preview

No Harm Can Come to a Good Man Essay

Good Essays
No Harm Can Come to a Good Man

Whether Socrates is portrayed correctly or not, he certainly was a great man. His contribution to western thought cannot be denied. For even if his teachings were different from what they are known to be at present, his influence on Plato is immense. And so, it is no small matter to describe the tragic passing of such a man as Socrates was and remains for philosophy today. Yet in all the indignation which is expected to arise at the death of Socrates, the panache with which he departs is captured excellently in Plato's “Apology.” Specifically, at the end of the "Apology," Socrates makes a very important statement that has had great impact on philosophy ever since its original proclamation. The
…show more content…
Furthermore, the concept of harm is significant in this inquiry as well. Socrates speaks of his accusers in that "they thought they were doing me some harm," (Plato 100). It is thus conceivable that he does not consider physical harm to be of any consequence to his well-being. Socrates seems to maintain that physical existence is much less relevant to human excellence than is the spiritual state of the soul. It follows to say that physical harm, as is caused by others, is not actual harm. The true damage thus, is that which is done to the human soul, and none other than oneself can cause injury to the soul. Since the more valuable concern lies with that of the soul, death being somewhat a matter of triviality, and others cannot hurt the soul as only the self can, the death sentence by the jury is unimportant and does not cause harm to this good man.

The additional position in which Socrates resides, is that of the good man. As he elaborates himself, a good man is one who acts justly and keeps the good interest of others, as well as himself, always in mind (Plato). So a good man acts according to this mindset, acting justly in his treatment towards others, but also in his treatment of himself. Though he may not see the just treatment of himself as the end towards which his action is intended, such potentially altruistic consideration of the
Get Access