Plato's Laches

Decent Essays

During his lifetime Socrates’ various interactions with his fellow Athenians left his intentions debatable. Popular belief in Athens seemed to be that, “he [Socrates] was an evildoer, and a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven¸ and makes the worse appear the better cause” (Plato, pg. 5) as stated by the unofficial charges against him in The Apology. After discussions, his interlocutor’s were left confused in a state of aporia, with no conclusion. And so while negative views of Socrates became increasing popular in Athens right up until his death, Socrates was, on the contrary, serving as Athens’s benefactor, opening up their eyes to the truth of world in which they lived in. In Plato’s Laches, Socrates …show more content…

However, other Athenians eventually grew tired of Socrates’ extensive questioning and can be seen in The Apology putting Socrates on trial for it. Instead of taking Socrates’ conversations for what they were worth, they labeled him as argumentative and a man who was corrupting the youth of the city.
By breaking down his interlocutors’ various thoughts, ideas, and theses, Socrates was trying to reveal to them that they were not in fact wise and that the knowledge they thought they possessed was not true knowledge. Socrates himself was only considered wiser than his fellow Athenians because he considered his one piece of knowledge to be that he didn’t know anything. By breaking down, piece by piece, the arguments of those he conversed with, he intended for them to realize that their knowledge was relative and therefore meaningless in the grander scheme of things. By recognizing this, only then could they begin living a life in search of finding true meaning. In searching for meaningful things they would have to learn to question things. While he is on trial in The Apology, Socrates tells the jury that, “The unexamined life is not worth living” (Plato pg. 24) Living life without asking questions, and without inquiry, is not living life at all, and is therefore

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