Summary of SocratesThe Apology, Crito and the Phaedo
What do you need to know?• The political and social background to the trial• Socrates’ method of questioning using the correct terms to describe each part and showing how it was used in the Euthyphro and the Crito• The main ideas behind the set dialogues and be able to back these up with specific detail: – The nature of holiness (Euthyphro) – Why Socrates was tried and convicted (Apology) – The citizen’s duty to the state (mostly Crito, compared with Apology) – Socrates’ attitude to death (mostly Phaedo, some Crito and Apology) – Socrates’ ideas about religion (all four dialogues) – The way a good man or philosopher, should live his life (all four dialogues)• Consider: – How far did Socrates live up to his ideas about the right way to live?
Past Essay Questions• Discuss the philosophers view of death and suicide as it is presented in the Aploogy, Crito and Phaedo• For what reasons was Socrates tried and condemned to death? Use evidence from the works of Plato you have studied to support your answer• What do we learn from Plato about Socrates the philosopher? Make reference to at least TWO of the four dialogues.
The Apology – Part One• Skill as an orator• Earliest charges• Delphic Oracle• Questioning of politicians, poets and skilled craftsmen• Formal charges – Socrates guilty of corrupting the minds of the young – Socrates is guilty of believing in supernatural things of his own invention, instead of the gods recognised by the state• Those who fear death ignorant• Will not stop philosophizing• No greater good has befallen Athenians – stinging fly• Daimon• Generals and Leon• Will not resort to usual emotive arguments
The Apology – Part Two• Punishment Speech• Socrates points out vote was close• Proposes alternative punishment – free meals at the Prytaneum• Socrates settles on 100 drachmae• Jury is angry – would have expected Socrates propose banishment
Apology - Part Three• Speech after the Death Penalty• 360 vote for the death penalty a opposed to 141 for 3000 drachmae• Socrates says not lack of argument that has doomed him• Death a blessing – Either annihilation – Or Migration of the soul• Ask them to look after his sons
Crito – Part One• Crito has come to help Socrates escape. He tells Socrates that the boat from Delos has been sighted and therefore Socrates will die the next day. Socrates has had a dream and says that it will in fact be three days.• Crito argues that he should escape – Let down friends – Children will not receive proper care – Socrates giving his enemies just what they want – Financial considerations• Socrates replies – Popular Opinion – Consistency
Crito – Part Two• Socrates’ dialogue with Laws of Athens• Laws of Athens personified provide reasons for citizen’s duty to the state – City state of Athens would not survive if each citizen failed to obey its laws – The laws have offered a framework which allows each citizen to grow up and be educated under their care and protection – By remaining in Athens, each citizen has thereby freely chosen to abide by the laws; otherwise he could have left for another state – Final remarks – No state would welcome him if he escaped / Thessaly / the force behind the Laws arguments
The Phaedo – Part One• Phaedo tells Echecrates he felt pleasure and pain• Socrates dismisses wife• Socrates tells of a dream to cultivate the arts• Suicide wrong – possessions of the gods• Cebes says that would want to stay with good master• But – Socrates has positive expectation of death – able to converse with gods after death• Philosopher preparing for death whole life• Avoid distractions• Truth unattainable with body• True philosophers make dying a profession• Philosopher must show courage and temperance