I'm studying philosophy and I'd love to hear different opinions on this book... What do you think? Anything specific that made you think? Any defenses?

http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/apology.html

Tags: apology, plato, socrates

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Thank you for that link :-), that's a keeper.

It's important to preface what this text is for those who don't know.  Socrates, the teacher of Plato, was being accused and tried for being a Sophist.  A Sophist is a person who teaches argumentation to those who'd pay them. And the Athenians knew that it's not who's right that wins an argument, but who is the better arguer. -So he was accused of corrupting the youth.  He could have escaped death -but instead held his ground and died for it.

I've tried to bulldoze through 2 tomes of the history of philosophy, and found it sooo difficult. I just wasn't ready.  Then I listened to a good audio book on the subject, The Dream of Reason which did an excellent job of explaining the various positions. Now Plato's Apology is easier to read.

Most of what we know of Socrates is through his student Plato's writings.  Socrates could have escaped death if he had only bent in front of the court.  But Socrates wasn't concerned about death -he was only concerned by acting rightly.  He was only concerned with improving, and not damaging, his soul -by way of harnessing the virtues in ourselves.  I found these following excerpts that I liked.

"...by the dog I swear!"

"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"

"... I cared not a straw for death, and that my only fear was the fear of doing an unrighteous or unholy thing."

"For I am in want, and he has enough; and he only gives you the appearance of happiness, and I give you the reality."

THE GRAND DADDY: " the life which is unexamined is not worth living"

"The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death."

"...the easiest and noblest way is not to be crushing others, but to be improving yourselves."

Sorry about the long response -but thanks for the link

 

Sophists role in the evolutionary history of the mankind was that they pulled ethics from heavens down to earth. Before them it was considered God's duty to define what Ethics were? They were perhaps first to question what the things were on human behalf. Thus paving the way for further reasoning. I take them as real forefathers of modren human knowledge. 

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