the polis where they reside. Aristotle's ideas on ethics and politics are strongly tied to one another because an ethical life is only feasible in a political society. Because it combines the study of ethics into it, Aristotle claims that the study of politics is the "ultimate master science." Politics research teaches us what we should and shouldn't be doing.


Q3. Elaborate upon Aristotle’s views on form. 10

Ans).The form and the substance in which the form manifests itself, according to Aristotle and Plato, are the two essential components that make up all that exists. To come into being, however, something else is also necessary: the form. He believed that in order for something to come into existence, both form and matter must be present, and that when something does so, it does so through the combination of both. For instance, leather may be shaped into the appropriate shape to construct a shoe, but neither the leather nor the shoe's shape are generated by the shoemaker. Simply combining these two aspects of being, Shoemaker.


Aristotle questioned if there could be a form separate from matter after considering the functions of form and matter. Aristotle asserts that it is not, in contrast to Plato. This is his method of stating that something cannot come into being without matter and that a form cannot exist in a vacuum. It is obvious, then, that the forms, understood as entities distinct from particulars, are useless as causes of comings to be and of substances; this function, at any rate, is no justification for the forms to be substances in and of themselves, according to Aristotle. Aristotle deemed Plato's forms and matter to be "useless" because they lacked empirical support.


However, a close examination of both Plato's and Aristotle's reasoning reveals that they are not always in opposition to one another. Form cannot actually exist without matter, according to Aristotle. There isn't a "home other than bricks." However, because we share a common knowledge of how objects and ideas are organised, the concepts of things can be considered and discussed. This appears to be what Plato actually intended when he spoke of forms. Even if they cannot draw a perfect square, geometry students may discuss squares with perfectly equal sides and correct angles because they all recognise the shape of a square.

Assignment - III


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.


Q1. Write a note on Machiavelli’s views on power and politics. 6

Ans) Machiavelli disagreed with the idea that there should be a moral standard to determine whether the use of power is justified or not. Power and authority are related to some extent. It implies that if someone possesses power, they have the right to use it. In a way, a person's integrity does not automatically confer power, and a good person does not automatically command respect.


Machiavelli claims that the only real concern of the political ruler is the conquest and maintenance of power, which is in stark contrast to a moralistic philosophy of politics. In other words, according to Machiavelli, the only goal a person may legitimately set for himself is to pursue happiness in this life. This happiness need not be limited to the world of things; in addition to good health, safety for one's person and possessions, it also encompasses non-material qualities like greatness, power, and fame.


Q2. Examine Machiavelli’s conception of civic virtue and freedom. 6

Ans) The ability to protect the state with a warlike spirit is civic virtue in a ruler. Civic virtue instils in people the nationalistic ideals and altruistic nature required for the protection of the state and individual freedom. According to Machiavelli, freedom created powerful governments in addition to powerful individuals. These individuals' strength didn't come from controlling or manipulating others, but rather from their independence of spirit, from their capacity to reason and make their own decisions.

According to Machiavelli, when a state is independent and unaffected by outside factors, citizens likewise feel strong and powerful. Therefore, in Machiavelli's view, only a republic can ensure and uphold the rights of the people. But only if the citizens demonstrate civic virtue will this be achievable. In other words, Machiavelli advocated for the virtue of putting aside one's own whims in order to protect the lives and liberty of the state.


Q3. Discuss Hobbes’s views on matter and motion. 6

Ans) Hobbes contends that all activity, including human thinking, is the product of material bodies in motion colliding with one another in order to explain perception and thought in purely materialist terms. When physical bodies interact with a person's eyes, hearing, body, etc., they are able to sense and perceive those things. These contacts, or collisions, trigger other interactions in people's brains that lead to imagination, which is the brain's internal continuation of the first sensory interaction. Memory, which recalls interactions from the past, is a different form of imagination from understanding. Imaginations frequently lead to intricate collisions of different interactions, producing trains of thought that may be controlled or uncontrolled.


Q4. Examine the powers and privileges of Hobbes sovereign. 6

Ans) The Hobbesian Sovereign has unrestricted rights and privileges. Under the prospect of punishment, all of his subjects owe him unconditional loyalty and submission. They cannot rightfully be released from this political commitment, and anyone who does so will be acting morally unjustly. The sovereign, however, owes nothing to the people under his control and is prohibited from acting unfairly in any way. He cannot be expelled or punished. The sovereign is the only person with the right to interpret natural law and is the ultimate lawmaker. Thus, no claim to natural law or justice may be used to challenge the civil law that the sovereign has declared.


Q5. What are the grounds on which Locke justified the right to property? Elaborate. 6

Ans) Locke's right to property is subject to a number of restrictions or conditions. The first one is obvious from the debate above, i.e., one can only appropriate as much property as can be used by one's labour. Therefore, if someone can only use through their labour one acre of land, they cannot claim more than that. This is referred to as the labour restriction at times. Additionally, Locke contends that one can only appropriate what they can utilise without contaminating it. Furthermore, Locke contends that a monetary system promotes efficiency and that, in contrast to prehistoric societies that relied on barter, societies with money developed more quickly, resulting in greater prosperity for all.

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