Apology and Phaedo, by Socrates

Decent Essays
Riya Roy
HON 105
Will McNeil
Paper One

Contemplating Death

Both philosophers and non-philosophers stand on a level of equality with respect to death. There are no experts on death, for there is nothing to know about it. Even those who study the death process have no edge on the rest of us. We are all equals in thinking about death, and we all begin and end thinking about it from a position of ignorance. One trouble with discussing this topic is the instinctive fear of death. We tend to avoid death in our thoughts and actions. However, if we could forget our fears for a minute, we could see more clearly how interesting the concept actually is from a more detached point of view. One of the most interesting views on death comes from an ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates. In the texts that are going to be analyzed in this essay, Apology and Phaedo, are the retellings of words and thoughts of Socrates by Plato, a pupil and admirer of Socrates. Both texts lecture about the topic of death and though both are the thoughts of Socrates at different times of his life, they have similar and contrasting views on the outlook of death.
The Apology is the most authentic account that has been preserved of Socrates' defense of himself as it was presented before the Athenian Council. Socrates accusers are poets, craftsmen, politicians and orators who accuse him of corrupting the youth by making them lose confidence in the government that has jurisdiction over them. Socrates speaks
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