The Trial and Death of Socrates (Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo)
'Consider just this, and give your minds to this alone: whether or not what I say is just'
Plato's account of Socrates' trial and death (399 BC) is a significant moment in Classical literature and the life of Classical Athens. In these four dialogues, Plato develops the Socratic belief in responsibility for one's self and shows Socrates living and dying under his philos...more
The edition I read covered three dialogues about Socrates (Apologia, Crito and Phaedo), who was tried for supposedly corrupting the youth of Athens as well as for encouraging worship of gods not recognized by the State. I've always heard that Socrates was a powerful orator and the way he defended himself in front of the court proves that. Even when he was sentenced t...more
This is obviously due to Plato's portrayal of the man, an homage so complete that Socrates becomes pure ideal and ceases to be human. He stands for intellectual honesty and curiosity, morality and justice, without any compromise.
This book is about as good an example of that as possible,...more
I'm not a scholar. I don't say that derisively. I have the highest admiration for scholars, their tireless and dogged pursuit, and any criticism I would level would be at their penchant to become rather narrow in their focus. But again, I'm not a scholar, I'm just a reader, and I have to say that as just a reader, I tend to surprise myself by the books I'll go ahead and read. To wit, this one. Why, at the age of forty-four, with no real re...more
But I couldn't help but notice how much Sherlock Holmes was based on Socrates. The more I read, the more I concluded that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was at least somewhat inspired by the great, but annoying philosopher who sarcastically proved that everyone around him was an idiot and his best friend who recorded all the stories. Further evidence, Doyle paraphrases Plato.
After Socrates' forced suicide: "Such was the end of...more
How can one possibly quanitfy and encapsulate that into three, four, or five star...more
Alas, the other dialogues aren't nearly as engaging,...more
Apology: Here we get an impassioned plea for intellectual freedom plus the promotion of ethical and civil disobedience. Great stuff.
Crito: A little too much law and authority worship.
Phaedo: This is the ultimate existential dialogue. Plato's Socrates makes death seem even more enticing than do the monotheists (who seem to have taken a good deal from Plato). I find it easy to like a work that relates such optimism about immortality.
This work, although in a different version, was required reading for my first humanities course in college in 1957. Yes, there were colleges back then, and Plato was not one of my classmates. At the time, I’m not sure that I fully understood what I was reading, but made sure that I understood enough to pass any quiz – announced or unannounced. On re-reading it, I came to the realization that Socrates was not a philosopher. He was...more
This book uses a very original style of writing to give readers an inside look into the life and wisdom of Socrates in his last days.
Socrates liked to examine people. But he wasn't concerned about their appearance. He liked to examine people who thought themselves wise/clever and see if they really are.
His tool? A method of argument called the elenchus. Unlik...more
This book is a collection of four dialogues about the last days of the philosopher, Socrates. Through them readers get to know Socrates, his friends and the people who condemned him. The philosophical arguments presented are both straightforward and complex. They address issues of death, the immortality of the soul and the purpose...more
In my reading I found that S...more
Euthyphro and Crito are the lesser of the four dialogues...more
13 October 2012
While I have written commentaries on collections before I have since tried to steer away from doing that to instead write about the individual pieces contained therein. Okay, in one way it does help to bump up the number of books on my shelf, but then again that is somewhat irrelevant (It's not as if I win a prize if I have the most books on my shelf, or the most reviews). Generally I find it better to comment on the individual pieces be...more
One thing I found to be humorous and profound was that after Socrates gave his dissertation on deat...more
La Apología de Sócrates narra el juicio de muerte que se le imputa al mencionado personaje por "penetrar en los misterios del cielo y de la tierra", y enseñarlos públicamente. Sócrates es acusado de corrupción de menores y de creer en los demonios, siendo condenando a muerte. Pero para él, morir así era la suprema sanción a su doctrina y el último acto necesario de su destino. Sócrates pensaba una de dos cosas: o la muerte es un ano...more
One facet I particularly enjoyed was the manner in which Socrates vehemently antagonizes his accusers. With little effort, he could have...more
Further- people who read about Socrates' death will be either of these two types: (a) those who believe Socrates accepted the death penalty to ease the pain of his old age; a "quick and painless death" so to speak... or (b) those who believe he saw a life of exile to be insignificant and cowardly; and agreeing to the false charge...more
"Euthyphro": The theme of this dialogue is what exactly piety is. The main assumption that one holds is Socrates agrees with polytheism but for those who've the read "The Republic," he doesn't exactly agree with its characteristics. Those characteristics being that the gods quarrel with...more
Plato is one of the most important Western philosophers,...more