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Socrates Critical Essays

Introduction

❶Like his contemporaries, he discovered that the "truth that lies within" led to a universal understanding of the need for "compassion" to set a person free.

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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. Forbes, have suggested that Xenophon's presentation of Socrates as a moral censor and teacher of practical values, rather than as a philosophic revolutionary, may have been driven by Xenophon's intention of minimizing the "revolutionary aspects of the thought of Socrates.

Rogers has argued that preference for Xenophon stems from the distrust of Plato, who may have created his version of Socrates as a mouthpiece for his own philosophy. Yet Rogers has gone on to caution that Xenophon is an apologist and should not be trusted more than Plato. Dubs has supported the case for Plato and has suggested that Xenophon may have gotten some of his information about Socrates from Plato. Dubs has also argued that while Plato may have "put words in So-crates's mouth" it is precisely because of the fact that Plato was an accomplished artist that we should trust his portrayal of Socrates: Plato, Dubs stressed, would have only made Socrates utter what would have been "thoroughly appropriate" for Socrates to say.

Bury has also stressed the value of Plato's version over that of Xenophon, stating that the Socrates who emerges from Plato's Dialogues is "a figure probably resembling the real Socrates. Hackforth, have maintained that criticism of Xeno-phon is too harsh, and that while Xenophon may have not been sufficiently interested in philosophy to do justice to the portrayal of Socrates, Plato was too much involved in his subject matter to be objective.

Critics such as Luis Navia have suggested ways in which these apparently contradictory accounts may be reconciled. Socrates stressed the importance of happiness, self achievement and fulfilling goals without hurting yourself or others. A person, who cannot find inner happiness or gain value, is living a life that is not worth living. In such a way, the life became purposeful and fruitful. Otherwise, the life would be pointless and useless. 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. Furthermore, Socrates questioned abilities of gods but such position was too daring for political leaders and political elite of Athens because if one dares to doubt in abilities of gods, who were always viewed in Athens as superior deities, then one would doubt in abilities of governors and the ruling elite at large.

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Free Socrates papers, essays, and research papers. Socrates' Analogy of the Cave - At the beginning of Book Seven, in an attempt to better describe the education of the philosopher Socrates begins to set up an analogy with an ascent and descent into “the cave”.

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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.

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Socrates was born in B.C. in Athens to a stonemason (some sources state that Socrates's father was a sculptor) named Sophroniscus and his spouse, a mid-wife. He was a student of a physicist, Archelaus, and was perhaps interested in the philosophy of Anaxagoras. Dec 14,  · Socrates Essay Words | 8 Pages Socrates Worldview Intro Socrates was a raggedy old man that spent his time searching and looking for all of the answers to the world.

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Socrates Essays - SOCRATES Socrates was a Greek philosopher who lived between B.C. He turned Greek attention toward questions of ethics and virtue and away from those of the heavenly bodies. Socrates spent much time in the Agora (marketplace) where he held conversations with townspeople. Socrates’ apology is the critique of the political life of the Athenian state. 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 .