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Socrates Critical Essays

Socrates: The death of a philosopher

❶Socrates is revered for his shifting of Greek philosophical thought from the contemplation of the nature of the universe, which occupied the philosophers before him, to the examination of human life and its problems. The philosopher suggests looking for the truth as the crucial and determinant element of justice because to make justice means to find the truth.

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Socrates, however, did no more than remind the jury that he had a family. Neither his wife Xanthippe nor any of his three sons made a personal appearance.

On the contrary, Socrates — according to Plato — contends that the unmanly and pathetic practice of pleading for clemency disgraces the justice system of Athens. Linder, Therefore, the Socratic method could not save him from the punishment that would be handed down.

Should Socrates have been put to death? This query resonates as an ideological companion to the current debate about capital punishment. It can be argued that his actions led to the deaths of innocent citizens of Athens.

However tragic, these deaths did not occur at his hands. His disciple Critias carried out the murders, so one could argue that Socrates persuaded him to do it. That argument is undercut by the notion that people are responsible for their own thoughts and actions.

Hannah Arendt notes that Critias apparently concluded, from the message of Socrates that piety cannot be defined, that it is permissible to be impious:. Socrates did not know how Critias would interpret his teachings, so he should not have been put to death for his influence.

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The philosopher was very skeptical about the vulnerability of political decisions and policies conducted by Athens. In fact, Socrates defends himself from accusations of the neglect and offense of religion and religious beliefs of Athenian citizens. At the same time, the standpoint of Socrates is philosophical in its essence.

His primary goal is to present his views accurately and to prove that he is not innocent and, thus, to debunk the accusation. In this regard, he attempts to persuade the audience in his righteousness emphasizing the importance of the truth as his only goal. However, the philosopher rejects religion as the truth. Instead, he argues that he does believe in gods but he doubts in his abilities.

From philosophic standpoint, his position is reasonable and fair since he may doubt in virtually anything and, in search of truth, he should doubt in everything.

However, from the political standpoint, such a position is unacceptable because Athenians were religious people and religion played an important part not only in the social but also political life of the Athenian society. Therefore, the position of challenging abilities of gods put under the question the essence of the ideology and religion dominating in the Athenian society.

Therefore, one of the greatest debates surrounding Socrates is that of the accuracy and validity of the Socratic sources, primarily the writings of Xenophon and Plato. Other critical issues include the interpretation of Socrates's ethical theses that virtue is knowledge, wrong-doing is involuntary, and that the care of the soul is the primary condition for living well; and of his controversial views regarding the treatment of enemies and retaliation.

Socrates was born in B. He was a student of a physicist, Archelaus, and was perhaps interested in the philosophy of Anaxagoras. He is believed to have lived on a small inheritance and on investments made through a wealthy friend.

Socrates served in the army, fought in the Peloponnesian War, and married a woman named Xanthippe, who bore two or three sons, sources say. When Socrates was 70 years old, he was accused of "irreligion," or impiety, and of corrupting the youth of Athens. While Socrates did not leave any writings, his followers Xenophon and Plato both wrote extensively about Socrates's beliefs and experiences.

Yet their respective accounts differ markedly. In addition to the records of Xenophon and Plato, Aristophanes ridiculed Socrates in one of his comedies, Clouds B. Some critics have relied on a combination of these sources as a means of accessing the historical Socrates, and others place more weight on either Xenophon's or Plato's version. Despite early preference for Xenophon, many twentieth-century scholars have argued that Plato's portrayal of Socrates presents the more accurate version, however flawed by idealism it may be.

Xenophon has been criticized by scholars such as E. Zeller for the simple and unphilosophic manner in which Socrates is depicted. Others, such as J.


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Wisdom of Socrates - Socrates was a man that was in search of the truth about wisdom. However, it became more than just a simple search, rather it tuned into a complex assignment where the answer of true wisdom leads Socrates to be brought up on charges of corrupting society.

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Socrates is revered for his shifting of Greek philosophical thought from the contemplation of the nature of the universe, which occupied the philosophers before him, to the examination of human.

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Socrates (philosophy) essays Socrates was a great philosopher who had an incredible impact on philosophers of his time and even philosophers today. He lived in Athens from B.C.E to B.C.E during the Periclean Age. He taught his philosophy of life on the streets to anyone who cared to liste. In this essay I will discuss the character of Socrates as he is presented in the Apology, I will look at Socrates as a religious fanatic and an apostle of reason.

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The question of why Socrates was executed and if he deserved the charges put against him has been asked by historians for centuries. Socrates has a unique position in the history of philosophy. On one hand he is the most influential on another he is the least known. In his later life he is seen to. Socrates Essay Words | 3 Pages. Socrates Socrates spent his time questioning people about things like virtue, justice, piety and truth. The people Socrates questioned are the people that condemned him to death. Socrates was sentenced to death because people did not like him and they wanted to shut him up for good.