In 399 bc, Socrates was sentenced to death for various alleged crimes against the city of Athens. He was convicted under false pretenses therefore his death was unjust, and this will be proved throughout the course of this paper. Socrates was not guilty of any of the crimes he was convicted of because he did not encourage others to act a certain way, rather he evoked discourses that would make his peers to profess on their own. Michel Foucault, a french philosopher and historian who had very high regards to socrates had a cathartic take on the controversy. Foucault associated socrates with self-care and truthful pursuits. Foucault’s understanding and regard for ancient greek society had him arriving at some thought-provoking conclusions. For instance, the Greeks stressed the importance of proper use of all pleasures, (cheresis) and Foucault coined the idea as ‘Aesthetics of The Self.’ This essentially a process of the self creating a beautiful and enjoyable existence.
“According to one line of Foucault’s thought, the “care of the self” is an ethical imperative found in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy in which one performed practices on oneself in order to free oneself from desire and live a good life. Another line of interpretation reads the care of the self as a way to access the truth in contrast to the way we do so through the “know thyself.” While the guiding assumption of the know thyself is that there is a pure, unchanging truth to be uncovered, the care of the
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Socrates was a Western Ancient Athenian Greek philosopher who lived from 469 BCE until his death in 399 BCE. He was a student to another philosopher, Sophists, Socrates was different from most Greek philosophers he wanted to get at the truth and find out how one can truly be ‘good’ and moral in life. “To Socrates the soul is identified with the mind; it is the seat of reason and capable of finding the ethical truths, which will restore meaning and value of life” (ADD IN-TEXT CITATION SEMINAR). We continue to use many of Socrates teachings today, such as, ‘The Socratic method’, which is known as asking a question and within these questions you lead it to the answer you wanted to hear, many uses this as a teaching technique and is shown to be highly effective. A great number of Athenians looked up to Socrates and considered him the wise man of Athens, he had many followers whom would ask questions and seek answers. As popularity and following of Socrates grew so did accusations. The charges laid on Socrates by the Athenians were unjust and therefore his death was highly wrong in the eyes of true democracy that Athens was apparently known for. In this paper, I will discuss how Socrates was wrongfully convicted for the corruption of the youth despite having many young followers, introducing new Gods while still being considered an Atheist, and the main reason he was seen as a threat to Athens was that he brought change to the city.
Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman’s work was centralised around there two different concepts of how your identity is formed through the process of power and expert knowledge. This Essay will discuss the ideas of Michel Foucault who was a French Social Theorist. His theories addressed the relationship between power and knowledge and how both of these are used as a form of social control through society. The essay will look at Foucault’s work in The Body and Sexuality, Madness and Civilisation and Discipline and Punish which displays how he conceptualised Power and identity on a Marxist and macro basis of study. The Essay will also address the Ideas of Erving Goffman who was A Canadian Born Sociologist who’s key study was what
Socrates is believed to be one of the greatest philosophers of all time and he is credited as being the founder of western philosophy. This paper will explain some of his views to the most fundamental questions of today’s age. These questions will include topics about morality, the human condition, solution, and death. After Socrates’ views on these topics are explained, a critique will be done on his answers. I will start out by explaining exactly who Socrates is, and the time that he lived in. To start out, we will first examine Socrates’ view on morality.
The Republic by Plato examines many aspects of the human condition. In this piece of writing Plato reveals the sentiments of Socrates as they define how humans function and interact with one another. He even more closely Socrates looks at morality and the values individuals hold most important. One value looked at by Socrates and his colleagues is the principle of justice. Multiple definitions of justice are given and Socrates analyzes the merit of each. As the group defines justice they show how self-interest shapes the progression of their arguments and contributes to the definition of justice.
In this paper, I will be discussing harm, specifically in the view of Socrates as depicted in Plato’s The Apology of Socrates. I will discuss the various instances in which Socrates weighs in on what harm means and I will make the claim that Socrates’ definition of harm is ambiguous yet targeted at preserving his own sense of pride; and I will defend that claim.
Through several dialogues Plato gives readers accounts of Socrates’ interactions with other Athenians. While some may think of him as a teacher of sorts, Socrates is adamant in rejecting any such claim (Plato, Apology 33a-b). He insists that he is not a teacher because he is not transferring any knowledge from himself to others, but rather assisting those he interacts with in reaching the truth. This assistance is the reason Socrates walks around Athens, engaging in conversation with anyone that he can convince to converse with him. An assertion he makes at his trial in Plato’s Apology is at the center of what drives Socrates in his abnormal ways, “the unexamined life is not worth living for a human being” (38a). Socrates, through aporia, looks to lead an examined life to perfect his soul and live as the best person he can be. This paper looks to examine the ‘unexamined life’ and the implications rooted in living a life like Socrates’.
Socrates was a great philosopher of the Greek world. He was quite an atypical and distinctive person. Being different from all the other philosophers of the land, Socrates was teaching his students ideas totally out of the ordinary from what the society believed was right. As a result, he displeased many people so much that they decided to get rid of him. Socrates was put to trial, accused of spoiling the youth of Athens, tried and sentenced to death. His personal defense is described in works two of his students: Xenophon and Plato. Both of them wrote papers called Apology, which is the Greek word for “defense”. In this essay I used Apology by Plato as the main resource, since it contents a more full account of the trial of Socrates and
The portrayal of Socrates, through the book “the trial and death of Socrates” is one that has created a fairly controversial character in Western history. In many ways, Socrates changed the idea of common philosophy in ancient Greece; he transformed their view on philosophy from a study of why the way things are, into a consideration man. Specifically, he analyzed the virtue and health of the human soul. Along side commending Socrates for his strong beliefs, and having the courage to stand by those convictions, Socrates can be commended for many other desirable characteristics. Some of those can include being the first martyr to die for his philosophical beliefs and having the courage to challenge indoctrinated cultural norms is part of
A philosophical attitude toward life should play a major part in our lives. It is crucial for us as humans to learn and accept lessons learned through the experience of life. If you do not “examine your life” then what do you learn and what do you gain? Socrates’ in “The Trial and Death of Socrates” he details this in many ways. We can pull all the evidence and ideas we need from this text written by Plato. In the 3 parts Euthyphro, Apology and Crito many conclusions are made and there is much to learn from this text. Some of the most important parts allude to this idea of living life with a philosophical attitude. The book begins with the search for the definition of piety. In the apology Socrates’ details his side of the argument showing everyone the power of his own ideas and that is proved by his execution and finally in the Crito his commitment to his way of life is the last point that Socrates’ made. This text is chalked full of life lessons but the most important is the one that urges people to live their lives while never stopping to learn and think.
The first painting, Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David, depicts one of the great philosophers, Socrates being sentenced to death. Socrates was a famous Athenian philosopher. It was through the works of Plato, Socrates’s student, that we learn about the trials and imprisonment that Socrates endured for his way of thinking. Through David’s painting style and use of Neoclassicism, viewers can understand the significance.
In response to Thrasymachus, Glaucon, and Adeimantus, Socrates seeks to show that it is always in an individual’s interest to be just, rather than unjust. Thus, one of the most critical problems regarding the Republic is whether Socrates defends justice successfully or not. Socrates offers three arguments in favor of the just life over the unjust life: first, the just man is wise and good, and the unjust man is ignorant and bad; second, injustice produces internal disharmony which prevents effective actions; and lastly, virtue is excellence at a thing’s function and the just person lives a happier life than the unjust person, since he performs the various functions of the human soul well. Socrates is displeased with the argument because a sufficient explanation of justice is essential before reaching a conclusion as to whether or not the just life is better than the unjust life. He is asked to support justice for itself, not for the status that follows. He propositions to look for justice in the city first and then to continue by analogy to discover justice in the individual. This approach will allow for a distinct judgment on the question of whether the just person is happier than the unjust person. Socrates commences by exploring the roots of political life and constructs a hypothetical just city that gratifies only fundamental human necessities. Socrates argues
Plato’s account of Socrates’ defense against charges of corrupting the youth and heresy, reveal the ancient teacher’s view of justice as fairness and support of rule of law. In the Apology, Socrates faces a moral dilemma: to either accept his punishment for crimes he did not commit or to accept the assistance of his friends and escape death by the hand of the state. His choice to accept death in order to maintain rule of law reveals his belief of justice. He beliefs his punishment to be just not because he committed the crimes but because his sentence came through a legal process to which he consented. By sparing his life, he would weaken the justice system of Athens which he values above his own existence. This difference between the two men’s beliefs regarding justice draws the sharpest contrast in their views of effective leadership and government.
In Plato’s works Apology and Crito there is an attempt by Socrates to defend himself in court and defend his choice to receive the death penalty when found guilty. Although he makes very valid and strong arguments throughout one can only wonder why such a wise person would choose death over life. The following essay will analyze three quotes from Apology and Crito, find the correlation between them, and reveal any flaws that may exsist inside these arguments made by Socrates.
In most circumstances ending the life of a criminal as their punishment usually reflects the magnitude of the crimes that they committed, crimes that often involve the deaths of others or equally heinous actions, yet one historical example stands out for not following this rule. In 399 BC, in Athens, Greece, two men put a meek philosopher named Socrates on trial for two crimes he purportedly committed: not following state gods and corrupting the youth. These charges alleged against Socrates reflected the general sentiment of Athenians regarding Socrates; namely that he was an atheistic charlatan. The jury found Socrates guilty of these crimes and executed, a punishment that does not logically befit the supposed crimes that he committed. No sane or logical jury would find him guilty of such vague claims, especially in such a vehemently democratic polis as Athens, and they would never have executed Socrates for such meager offenses, nonetheless he was. Execution was especially unnecessary because Socrates himself was on the verge of death; he was in his seventies in the Greek era, so he was bound to die soon anyways. The central focus, then, is of understanding how on Earth the birthplace of democracy could have gone so awry and when they tried, convicted, and executed Socrates. Athens sentenced Socrates to death because his beliefs were against the flow of the changing Athenian ideological landscape, people regarded him as a pompous, elitist charlatan who impugned their core
This paper argues that Socrates makes a plausible case for justice. Socrates raised two main questions in the first two books of Plato’s Republic, what is justice? And why should we act justly? Thrasymachus and Glaucon both have different and more negative views of justice than Socrates. Throughout books one and two, Socrates, Glaucon and Thrasymachus go back and forth discussing the definition and application of justice in society. He starts his discussions with Glaucon and Thrasymachus by stating simply, “What is justice?”