Pde2012l9 socrates

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  • 1. Socrates aseducatorReview of Socrates’s lifeSome of his educationaldialoguesApproaching the Laches
  • 2. Life of Socrates 469BC Born Athens Sculptor and soldier (fought at Samos 440, Potideia 432, Delium 424, Amphibolis 422) 421. Consulted oracle at Delphi thereafter educational work Complained about the Athenian pursuance of war with Sparta 404, 30 tyrants took charge 399 Arraigned on charges of corrupting the young Dr F.Long, Education UCC 2
  • 3. 3Temple at Delphi  Cult of Apollo  Know thyself  All things in measure  Socrates  Wisdom is knowing who one is and where one is in the world Dr F.Long, Education UCC
  • 4. 4Protagoras 490-420BCE versus Socrates 469-399  see http://www.iep.utm.edu/p/  Socrates protagor.htm  paid teacher/educator  non-paid  the art of speech teaches the  An art does not necessarily do bearer to be good the person any good. The art of education claims to do the  The ‘interior’ is visible in the learner some good performance  Doing someone good is  Concentrates on the primarily a moral action perfection of the technique  Socrates concentrates primarily on the interior effect of the of speech techne of speech on the soul of speaker and listener Dr F.Long, Education
  • 5. 5 Socrates 2 Principles  Interiority: the important learning occurs on the inside  Discipline: the disciplined path to learning 4 steps in Socratic method (Dialectics) Elenchus: "argument of disproof or refutation; cross-examining, testing, scrutiny esp. for purposes of refutation“ Liddell, Scott and Jones, Greek-English Lexicon, 9th Edition.  Begin with learner’s position  Seek the gaps in the position  Expose the need to learn to the individual (a humbling experience) Dr F.Long, Education UCC  Suggest a more fruitful line of inquiry
  • 6. The educational work of Socrates Alcibiades Charmides Ion Laches  Laches, Nicias, Socrates  Lysimachus and Melesias
  • 7. 7Alcibiades speaks of Socrates in Symposium: Socrates was worth seeing, gentlemen, when the army retreated in flight from Delium… First of all, he was more self-possessed than Laches. And he seemed to me, as you put it, Aristophanes, to advance there just as he does here, “holding his head high and looking from side to side,” calmly watching both his friends and the enemy. It was clear to everyone even from far off that if anyone laid a hand on him, he would fight back with everything he had. And, for that reason, he got away safely, both he and Laches. For pursuers do not touch the ones who act like that in a battle. Instead, they go after those who are in headlong flight. Dr F.Long, Education UCC
  • 8. 8Charmides Today?  Handsome, intelligent, well-educated, literate, good appearance, well- connected  Living in a hall of mirrors – identity shaped by expectations of others???? Dr F.Long, Education UCC
  • 9. 9Socrates 469-399 BC  Charmides suffers from a sickness of soul which comes from not having an idea who he is and what he stands for  When asked a question about himself Charmides blushes and holds his head down.  Socrates uses questions to move him forward.  Socrates promises a remedy and a charm – the charm of Zalmoxis that would make a person immortal – apathananizein (Charmides 156d) Dr F.Long, Education UCC
  • 10. Ion Why is Ion unhappy? Would attract 15-20000 listeners Has only one interest in life: Homer (Ion 532b) Socrates: “God takes away the mind of these men and uses them as his ministers..” (Ion 534c) The meaning of the text is hidden from Ion for he is first and foremost a servant of the Muses Dr F.Long, Education 10
  • 11. Interest? By a rule of art? By inspiration Interested in all poetry  Only interested in Homer Leads to a generalised view  Leads to a very individual that is communicable view that is not particularly according to rules of art communicable Leads to humanly structured  Leads to divinely structured knowledge which can be knowledge which can be taught performed
  • 12. Laches: The parents’ concern we urge all this upon the lads, pointing out to them that they will not grow up to honour if they are rebellious and take no pains about themselves; but that if they take pains they may, perhaps, become worthy of the names which they bear. Plato, Laches 179d, translated by B. Jowett
  • 13. 13 TriremeHow the story unfolds… Nicias and Laches reply:  Public affairs may lead to the neglect of children  Why have you not consulted Socrates who has been brave in battle and is also a philosopher? They reply that they had not heard of him When Socrates is asked, Socrates responds by asking first for the views of Nicias and Laches Dr F.Long, Education
  • 14. 14Answering the parents’ worry Nicias suggests that the wearing of armour is very important  Notice: parents’ hunch is reinforced by this suggestion but it is not realistic Laches  Debunks the suggestion by telling a story about the soldier whose lance caught in a sail  Conclusion is that unless a person is already brave, the wearing of armour will not make him so  Notice: parents’ hunch is not reinforced… parents are puzzled...Socrates is called upon Dr F.Long, Education
  • 15. 15Socrates’ response Whoseopinion would you follow on any matter?  He sets aside the hearsay knowledge of “youth bearing arms”  He looks for knowledge that reflects the “soul of the youth”  Bravery is a virtue and can only be developed using educational not technique  Need for interiority Dr F.Long, Education
  • 16. Socrates condemned It isnot 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 a way which would give you the most pleasure Apology 38c Dr F.Long, Education UCC 16
  • 17. 17Socrates’s defence He was only ever a minor influence That he feared untruth more than death That he operated on a divine mission for the good of humanity not just the good of Athens He objected to the idea that the jury should dispense justice as a favour He proclaimed his justice against their injustice (Apology 32b, his wakefulness against their slumber (Apology30e), his concern for virtue against their all too human cares (Apology 23c), his wisdom against their ignorance (Apology 29a) IN short, he made an ‘outrageous’ defence. Why? Dr F.Long, Education UCC
  • 18. Links http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/laches.html http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/ion.html http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/charmides.html