The Trial and Death of Socrates (Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo Prime –

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10 thoughts on “The Trial and Death of Socrates (Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo

  1. says:

    When he was tried, convicted and ordered to death in 399 B.C.E., Socrates was already seventy years old he had lived through the imperialistic spread of Athenian democracy and culture under Pericles, twenty five years of first cold and then heated war with Sparta, the defeat of Athens in 404 B.C.E., the short lived oligarchy imposed on that city by the Spartans, and finally the reestablishment of democracy in his homeland During all of that time, the former bricklayer was known for practicing philosophy in the public spaces of Athens using his inimitable style of questioning those in authority who feigned virtue and wisdom while in reality lacking it This technique gradually garnered him many powerful enemies who did their best to poison public opinion against him Socrates was often confused with the Sophists, traveling teachers who sought to satisfy the public need for higher education generated by a democracy in which any male citizen could be called upon to serve in courts or assemblies But Socrates was ostensibly not interested in teaching per se his aim was to uncover the lack of virtue, honesty and wisdom in those around him and to encourage them to learn, as virtue is knowledge, and once one knows what is right, truly knows it, one is no longer capable of doing wrong He often obliquely criticized democratic systems, and indeed, the power consolidation democracy afford the majority was exactly what did him in.While Plato has only reported Socrates words and a few said by Meletus, one of his accusers , we do get a filtered idea of the sort of argument the prosecution was making democracy had only recently been restored in Athens, and certain elements of the population, probably motivated, as Socrates claims, by years of resentment toward the philosopher, wanted to brand his sort of teaching for despite his claims to the contrary, he was indeed teaching by example, at the very least as destructive to the democratic institutions that Socrates himself often seemed to oppose as evidenced in his Dialogues, which Plato also transcribed But the prosecution is largely silent, and we can clearly analyze what Socrates does Throughout his defense he employs a disingenuousness that likely irked his opponents he begins by assuming a humble excuse my illiteracy sort of stance, and gradually abdicates all responsibility for the message he is putting across i.e., authority figures are hypocritical boobs , by appealing to a deus ex machina device the oracle s decree and god s voice in his ear However, there is considerable nobility and courage in his refusal to kowtow to the Assembly s expectations that he ll beg for mercy, and his dissection of the trumped up charges is perfectly executed The shift in tone after he s been found guilty is interesting no longer is the prosecution the brunt of his surgical, nearly sarcastic grandstanding those voting against him catch it full on as he with great guts demands to be rewarded for corrupting the youth of Athens the way winners in the Olympics were His withering prophecies to all of Athens after he s been sentenced to death indicate a third tone shift, short lived as it is He finally becomes introspective with his friends as the document closes, and his inspiring advice and requests serve as telling indicators of his real personality as opposed to his philosopher persona someone who loved his family and neighbors so much that he was willing to risk his life to make them good people.

  2. says:

    Somebody should tell Jon Snow to read this book Poor guy, Ygritte wouldn t stop giving him hell You know nothing, Jon Snow says she, all the time If only Jon would read Socrates, he would have the greatest of retorts, the greatest of Socrates teachings as his come back The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing. Take that Ygritte PS Here is some mindbogglingly brilliant analysis of the famous painting on Socrates s death by Jacques Louis Davidhttp video culture the deat

  3. says:

    The world needs a superhero.The name of that superhero is Socrates.What do you mean you ve never read this book what the hell are you waiting for

  4. says:

    If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Epaminondas The Trial and Death of Socrates by Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo trans G.M.A Grube Original Review, 2000 12 02 I m not trying to do much than suggest Plato isn t starting from a blank sheet but from huge trauma the death of a way of life that produced his great teacher, Socrates, but at the same time, killed him The jurors who vote to put Socrates to death, after listening to the speeches, are the citizens who voted to exterminate the Melians, and many other atrocities.

  5. says:

    I was a bit wary going in but I was pleasantly surprised that this book wasn t as difficult to understand as I d expected it to be.The edition I read covered three dialogues about Socrates Apologia, Crito and Phaedo , who was tried for supposedly corrupting the youth of Athens as well as for encouraging worship of gods not recognized by the State I ve always heard that Socrates was a powerful orator and the way he defended himself in front of the court proves that Even when he was sentenced to death, Socrates was curiously upbeat and as philosophical as ever, discussing the state of the soul and so on What I got from the book was that Socrates was curious and valued virtue, humility and honesty I can see how he pushed a few buttons, telling people how stupid and ignorant they actually were I still can t wrap my head around how long ago this was written My favourite section of the book was definitely Apologia Amazing courtroom drama Had it not been for the drawn out investigation of the soul in Phaedo, I would have given this 5 stars.

  6. says:

    I wish I had read these 4 dialogues before they made us work through The Republic back in school Plato can seem so distant and archiac so much of the time, but here there is an actual sense of human urgency Socrates is about to die A lot of times the dialogues feel completely neutered from any real world concern, you just see these people walking around, having their abstract little discussions as Socrates schools them all But here you see those discussions finally grounded by a frank acknowledgement and confrontation with mortality This is the last chance he will ever have to say anything, and everyone knows it Plenty of subsequent works of philosophy offer compelling, accesible arguements, but few can match the pathos and immediacy of a condemned man having a few last words with his friends before he carries out the death sentance against himself I don t know if this is the best place to start reading Plato, but it s certianly one of the most humane.

  7. says:

    Some times I disagree with the philosophical standing of Plato, other times, I love his works Particularly this one or the four combined , depicting the last days of Socrates, mostly arguing for the soul as an immortal constant, referring to form as unchanging and eternal, the common reference to non empirical knowledge, the difference between the incorporeal and corporeal, and the nature of the soul I am not going into any detail about these things, because I do not have the background required for the understanding of his views, except for the classes I have taken and the works of his I have read, but that is not much But I hope that small break down will help many people when answering a question at school, which I might have done before as well, when I have forgone my reading.

  8. says:

    Since I have individually reviewed each dialogue concerning their content I will be personal here I obviously enjoyed reading these dialogues I was not only enlightened by them, but moved as well in certain parts, by Socrates friends than the man himself This really should be the jumping off point for anyone interested in philosophy because it sets the tone and you can compare every strand of philosophy after it against it Plato did not create western philosophy, obviously, but he sure did make it into something amazing and it would be worth anyones time to check him out I will always admire the Socratic method even though I am in no way able to pull it off trust me I ve tried , but it is poetry to read We could all benefit from a revival of Plato in society, but since I won t hold my breath those who have read him can be thankful for the opportunity I read these dialogues as apart of the Classics of Western Philosophy anthology

  9. says:

    Socrates is a little bit like Superman As a young man, both are very appealing for their heroism and pristine behavior As one ages, however, they begin to dissatisfy there is no way these people could be real.This is obviously due to Plato s portrayal of the man, an homage so complete that Socrates becomes pure ideal and ceases to be human He stands for intellectual honesty and curiosity, morality and justice, without any compromise.This book is about as good an example of that as possible, and as far as comic book heroes go, it can be enjoyable.However, the reasoning in most of the book is flawed even by the standards of that time Scholars argue that Plato does this knowingly, so that the reader will discover these flaws and grow as a consequence That may very well be, but its boring to follow an argument for 10 pages when you know the underlying assumptions are wrong.Its a good skim and it actually begs for a graphic novel version.

  10. says:

    Well this blew my mind