Socrates: Offering Legal Counsel
Socrates, the charges that you face are serious ones. For many years, you were allowed to wander the streets of Athens, advocating your moral philosophy of ideal governance. Your concept of 'philosopher kings' having the right to rule, versus the ordinary populace, was profoundly at odds with the ideology commonly espoused in democratic Athens. For many years, you were allowed to speak as you wished. But gradually, as fears of tyranny began to creep into the average Athenian citizen's mind, your ideas began to fall out of favor.
The first charge against you is impiety. Your attackers claim that you worship no gods at all. However, you must point out that in Athens, the freedom of speech that is advocated in our land has always allowed us to address the gods in humorous as well as a serious fashion. Just as you, Socrates, have been mocked…… [Read More]
The Defense of Socrates
Plato’s Apology also known as the part of the sequence of the Trial of Socrates scenes shows the famous philosopher pleading his defense before the committee of Athens that has decided it is his fate to die for corrupting the youth. His sentence does not bother him and he respects the decision of the state, acknowledging that it has the right to decide these matters. He objects, however, to the notion that he is being harmed by the decision, as it is his belief that the lesser cannot harm the greater. The greater, by virtue of its very essence, exists above the lesser and thus is not afflicted by the same pettiness that afflicts the lesser. Socrates, in other words, has his eyes on the transcendental ideal—the one, the good, and the true. He notes, “I do not think it is permitted that a better man…… [Read More]
Socrates as Not an Enemy to the State
as Socrates an enemy of the state? There are two appropriate answers -- "yes" and "no." But first a definition of "enemy" is needed. In Mark Twain's short story "The Mysterious Stranger," Satan explains why there will always be war. It is because "a loud little handful" at first instigates it then, "…the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war… [and later] statesmen… [will] blame…the nation that is attacked" -- in other words, as long as the "enemy" is identified, there will always be war. Therefore, an "enemy" is not just someone to distrust or despise, or someone who threatens the peace and safety of a community, but someone to blame. In the case of Socrates and his trial, the court apparently found Socrates to be…… [Read More]
Socrates' speech in Plato's Apology. It is this author's opinion that Socrates' position that the unexamined life is not worth living has validity. We will see that this is the case as we examine Socrates' spontaneous oration regarding virtue and how it can not be learned. Obviously, if the lives of these youths had been virtuous, then it might have been possible for them to learn this character trait and to prove Socrates wrong. This is the case because only when someone examines their life do they shake off their bigotry and raise their awareness to a higher level.
As alluded to in the introduction, Socrates is correct that the unexamined life is not worth living. This is because only those people who struggle to resolve the contradictions in their life have an existence that is real. Those who do not are at best ignorant and at worst bigots who…… [Read More]
As someone might say today, the lack of knowledge as a result of not willing to search for it is no excuse. How can anyone be sure to do right since the truth remains hidden? Socrates thinking was aimed at making his fellow humans who were willing to listen to him aware of the dangers of doing wrong by not being willing to question the truth or what it was known as the truth.
ne cannot help and wonder what would have happened if Socrates had accepted the jury's forgiveness in exchange for giving up his beliefs. Certainly, a life long work would have went to pieces and be destroyed. His credibility in front of his contemporary disciples, like Plato and all those who followed them would have been for ever shattered. Even if they understood his fear in front of what appears to be the most frightful opponent of…… [Read More]
The main themes of Plato's Apology are the great irony of many of Socrates' claims, his use of the Socratic method of teaching, and his surprising strategy of questioning the fundamental validity of his trial itself, rather than putting on a vigorous and elegant defense of his actions as was expected by both his supporters and detractors, and likely by the people of the jury. Plato's Apology is a detailed account of the 399 BC trial of the great philosopher Socrates, in which Socrates was on trial for his life after being accused by Meletus, an ambitious young Athenian, and others of the upper class of being "a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the state, and has other new divinities of his own" (Plato, Apology). Ultimately, Socrates' defense led to his death, by his own hand, and…… [Read More]
Socrates argues that the accusation is absurd, as the accusation implies that he is solely responsible for the state of the youth. Socrates uses the allegory of a horse trainer to explain that he is a trainer, rather than corruptor, of the youth (Cavalier, "Ancient Philosophy").
Socrates' second argument in his defense is that, had harmed the youth, the philosophy that evil begets evil would dictate that the youth would harm him in turn. Being a believer in this philosophy, Socrates would be harming himself knowingly by harming the youth.
egarding the charge of impiety, Socrates argues that he is in fact a guardian of the piety of the City. He has devoted his life to understanding divinity and in service of the gods. However, being disturbed by hearing the truth from Socrates, those indicted by his very piety accused him of impiety.
All of the accusations against Socrates therefore…… [Read More]
Furthermore, many laypeople can have great stores of knowledge, and may have learned to train horses better than professionals -- and to be better teachers and philosophers, from personal experience. In fact, given that philosophy is the study of life, one could argue that ordinary people are the best teachers of the discipline. This is one of the principles of the democratic Athenian system, that everyday people can govern and teach themselves. Socrates, an advocate of philosophers 'leading' others through teaching and through government leadership in a philosopher-kingdom, stands opposed to such ideals and ideas in his teachings.
Socrates has a strong point, however, when he notes that Meletos has not lived up to Athenian democratic ideals. Rather than trying to teach Socrates the right way of thinking, and engaging in a dialogue with Socrates, Meletos brings a case against Socrates in the law-courts -- simply because he disagrees with…… [Read More]
In Plato's Crito, Socrates engages the title character in a dialogue about the nature of law, justice, and ethics. Crito wants to break Socrates out from prison, making various arguments in favor of the escape. For one, Crito tells Socrates that it is not ethical to abandon his children if he can help it. Second, Crito repeatedly refers to his own honor and ego, not wanting to be viewed as having failed his friend. Third, Crito claims that Socrates is popular abroad and that his escape would make others happy. Crito's argument is classically utilitarian in nature. The problem is, Socrates is not a utilitarian. Socrates' position is that justice is unequivocal. He has accepted his fate, and did the moment of the trial. Socrates categorically refuses to escape from prison, because doing so would represent an unjust act. Therefore, Socrates firmly believes that a citizen of the state…… [Read More]
His humility, focus on love and virtue, and selfless devotion in the face of persecution make him an example of "practicing what you preach" (Woods). He "embraced poverty" and refused to accept money for his "teachings" (Nails). Moreover, Socrates could be considered more "innocent and wide-eyed" than Jesus because he refused to believe that anyone had evil intentions, only that evil actions sprung from ignorance. He also believed that people were born virtuous, and therefore did not worry so much about the upbringing of his own sons.
Socrates had various other unusual beliefs that set him apart, and that he stuck by in deed as well as word. For example, he believed in the superiority of oral communication for accurately conveying information; as a result, he never authored any writings, leaving it to Plato and others to attest to the history of his philosophy. In addition, he was highly eccentric…… [Read More]
His view is Asian in that it mirrors the view that meaning is found by searching within, that imposing a specific doctrine is not the way to find enlightenment, and that a teacher is a guide rather than a figure of authority. Such ideas are expressed in Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, and other Asian philosophical and religious systems. Socrates takes a very self-effacing position in keeping with the way he subordinates himself to the need of society and so does not challenge the death sentence pronounced against him, nor does he escape when he can because he believes more in the right of the social order to exert its authority over him than he does in his personal welfare. The sublimation of the personal in service of the greater good is also an Asian element that Socrates expresses in his own way, and the way his followers argue with him…… [Read More]
For instance Plato believed that rulers should only rule based on truth and reason and that the way to best live life itself was also based on truth and reason. This is something I agree with very strongly. When it comes to the Iraq war, for example, I feel that America's current leaders decided to start the war based not on truthfulness and reason, but for baser motives, such as coercion and a desire to expand their geographical and financial power. I strongly disagree with the war and neither Socrates nor Plato would have felt the war was justified, based on their ideas of truth, reason, and (for Plato) virtue. Plato believed that truth and reason led to virtue, and that therefore people who lived good lives were truthful, reasonable and virtuous. Like Plato, I agree that living a good life must be based on a foundation of truthfulness, about…… [Read More]
Socrates and the Apology
One of the main charges against Socrates revolved around the fact that he was a natural philosopher. This was so problematic as it was in opposition with the views set forth by this early society: these views believed that the society was created via the gods and a great many narratives were developed around the idea of the gods, and what they were capable of and how they impacted the natural world and how it was viewed. Philosophy, particularly Socrates' variety of natural philosophy, was viewed as being in direct opposition to these traditional viewpoints. Another charge against Socrates was one which aligned him with the Sophists. The sophists were a group of public speakers who had uncovered certain methods of persuading others that permitted them to adopt a particular viewpoint even if that viewpoint was not the best or truest one. These individuals travelled, often…… [Read More]
To wit, in Socrates' day, there were no official government prosecutors (commonly referred to in modern America as "District Attorneys"); in effect, any citizen could bring an indictment against any other citizen, and call for a trial. And that's basically what happened to Socrates.
Here in America, in 2006, notwithstanding what Vice President Cheney said, President George . Bush stated, "I will never question the patriotism of somebody who disagrees with me." Bush was responding to a reporter's question on August 21; Bush was asked if he believed, according to http://mediamatters.org, that the "Democrats advocating for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq 'embolden Al Qaeda types' as...Cheney similarly stated. Bush's answer was, "I will never question the patriotism of somebody who disagrees with me... [although] leaving [Iraq] before the job would be done would be to send a signal to our troops that the sacrifices they made were not worth it...this has…… [Read More]
Plato, The Apology of Socrates
The charges against Socrates, as given in Plato's Apology, are twofold. This is how Socrates himself phrases it:
And now I will try to defend myself against them: these new accusers must also have their affidavit read. What do they say? Something of this sort: - That Socrates is a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the state, and has other new divinities of his own. (Plato 2009).
In other words, the first charge is that Socrates has corrupted the youth of Athens, and the second charge is that of impiety towards the official gods of Athens. Socrates in his defense begins by cross-examining his accuser, Meletus. On the first charge he asks whether Meletus thinks his corruption of young minds was intentional: when Meletus says it was, Socrates notes that Meletus has never…… [Read More]
This aspect of the work also confirmed a clear belief that Socrates held, that nothing bad could happen to a good man. Socrates believed this to be a fundamental truth and he believed that he was a good man. As such he was at peace with whatever was going to happen to him as a result of the trial. In this particular passage it is also clear that Socrates believed that death would be a better reality for him because he would not have to be uncomfortable any longer or have to deal with being misunderstood.
The third dialogue Crito involves a conversation with a loyal pupil who visits Socrates in prison the night prior to the day he died; the pupil attempted to convince him to escape the confines of the prison which had already been arranged by a group of friends (exroth, 1986).. When Crito attempts to get…… [Read More]
In an attempt to emphasize the extent to which finance manages ignore ethical consideration is by adhering to the following misconceptions in financial decision-making according to the author:
Ethical considerations are idiosyncratic personal views and have no place in business decision-making.
Ethical considerations are only relevant if they create risks.
Sustainability of long-term investment is safeguarded by existing financial metrics.
The most important influencing variables are, according to the author, not always those set forth by watchdog agencies, rather by other influencing factors that are more internal and not usually committed to paper policy or disclosure statements. These internal factoring decision-making regimens are as follows:
The manner in which a financial manager gathers relevant data about a prospective business.
Does the manager rely solely on financial press information or on social and environmental risk information of both?
What financial information does the financial manager request from analysts when assessing a…… [Read More]
How the respective societies responded to the various ideas?
Socrates would have a dramatic impact upon society, as the various ideas he presented would become a part of the moral code that is often cited, as a part of basic sociology. A good example of this can be seen with social contract theory. This simply states that humans are motivated by conscious / unconscious actions and the experiences, they have from different events. The ideas of good and justice can be directly seen with how humans react to various situations they face, either consciously or unconsciously. The underlying positive or negative experiences will shape how someone views the world around them. Those who can associate goodness and justice, to their actions will have the most positive effect, on the individual and within society. Over the centuries, this sense moral goodness has become a part of the moral standards within Western…… [Read More]
Socrates and Crito
In this paper, I will show that Socrates’ argument concerning staying to drink the hemlock juice as ordered by the State is a successful argument. First, I will reconstruct the argument, and discuss why it is significant. Then, I will show that the argument is successful, and why. I will then consider possible objections to what I have said, and how I would reply to them. Finally, I will summarize the contents of the paper, showing what has been accomplished by my analysis.
Socrates begins his argument from generalized principles that are accepted as true and then moves to a specific conclusion, and thus his argument is deductive in nature. Crito’s argument, on the other hand, is inductive in that he moves from a specific observation to a generalized principle. Crito views Socrates’ sentence as unjust since Socrates is not guilty of corrupting the youth. Socrates views…… [Read More]
Euthyphro, Socrates Euthyphro discuss concept piety/Holiness. This essay test ability recognize engag
The concept of holiness is central to the Platonic dialogue that takes place between Euthyphro and Socrates in Euthyphro. This topic is of immense interest to both of the aforementioned participants due to the fact that they are both headed for a legal trial. Socrates has been brought up on trial for charges that he is corrupting the youth; Euthyphro is taking his father to task for the charge of murder. Socrates is particularly concerned with the latter's trial due to the notion of piety which Euthyphro professes guides him in his work in which he will prosecute his father. Part of the accusations against Socrates involve the fact that he is acting like a "poet" (Plato, 380 B.C.E), meaning, of course, that in his teachings to the youth there is an irreverence in which he disavows current…… [Read More]
Euthyphro, Socrates Euthyphro discuss concept piety/Holiness. This essay test ability recognize engag
The principle tenet discussed in the Socratic Dialogue Euthyphro, which centers on a discussion between Euthyphro and the great Greek philosopher, is piety or holiness. This topic emerges in the dialogue because it is of immense importance to the future of both men. They meet on the porch of King Archon, and quickly ascertain that each is there for a legal trial. Socrates discloses the fact that he has been charged with corrupting the youth principally because his accuser believes he is slandering the gods by disavowing their piety or by creating new ones (which is disrespectful to the established ones). Euthyphro is there to bring his father up on charges of murder. Since he professes to be extremely well versed in the conception of piety and holiness, Socrates asks him to discuss this topic (Plato, 380 B.C.E.).…… [Read More]
Such a lifestyle is unrealistic and one that is not plausible for most members of society. Instead, what is necessary is a life where one acquires the social and emotional skills necessary to allow one to recognize what is morally right and then to live one's life in accordance with such recognition. This process does not require a constant introspective vigilance like the one that Socrates proposes. Most men are not philosophers like Socrates and are busy with their day-to-day lives. They do not have the time or inclination to spend their days contemplating their existence. As long as they live a good life, their lives are no less meaningful. In the end, Socrates would likely agree.
The importance of Socrates' statement is that he remained true to his beliefs to the very end. He had spent his life questioning everything including those in authority and, in the process, he…… [Read More]
He prided himself on being a king that put the needs of his people above his own, struggling to keep his own feelings under wrap and focus instead on what his people needed. This desire to help the people led him to seek a cure for the plague, which was destroying people in masses. He sent Creon to Delphi, Apollo's place of revelation, to find out what could be done to save the city. Creon was told that the state must avenge the death of the former king Laios. After doing a little sould-searching, Oedipus learns that he was the killer of Laios, who was his father.
Oedipus takes full responsibility for the crime. "Citizens and alien alike must never shelter me or speak to me," he said. "I must be shunned by all. And I myself pronounced this malediction upon myself" (Sophocles, 42).
Like Socrates, Oedipus is visited by…… [Read More]
In the Apology, Socrates is being placed on trial by three of his rivals for different activities that he is accused of being involved in. The most notable include: corrupting the youth of Athens and not supporting the same religious beliefs as everyone else. During the trial, his enemies are utilizing these charges to demonstrate how he knowingly engaged in these actions. They are demanding that he apologize for the crimes that he committed and begin to conform to the most common practices in contemporary society. (Plato, 2000) ("The Apology," 2012) ("Analysis of the Apology," 2010)
However, Socrates uses this as a forum to ridicule these individuals, question the legitimacy of the trial and to defend himself. This is problematic, as these cavalier attitudes will eventually lead to him being found guilty and sentenced to death. To fully understand what is taking place requires carefully examining his key…… [Read More]
Good Life / the Good Death:
Ideas of the Greater Good and Highest Pursuit in Plato's Death of Socrates / Apology
When Plato was still a boy, he witnessed the trial and execution of Socrates. Historians tell us that during the trial he attempted to speak out in defense of the great philosopher. "Plato mounted the platform and began: 'Though I am the youngest, men of Athens, of all who ever rose to address you' -- whereupon the judges shouted out, 'Get down! Get down!' " (Laertius) Perhaps in his youth Plato would indeed have known very little, and had no great wisdom to add to the debate. If this is true, then according to Socratic ideas he would certainly have been the best advocate of all, for Socrates' entire defense lay upon the point that the truest wisdom lay in recognizing one's ignorance, and that the ultimate truth in…… [Read More]
Socrates and the Republic
The Republic represents Socrates' true apology, as this is the only work in which he has effectively handled the subject he was coerced into facing, following the allegations of Athens against him; the subject is his relationship with the political realm (loom, ).
The great philosopher of Athens was blamed for being unjust in his actions -- firstly, by disbelieving in the people's gods, and secondly, for corrupting Athens' youngsters. The above charges aren't merely in relation to the citizen Socrates, who is coincidentally a philosopher; rather, their intention was condemning philosophy itself, in favor of both the citizens and the politicians of Athens. From Athens' perspective, there appears to be an element in Socrates' thinking and mode of life that raises doubts regarding the gods of Athens, who were deemed as the guardians of the city's laws; this, therefore, renders the philosopher a bad resident,…… [Read More]
A philosopher makes "logoi," discusses, and cross examines about virtue, is short of wisdom, and is aware of it. However, in as much as one is a philosopher, one desires wisdom and searches for it. In historical Greek, this notion is virtually a tautology, prompting Socrates to hold that the wise no longer philosophize. Socrates believes that philosophy is gathering knowledge; however, going by valid evidence, philosophy is the process of acquiring knowledge (Reeve 899).
Socrates is viewed as inventing another mission for philosophy because of the manner in which he practiced it. He thinks that he is acting in line with divine wishes. His reiteration that he is acting under divine orders qualifies him as a prophet. Divine orders are not philosophical knowledge to be debated and modified. It calls for unquestionable loyalty and demand direct honor to command. At this point, if Socrates is not a prophet then…… [Read More]
Argument and law are merely art forms in the mind of Socrates and picking a side and arguing for it is much like doing a crossword puzzle or any other exercise in modeling thought patterns.
Purpose and intent mean so much more than the act itself according to Socrates. Disagreements are merely examples of rhythms in thought patterns much like music. Debate and discourse for Socrates was practiced to achieve the ultimate in knowledge: complete ignorance about the truth.
Charge 3: Disrespecting the Gods
For the Ancient Greeks, their Gods were ideals to look up to rather than actual personifications of deities. Each God played a significant role in one's make up and were parts of an individual's psychological makeup. Socrates is seen therefore disrespecting Greek culture and society's rules. This charge would be very much like today's obstruction of justice, where a very general and intentional broad application can…… [Read More]
It is possible to read Plato's Apology as the best extant textual representation of the legacy of Athens in the fifth century CE in law and politics. The fact is that the Athenians, although they voted to put Socrates to death, might very well agree on principle with this evaluation. The Apology is, after all, a representation of the Athenian system of trial by jury, and it is worth recalling that this judicial system was considered to be a founding myth of Athens itself. Earlier in the century, roughly a decade before Socrates was born, the tragedian Aeschylus in the Oresteia would represent the mythological and divinely-sanctioned origins of the Athenian jury trial, as a replacement for the endlessly bloody cycle of the lex talionis, when the goddess Athena invites a group of Athenian citizens to sit in judgment on Orestes, who killed his mother in revenge for her…… [Read More]
Existentialism takes the human subject -- the holistic human, and the internal conditions as the basis and start of the conceptual way of explaining life. Taking idealism From Descartes, Kant, and Hegel, then building upon it, existentialist thinkers strip away the external and look at questions that surround human existence, and the conditions of that existence, rather than hypothesizing or dreaming of different forms of being. Thus, the inward philosophical emotions, angst, dread, self-doubt, self-esteem, etc. are experiences of the historical process, and the process of learning and moving through "existence" into a less fragile, more concrete, way of self-actualization. The existentialist concept of freedom is the manner in which internal values are set and interact with external historical trends. ather than humans being primarily rational, they make decisions when and if they find meaning (Solomon)
Existentialism asserts that people actually make decisions based solely on the meaning to them…… [Read More]
Like most western philosophers, Plato focused a substantial amount of energy on aesthetics. Aesthetics is the philosophical inquiry into beauty. For many philosophers, the concept of beauty was synonymous with the concept of art. However, Plato made a substantial distinction between beauty and art. Not only did he consider art a poor imitation of beauty, in fact labeling it an imitation of an imitation, but he thought that this imitation was somehow dangerous. It leads to one of the most interesting almost paradoxes in all of Plato’s philosophy. While Plato appeared to consider beauty inherently good, he viewed art as not only inferior to natural beauty, but also dangerous. A further exploration of Plato’s philosophy, and its place in the development of Western philosophy, reveals that Plato’s concept of aesthetics was more about establishing the philosophical rules to discuss beauty and art than it was about placing value on…… [Read More]
Utilitarianism and Plato
Philosophy is an ancient process. Since the times of Ancient Greece and Rome, people have taken it upon themselves to question the reality of their worlds and to postulate what it is that causes people to behave the ways that they do. The philosophical theory of utilitarianism has gained popularity in recent years because of the way that it explains government and the need for laws and authority. However, philosophy going back to the time of Plato dealt with many of the same questions currently posed by Utilitarianism. The theory of Utilitarianism and the writings of the great Plato can be seen to differ in the following ways: in the background metaphysical understanding of the universe and humanity's place in it, the theory of human nature that each supposes, the defect in human nature that allows beings to be unhappy or unfulfilled, and in the ways the…… [Read More]
This paper examines the death penalty as a deterrent and argues that states have not only the right but the duty to apply the death penalty to criminal cases because it is incumbent upon states to back the law with force. The death penalty acts as a forceful and compelling consequence for those who should choose to violate the law and commit murder. For that reason it can be said to be a deterrent. This paper also examines the opposing arguments and shows that those would say it is not an effective deterrent cannot offer any quantitative proof for this argument because no measurements exist that could possibly render such a claim factual or provable. The paper concludes by showing that the death penalty should only be administered in states where there is harmony between social justice and criminal justice.
While it may seem ironic that the death…… [Read More]
The fact that industrial control systems may be vulnerable to infiltration by other citizens, or international parties puts laws pertaining to intersection of systems transmission at the forefront of priorities for us all.
At present, telecommunications interference of private citizens holds an up to a five-year prison sentence by U.S. federal law. How cyberterrorism is addressed, when the stakes are heightened, leaves a whole host of opportunities for citizens, and legislators to voice their opinion as new technologies for privacy invasion come on the market.
Every ISP access point imaginable is cited within the literature on cyberterrorism, including direct access networks, maintenance of dial-up modems, and of course the internet, remote systems architectures. Exponential information like SCADA systems create an incredibly vulnerable area for hackers interested in "knowledge sharing" network data toward sabotage of industrial operations and state military interests. DHS strategic responsibilities take care of the broad brush stroke…… [Read More]
Capital punishment, also known as the Death Penalty, is a legal penalty enacted against a person who has been found guilty, via the judicial process, of committing a capital offense. his paper seeks to briefly introduce the history of the death penalty, and introduce current thought for and against the use of the death penalty in the United States.
he earliest record of an established death penalty law is found in the Code of King Hammurabi of 18th century BC Babylon, which allowed the death penalty for 25 crimes.[footnoteRef:1] One famous ancient examples of the death penalty can be found in the rial of Socrates who was sentenced to death, by consumption of hemlock, in a Greek court. In the United Sates, the first recorded legal execution was carried out by British soldiers in 1776 against Nathan Hale, a revolutionary War Solider, who was hung for treason. Hanging…… [Read More]
In Euthyphro, Socrates' questioning centers on discovering the true definition of piety -- but it is geared towards arriving at a sense of reasonable judgment (after all, he himself is about to go before the judges, and he would like to receive a judgment that is reasonable from them). hat he meets in Euthyphro is willfulness and subjectivity. Socrates attempts to show why it is important to remain objective about the law and to what extent we can judge others: in fact, it is Socrates who is searching for an objective standard -- an absolute outside himself by which he may judge: "Tell me what is the nature of this idea, and then I shall have a standard to which I may look, and by which I may measure actions" (6e). Euthyphro happily engages in the dialogue and states that "piety, then, is that which is dear to the…… [Read More]
Unfortunately, Philoctetes' talents led him down the path of war (Lloyd-Jones, 1994). He was a witness and participant to bloodshed, plunder and rape. Eventually, he became so disgusted with himself that he decided to punish himself for his sins by allowing a poisonous snake to bite him. As a result, he was shipped off to the isolated island of Lemnos, where he was physically isolated from the rest of the world for nine years. During this time, all he could do was think about his life and his crimes, which was sort of a self-punishment for his sinful existence.
I think that this type of physical isolation can be very damaging to a person. Today, many prisoners are kept in solitary confinement for days, completely cut off from all social activities and human contact. Isolation in prison means 23 hours a day in a concrete cell no larger than a…… [Read More]
Philosophy -- Plato's "The Apology"
"The Apology" is Plato's recollection of Socrates' trial, conviction, sentencing and last words to the jury. The Apology is divided into three parts. The first part, Socrates' principal speech to the jury, is his argument against old and new accusations. The second part, Socrates' "counter-assessment," is Socrates' rebuttal of the prosecutor's recommendation of the death penalty. The third part, Socrates' final words to the jury, consists of his speeches to the jurors who voted for his conviction and to the jurors who voted for acquittal.
Socrates' Principle Speech
Socrates first takes on the people who have slandered him over the years with "lying accusations" against him: that he is "a student of all things in the sky and below the earth" (Plato, Grube, & Cooper, 2000, p. 22) which is a physicalist or atheist; that he "makes the worse argument the stronger" (Plato, Grube, &…… [Read More]
Plato's Apology contains the story around the trial and death of the philosopher Socrates. The work has been studied by many a scholar for its information about the philosopher as well as some of the systems of Greek culture and law at the time. Socrates uses his trial to make several statements about his life, how he lived it, and how he feels about meeting his death. Hence, although Socrates' accusers reach their goal of removing Socrates from society, the philosopher does not see this as defeat. Instead, he takes pleasure in the fact that he has had a good, long life filled with adventures and connections that brought him satisfaction and joy. In Plato's Apology, one can therefore identify the basic structure of the Athenian legal system at the time, the nature and substance of the accusations against him, and his response to these in terms of relying only…… [Read More]
Euthyphro, Socrates meets his friend Euthyphro outside the court of justice and explains how he (Socrates) has been called there to answer charges brought by Meletus. The discussion turns to the question of piety, and Euthyphro, who is considered an educated man and wise in the field of religion, states that piety is what is loved by the gods. Socrates seeks his assistance in defining piety so he can use what he learns from Euthyphro when he goes to court. The issue throughout is whether the gods love something because it is pious, or is a thing pious because the gods love that thing? Euthyphro's original position is that whatever pleases the gods is pious, but Socrates points out that the gods often disagree on what pleases them, which makes their opinion difficult to cite for proof of piety. The two discuss the matter until they approach an answer, finding…… [Read More]
The definition of harmony of the fourth book is thus commensurate with the justice of the first book of "The Republic" -- the unity, harmony, and perfection of the ideal forms of the heavens are mirrored in a unified and harmoniously operated state, in the Platonic view as expressed by Socrates. But Socrates, as he speaks to his fellow Athenians in a law-court, making a plea for his life, is far more elementary in his definition of justice -- he argues he is not guilty of the charges of atheism and of corrupting the Athenian youth and rebuts the allegations in a fashion to suggest that it would be unjust, on the terms of the existing law, to convict him.
Likewise, the philosopher refuses to escape the confines of his prison because he argues it would be unjust of him to live in Athens under the protection of its laws,…… [Read More]
Utopia as outlined and defined in Plato's epublic. The writer examines the epublic's description of a perfect state and then applies its elements to the trial and execution of Socrates. The question becomes "Would Socrates have been tried and executed if Plato's perfect utopia state had been in place at the time?" This paper explains why Socrates would have been spared and respected had that been the case. There was one source used to complete this paper.
Before one can answer the question, "If the utopia outlined in Plato's The epublic had been in place in 399 B.C., would Socrates have been tried and executed?" one must have a clear understanding of the perfect state as described in Plato's books.
Plato's epublic works to provide society with a blueprint for a perfect and successful society. While many of its elements seem to be inconsistent with reality and daily life the…… [Read More]
Heraclitus with support from Plato's dialogues and eneca's Letters. It has 2 sources.
No matter what one aims at accomplishing in his or her life s/he is still bound by the universal laws that demand actions, whether voluntary or involuntarily, of every one.
Heraclitus says, "the many do not comprehend everyday things, nor do they understand them when they are taught, but they think they do and cling to their opinions." These words strongly relate to the fact that people often gain knowledge about the world for their own good and for the purpose of putting themselves in harmony with what the universal laws expect of them, but also do not manage to adhere to what they learn. Often individuals find themselves in situations where they cannot really overcome the universal desires of human beings. This refers to certain animal instincts that emerge from within even though man may attempt…… [Read More]
One of the points clarified in this way is then, as mentioned above, ocrates' apparent stubborn foolhardiness in refusing to refute the court's decision. Xenophon notes that ocrates found death desirable over life. This is a point that ocrates himself also addresses in Plato's work, when he considers the possibilities of life after death. ocrates appears to consider both complete annihilation and the migration of the soul as preferable to his current life: annihilation would be like a restful and dreamless sleep, while the soul's migration would result in reuniting with old friends. Both of these possibilities are highly desirable to ocrates.
Unlike Plato, Xenophon places ocrates' ideas surrounding death at the beginning of his work. This places the rest of the philosopher's actions into perspective right at the beginning of the action. In Plato's work, on the other hand, the reader only receives this revelation when ocrates reacts to…… [Read More]
Euthyphro's fourth and fifth definition of holiness and Socrates criticism of them. hat is Socrates and Euthyphro's view of the gods, in contrast to Euthyphro's initial characterization of the gods at the start of their conversation? Finally relate the discussion of the fifth definition of holiness to the claim Socrates makes about the relationship to 'the god' in the Apology.
At first, over the course of his fourth definition Euthyphro advocates that he would turn in a relation of his, if that relation committed an ill act, because he would strive in all things to obey the will of the gods. Then, finally, in his fifth definition Euthyphro states that "let me simply say that piety or holiness is learning, how to please the gods in word and deed, by prayers and sacrifices. Such piety is the salvation of families and states, just as the impious, which is unpleasing to…… [Read More]
The question arising from this claim is whether evidence exists to prove that there exists an infinitely good, powerful, and wise God where morality naturally emerges. Humes argues that is hard to imagine that an all-good, powerful God exists in this world full of pain and misery. From these claims, one can argue that this insight, or God, has both evil and good, as is present in man if man is in God's image and likeliness.
Immanuel Kant: from the Critique of Pure Reason, the Good Will and the Categorical Imperative, the Postulates of Practical Reason
Kant believes that the vigorous application of same methods of reasoning can yield to an equal development in dealing with the issues of moral philosophy. Kant proposes a list of categories of Freedom in Relation to the concept of good vs. evil. Kant uses logical distinction as the basis for the catalog. Even though…… [Read More]
However, many times, viewing an object in relation to other objects does indeed transcend the permanence of the meaning and create new meaning. Therefore, our knowledge of what we are convinced is real can change, which highlights the question of whether or not our original knowledge was real before it changed; or if knowledge can ever be real. Socrates posed these questions initially, pondering the ability to agree that something "is" no matter what it might eventually be or not be.
Brumbaugh thus presents the following three principles that comprise this argument:
"1. e only contact these objects through subjective images. e never perceive them directly.
2. These objects contain a number of properties that are mixed together. Any description of the object that doesn't separate out these properties cannot explain what makes the object act the way it does. For example, if all you know about [an] & #8230;…… [Read More]
If somebody has been accused of something that is punishable whether civilly or criminally, he will do everything just to be able to surpass the trial, even resorting to escape.
Concerning the value of the law, Socrates has shown his strong standpoint about respect to its decisions. For him, if one has the ability to choose whether to obey a law, then it is a way of destroying the power of the law. He considered disobeying the law as unjust because the people and the law should go together. The law will not exist without the people and vice versa. If he will escape, then, he will disobey the law. He believed that this will bring him in a wobbly position in his life after death. Again, if we are going to read the New Testament, the duties towards state authorities is mentioned in Romans 13:1-7,
Everyone must obey state…… [Read More]
This means that if someone has a problem with a law, there is an opportunity for that person to take action that can result in the law being changes. This is an opportunity that Socrates had. As noted, he was aware that he was disobeying moral laws. However, he also acted as if the laws did not exist and failed to recognize the reality of them. In doing so, he lost his opportunity to change them. In doing so, he also rejected the fact that he does exist as part of a larger system and ignored the fact that the laws still exist for everyone else, regardless of whether he accepts them. In considering Socrates' opinions on the laws, it seems that if he felt strongly enough to reject them, he should have felt strongly enough to take some action to change them. This is Socrates problem, where he both…… [Read More]
Phaedo, a dialogue written by the famous Plato, depicts the death of Socrates. Socrates, a great philosopher, was the center focus of Plato during Socrates' final days. It was the previous dialogue of the seven that Plato penned during this period which comprised of: Theaetetus, Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Statesman and Sophist. Socrates instructed Plato. After his death, Plato went on to reconstruct his dialogues. These dialogues described the principles Socrates had in respects to immortality of the soul. Phaedo, Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito are recognized as the tetralogy as they discuss the trial and subsequent demise of Socrates. Phaedo, is the longest of the tetralogy and also deliberated to have the most in depth dialogue and has become quite significant to most philosophers. In Phaedo four arguments describe how the soul can be immortal with the fourth argument presenting what most deem the most convincing and the most sound. However,…… [Read More]
This then leads Plato to a consideration of how morality can be applied to reason.
The basis of morality -- or virtue -- for the philosopher is happiness. eason dictates that the greatest joy (or the highest good) is in living according to the dictates of virtue. Hence, if an individual wishes to be ultimately happy, regardless of external circumstances or emotion, will engage in moral actions. As such, both wisdom and virtue work together to attain happiness. Indeed, wisdom is therefore virtue, as it encourages the pursuit of happiness by means of moral action.
It is then the culmination of this wisdom as virtue that enables Socrates to meet his trial and death with a demeanor of calm and poise. Socrates' soul is ordered by means of his philosophy of reason and morality; his reason rules his emotions and his passions. Hence he is able to be kind and…… [Read More]
Even in a secular society like ours, it is important to conceptualize a set of universal values that can be codified in doctrines of human rights and freedoms. These universal human values and ethics can therefore undergird social norms and laws, preventing recourse to superstition and religion as excuses for human rights abuses. As modern society shifts towards a new moral order based on secular values rather than on religious doctrine, the concept of piety as it is elucidated in Plato’s Euthyphro is the most important concept to be integrated into the Socratic Citizenship Initiative.
In Plato’s Euthyphro, both Socrates and Euthyphro exemplify the need for a universal moral order, one that transcends either church or state. At one point in Euthyphro, Socrates cryptically questions, “is it that where there is piety, there is also justice, but piety is not everywhere justice is, since piety is a part of justice?”…… [Read More]
Meno & Phaedo
One of the most important components of Plato's dialogue known as Meno was the elucidation of the concept of the theory of recollection. This theory is so eminent within this work partly due to the fact that Socrates would refer to this notion, and to others that were engendered due to thought and study on related to this subject, in subsequent dialogues, the likes of which include Phaedo.
The crux of Plato's argument about recollection and its importance in the discussion of virtue is that the soul has actually been bestowed with all of the knowledge that it will ever attain before a person is born. Therefore, all someone has to do to access this knowledge is to recall that which he or she already knows about the subject by gently prodding it out of him or her. The following quotation explicates this concept rather…… [Read More]
The release of fossil fuels has been driving industrial and civic expansion for the past century and a half, and there is therefore a compelling reason to deny such causes: "some corporations whose revenues might be adversely affected by controls on carbon dioxide emissions have also alleged major uncertainties in the science (Oreskes). Just as in the debate over the heliocentric solar system, issues of political and/or economic motive are raised to cloud the science at issue.
hat truly separates the global warming debate from the issues that Galileo dealt with, however, is that there really is hard science at the base of both camps with vastly different interpretations. This has made the contention all the more fierce, and personal accusations only seem more rampant now than during Galileo's trial due to the increased difficulty of a scientific attack. One example of this is Gore's insistence on using Revelle's name…… [Read More]
The teacher smiles, full of joy at the opportunity to teach. As an idealist, he or she embodies the optimal instructor, hearkening to the model of the ancients like Socrates. Classics of philosophy and literature form the basis of the teacher's educational philosophy. Educated at one of the best universities in the nation if not the world, the idealist educator uses his or her educational credentials to pass on wisdom to new and younger students. Serving through example, the educational idealist teaches in the vein of the ancient wisdom philosophies.
Classics, such as the texts of ancient Greece, Rome, India, and China, serve as the fundamental models for teaching. The teacher is at once an authoritarian figure and a friend: one who is hip to the current social norms but also strictly versed in the classics. ith one foot in the world of progressivism and the other in the…… [Read More]
Additionally, Aristotle furthered the field of educational philosophy by creating subjects and a logical inquiry process, insisting that education be moral or ethical, and defining it as intertwined with politics to such a great extent that the best and most necessary education is a state-sponsored education (Chambliss 2008).
Influence Toward My Educational Philosophy:
Practically, Aristotle's creation of subjects and his primitive research, which set the foundation for further research, influenced my educational philosophy by insisting the importance of a pragmatic education and establishing the tools for that education -- research. Aristotle's contribution, therefore, shaped my understanding of the purpose of education -- a means toward intellectual inquiry. Furthermore, Aristotle's combination of ethics with morality and politics has shaped the teacher's oath stating that he or she should do no harm, in addition to contributing to what I understand as the goal of education -- to further the goodwill of human…… [Read More]
Oresteia story, as trilogy of events written by Aeschylus, revolves around revenge.
In the first sequel, Agamemnon, Clytemnestra murders both her husband Agamemnon and his concubine, Cassandra, a priestess of the Greek god, Apollo. Cassandra had received prophecy of her imminent murder as well as future events that will befall the House of Atreus, but she had been restrained by Apollo from publicizing her vision since she had rejected his advances. Aegisthus's cousin and Clytemnestra's adulterer now assumes the throne with the chorus reminding the audience that avenge will soon ensue. In sequel two, The Libation Bearers, Agamemnon's children Electra and Orestes kill Clytemnestra to avenge the death of their father. He flees the palace with the Furies, deities that avenge patricide and matricide, chasing him and the Chorus informing us that the cycle of revenge will continue.
In the final sequal, The Eumenides, the ghost of Clytemnestra pushes the…… [Read More]
What about being in love, for example? The feeling you have for a girl could override everything else and make you blind to her mistakes, right? Or what about the love of a parent? My mom's not blind to my mistakes, but she forgives me for them because she's my mother.
Tony: You're making this really difficult, aren't you?
Mark: I guess friendship is really difficult to define. Can you think of other definitions to apply to friendship?
Tony: Let me think. What about understanding and support? Surely you get these nowhere as deeply or as often as in friendship. A friend would support you in whatever you're going through. A friend would understand all of your moods and share all your good and bad times. There is no better support than a friend, is there? Take for example the thing with Gary. I'm providing you with understanding and support,…… [Read More]
In short, Socrates saw the elimination of ignorance as the first step that would lead people to become virtuous. As a result, he created a technique for testing knowledge by argument and questioning that became known as "the Socratic method."
asically, through an ironic mockery of words, Socrates mocks everyone present by mocking himself. He was the wisest man, he says, because he was the only one who understood he did not know anything. No one else would admit his ignorance. In terms of corrupting the youth, how could that be? It is absurd to say that only he was the only corruptor. This implied that everyone else supported the youth. Yet, just as there were few horse trainers, so there were few in the position to actually train the youth. Contrary to what Meletus stated, Socrates said that he was one of those trainers. Further, if Socrates voluntarily harmed…… [Read More]
Violence in Plato: The Euthyphro
In the dialogue of the Euthyphro, Plato depicts an exchange between the titular young, aristocratic man who has decided to turn his father in for manslaughter and the Greek philosopher Socrates. According to Euthyphro, his father left a slave in a ditch to die when the slave was accused of killing another slave, causing the slave to die of exposure. Euthyphro defends his actions as pious while Socrates reacts with incredulity. This suggests that although the primary impetus of the dialogue is a condemnation of impious actions, Plato does not give much weight to the violent death of the slave. Euthyphro is portrayed as ignorant because he cannot come up with an acceptable definition of piety to Socrates and little regard is given to the death of the slave which prompted the drama to take place. Violence (or anti-violence) is not the primary preoccupation of…… [Read More]