Directions: Below and in “Files” you will find The Apology by Plato. This is an edited, shortened version from Manuel Velasquez’s text, Philosophy. Please read it. The longer version appears here: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~freeman/courses/phil100/04.%20Apology.pdf (Links to an external site.)
Write a post and discuss and summarize the final paragraph argument (on page 2 in brackets) Plato uses in his self-defense. Respond to two classmates. Attached, are some questions to help you in writing your post. Answer the last one for your response. You don’t need to answer them all, just use them, if you like, for a thought organizer.
The Apology – Plato
Answer the following questions :
can you write a respond to this student ?
Socrates starts off the paragraph by answering a question that he gets regularly. He explains how his occupation works and why. We all should have something to kill time with, but people choose to spread rumors instead of making use of their time. He states how he earned his wisdom and how most can build their reputation rather than building a useless talk. His premise leads to the argument of being making use of the time we have so that we can gain a reputation through it. He emphasizes how God has made a difference with his gained wisdom. The disturbance is an act we should keep behind us and forget to become wiser. The conclusion was to not include disturbance anywhere and that no one is wiser than God, but himself.
and the second student
To Socrates the merit and purpose of one’s life should be the pursuit of knowledge. He went around city square’s and court house’s pestering people to tell them what they thought they knew. Only to point out the contradictions in what they thought, they knew to make them realize they know nothing. He did this to Athenian Generals, Judges, everyone who had the misfortune of not looking busy around him. Socrates would argue it is disingenuous to yourself and more importantly society to not pursue knowledge. He thought everyone should be a Philosopher when traditionally, Philosophers came only from wealthy origins where one could devote the necessary free time to thought. Socrates ripe into old age willingly chose to die for his ideals when he could have easily won the case against him. Simply put within the context of Plato’s “The Apology,” the unexamined life isn’t worth living.
That’s it, that’s the core of “The Apology.” I want to ask you all something to put this into context. When we are born and mature enough to form thought and speech. We become aware of this innate burning desire to question the world around us. Mom why is a fire hydrant red? Dad why is the sky blue? I used to annoy my family with these questions as a kid. In a way you could draw a parallel to Socrates being a kid, or kids being Philosophers vice versa. Reading “The Apology” makes me wonder why we stop asking these questions? Is it society conditioning us that these questions are bothersome? Is it physiological, do our brains tell us to stop? Or do we feel we’ve reached our fill of knowledge? I’m genuinely curious if anyone in psychology or child development could illuminate this for me. What follows is more context and possibly abstraction for me context is valuable, but I acknowledge this can be a double edged sword.
To understand why Socrates is on trial you must understand a little bit of the political environment surrounding the time period. Approximately five years prior to the trial, the Peloponnesian war ended. The Peloponnesian war pitted two power house city states of Greece against each other the democratically run Athens, and Spartan Republic. Athens lost and as a condition an oligarchy referred to as the thirty tyrants was put in power. While the oligarchy only lasted a few years, people were wary of anyone trying to provoke change or dissent in a newly restored democracy.
During this time period paid teachers of philosophy and rhetoric existed called Sophists. This is actually a good pivot point into relativism on Friday as the Sophists are considered the found fathers of western relativism. Sophists unlike Philosophers valued money over knowledge they claimed to be able to teach you to win court cases and other such acts of rhetoric. They would go into public and argue with each other to win over customers with their superior rhetoric. People deeply disliked Sophists and while Socrates wasn’t a Sophist he could be mistakenly seen as one. He pursued knowledge above all else even his children and hygiene causing him to live in a state of vagrancy. He would trade meals and housing for conversation in a way akin to a Sophist.
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