07 Apology - Trilogy: Apology the Trial of Socrates Crito...

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Trilogy: Apology – the Trial of Socrates Crito – the time when Socrates is in jail Phaedo – Socrates is brought before the Court of Justice before a jury of 501 citizens: charged with two crimes, and he defends himself and the way of life of a philosopher in trial. He opens with that he has never been in court and he’s 70 years old, and he does not understand the kind of language that they spoke there in court. He proceeds with the idea that there are 2 sets of charges against him: first the new charges (the ones he’s in court for) and then there’s the old set of charges (the rumors that have been in circulation for a long time). He says it’ll be much more difficult for him to defend himself against the old rumors. The old rumors – Two in one sentence – “There is a certain Socrates, a wise man, who investigates the heavens and things that are beneath the earth and can make the weaker reason appear the stronger.” Means: 1. “Socrates is one of those atheistic pre-Socratics” – who was it that investigated the heavens? It was the pre-Socratics 2. Socrates is a Sophist – one who makes the weaker reason appear the wiser (Sophists were a group of philosophers who were contemporaries of Socrates and were paid tutors: The #1 Sophist was Protagoras and the #2 was Gorgias (In Symposium, Phaedrus, Paulsanias were Sophists [as well as Hippeus later, but not in Symposium]). They claimed to be wise – they’re wisdom was how to succeed in life and get what you want. They taught that the mastery of language was how one could win, get their way, and succeed in life. The Sophists are the founders of oratory and rhetoric – first to study grammar as well. One common theme of the sophists: there is no universal or objective truth. Most famous saying of the Sophists came from Protagoras: “Man is the measure of all things.” Suppose you took this seriously that truth is subjective, you can’t prove anything to anyone – so maybe you can alter the way the world seems to other people by mastering language. The most famous saying of Gorgias: “The word is tyrant.” Language dominates how you see the world. Socrates argues against the Sophists – he says that truth can be absolute and objective. The Teaetetus is a dialogue in which Socrates argues against the Sophists: The most educated man would be no better than a baboon. A person who disagrees with Protagoras is correct according to Protagoras. Protagoras rejects logic and reasoning. In modern western philosophy, most westerners agree with Socrates. But, the strains of western philosophy that have gone with the Sophists is with the aesthetics – that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Socrates refers to Aristophanes’
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This note was uploaded on 02/21/2008 for the course PHI 151H taught by Professor Dearmey during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .

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07 Apology - Trilogy: Apology the Trial of Socrates Crito...

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