Plato Apology

Plato Apology - One infuential reading oF the Apology J.S Mill On Liberty there was “once a man named Socrates” described as a MARTYR For Free

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Unformatted text preview: One infuential reading oF the Apology: J.S. Mill, On Liberty: there was “once a man named Socrates” described as a MARTYR For Free speech: individual vs. the mob; majority tyranny Gandhi, MLK, Thoreau compare themselves BUT, Socrates is not making the Free speech argument “The unexamined liFe is not worth living”-individual quest For selF-perFection This is a quarrel over who ought to rule, who ought to govern . The people? The court oF Athens Socrates, the philosopher-king Trial: 399 BC; 30 Tyrants: 404; Democracy resunes: 403 Two sets oF accusations: Charges are Familiar: From Aristophanes’s Clouds (24 years prior) Socrates was taken seriously Should poets or philosophers govern? Argument/dialectic vs. oracles/storytelling New kind oF citizenship in view: victor is the one with the best argument “investigator oF things aloFt and under the earth (physicalist) and makes the weaker argument the stronger (Sophist) The Clouds charges: Dr. Chris West Nature of Politics Spring 2009 Plato ʼ s Apology: Outline 1 Incest, father-beating, A “think tank” detached from the earth Corrosive skepticism Angry citizens burn the think-tank to the ground with Soc. Inside The Socratic turn: A friend, Chaerophon, sent to the Oracle at Delphi: reports that there is none wiser than Socrates Socrates thought himself “most ignorant,” so he sets about questioning his fellow citizens, exposing their ignorance, their unsupported opinions about what is good, just beautiful Moves from natural science to moral and political philosophy: founder of political science BUT, this is blasphemous, disrespectful of the people’s deepest beliefs Not caring about what Athens cares about [Can most Americans give a reasoned defense for the founding theory of government?] Philosophy’s project is to replace OPINION with KNOWLEDGE: At odds with belief/faith He IS GUILTY of impiety, but cares more deeply for the soul than for bodies and money. Fighting for justice requires a private life if one is to preserve oneself: Socrates explains how he has purposed to refrain from “public” life Is Socrates guilty? Why? Why not? Plato ʼ s Apology: Outline Principled abstaining from (unjust) public actions: to “do no harm” Two examples: abstains from vote to execute Athenian generals who had abandoned the dead; refused to follow the Tyrants’ orders to assist in the assassination of Leon of Salamis This is principled disobedience: Raises the question of whether individual citizens can follow their conscience over the law (vs. Hobbes, Machiavelli, Hegel) • A gadFy improves the quality of life • He is a “gift from the gods” • I must philosophize in obedience to the gods: a religious duty • Ironic way of showing his PIETY • He has been devoted to it at a cost to his family, his wealth, his reputation • Irony: rejected. Rational/philosophical: not believed How far should free speech be tolerated?...
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course 790 101 taught by Professor Graf during the Spring '09 term at Rutgers.

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Plato Apology - One infuential reading oF the Apology J.S Mill On Liberty there was “once a man named Socrates” described as a MARTYR For Free

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