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I know nothing except the fact that I know nothing.
- The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways -- I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows. </li></ul>To Plato, Socrates was like a father, a great leader and the<br />bravest of them all. In his writings, he gives Socrates an<br />eternal voice and reveals the true conflict between Socrates<br />and his accusers.<br />
Socrates was accused of impiety – of not believing in the gods- and of corrupting <br />minds of the young Athenian men. Meletus & Lycon were his accusers and you can <br />listen to Socrates (in the words of Plato) arguing against their charges in the famous <br />“Apologia” (meaning defense) at thoughtaudio.com.After his eloquent defense,<br />He was found guilty of the charges (280 –guilty/220 – not guilty) and sentenced <br />(140 wanted only a fine and 360 wanted death by hemlock). <br />
Socrates was a model citizen. He served in two wars and was noted for his bravery. He also stood up for his principles and refused to do harm to an innocent man (Leon of Salamis affair) when the 30 tyrants threatened him with death if he didn’t comply.<br />
He was a teacher who turned away no student. He didn’t charge a fee and claimed that he wasn’t actually teaching but showing how to question more deeply in search of the truth.<br /> (Socratic method)<br />
Who did he anger?The Sophists and anyone with a reputation for being ‘wise’<br />
The Oracle at Delphi<br />“Socrates is the wisest of the mortals.”<br />
He set out to prove her wrong but instead…<br />
proved her prophecy right and angered every ‘wise’ man he spoke with by revealing the truth…<br />Those who claimed to be wise are not. Wisdom begins with the realization of ‘not’ knowing.<br />
The SophistsAttacked the traditional Greek beliefs that laws came from the gods and argued that goodness = pleasure right = mighttruth is subject to experience, an objective reality. They taught the Athenian youth for a FEE and were said to easily argue and convince, with theirrhetoric, both sides of the argument. <br />Rhetoric: effective use of language<br />
The Sophists didn’t care about the gods and Greek cosmologies. Their theory of knowledge stopped at sense experiences. Subjective phenomena of our sensations become judges of reality. There is no reality of itself, but only reality as it appears to us. Reality is reduced to the subjectivism of experience.<br />"Man is the measure of what exists." <br />
Plato denounced the sophists in his writings and today this word is used to mean- someone who is clever at argument but also deceptive.<br />Sophists: ancient relativists & hedonists<br />
For Socrates….<br />Principles must be eternal and absolute, according to Socrates. The concepts of justice, goodness and truth must not be contingent upon perception, taste and subjective realities such as opinion. Through reason we can discover the universal characteristics of such ideas.<br />Reason is open to all – for free.<br />
This is what your textbook refers to as “objectivism” in the questionable example of the debatable example of a beautiful statue – p. 17. Socrates speaks of CONCEPTS, or Principles without establishing their origins.<br />Plato’s theory of forms takes Socrates’ concept to the realm of the eternal – a metaphysical realm where these FORMS exist.<br />
Contrary to the Sophists, Plato argued that knowledge may be ‘accessed’ through reason because the perfect form of the concept exists in the metaphysical (beyond the physical) realm.<br />Artists’ muse – example.<br />
Allegory of the Cave <br />In the cave, the prisoners believe the shadows to be real because that is their experience. Socrates and Plato taught that experience is insufficient for real knowledge and truth: we must use reason too. Plato believed that all were born with an innate knowledge of these ‘forms’. <br />
Socrates lived on in Plato<br />Both were opposed to the relativism of the sophists and wanted to restore the values of a morality sacred and inviolable, based upon reason and not unruly passions. <br />