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  1. 1. 1-22 the trial of socrates
  2. 2. Socrates <ul><li>born a stonemason </li></ul><ul><li>lived 470-399 B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>wrote nothing himself </li></ul><ul><li>knowledge of him comes from three sources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plato </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Xenophon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aristophanes </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Aristophanes <ul><li>wrote several comedies which presented Socrates in a satirical light </li></ul><ul><li>his play Clouds is the play Socrates refers to in the Apology </li></ul><ul><li>accused Socrates of misleading the youth and not giving due respect to the poets </li></ul>
  4. 4. Xenophon <ul><li>was a soldier-historian best known for writing Hellenica (History of Greece) </li></ul><ul><li>presentation of Socrates is rather mundane and not concentrated on philosophical discussion </li></ul><ul><li>although he knew Socrates personally, it is unlikely to have spent any significant amount of time with Socrates </li></ul>
  5. 5. Plato <ul><li>student of Socrates (and teacher of Aristotle) </li></ul><ul><li>wrote the Apology </li></ul><ul><li>used Socrates as the mouthpiece in much of his writing </li></ul><ul><li>most likely to give us an accurate portrayal of Socrates, but still unlikely to be fully genuine as it was customary to put one’s own ideas in the mouth of a famous orator or teacher </li></ul>
  6. 6. Socrates’ contributions <ul><li>used the Socratic method </li></ul><ul><ul><li>is a dialectical method centering primarily on questioning whether respondent gave statement or himself asked a question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for Socrates the result was most always a demonstration that some definition was found lacking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>was a negative method of hypothesis elimination which primarily resulted in a recognition of a lack of knowledge </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>we have little evidence that Socrates had much of anything in the way of positive beliefs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>positive views we have, such as in Plato’s Republic , may well just be Plato’s own ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>claimed that the Oracle at Delphi said he was the wisest of all men, but he himself claimed he was not wise; he claimed his only wisdom lay in his knowledge of his own ignorance, something other “wise men” were lacking </li></ul><ul><li>most important to Socrates was moral virtue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>shun wealth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cultivate friendship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>search for the Good </li></ul></ul>