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Unformatted text preview: PLATONIC DIALOGUES The Apology Summary Account of Socrates speech at his trial He is charged with not recognizing the gods recognized by the state, inventing new gods, and corrupting youth People were angered because oracle at Delphi told Socrates he was wiser than any other man, and he didnt believe it so he questioned the supposed wise only to find that they were not very wise at all these people were humiliated and angered Socrates says he is wise only in that he knows that he knows nothing at all Socrates cross examines Meletus, one of his accusers and ends up embarrassing him says the young would not follow him if he were really causing them harm, because no one likes to be harmed, and also shows how improbable it is that he alone corrupts the youth Socrates refers to himself as the gadfly of Athens, sent to rouse the lazy horse that is the Athenian state The court finds him guilty by a small margin, and he is asked to propose a penalty he offers to pay a fine, but says if his life is spared he will never end his pursuit of wisdom and inquiry He is then sentenced do death, and he accepts the sentence saying that no one knows what happens after death, so it would be foolish to fear what one does not know in fact, a true philosopher spends his entire life preparing for death Truth/Wisdom Socrates believes he has a wisdom others lack: knowledge of his own ignorance Socrates is a true philosopher in that his pursuit of truth is more important that anything else he would rather die than stop questioning He says The unexamined life is not worth living and sticks by that For Socrates, wisdom and virtue are related He says real wisdom is the property of God, and that human wisdom has little or no value Says he is not a teacher, and has never charged anyone (unlike Sophists), but will talk to anyone who wants to talk to him Quotes It is not a lack of arguments that has caused my condemnation, but a lack of effrontery and impudence, and the fact that I have refused to address you in the way which would give you the most pleasure. You would have liked to hear me weep and wail, doing and saying all sorts of things which I regard as unworthy of myself, but which you are used to hearing from other people. But I did not think then that I ought to stoop to servility because I was in danger, and I do not regret now the way in which I pleaded my Case. I would much rather die as the result of this defense than live as a result of the other sort. The difficulty is not so much to escape death; the real difficulty is to escape from doing wrong. Crito Summary Socrates is in his prison cell waiting to be executed and is visited by his friend Crito Crito has made arrangements to smuggle Socrates out of jail and bring him to a safe exile Crito argues that Socrates death will reflect badly on his friends people will think they didnt try to save him and he says Socrates will be helping his enemies do wrong and injustice by allowing...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 300 taught by Professor Diamandopolous during the Spring '07 term at BU.
- Spring '07