FUTTER, DYLAN. “Socrates Human Wisdom.” Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review 52.1 (2013): 61-79. Humanities International Complete. Print.
Plato’s “Defense of Socrates” follows the trial of Socrates for charges of corruption of the youth. His accuser, Meletus, claims he is doing so by teaching the youth of Athens of a separate spirituality from that which was widely accepted.
Socrates was a Greek philosopher who stood for knowledge and virtue. He believed that in order for people to live their best lives, it is necessary for them to do what is right. “It is wicked and shameful to do wrong, to disobey ones superior, be he god or man (Cooper, 29b).” Socrates represents self-knowledge which is evident through his quest for finding someone who was wiser than he was. After his run ins with the likes of the local politicians, craftsmen and poets, Socrates comes to the realization that although these individuals had mastered their craft and were knowledgeable in their field of work, they were clueless in many other important aspects of life. Through this awareness, he accepts the fact that
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
Socrates put one’s quest for wisdom and the instruction of others above everything else in life. A simple man both in the way he talked and the wealth he owned, he believed that simplicity in whatever one did was the best way of acquiring knowledge and passing it unto others. He is famous for saying that “the unexplained life is not worth living.” He endeavored therefore to break down the arguments of those who talked with a flowery language and boasted of being experts in given subjects (Rhees 30). His aim was to show that the person making a claim on wisdom and knowledge was in fact a confused one whose clarity about a given subject was far from what they claimed. Socrates, in all his simplicity never advanced any theories of his own
The problem with Socrates concerns the problem with the role of value and reason. Nietzsche believes that the bulk of philosophers claim that life is a corrupt grievance for mankind. Nietzsche reasoned that these life deniers were decadents of Hellenism, as a symptom of some underlying melancholy. For someone to paint life in such a negative light they must have suffered a great deal through the course of their own life. Furthermore, these no-sayers agreed in various physiological ways and thus adopted the same pessimistic attitudes towards life. Socrates was ugly, alike decadent criminals and by ways of these similarities was decadent as well. Nietzsche also claims ugliness as a physiological symptom of life in its decline supported by studies in phenology.
Socrates has a unique position in the history of philosophy. On one hand he is the most influential on another he is the least known. In his later life he is seen to stalk the streets barefoot, to spite shoemakers. He went about arguing and questioning people and revealing inconsistencies in their beliefs. He began teaching students but never accepted payments for doing so. This was possible because of the inheritance left by his father. Socrates wrote nothing of himself so we are dependent upon the works of both his students and associates who present a view as close to
Socrates was a unique character in ancient Greece, specifically in the city-state of Athens, which was the seat of democracy at the time. Athens practiced direct democracy where citizens, specifically male, directly participated in and voted on legislation. The implication is that most of the men of Athens served in some political way. A way to distinguish oneself apart from the citizenry was to invoke the power of speech and persuasion to be more respected, powerful, and thus wealthier. Socrates’s philosophy in Plato’s dialogue Gorgias is shown in contrast to rhetoric and its perceived benefits to the individual and the people of the democracy. It offers severe critiques on the practice of rhetoric, specifically for the harm it does instead
There are times in every mans life where our actions and beliefs collide—these collisions are known as contradictions. There are endless instances in which we are so determined to make a point that we resort to using absurd overstatements, demeaning language, and false accusations in our arguments. This tendency to contradict ourselves often questions our character and morals. Similarly, in The Trial of Socrates (Plato’s Apology), Meletus’ fallacies in reason and his eventual mistake of contradicting himself will clear the accusations placed on Socrates. In this paper, I will argue that Socrates is not guilty of corrupting the youth with the idea of not believing in the Gods but of teaching the youth to think for
Close analysis of the Athenian society surrounding Socrates reveals that he was very much a black sheep. He devoted much of his time to experiments that were then deemed acts of impiety. The Apology divulges Plato’s perception of Socrates’ defense when he was put on trial in 399 B.C. Socrates’ stubborn refusal to conform is highlighted in the piece alongside the common idea among philosophers at the time that “examining” oneself and one’s peers is what makes a life worthwhile. I agree with the idea that examination of human morality is vital to living a fulfilled life, because without virtue or goodness, there is no worth in life.
Commonly the most widely renowned teachers in history often are remembered as the most intriguing teachers in history. Scholars often ask, what made their teaching style so different, or what was so unique about this educator? Perhaps the most investigated teachers of the world often left the smallest written mark on the world. No exception to this, is the philosopher, Socrates. Widely known as one of the greatest Athenian philosophers, he never wrote anything down, and is theorized as illiterate. The only record of this man lies in his student, Plato’s Dialogues, as well as references from other writers of the
Socrates spent his time questioning people about things like virtue, justice, piety and truth. The people Socrates questioned are the people that condemned him to death. Socrates was sentenced to death because people did not like him and they wanted to shut him up for good. There was not any real evidence against Socrates to prove the accusations against him. Socrates was condemned for three major reasons: he told important people exactly what he thought of them, he questioned ideas that had long been the norm, the youth copied his style of questioning for fun, making Athenians think Socrates was teaching the youth to be rebellious. But these reasons were not the charges against him, he was charged with being an atheist and
The accusers, Meletos, Anytos, and Lycon, are all young and trying to make a name for themselves. They begin by telling everyone not to be deceived and to take caution because Socrates is a “clever speaker”. According to Socrates, the difference between him and his accusers is that he speaks the truth. He is on trial for two items, which include, corrupting the youth and impiety. Socrates tells everyone that he has no experience with the court and he will speak the way he is used to by being honest and direct. Socrates explains that his behavior is from the oracle of Apollo at Delphi.
“Men of Athens, I am grateful and I am your friend, but I will obey the god rather than you, and as long as I draw breath and am able, I shall not cease to practice philosophy, to exhort you and in my usual way to point out to any one of you whom I happen to meet: Good sir, you are an Athenian, a citizen of the greatest city with the greatest reputation for both wisdom and power; are you not ashamed of your eagerness to possess as much wealth, reputation, and honors as possible, while you do not care for nor give thought to wisdom or truth, or the best possible state of your soul?”
Socrates had a unique way of teaching and expressing his thoughts and ideas. He taught by constantly posing questions with the assumption that any person could approach the truth through logic if he set aside ingrained prejudice and received knowledge (Hattersley 17,18). His dialectic method of questioning consisted of a subject being broken down by one or more people, in search of the same truth but with differing views. Instead of merely trying to convince listeners, Socrates would approach others by questioning what they felt to be true and therefore would be able to determine that person’s true feelings and the basis for those feelings. Socrates was open to receive knowledge wherever he could find it, yet when he approached people who claimed to be wise, he found they really knew nothing. He would challenge preconceived opinions, based on the words of others and fallacious logic. Many felt that he was attacking their identity and security causing them to resent Socrates when he pointed this out. Due to his search for truth, Socrates would, eventually, pay the ultimate price. Socrates teaches us to assume nothing and to question everything. In scientific study today, this is a fundamental element of scientific study, starting with a theory and afterward refining it to the point of when a decisive conclusion is made.