A Conversation for Socrates


Post 1

Mr. Legion

You neglected to mention Socrates' appearance; he was thought to be the ugliest man in Athens. On one occasion he argued with a Handsome Dan, claiming that he was the more aesthetically pleasing of the two, because his big ears could hear more and his bulging eyes could see more.
Also, you didn't mention the manner of his death, by drinking hemlock. There are a lot of anectodotes that could have livened up the entry. On the subject of his philosophies it's airtight, but it could have done with some more about Socrates the man.

the voice of plato in disguise

Post 2


I disagree that the article is airtight on the subject of the philosophy of Socrates. The article is a well-rounded account of the basics of Socrates' life, however, the Platonic Dialogues are not necessarily a reliable source from which to quote the undiluted views of Socrates himself.

Many modern philosophers believe that, although the dialogues purport to convey the ideas of socrates, it is more likely that the character of Socrates was used by Plato to express his own philosophical convictions.

This thought is supported by the fact that Socrates is reported by several different sources as claiming to know nothing (as mentioned in the article). A person who truly believes he knows nothing cannot proceed to endorse theories such as the Philosopher King, as the reasoning behind this idea is that philosophers are the only people that can acquire true knowledge. If a man were to support each of these concepts, it would create an inconsistency in his beliefs -one of the things that Socrates is said to have hated.

It is unclear just how far Plato can be trusted as an historical reporter, and thus these philosophical notions would be better attributed to Plato.

the voice of plato in disguise

Post 3


Socrates, in Plato's dialougues, discuses life, death, ethics, knowledge etc. and comes to realise that his interloculars, who claim to have "true knowledge", when examined by Socrates in fact know little. Socrates "knows" thy self and so knows his own ignorance and the blind ingnorance of others. So, those who claim to have true knowledge (outwith mathematics) are blind to their own ignorance.

"The wisest man (socrates) is he that knows he knows nothing (his own ignorance)", and not that he knows nothing at all. True knowledge is what he defines as justified true belief or that one must know why they believe to know something (justified).

Socrates claims, in the Republic, that an ideal state will be governed by intelligent, virtous men who use reason and have a love for "truth". Theses men aptly named "philosopher kings".

"Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are now called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophise, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide,...cities will have no rest from evils." - Republic

Therefore Socrates could "support" both ideas and so is not contradictory.

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