Free Essay

The Philosophy of Socrates: a Lover of Wisdom

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By zummrox
Words 2042
Pages 9

The Philosophy of Socrates: A Lover of Wisdom
(2052 Words)


The lessons of life that are delivered by Socrates act as a basis for Western philosophy. Plato, the writer of The Apology, significantly respects Socrates and his dialogues act as a framework for our understanding in the passages. Our only record of his life comes from his associates, as Socrates never documented his opinions. A clear expression of Socrates’ philosophy is represented in The Apology. The purpose of this paper is to establish a clear demonstration of Socrates’ philosophy using The Apology as reference, and also explain my personal view on philosophy. In the first section of this paper, the famous statement from Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living”, will be connected when explaining three principle components of his philosophy: Irony, Method and Ethos. The second section of this paper will reveal my personal view on philosophy. Rahut’s claim on philosophy being the study of “open questions” will be supported by examples and descriptions. In the case that a question cannot be accurately answered or proven with our existing knowledge, I demonstrate that it should be classified as an ‘open question’.
Throughout section 17-18 of The Apology, Socratic irony is apparent. He clearly presents himself as a man whom is delivering words of truth. Although, while Socrates states that he is not a clever speaker, it shows that he actually is clever. By doing this, he is engaging some very effective use of his language. After Socrates has proven to degrade his rivals, he changes his tone of conversation back to ordinary. The way that Socrates turns his rivals against themselves is the distinctive type of irony that he effectively practices, and is also very good at utilizing.

Improvising is a category of speech that is claimed to be used by Socrates as the reading in this section continues. Ironically, this use of improvising is found to be coming from Plato’s writing skills opposed from Socrates words, as we know that this conversation was restored by Plato. Similar words can be altered to assist diverse purposes, and the flexibility in his writing is substantial to this irony. A notable example in The Apology is seen when Socrates explains that he is not ashamed of his lifestyle which brings him to an end; “a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong - acting the part of a good man or of a bad” (Plato, 516). This quote brings up the notable belief from Socrates “the unexamined life is not worth living”. In the mentioned quote, Socrates explains that right and wrong can regulate the value of a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ man. He categorizes the choice between good and bad as more important than the choice between life and death. This directly indicates his philosophy on the importance of choice. A ‘bad’ man is considered to have an invaluable life, henceforth, not worth living. Socratic irony demonstrates the examination that Socrates has put forth in his lifetime, making his life worth living for his personal ethics.
Another key principle in Socrates philosophy is the Socratic Method. The Socratic Method principally deals with a method of teaching from question and answer. The Method is able to give knowledge without having taught anything new. Socrates teaches using this method to provoke truths in his students. The Socratic Method can be used in a way to make someone seem imprecise. This is done by getting the opponent to approve of the phrasing that actually

contradicts their opposing statement. The purpose of this focuses on disproving the statements of others. The Socratic Method was a common practice as Socrates understands that knowledge was the acknowledgment of one’s ignorance. Questions are asked to the opponent, resulting in their confusion once they realize that they have fallen into a verbal trap, which was logically calculated. Socratic Method can be seen in The Apology when Socrates explains his “divine mission” to the jury. Throughout this explanation, Socrates questions the several ranks of occupations in society. The Socratic Method is relieved in order to prove that his opponents are incorrect when they claim “Socrates is committing an injustice...he makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger and teaches others to follow his example” (Plato, 507). Socrates tries to show the jury that he is innocent and did not try to corrupt the young minds. Socrates wants to expose the residents of Athens to philosophical facts, and also demonstrate what his criticizers are really trying to do. When Socrates values the examined life, he also values critical thinking. The statements that are brought up from the questioning of the Socratic Method can convey the inner beliefs, which can then be examined. Sometimes, finding the true meaning of ones underlying beliefs can be difficult, so the Socratic Method is beneficial in that perspective. Having a person think for themself, rather than being influenced, is a very healthy practice in philosophical development. In Socrates perception, once examination on a personal belief system has been performed, life can retain its value. Ethos is a Greek word and can be compared to ethics; a representation of one’s image. Socrates is depicted as an extensive man of ethical opinion throughout The Apology. Socrates

engages in pursuing the truth, and does not restrain from examining others and himself. It is a very important practice in his philosophy to examine himself and others, as he believes the unexamined life is not worth living. He realizes that he would have to die for his beliefs, but has a strong belief system and maintains that image. Socrates contributed significantly to philosophy when he introduced ethical questions. His method of thought is informed by ethical principles. Socrates is strict on believing that one will never commit evil acts intentionally. When the court sentences Socrates to death, he states; “neither in court nor in war ought I or anyone else to do anything and everything to contrive and escape from death….” “no gentleman, the difficult is not to escape death, I think, but to escape wickedness – that is much more difficult, for that runs faster than death” (Plato, 528). While in a state of fear, Socrates is still able to speak truths. This shows that he is a true parrhesiast. The ethical convictions of Socrates can be noted in the quote above. It follows his beliefs that no one should be stopped from examining their own life, and connects the phrase, “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Socrates does not fear his death, because he knows that there are much greater things to fear, such as greed and wickedness. Also, because he believes that death could be one of two things; a dreamless sleep, or a migration of the soul. A dreamless sleep should not be feared, as we would be most content. In the case that the soul migrates to another plane, then one can continue to examine and question, and therefore philosophy will continue. This puts Socrates mind at rest, and raises his confidence in his belief system, because his love for philosophy can continue to be explored if something is to come after death.

The next section of this paper aims toward providing a clear demonstration of my personal philosophy. Further, I show that that philosophy is a thought process to arrive at when there are no absolute facts to solve a problem. Philosophy centers on answering general problems that deal with various topics, such as our existence, our values, and the mind. Generally, there are quantitative and qualitative question that can be asked. One may ask the question: “How does a computer work”. Scientists can then answer the question providing facts about how hardware preforms, facts on electricity and other components which logically fall into place. But if one asks the question “what is the meaning of life”, there can be no factual statements that can answer without raising similar questions in themselves. This notion leads to a famous statement from Rahut, who claims that philosophy is the study of “open questions”. This statement is true for various reasons. An open question is a situation in discussion where different ideas or opinions are possible, but remain officially undecided as there is no evidence to claim otherwise. A quantitative question such as “two plus two” would not be considered a philosophical question, as there is undoubtedly a definite answer. This is the concept that separates philosophy from other forms. Considering that circumstance, Rahut’s claim on philosophy is indeed true. In a different perspective, philosophy deals with “open questions” because if there is any certainty in a philosophical inquiry, then it would not be considered a philosophical problem. This is because philosophy has principles of reasoning.
There are many open questions in philosophy that are still unanswered, but ones that are most tough to answer deal with the mind directly. I argue that the toughest philosophical

question is “prove to me that you are not figments of my imagination”. This statement comes from a Solipsist. This is the philosophical idea that it is only sure that one’s mind exists. Anything being experienced is only content to one existing mind – yours. The statement is seemingly impossible to reject, mainly because anything that one would have to say can be argued to be an imaginative event. One may say that this philosophy is hard to believe, as there is much pain that comes along in life, and it would be seemingly foolish to let this pain take part. A Solipsist would say that pain is a necessary occurrence in life in order to understand and appreciate pleasure. This appears to be irrational, but it is easily relatable. An example statement would be “Why would one choose to work out? The process is painful and doesn’t pay out equivalently”. One who has worked out would know that there is no explanation for the pleasure felt afterwards when the pain is no longer being experienced. In other cases, a Solipsist would say that we possibly have limited control of our imagination, much like we have limited control of our dreams when we sleep. These kinds of indefinite questions are the backbone in understanding the magnitude of philosophy. Philosophy is an important practice in everyone’s life. It is a human instinct to seek answers to anticipated questions, as humans naturally desire to know. By asking general philosophical and scientific questions, people develop an understanding for others and themselves. These desired answers to the universal questions are what make us human. Philosophy is inescapable throughout one’s life. Even people who consider philosophical questioning not worth their time are conveying an importance in their own life – which is a philosophy in itself. In order to clarify ones belief system, they ought to accept philosophy as being part of their life.

Philosophy directs a way of life that is constructed on reason. Throughout this paper, Socrates philosophy in reference to The Apology has been clearly demonstrated and related while examining the three principle components: Irony, Method and Ethos. Plato’s dramatic representation of a man who is prepared to die for his beliefs, instead of going against them, makes Socrates a role model for philosophers. The way in which people choose between convenience and commitment to their beliefs determines whether they are worthy to call their lives philosophical. Socrates is an example of a philosopher who did not keep his negative beliefs to himself, and got into trouble for that reason. Aside, studying philosophy improves intellectual capacities which are essential in humanity, much greater than the knowledge necessary for any profession. A worthy education in philosophy enlightens the capability to contribute sensibly and intelligently in social life.


Plato, William Henry Denham Rouse & Matthew S. Santirocco. (2008). Great Dialogues of Plato: Complete Text of The Republic, The Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Ion, Meno, Symposium. London, England: Penguin.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay


...1: Philosophy, sophism/sophistry, “pilosopo” 1 [Published in Rolando M. Gripaldo, ed. 2004. Philosophical landscape. Manila: Philippine National Philosophical Research Society.] PHILOSOPHY, SOPHISM/SOPHISTRY, “PILOSOPO” Rolando M. Gripaldo PHILOSOPHY: Ancient Philosophy literally means “love of wisdom.” In contemporary philosophy there are as many definitions of philosophy as there are schools of philosophy.1 What is interesting is that one school defines philosophy to the exclusion of other schools. For instance, the analytic school defines philosophy as the clarification of the meanings of words, phrases, and sentences, and it rejects metaphysical propositions as cognitively meaningless. Its emphasis is logic and language. On the other hand, the continental school defines philosophy in terms of the meaning of life and one’s relationship with the world and the Other (other human beings and/ or God). It considers the activities of the analytic tradition as meaningless to one’s life. Its emphasis is life. It is therefore advisable to just leave the definition of philosophy in its original etymological meaning, although even this is not safe. Quite recently, Hans-Georg Gadamer (1989), an hermeneute, has rejected epistemic wisdom as within the realm of human control. The ancient Greeks defined philosophy as love of (epistemic) wisdom. Thales, who is traditionally considered the father of philosophy, was interested in “knowing” the ultimate reality,...

Words: 3853 - Pages: 16

Premium Essay

Philosophy - Admission of Ignorance

...Starting Point of Philosophy” Philosophy 101 July 1, 2010 Plato’s story of the “Apology” professes to be a record of the actual speech that Socrates delivered in his own defense during his trial and conviction before a jury of 501 men in Athens. Socrates was charged with corrupting the youth of Athens and introducing strange gods to the city. Socrates addresses the men of Athens as follows: “Do not create a disturbance, gentleman, even if you think I am boasting, for the story I shall tell does not originate with me, but I will refer you to a trustworthy source. I shall call upon the god of Delphi as witness to the existence and nature of my wisdom, if it be such. You know Chaerephon; he was my friend from youth, and a friend of most you, as he shared your exile and your return. You surely know the kind of man he was, how impulsive in any course of action. He went to Delphi at one time and ventured to ask the oracle – as I say, gentlemen, do not create a disturbance – he asked if any man was wiser than I, and the Pythian replied that no one was wiser. Chaerephon is dead, but his brother, will testify to you about this.” (Plato 25-26) Socrates recounts to the men of Athens how he took this news with great puzzlement. “What can the god mean? And what is the interpretation of this riddle? What can the oracle mean when he says that I am the wisest of men?” Socrates knew the oracle could not lie, and yet he thought that he had no particular wisdom or......

Words: 1541 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Phl Minor Essay

...In the Symposium, Plato presents many points on Love (Eros) which are laid out by different speakers in the honor of Agathon. Phaedrus, Aristodemus, Pausanias, Socrates, Agathon, Aristophanes and Eryximachus all dedicated their symposium to the understanding of love by giving their opinion of how a person should commend it. Near the ending of the speech by Socrates, a beautiful, wealthy and drunk Alcibiades enters the event. This triggers the beginning of Alcibiades speech of travesty, which is disguised in praise, reciting the “secret nature” of Socrates to the guests at hand. The purpose of adding Alcibiades’ speech at the end is to display the nuisance with social expectations for love and the inability to meet them. The character of Alcibiades is used to portray the tragic nature of good merit and the tragedy. He is unable to gain virtue through sexual relations, and there for is forced to remain mortal. The purpose of the speech at whole is to celebrate the fertility of heterosexual relationships and how they are justified in giving birth to children. Alcibiades wants to engage in a relationship with Socrates which in terms is a homosexual relationship. To justify homosexual relationships, they would have had to prove them as productive as a heterosexual relationship. Meaning if what a heterosexual relationship can justify through Diotima’s speech is a child and a relationship which can be carried on in the future has to be the same of what a homosexual relationship......

Words: 1314 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay


...Thinking about Philosophy ! The word philosophy refers to both a discipline and a mindset. At its essence, philosophy implies the mindset of critical thinking, a quest to find out the truth and the discipline to have a good argument. Derived from the Greek words Philos - loving and Sophia - meaning wisdom and the the love of wisdom. Philosophy can be broken down into many categories. Included in theses subsets are metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, aesthetics and logic. Metaphysics encompasses the why and how of reality and being. Ethics incorporates morality moral systems. Epistemology explains ways of individual knowing. Aesthetics lends elements of beauty and the arts. Lastly, logic contributes the attributes of logic and reasoning. Philosophers pursue fundamental questions - questions that make sense but cannot be answered by relying on common sense or scientific procedures. Pythagoras defines philosophy as “too modest to wish to be called wise, he said he was not a wise man, but only a lover of wisdom”. According to Descartes, philosophy is the highest wisdom that could be achieved by logic; it taught the reason how to set about obtaining knowledge of as yet unknown truths. Frances Bacon described philosophy as the universal science, from which all other sciences grew like branches of a tree. Philosophers do not do experiments, they use priori - truths derived from a direct intuitive understanding of the truth. Many people misuse the word Philosophy. You will......

Words: 883 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Plato Research Paper

... Abstract Many Philosophers made a difference in society but Plato is perhaps recognized as the most famous. His writings have had a profound effect on people, politics, and the philosophy throughout the centuries. He was a public figure and he made major contributions to society. Plato helped to lay the philosophical foundations of modern culture through his ideas and writings. One of the most philosophical thinkers of Western civilization, Plato is the only author from ancient Greek times whose writings survive intact. His collection consists of thirty-five dialogues and thirteen letters, though the authorship of some is contested. Plato was born in Athens, into a prosperous aristocratic family. His Father’s name was Ariston and his Mother’s name was Perictione. His relative named Glaucon was one of the best-known members of the Athenian nobility. Plato's name was Aristocles, his nickname Plato originates from wrestling circles, Plato means broad, and it probably refers either to his physical appearance or his wrestling style. “Plato is, by any reckoning, one of the most dazzling writers in the Western literary tradition and one of the most penetrating, wide-ranging, and influential authors in the history of philosophy,” (Kraut, 2009). Plato was born during the Golden Age of Athens’s which saw the birth of classical architecture, drama, arts and politics. However, as he was growing up he......

Words: 1881 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

The Virtue: The Gadfly Of Socrates

...The “Gadfly of Athens Socrates is conceivably one of the most famous and popular philosophers throughout history and was the teacher of Greek philosopher Plato who later taught Aristotle. Socrates was born between the years of 470/469 BCE in Athens, Greece. Socrates was extremely aficionado of “the examined life” which is a person such as Socrates who continually attempts to achieve virtue or righteousness through reflective contemplation by questioning habits and devotion to truth. Socrates spent most of his life questioning and criticizing Athenian politics turning truth...

Words: 856 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Allegory of the Cave

...Aylin Vargas English 1301-416 Allegory of the Cave Annotation The son of a wealthy and noble family, Plato (427-347 B.C.) was preparing for a career in politics when the trial and eventual execution of Socrates (399 B.C.) changed the course of his life. He abandoned his political career and turned to philosophy, opening a school on the outskirts of Athens dedicated to the Socratic search for wisdom. Plato's school, then known as the Academy, was the first university in western history and operated from 387 B.C. until A.D. 529, when it was closed by Justinian. Unlike his mentor Socrates, Plato was both a writer and a teacher. His writings are in the form of dialogues, with Socrates as the principal speaker. In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato described symbolically the predicament in which mankind finds itself and proposes a way of salvation. The Allegory presents, in brief form, most of Plato's major philosophical assumptions: his belief that the world revealed by our senses is not the real world but only a poor copy of it, and that the real world can only be apprehended intellectually; his idea that knowledge cannot be transferred from teacher to student, but rather that education consists in directing student's minds toward what is real and important and allowing them to apprehend it for themselves; his faith that the universe ultimately is good; his conviction that enlightened individuals have an obligation to the rest of society, and that a good society must be one in...

Words: 3704 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Ancient Greek Research Paper

...Philosophy of Ancient Greece Philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge either reality, existence, it's also considered as an academic discipline.They are the ideas that have shaped our new world the modern world.Greek philosophy pave the way for western intellectual tradition including modern science,but it also shook cultural foundations in its own time( Graham, Jacob ) .It's still being use it has shaped the new world greek philosopher were “seekers and lovers of wisdom “ they studied and analyzed the world with logic and reasons.Many people are interested on how does the world work? Why do things that happen the way they do ? There is many wroten book from greek philosophers or found items.There are some philosophers...

Words: 924 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Ethics and Related Philosophies

...moral duty' ". Ethics, sometimes known as philosophical ethics, ethical theory, moral theory, and moral philosophy, is a branch ofphilosophy that involves systematizing, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct, often addressing disputes of moral diversity. The term comes from the Greek word ἠθικός ethikos from ἦθος ethos, which means "custom, habit". The superfield within philosophy known as axiology includes both ethics and aesthetics and is unified by each sub-branch's concern with value. Philosophical ethics investigates what is the best way for humans to live, and what kinds of actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances. Ethics may be divided into three major areas of study: * Meta-ethics, about the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions and how their truth values (if any) may be determined * Normative ethics, about the practical means of determining a moral course of action * Applied ethics draws upon ethical theory in order to ask what a person is obligated to do in some very specific situation, or within some particular domain of action (such as business) Related fields are moral psychology, descriptive ethics, and value theory. Ethics seeks to resolve questions dealing with human morality—concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime. II. PHILOSOPHIES A. SOCRATES Socratic method Perhaps his most important contribution to Western thought is......

Words: 4459 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay


...INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY GREEK PHILOSOPHERS SOCRATES Socrates, perhaps the most famous of all philosophers, lived his entire life in Athens. Unlike Thales and other early thinkers, Socrates was more concerned with the health of the soul, than the nature of reality. Socrates spent his days in the streets of Athens, questioning people about their values. He termed himself a "gadfly" (horsefly) who ceasely irritated his fellow citizens into investigating their beliefs. Making many powerful enemies in the course of his life, Socrates was sentenced to death by the Athenian Assembly in 399 BC. One of Socrates' wonders is that he invented rigorous, ethical investigation. His conversations with his fellow Athenians, as recorded by Plato, are the first records we have of an individual, by his own careful reasoning, trying to discover the guiding principles of moral choices. METAPHYSICS Because Socrates always claimed that his only wisdom was that he knew nothing, it is difficult to determine his metaphysics, his view of reality. However, in some accounts of his conversations, like Plato’s EUTHYPHRO, we may catch glimpse of his beliefs. Socrates seemed to hold that individual entities, like holy actions, have universal characteristics, like Holiness, which can be discovered by the mind after careful investigation. This may mean that he anticipate Plato’s metaphysics that thee is higher, eternal world of truths (like Holiness) which exists independently of this......

Words: 1632 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...but came from a similar line of royalty. Plato gained the nickname Platon as a young boy from his wrestling coach. The nickname means broad because of his broad body structure. He died at the age of eighty-one. On the evening of his death he had a Thracian girl play the flute to him. Plato died in his bed and, did not drink hemlock; which he was ordered to do by to the laws of the democracy. Hemlock was a poisonous plant in which a killing potion was made from. “He decided not to drink the potion to ensure he dead was just like Socrates’.” (Schall James, Summer 1996) So, Plato’s dead was categorized as by natural cause. Although, Plato died with someone by his bedside he never had a wife or even children. “He was almost certainly gay (as many Athenians were of his day), since he wrote about the idea that love between men is superior to love between a man and woman. “ (Sanderson Beck, 2006) Many men of this time and empire had wives and male lovers so it was not considered uncommon. Plato resided in the Greek civilization; which were made up of independent states called Polis. The states were broken up between the free people and slaves. In the Greek civilization aristocracy was very much so present. Aristocracy was a system set in place where a hereditary ruling class (in nobility) which was kept in the family of a certain ruler. The era that Plato was highly involved in was the Age of Synthesis. “Synthesis is a dynamic dance that...

Words: 1331 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Greek Philosophy

...Running head: GREEK PHILOSOPHY Greek Philosophy Cherese Howard HUM 100 November 03, 2009 Felix Figueroa Greek Philosophy Greek Philosophy is a great civilization that is very much still a part of our culture and everyday living of today. These great men discovered things that were too advance for their life time. Without them, society of today will not have geometry, logic or natural sciences. The term philosophy is Greek in origin meaning “love of wisdom.” (Owens, 2003) Pythagoras suggested that “wisdom is something divine and man cannot be truly wise but a lover of wisdom.” (Owen, 2003) Greek philosophy began around 1200 B.C.E. Historians believe that it was born on the south-west coast of Turkey, in a city-state called Milatos. This was near the end of the Minoan period which did not make it past the Bronze Age civilizations. The city was then refounded by Ionian Greeks in the eleventh century B.C.E. Historians also believed that a young man from Miletus was one of the founding fathers of Natural Greek Philosophy, which questions “nature and the natural causes of what occurs in the cosmos.” (Beginnings of Greek Philosophy, pg 240) Thales believed “that everything is the world is made up of matter which might take various forms like solid, liquid, or a gas.” (Beginnings of Greek Philosophy, pg 240) He knew that water could take on all three forms. Thales knew that he could take a piece of ice and apply heat to it and it will turn into......

Words: 1521 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Broken Family

...Socrates Philosopher Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, Wikipedia “Personal background” Born: 469 BC, Athens, Greece Died:399 BC, Athens, Greece Full name: Socrates Nationality: Greek Era: Ancient philosophy Region: Western philosophy School: Classical Greek Main interests: Epistemology, ethics Notable idea: SocraticMethod, Socratic irony Influenced: Most subsequent Western philosophy; more specifically, Plato, Aristotle, Aristippus, Antisthenes Spouse:Xanthippe Children:Menexenus, Lamprocles, Sophroniscus Aristotle Philosopher Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great “Personal background” Born: 384 BC Stagira, Chalcidice Died: 322 BC (aged 61 or 62) Euboea Nationality: Greek Era: Ancient philosophy Region: Western philosophy School: Peripatetic schoolAristotelianism Main interests: Physics, Metaphysics, Poetry, Theatre, Music, Rhetoric, Politics, Government, Ethics, Biology, and Zoology Notable ideas: Golden mean, Aristotelian logic, syllogism, hexis, homomorphism, Aristotle's theory of soul Plato Philosopher Plato was a philosopher in Classical Greece. He was also a mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the......

Words: 3769 - Pages: 16

Premium Essay

Socrates Paper

...PHI 150 3/11/14 Socrates Paper Socrates is believed to be one of the greatest philosophers of all time and he is credited as being the founder of western philosophy. This paper will explain some of his views to the most fundamental questions of today’s age. These questions will include topics about morality, the human condition, solution, and death. After Socrates’ views on these topics are explained, a critique will be done on his answers. I will start out by explaining exactly who Socrates is, and the time that he lived in. To start out, we will first examine Socrates’ view on morality. There are many questions that could be asked about the topic of morality. Questions like, what are the central moral principles, who is the ideal person, how do you determine right versus wrong. In Socrates’ eyes, I believe that the question of morality comes down to one main question, is it just or unjust? When Socrates was imprisoned facing his death, one of his close friends, Crito, came to him and presented him with an opportunity to escape and he replies to the proposal by saying, “Then in light of this admission we must consider whether or not it is just for me to try and get away without being released by the Athenians. If it turns out to be just, we must make an attempt; if not, we must drop it.” (Crito 48c). Crito then continues to give him reasons why they must escape including how Socrates is endangering the reputation of his friends, how he was put into jail unjustly...

Words: 1729 - Pages: 7

Free Essay


...Practical Philosophy November 2001 Plato’s theory of Love: Rationality as Passion Lydia Amir 'I … profess to understand nothing but matters of love.' Socrates in Plato’s Symposium. times, when due to their education and to political changes, women earned the right to love and to be loved as equals to men. When one dispels these misunderstandings related to the popular notion of Platonic love, one finds a great richness and depth in Plato’s theory of love. In explaining why love is so important to us and yet why it fails us so often, Plato’s view of love seems applicable to our time. It is common knowledge that a very high rate of divorce threatens our marriages. We expect a lot from the sexual passion we call love, but usually end up disappointed when the romance goes away. Yet we keep getting married, thinking that we are going to be the ones that will beat the system. If we fail, we change our partner and try again. We end up our love life as we began it, confused, afraid and as disappointed as we were hopeful. The malaise that characterises our love lives naturally finds its way to the philosophical consulting room. In this paper I shall attempt to show how Plato’s view of love can be helpful both in dispelling our confusion about love and in proposing some solutions to our suffering. A comprehensive account of Plato’s complex theory of love, an exhaustive presentation of the controversies involved in interpreting it or a thorough discussion of the problems it......

Words: 7450 - Pages: 30