philosophy midterm revised

philosophy midterm revised - Platos Five Dialogues and...

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Plato’s Five Dialogues and Symposium Part 1: In Socrates’ main defense in the Apology of Socrates , he retells the story of his friend Chaerephon’s inquiry of the oracle of Apollo at Delphi. He asks the oracle if any man is wiser than Socrates, and the oracle tells Chaerephon that there is not ( Apol . 21a). Socrates is extremely puzzled by the oracle’s response, saying, “I am very conscious that I am not wise at all” ( Apol . 21b). Socrates is well aware that he is not truly wise, and he feels that it is not possible that he could be the wisest man on earth. He sets out to disprove this statement by talking to men who are reported to be wise. Socrates expects that he will find someone who is wiser than him so that he may tell the oracle, “‘This man is wiser than I, but you said I was’” ( Apol . 21a-b). Socrates first goes to a reportedly wise politician and questions the man. After talking with him, Socrates decides that neither of them seems to know anything worthwhile. Socrates concludes that he is wiser than this man because this man claims to possess knowledge of things that he does not really know ( Apol . 21c-d). Next, Socrates goes to question the poets in expectation that they will prove Socrates ignorant ( Apol . 22a-b). Socrates asks the poets about the explanation of some of the works of these poets, and realizes that they have written these poems using ability for poetical construction and not true knowledge ( Apol . 22b-c). Furthermore, the ability of the poets to construct beautiful works had given them the false impression that they were wise in other aspects of life. Socrates once again concludes that the men’s misconceptions about their own knowledge make their wisdom inferior to that of Socrates ( Apol . 22c). The final group he visits is the skilled craftsmen ( Apol . 22c). Like the poets, he sees that the craftsmen’s own skill has caused them to believe that they had wisdom beyond that
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which they actually possessed. They were under the impression that knowledge of their craft had made them wise in other areas of study when they were not (
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course PL 070 taught by Professor Shmikler during the Fall '08 term at BC.

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philosophy midterm revised - Platos Five Dialogues and...

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