plato apology - Plato The Apology Introduction to...

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Plato: The Apology Introduction to Socrates (48-49): Socrates lived in Athens (470-399 BC). He was not interested so much in natural philosophy (cosmology) like his predecessors. But he was primarily interested in ethical and political problems. His main opponents were the Sophists who claimed that they could just tell others what virtue, beauty, justice, knowledge and truth are. Socrates had his own method called the Socratic Method. This method involves not just telling others, but prodding and kindling others to give birth and critically examine their own ideas. In this sense, Socrates is described as a "midwife." Socrates would typically engage in "dialogues" with (mostly) common people ( Plato, one of Socrates' students, wrote about these dialogues). In these dialogues would ask his interlocutor whether he knows the meaning of justice, life, beauty, knowledge etc. If the interlocutor answered confidently, then Socrates would engage in a dialogue to show his interlocutor that what he thought he knew was just an opinion he learnt from others, or a popular prejudice, or that "common sense" is misleading when it comes to philosophy, that the interlocutor knew nothing at all. At this point, Socrates would not give his own ready-made answer like the Sophists did; rather the typical Platonic dialogue ends in a riddle or a wonder to make the reader to think for him/herself. (Read the example of Euthyphro which the editor of your textbook gives on page 44. Also, pay attention to how
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plato apology - Plato The Apology Introduction to...

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