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Was Plato teenwoordig by die verhoor van Sokrates?


Volgens Plato se weergawe van Sokrates se verskoning was hy by die verhoor. Ek kon egter geen ander historiese bron vind wat sê dat hy tydens die verhoor was of nie.

Is daar sulke bronne? Is daar vandag 'n ooreenkoms tussen navorsers of hy daar was of nie?


U het korrek dat daar geen bronne bestaan ​​wat Plato se bewering dat hy by die verhoor van Sokrates teenwoordig was, bevestig nie. Ons het egter ook niks wat dit weerspreek nie.

Soos ander reeds in die kommentaar genoem het, is Plato en Xenophon ons twee belangrikste inligtingsbronne vir die latere lewe van Sokrates. Albei was dissipels van Sokrates, hoewel nie een die ander noem nie.

Ander belangrike bronne vir besonderhede oor die lewe van Sokrates is Aristofanes en Aristoteles (hoewel Aristoteles nie 'n tydgenoot van Sokrates was nie). Boonop het ons 'n paar oorblywende fragmentariese werke van Aeschines, Antisthenes, Euklides van Megara, Phaedo van Elis en Timon van Phlius. Ongelukkig sê nie een hiervan eksplisiet of Plato tydens die verhoor teenwoordig was of nie.

Dit is natuurlik moontlik dat daar nog meer hedendaagse bronne was wat nie oorleef nie, maar in die afwesigheid van bewyse van die teendeel, dink ek dat die meeste navorsers aanvaar dat Plato by die verhoor was. Dit is 'n besondere aspek van die breër 'Sokratiese probleem', en soos baie aspekte van die historiese Sokrates -stawende bewyse, is dit moeilik om te vind.


Die Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy bevat 'n uitstekende artikel deur Debra Nails oor Sokrates, wat 'n ondersoek bevat van die belangrikste bronne vir Sokrates se lewe en ook van sy verhoor en teregstelling.


Was Plato teenwoordig by die verhoor van Sokrates? - Geskiedenis

Die verhoor en teregstelling van Sokrates in Athene in 399 v.G.J. raaisels historici. Waarom sou 'n sewentigjarige filosoof doodgemaak word vir wat hy geleer het in 'n samelewing wat meer vryheid en demokrasie geniet as wat die wêreld ooit gesien het? Die raaisel is des te groter omdat Sokrates sy hele volwasse lewe geleer het-sonder molestering-. Wat kon Sokrates gesê of gedoen het as wat 'n jurie van 500 Atheners daartoe gelei het om hom net 'n paar jaar na sy dood te stuur voordat hy van nature sou sterf?

Om 'n antwoord te vind op die raaisel van die verhoor van Sokrates word bemoeilik deur die feit dat die twee oorlewende verhale oor die verdediging (of verskoning) van Sokrates albei afkomstig is van sy dissipels, Plato en Xenophon. Geskiedkundiges vermoed dat Plato en Xenophon, wat daarop gemik was om hul meester in 'n gunstige lig te wys, nie in hul verslae die mees verdoemende getuienis teen Sokrates gelewer het nie.

Wat byna seker blyk, is dat die besluite om Sokrates te vervolg en uiteindelik skuldig te bevind, baie te doen gehad het met die onstuimige geskiedenis van Athene in die paar jaar voor sy verhoor. 'N Ondersoek na die geskiedenis bied moontlik nie finale antwoorde nie, maar dit gee wel belangrike leidrade.

Sokrates, die seun van 'n beeldhouer (of klipkapper) en 'n vroedvrou, was 'n jong seun toe die opkoms van die mag van Perikles die aanbreek van die "Goue Eeu van Griekeland" veroorsaak het. As 'n jong man het Sokrates 'n fundamentele magsverskuiwing beleef, aangesien Pericles-miskien die geskiedenis se eerste liberale politikus-opgetree het uit sy oortuiging dat die massas, en nie net eiendomsbesitende aristokrate nie, vryheid verdien. Pericles het die volkshowe geskep en die staatskas gebruik om die kunste te bevorder. Hy het voortgegaan met 'n ongekende bouprogram wat nie net bedoel was om die glorie van Griekeland te demonstreer nie, maar ook om volle werk te verseker en geleenthede te bied vir welvaartskepping onder die ongeskikte klas. Die herbou van die Akropolis en die bou van die Parthenon was die twee bekendste van Pericles se vele ambisieuse bouprojekte.

Toe hy tot volwassenheid groei in hierdie bastion van liberalisme en demokrasie, het Sokrates op een of ander manier 'n stel waardes en oortuigings ontwikkel wat hom in stryd sou bring met die meeste van sy mede -Atheners. Sokrates was nie 'n demokraat of egalitêr nie. Vir hom moet die mense nie selfregerend wees nie; hulle was soos 'n trop skape wat die leiding van 'n wyse herder nodig gehad het. Hy ontken dat burgers die basiese deug het wat nodig is om 'n goeie samelewing te koester, maar stel deugde gelyk met kennis wat deur gewone mense nie bereik kan word nie. Opvallend in die hart van die Atheense demokrasie, kritiseer hy minagtend die reg van elke burger om in die Atheense vergadering te spreek.

Hy skryf in die derde eeu G.J. in sy Die lewens van vooraanstaande filosowe, Het Diogenes Laertius berig dat Sokrates "morele vrae bespreek het in die werkswinkels en op die mark." Dikwels het sy ongewilde opvattings, wat minagtend en met 'n lug van neerbuigendheid uitgespreek is, sy luisteraars tot woede ontlok. Laertius het geskryf dat "mans hom met die vuiste op hom steek of sy hare skeur", maar dat Sokrates "al hierdie swak gebruik geduldig gedra het".

Ons kry een kontemporêre siening van Sokrates van die dramaturg Aristophanes. In sy toneelstuk WolkeAristophanes, wat vir die eerste keer in 423 v.G.J. geproduseer is, stel Sokrates voor as 'n eksentrieke en komiese skoolhoof van 'n "denkery" (of "gedagtegang"). Hy word uitgebeeld as 'kaalvoet in die strate' van Athene, 'met sy oë gerol' na opmerkings wat hy onintelligent gevind het, en 'opkyk' na die wolke. Sokrates ten tyde van Wolke moes meer as 'n onskadelike stadskarakter beskou word as 'n ernstige bedreiging vir die Atheense waardes en demokrasie. Sokrates self het klaarblyklik geen aanstoot geneem vir sy voorstelling nie Wolke. Plutarchus, in sy Moralia, het Sokrates aangehaal: "As hulle 'n grap op my maak in die teater, voel ek asof ek by 'n groot partytjie goeie vriende was." Plato, in syne Simposium, beskryf Sokrates en Aristofanes wat 'n vriendelike gesprek voer.

Ander toneelstukke van die tyd bied ekstra leidrade oor die reputasie van Sokrates in Athene. Die komiese digter Eupolis laat een van sy karakters sê: "Ja, en ek verpes die armoedige windbag Sokrates, wat alles in die wêreld bedink, maar nie weet waar sy volgende maaltyd vandaan kom nie." Voëls, 'n toneelstuk van Aristofanes wat ses jaar na sy Clouds geskryf is, bevat 'n onthullende verwysing. Aristofanes bestempel 'n bende pro-Sparta aristokratiese jeugdiges as 'gesocratifiseerd'. Sparta-die model van 'n geslote samelewing-en Athene was vyande: die opmerking dui daarop dat Sokrates se leer teen 417 v.G.J.

Die stand van Sokrates onder sy medeburgers het geweldig gely gedurende twee periodes waarin die Atheense demokrasie tydelik omvergewerp is, een periode van vier maande in 411-410 en nog 'n effens langer tydperk in 404-403. Die belangrikste bewegers in albei die anti-demokratiese bewegings was oud-leerlinge van Sokrates, Alcibiades en Critias. Atheners beskou ongetwyfeld die leerstellings van Sokrates-veral sy uitdrukkings van minagting vir die gevestigde grondwet-as gedeeltelik verantwoordelik vir die gevolglike dood en lyding. Alcibiades, miskien Sokrates se gunsteling Atheense politikus, was die hoof van die eerste omverwerping. (Alcibiades het ander stakings teen hom gehad: vier jaar tevore het Alcibiades na Sparta gevlug om verhoor te word weens die verminking van godsdienstige pilare-standbeelde van Hermes-en terwyl hy in Sparta was, het hy aan die leiers van die staat voorgestel dat hy hulle kon help om Athene te verslaan. .) Critias, eers onder 'n oligargie bekend as die 'Dertig Tiranne', het die tweede bloedige opstand teen die herstelde Atheense demokrasie in 404 gelei. Sokrates) in ballingskap, waar hulle 'n versetbeweging georganiseer het.

Kritiek was sonder twyfel die skrikwekkender van die twee oud -leerlinge van Sokrates. I.F. Stone, in syne Die verhoor van Sokrates, beskryf Critias ('n neef van Plato) as 'die eerste Robespierre', 'n wrede en onmenslike man 'wat vasbeslote was om die stad na sy eie antidemokratiese vorm te herstel, ongeag die menslike koste.' Die oligargie het beslag gelê op die boedels van Atheense aristokrate, 5000 vroue, kinders en slawe verban en ongeveer 1500 van die mees prominente demokrate van Athene tereggestel.

Een voorval waarby Sokrates en die dertig tiranne betrokke was, sou later tydens sy verhoor 'n probleem word. Alhoewel die Dertig gewoonlik hul eie bende boewe vir sulke pligte gebruik het, het die oligargie Sokrates gevra om Leon van Salamis in hegtenis te neem sodat hy tereggestel kan word en sy bates toegewys kan word. Sokrates het geweier om dit te doen. Sokrates wys op sy weerstand teen die orde as bewys van sy goeie gedrag. Aan die ander kant protesteer Sokrates nie teen die besluit nie en neem ook nie stappe om Leon van Salamis te waarsku oor die bevel vir sy arrestasie nie-hy is net huis toe. Terwyl goeie burgers van Athene regs en links gelikwideer is, het Sokrates-sover ons weet-niks gedoen of gesê om die geweld te stuit nie.

Die gruwels deur die dertig tiranne het veroorsaak dat Atheners in 'n nuwe lig na Sokrates kyk. Sy leerstellings was nie meer so onskadelik nie. Hy was nie meer 'n lieflike eksentrieke stad nie. Sokrates-en sy ysige logika-word beskou as 'n gevaarlike en korrupte invloed, 'n teler van tiranne en 'n vyand van die gewone mens.

'N Algemene amnestie wat in 403 uitgereik is, het beteken dat Sokrates nie vervolg kan word vir enige van sy optrede tydens of voor die bewind van die dertig tiranne nie. Hy kan slegs aangekla word vir sy optrede gedurende die vier jaar wat sy verhoor in 399 v.G.J. voorafgegaan het. Dit blyk dat Sokrates, wat nie afgeskrik is deur die antidemokratiese opstande en die nagevolge daarvan nie, sy leerstellings hervat en weer 'n soortgelyke groep jeugdige volgelinge begin lok het. Die laaste strooi was moontlik nog 'n antidemokratiese opstand-hierdie onsuksesvolle-in 401. Athene het uiteindelik genoeg gehad van 'gesocratifiseerde' jeug.

In Athene kan strafregtelike verrigtinge deur enige burger begin word. In die geval van Sokrates het die verrigtinge begin toe Meletus, 'n digter, 'n mondelinge dagvaarding aan Sokrates gelewer het in die teenwoordigheid van getuies. Die dagvaarding word vereis Sokrates het voor die regslanddros, of koning Archon, verskyn in 'n kolonnegebou in die middel van Athene, het die Royal Stoa gebel om aanklagte van goddeloosheid en korrupsie van die jeug te beantwoord. Die Archon het bepaal-nadat hy na Sokrates en Meletus (en miskien die ander twee beskuldigdes, Anytus en Lycon) geluister het-dat die reg toegelaat is volgens die Atheense wetgewing, 'n datum vir die "voorverhoor" (anakrisis) bepaal en 'n openbare kennisgewing by die Royal Stoa.

Die voorverhoor voor die landdros in die Royal Stoa het begin met die voorlesing van die geskrewe aanklag deur Meletus. Sokrates het die aanklag beantwoord. Die landdros het Meletus en Sokrates ondervra, en het toe die beskuldigde en verweerder die geleentheid gebied om mekaar te ondervra. Nadat hy meriete gevind het in die beskuldiging teen Sokrates, het die landdros formele aanklagte opgestel. Die dokument met die aanklagte teen Sokrates het bestaan ​​tot ten minste die tweede eeu G.J. Diogenes Laertius berig die aanklagte soos aangeteken in die nou verlore dokument:

Die verhoor het die oggend begin met die voorlesing van die formele aanklagte teen Sokrates deur 'n herald. Die aanklaer het eers sy saak voorgelê. Die drie beskuldigers, Meletus, Anytus en Lycon, het 'n totaal van drie uur, gemeet aan 'n waterklok, gehad om hul argument vir skuld vanuit 'n verhoogde stadium aan te bied. Geen rekord van die argument van die vervolging teen Sokrates bestaan ​​nie.

Daar word algemeen geglo dat die bekendste en invloedrykste van die drie beskuldigdes, Anytus, die dryfveer agter die vervolging van Sokrates was. Plato's Ek nee bied 'n moontlike leidraad oor die vyandigheid tussen Anytus, 'n politikus wat uit 'n familie leerlooiers kom, en Sokrates. In die Ek nee, Berig Plato dat Sokrates se argument dat die groot staatsmanne uit die Atheense geskiedenis niks te bied het in terme van 'n begrip van deug nie, Anytus kwaad maak. Plato haal Anytus aan as 'n waarskuwing aan Sokrates: "Sokrates, ek dink dat jy te bereid is om kwaad te spreek oor mense: en as jy my advies wil volg, sal ek jou aanbeveel om versigtig te wees." Anytus het 'n ekstra persoonlike greep gehad oor die verhouding wat Sokrates met sy seun gehad het. Plato haal Sokrates aan: "Ek het 'n kort omgang gehad met die seun van Anytus, en ek het gevind dat hy nie 'n gebrek aan gees het nie." Dit is nie bekend of die verhouding seks insluit nie, maar Sokrates was-soos baie van die tyd in Athene-biseksueel en het by sommige van sy jonger studente geslaap. Anytus het byna beslis die verhouding van sy seun met Sokrates afgekeur. Die raad wat Socrates aan sy seun gegee het, moes tot die ontevredenheid van Anytus bydra. Volgens Xenophon het Sokrates die seun van Anytus aangemoedig om nie 'voort te gaan met die diensbare beroep' wat sy pa vir hom voorsien het nie '. Sonder 'n 'waardige adviseur', het Sokrates voorspel, sou hy 'in 'n skandelike neiging val en sal hy beslis ver gaan in die loopbaan van ondeugde'.

Dit is 'n geskil tussen historici of die beskuldigers meer aandag gevestig het op die beweerde godsdiensmisdade, of die beweerde politieke misdade, van Sokrates. I. F. Stone heg veel meer betekenis aan die politieke misdade, terwyl ander historici soos James A. Colaiaco, skrywer van Sokrates teen Athene, gee meer gewig aan die aanklag van goddeloosheid.

I. F. Stone voer aan dat "Atheners daaraan gewoond was om te hoor hoe die gode in die komiese en tragiese teater oneerbiedig behandel word." Hy wys daarop dat Aristofanes, in sy Wolke, het 'n karakter gehad wat bespiegel dat reën Zeus deur 'n sif urineer en dit as 'n kamerpot beskou-en dat niemand ooit die moeite gedoen het om Aristofanes vir onreg te beskuldig nie. Stone kom tot die gevolgtrekking: "In dieselfde stad en in dieselfde eeu kan Zeus aanbid word as 'n promiskue ou hark, wat deur Juno gepik en deur hom gepik is of as die geregtigheid vergoddelik was. Dit was die politieke, nie die filosofiese of teologiese, sienings van Sokrates wat uiteindelik gekry het hom in die moeilikheid. ”

Belangrike ondersteuning vir Stone se gevolgtrekking kom uit die vroegste verwysing na die verhoor van Sokrates doen vandaan kom nie een van sy dissipels. In 345 v.G.J. het die beroemde redenaar Aechines aan 'n jurie gesê: "Manne van Athene, julle het Sokrates, die sofist, tereggestel omdat hy duidelik verantwoordelik was vir die opvoeding van Critias, een van die dertig anti-demokratiese leiers."

James Colaiaco se gevolgtrekking dat goddeloosheid meer aanklagerlike aandag geniet as wat politieke sondes berus by Plato Verskoning. Colaiaco beskou Plato se beroemde weergawe van die verdediging van Sokrates as-alhoewel ver van 'n woordelikse transkripsie van die woorde van Sokrates-redelik verteenwoordigend van die belangrikste punte van sy verweer. Hy merk op dat Plato die Verskoning binne 'n paar jaar na die verhoor en moes verwag het dat baie van sy lesers eerstehands kennis van die verhoor sou hê. Waarom, sou Colaiaco vra, sou Plato die argumente van Sokrates verkeerd voorgestel het of die belangrikste elemente van die saak van die vervolging weggesteek het as sy optrede so maklik blootgelê kon word? Sedert die Verskoning dit lyk asof die aanklag van goddeloosheid baie gewig het-en die verhouding van Sokrates met die dertig tiranne relatief min-Colaiaco aanvaar dat dit 'n eerlike weerspieëling van die verhoor moes gewees het. Terselfdertyd erken Colaiaco dat die vervolging vanweë die assosiasie van Sokrates met Critias 'van 'n Atheense jurie kan verwag om vyandige gevoelens teenoor die stad se vlinder te koester.'

Vroomheid het vir Atheners 'n breë betekenis gehad. Dit bevat nie net respek vir die gode nie, maar ook vir die dooies en voorouers. Die goddelose individu word gesien as 'n besoedeling wat, as dit nie beheer of gestraf word nie, die toorn van die gode-Athena, Zeus of Apollo-in die vorm van plaag of steriliteit oor die stad kan bring. Die ritualistiese godsdiens van Athene het geen skrif, kerk of priesterskap ingesluit nie. Dit het eerder, behalwe geloof in die gode, vereis dat rituele, gebede en offers gebring word.

'N Aantal woorde en dade van Sokrates het moontlik bygedra tot sy beskuldiging. Hy was besig met sy morele onderrig en het waarskynlik nie daarin geslaag om belangrike godsdienstige feeste by te woon nie. Hy het moontlik nog meer wrok opgewek deur argumente aan te bied teen die kollektiewe, ritualistiese godsdiensbeskouing wat die meeste Atheners deel of deur te beweer dat gode nie, soos die Atheners geglo het, immoreel of grillerig kon optree nie. Xenophon dui aan dat die beskuldiging van goddeloosheid hoofsaaklik voortspruit uit die bewering van Sokrates dat hy goddelike kommunikasie ontvang het ('n 'stem' of 'n 'teken') wat hom opdrag gegee het om politiek te vermy en te konsentreer op sy filosofiese missie. 'N Vae beskuldiging soos goddeloosheid het jurielede genooi om hul vele en uiteenlopende griewe teen Sokrates te projekteer.

Tientalle verslae van die drie uur lange toespraak (apologia) deur Sokrates ter verdediging bestaan ​​op 'n keer. Slegs Plato en Xenophon se verslae oorleef. Die twee verslae stem ooreen oor 'n belangrike punt. Sokrates het 'n uitdagende besluit gegee-beslis unapologeties-toespraak. Dit lyk asof hy veroordeling en die dood uitnooi.

Plato se verskoning beskryf Sokrates wat sy aanklaer, Meletus, bevraagteken oor die kwytskelding. Meletus beskuldig Sokrates daarvan dat hy glo dat die son en die maan nie gode is nie, maar bloot klipmassas. Sokrates reageer nie deur die beskuldiging van ateïsme spesifiek te ontken nie, maar deur Meletus aan te val vir inkonsekwentheid: die aanklag teen hom beskuldig hom daarvan dat hy in ander gode glo, nie in die geloof in geen gode nie. As Plato se verslag korrek was, kon Sokrates deur jurielede gesien gewees het deur 'n rookskerm eerder as 'n weerlegging van die aanklag van goddeloosheid.

Plato's Sokrates sê uitdagend vir sy jurie dat hy 'n held is. Hy herinner hulle aan sy voorbeeldige diens as hopliet in drie gevegte. Belangriker nog, meen hy, het hy al dekades lank gesukkel om die siele van Atheners te red-deur hulle in die rigting van 'n ondersoekde, etiese lewe te wys. Na verneem word, sê hy vir sy regters as sy leer oor die aard van deug "die jeug bederf, is ek 'n ondeunde persoon." Hy sê aan die jurie dat hy volgens Plato eerder doodgemaak sou word as om sy sielredding prys te gee: 'Manne van Athene, ek eer en het julle lief, maar ek sal God eerder gehoorsaam as julle, en terwyl ek lewe en krag het Ek sal nooit ophou met die praktyk en onderrig van filosofie nie. " As Plato se weergawe korrek is, het die jurie geweet dat die enigste manier om Sokrates te keer om oor die morele swakhede van Atheners te praat, hom doodmaak.

As I. F. Stone reg het, was die mees skadelike beskuldiging teen Sokrates sy verbintenis met Critias, die wrede leier van die dertig tiranne. Sokrates, in Plato se verslag, wys op sy weiering om te voldoen aan die bevel van die tiranne wat hy Leon van Salamis moet bring vir summiere uitvoering. Hy voer aan dat hierdie daad van ongehoorsaamheid-wat moontlik tot sy eie teregstelling kon lei, as die tiranne nie van die mag sou val nie-sy diens as 'n goeie burger van Athene demonstreer. Stone merk egter op dat 'n goeie burger meer sou gedoen het as om net huis toe te gaan slaap-hy het Leon moontlik van Salamis gewaarsku. Volgens Stone se kritiese siening was die sentrale feit dat Sokrates in die donkerste uur van die stad "nooit 'n traan gestort het nie". Wat die beskuldiging betref dat sy morele opdrag intellektuele dekking bied vir die anti-demokratiese opstand van Critias en sy kohorte, ontken Sokrates die verantwoordelikheid. Hy voer aan dat hy nooit 'n onderwyser was nie, net 'n figuur wat in Athene rondgedwaal het en die vrae beantwoord wat aan hom gestel is. Hy wys na sy leerlinge in die skare en sien dat nie een van hulle hom beskuldig het nie. Boonop stel Sokrates aan die jurie voor: as Critias werklik sy woorde begryp, sou hy nooit op die bloedige toeval gegaan het wat hy in 404-403 gedoen het nie. Hannah Arendt merk op dat Critias blykbaar, uit die boodskap van Sokrates, afgelei het dat vroomheid nie gedefinieer kan word nie, dat dit toelaatbaar is om goddeloos te wees-"amper die teenoorgestelde van wat Sokrates gehoop het om deur vroomheid te praat."

Wat opvallend afwesig is by die verdediging van Sokrates, as Plato en Xenophon se verslae geglo moet word, is die pleidooi om genade wat die Atheense jurie gewoonlik doen. Dit was 'n algemene gebruik om 'n beroep te doen op die simpatie van jurielede deur vroue en kinders bekend te stel. Sokrates het egter nie net die jurie daaraan herinner dat hy 'n gesin het nie. Nie sy vrou Xanthippe of een van sy drie seuns het persoonlik verskyn nie. Inteendeel, Sokrates-volgens Plato-beweer dat die onmanlike en patetiese praktyk van pleit vir genade die regstelsel van Athene in die skande bring.

Toe die verdediging van Sokrates van drie uur tot 'n einde gekom het, het die hofbouer die jurielede gevra om hul beslissing te maak deur hul stembriewe in een van twee merkbare ure te sit, een vir skuldige stemme en een vir stemme vir vryspraak. Aangesien geen regter hulle instruksies sou gee oor hoe om die aanklagte of die wet te interpreteer nie, het elke jurylid gesukkel om die saak en die skuld of onskuld van Sokrates te verstaan. Toe die stembriewe getel is, het 280 jurielede gestem om Sokrates skuldig te bevind, 220 jurylede vir vryspraak.

Straffase van verhoor

Na die skuldigbevinding van Sokrates deur 'n relatief noue stemming, het die verhoor sy straffase binnegegaan. Elke kant, die beskuldigers en die verweerder, het die geleentheid gekry om 'n straf voor te stel. Nadat hulle na argumente geluister het, sou die jurielede kies watter van die twee voorgestelde strawwe hulle sou aanneem.

Die beskuldigers van Sokrates het die doodstraf voorgestel. By die voorstel van die dood sou die beskuldigers heel moontlik verwag het om 'n voorstel vir ballingskap teen te werk-'n straf wat hulle sowel as die jurie waarskynlik sou bevredig het. In plaas daarvan stel Sokrates vir die jurie ywerig voor dat hy beloon word, nie gestraf word nie. Volgens Plato vra Sokrates die jurie vir gratis etes in die Prytaneum, 'n openbare eetsaal in die middel van Athene. Sokrates moes geweet het dat sy voorgestelde 'straf' die jurie woedend sou maak. I. F. Stone het opgemerk dat "Sokrates meer optree soos 'n picador wat 'n bul probeer woedend maak as 'n verweerder wat 'n jurie probeer versag." Waarom stel u dan 'n straf voor wat gewaarborg word om verwerp te word? Die enigste antwoord, wat Stone en ander tot die gevolgtrekking kom, is dat Sokrates gereed was om te sterf.

Om te voldoen aan die eis dat 'n werklike straf voorgestel moet word, stel Sokrates teensinnig 'n boete van een pond silwer voor-ongeveer 'n vyfde van sy beskeie netto waarde, volgens Xenophon. Plato en ander ondersteuners van Sokrates het die aanbod tot dertig minae verhoog deur in te stem om met hul eie silwer vorendag te kom. Die meeste jurielede het waarskynlik geglo dat selfs die swaarder boete 'n te geringe straf is vir die berouvolle beskuldigde.

In die finale stemming het 'n groter meerderheid jurielede die doodstraf voorgestaan ​​as in die eerste instansie vir skuldigbevinding. Volgens Diogenes Laertius het 360 jurielede vir die dood gestem, 140 vir die boete. Onder die Atheense wet is teregstelling bewerkstellig deur 'n koppie vergiftigde hemlock te drink.

In Plato's Verskoning, word die verhoor afgesluit met die feit dat Sokrates 'n paar onvergeetlike woorde gelewer het toe hofamptenare hul nodige werk voltooi het. Hy vertel die skare dat sy oortuiging die gevolg was van sy onwilligheid om 'u aan te spreek soos u sou wou hê ek moes doen'. Hy voorspel dat die geskiedenis sy oortuiging as 'skandelik vir Athene' sal beskou, hoewel hy beweer dat hy geen slegte wil het vir die jurielede wat hom skuldig bevind nie. Uiteindelik, terwyl hy in die tronk gebring word, spreek Sokrates die onvergeetlike reël: "Die uur van vertrek het aangebreek, en ons gaan ons gang-ek sterf, en u om te lewe. Wat aan die beter lot bekend is God." Dit is waarskynlik dat hierdie laaste uitbarsting van welsprekendheid van Plato afkomstig is, nie van Sokrates nie. Daar is geen rekords wat daarop dui dat die Atheense praktyk beskuldigdes toegelaat het om na die vonnisoplegging te praat nie.

Sokrates het sy laaste ure in 'n sel in die gevangenis in Athene deurgebring. Die ruïnes van die tronk bly vandag. Die hemlock wat sy lewe beëindig het, het dit nie vinnig of pynloos gedoen nie, maar eerder deur 'n geleidelike verlamming van die sentrale senuweestelsel.

Die meeste geleerdes beskou die oortuiging en teregstelling van Sokrates as 'n doelbewuste keuse wat die beroemde filosoof self gemaak het. As die verslae van Plato en Xenophon redelik akkuraat is, het Sokrates probeer om nie jurielede te oorreed nie, maar eerder om lesings te gee en dit uit te lok.

Die verhoor van Sokrates, die interessantste selfmoord wat die wêreld nog ooit gesien het, het die eerste martelaar vir vrye spraak opgelewer. Soos I. F. Stone opgemerk het, net soos Jesus die kruis nodig gehad het om sy missie te vervul, het Sokrates sy hemlock nodig gehad om sy taak te vervul.


Sokrates, die stigter van die Westerse filosofie

Die dood van Sokrates deur Jacques-Louis David. Publieke domein

Sokrates is die belangrikste eksponent van die Westerse filosofie, met sy idees wat 'n kontinuum vorm van antieke Griekeland tot vandag se Westerse denke.

Daar is oor Sokrates gesê dat hy filosofie van die sterre na die aarde gebring het, want danksy sy eie persoonlikheid het filosowe opgehou om natuurlike verskynsels te hanteer en met die mens en die samelewing te begin handel.

Trouens, baie filosowe voor Sokrates het politieke probleme hanteer, terwyl Democritus met etiese kwessies worstel. Dit was egter Sokrates wat hierdie kwessies gevorder het deur filosofiese denke daarop toe te pas.

Die rede waarom Sokratiese belange die geskiedenis van die filosofie gekenmerk het, kom voor in die Sokratiese denkwyse self, in die feit dat Sokrates nie persoonlik of sosiaal geïnteresseerd was in die regte lewenswyse en optrede nie.

In teenstelling met die filosowe voor hom, het Sokrates die beginsel van elke morele konsep gesoek, wat nie beïnvloed word deur historiese en sosiale toestande of deur individuele persepsie nie.

Met ander woorde, hy soek die absolute en verwerp die familielid wat hy die essensie van moraliteit bestudeer het en die uiterlike morele kwessies verontagsaam.

Sokrates se gevorderde idees oor moraliteit het hom na die howe van Antieke Griekeland gebring, waar hy beskuldig word dat hy die gode nie respekteer nie, 'n subversief is en dat hy jongmense korrupteer het.

Die aanklagte was baie ernstig en die filosoof is ter dood veroordeel, 'n vonnis wat hy sonder klagte gekry het.

Die lewe van Sokrates

Sokrates is gebore uit Sophroniscus en Faenarete in Alopece, 'n afstammeling van Athene. Sy pa was 'n klipkapper en Faenarete 'n bekende vroedvrou.

Sokrates het saam met sy gesin in Alopece gewoon, iewers naby die grens van vandag se Ano Nea Smyrni en Palaio Faliro. Baie min is bekend oor sy kinderjare, maar hy het 'n natuurlike intelligensie vir alles sonder om formele opleiding te ontvang.

Daar word gesê dat Sokrates as kind 'n gebrek aan goeie maniere gehad het en sy pa gehelp het in die kliponderneming. Volgens historikus Porphyrius was hy ongehoorsaam aan sy pa se bevele.

Sokrates het die kuns van beeldhouwerk begin leer, maar het dit later laat vaar. Volgens Pausanias was daar in Athene 'n marmerreliëf met die drie genades, wat na bewering deur Sokrates self gemaak is.

Daar word gesê dat die filosoof Archelaus een keer die werkswinkel betree het waar Sokrates gewerk het en dat hy onder die indruk was van die argumente van die jongman om betaling van 'n kliënt te eis.

Destyds was Sokrates 17 en Archelaus het hom genooi om sy student te word. Sokrates het egter gesê dat hy ook opgelei is deur Prodicus, aan wie hy klasgeld betaal het.

Gou het Sokrates die beeldhouwerk laat vaar om hom aan filosofie te wy. Hy het die res van sy lewe geleer, nie op skool nie, maar oor moraliteit, godsdiens, sosiale en politieke kwessies in elke deel van die stad met mense uit alle lewensterreine.

In 431 vC, toe die Peloponnesiese oorlog op die punt staan ​​om uit te breek, het Sokrates by Potidaea geveg-'n stadstaat wat dreig om uit Athene weg te breek. Sokrates het geveg op die slagveld en ook in die daaropvolgende beleg van die stad.

Die filosoof het drie jaar lank in die veldtog geveg en teruggekeer na Athene as deel van 'n seëvierende leër, terwyl hy hom ook op die slagveld onderskei het.

Terwyl die eerste fase van die Peloponnesiese oorlog woed, het Sokrates in die Slag van Delium geveg. Die geveg, in 424 v.C., bied die eerste opgetekende voorval van wat vandag 'n vriendelike brand en#8221 slagoffers noem.

Die rede was dat verwarde hopliete teen mekaar begin veg het, sonder om mede -Atheners te onderskei van hul vyande, die Boeotians.

Ten spyte van 'n paar vroeë oorwinnings, is die Atheners verslaan. Tog lyk dit of Sokrates 'n mate van orde gehandhaaf het tydens sy terugtog.

Die Atheense generaal Laches het die filosoof geprys en gesê: “As al die Atheners so dapper geveg het soos Sokrates, sou die Boeotiërs geen (oorwinnings) standbeelde opgerig het nie. ”

Sokrates se laaste militêre diens was in Amphipolis. Sy rol in die geveg teen daardie tyd is 48 onduidelik. Spartaanse oorwinning in Amphipolis het gou gelei tot 'n wapenstilstand met Athene, en die eerste fase van die oorlog was verby.

Na die oorlog trou Sokrates met Xanthippi, en sommige historici beweer dat hy later met 'n vrou met die naam Myrto getroud is. Daar word ook gesê dat sedert baie Atheense in die Peloponnesiese oorlog vermoor is, 'n spesiale wet aangeneem is wat getroude mans toegelaat het om kinders met 'n ander vrou te hê.

Plato en Xenophon noem egter slegs Xanthippi, 'n sterk koppige, mondige vrou. In 'n dialoog tussen Sokrates en Alcibiades wonder Alcibiades hoe hy die gejaag van Xanthippi kan weerstaan ​​waarop Sokrates antwoord: Net soos jy die gekraak van ganse weerstaan, want hulle gee jou eiers en ganskuikens, so gee Xanthippi my kinders ook. ”

Ongeag of daar twee vroue of een was, Sokrates het drie seuns gehad: Lambrocleas, Menexenos en Sophroniscus.

Alle latere filosowe en historici was dit eens dat drie seuns van Sokrates niks onderskei het nie, terwyl Aristoteles hulle selfs as lui beskryf het.

Xanthippi word deur Xenophon genoem in die toneelstuk “Symposium ”, waar Antisthenes haar kenmerk as die moeilikste om te weerstaan ​​van alle vroue wat ooit bestaan ​​het.

Sokrates, toe hy gevra is hoe hy met so 'n vrou saamleef, het geantwoord dat net soos diegene wat die beste ruiters wil word, die wildste perde kies om te tem, hy Xanthippi gekies het, sodat hy kon leer om met alle mense om te gaan, selfs die meeste moeilik.

Sokrates se marmerportret by die Louvre. Krediet: Sting/Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.5

Die filosofie van Sokrates

Sokrates het geen geskrewe werke nagelaat nie. Sy student Plato het egter die dialoë wat hy met sy onderwyser gehad het, opgeteken en daardeur sien ons Sokrates se denkwyse.

Aanvanklik besig met kosmologiese teorieë in die hoop om te ontdek hoe die heelal werk, maar gefrustreerd deur die veronderstellings van die natuurwetenskappe, het Sokrates besluit om sy eie reis aan te gaan op soek na ware wysheid.

Volgens sommige bronne was die ikoniese Griekse filosoof meer geïnteresseerd in die morele ontwikkeling van die mens en sy vorming as 'n goeie burger.

Volgens die dialoë met Plato het hy egter 'n instink vir metafisika gehad en die fondamente gelê van 'n transendentale filosofie.

Plato se vroeë werke oor Sokrates bevat beslis die denkwyse van Sokrates, terwyl sy latere geskrifte waarskynlik idees van Plato self weerspieël.

Aristoteles skryf aan Sokrates die gebruik van induktiewe logika of induktiewe simboliek toe wat daarop gemik is om 'n universele en onveranderlike definisie te ontdek. Dit wil sê die vermoë om 'n akkurate konsep of definisie in 'n onderwerp te bereik.

Socrates seems to consider important a universal definition that is mainly related to moral behavior and considers it useful to keep man away from the vortex of the relativity of sophism, which has a strong presence in our time.

For example, if we have a universal definition of justice, we have a secure basis for not only judging the action of an individual but also for the solid construction of the moral rules of society.

By inductive reasoning, Socrates was not so much interested in solving problems of logic, but in discovering a universal or rather universal definition.

Using the dialectical method (i.e., dialogue) he started from a less precise definition and reached a more precise, valid and universal definition through intense dialogue with his interlocutor.

This method could be humiliating for many as it proved their ignorance but also because Socrates was particularly eager to provoke the debate. The humiliation of the interlocutor was not Socrates’ purpose. His sole purpose was to discover the truth.

Socrates called this method the “obstetric method”, as it aimed to lead to the birth of a true and absolute definition or an entirely true idea.

Socrates’ mission was to try to persuade people to tend to their soul and encourage them to be noble, and virtuous and to try to find the wisdom that lies within them.

He urged people to follow moral rules and always be just. For Socrates, justice is what helps man to achieve true happiness and to have balance in his soul.

Socrates believed that pleasure is good, but true and lasting happiness can only be achieved by moral people. Socrates argued to the end that there is a higher eternal human nature, with universal moral values ​​that serve and guide human behavior.

The trial and death of the great philosopher

In 399 BC, the great Athenian philosopher was taken to court on two charges: asebeia (impiety) against the pantheon of Athens, and corruption of the youth of the city-state.

The accusers cited two impious acts by Socrates: “failing to acknowledge the gods that the city acknowledges” and “introducing new deities.”

The death sentence was the legal consequence of asking politico-philosophic questions of his students, which resulted in the two accusations of moral corruption and impiety.

At trial, the majority of the jurors voted to convict him of the two charges then, consistent with common legal practice voted to determine his punishment and agreed to a sentence of death by drinking a poisonous concoction of hemlock (conium maculatum).

Socrates had many followers who would gladly have acted to save him from the death penalty. Crito, a wealthy friend of Socrates, told the philosopher that he would bribe the guards so he could escape from jail.

Socrates, however, flatly refused to be rescued — possibly because he believed that a philosopher should not fear death.

Plato’s Apology of Socrates is an early philosophic defense of Socrates, presented in the form of a Socratic dialogue. Socrates asks the jury to judge him by the truth of his statements, not by his oratorical skill.

Although Aristotle later classified the dialogue as a work of fiction, it remains today as a useful historical source about the great philosopher.

Aristotle believed the dialogue, particularly the scene where Socrates questions the judge, Meletus, represented a good use of interrogation.

Except for Socrates’ two dialogues with Meletus, about the nature and logic of his accusations of impiety, the text of the Apology of Socrates is in the first-person perspective and voice of the philosopher Socrates.

During the trial, in his speech of self-defense, the ancient philosopher twice mentions that Plato is present at the trial.

Later historians suggest that the true reason behind Socrates’ prosecution and death penalty were political, as the government of Athens was turning away from democracy after the defeat in the Peloponnesian War.

Socrates’ famous quotes

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.

There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.

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

Wisdom begins in wonder.

When you want wisdom and insight as badly as you want to breathe, it is then you shall have it.

Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.

Remember what is unbecoming to do is also unbecoming to speak of.

Be of good cheer about death, and know this of a truth, that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.

The unexamined life is not worth living.

Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions but those who kindly reprove thy faults.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.

Only the extremely ignorant or the extremely intelligent can resist change.

I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.

In childhood be modest, in youth temperate, in adulthood just, and in old age prudent.

The greatest blessing granted to mankind comes by way of madness, which is a divine gift.

He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.

I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.

Contentment is natural wealth luxury is artificial poverty.

It is better to change an opinion than to persist in a wrong one.

Understanding a question is half an answer.

Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.


Was Plato present at Socrates' trial? - Geskiedenis

Socrates, revered founder of the Western philosophical tradition, is better understood as a mythic philosopher than as a historical figure. He lived in Athens, from 469 until his execution in 399 BCE. He never wrote a word -- our knowledge of the philosophy of Socrates depends absolutely on the records of his students and contemporaries. Socrates was certainly a strange, eccentric personality: he wandered about in old, dirty clothes, without shoes, and played the part of the destitute vagrant. By all accounts, he was considered rather ugly. Though enormously respected by students and admirers, he also had powerful enemies, who accused him of two weighty crimes: atheism and the corruption of the youth.

"Euthyphro," the first episode in Plato's Trial and Death of Socrates, takes place outside the courthouse in Athens. On his way to trial, Socrates encounters Euthyphro, a confident Athenian preparing to sue his own father. Naturally, Socrates stops to question Euthyphro regarding the nature of piety.

In Plato's dialogues, Socrates draws out seemingly simple discussions, always in search of true forms. What is Socrates asking for then, when he asks "what is piety?" Or in the words of JAY-Z, Is Pious pious 'cause God loves pious? How would you characterize Socrates' method of seeking the truth?

In "Apology," Socrates speaks before the jurors of Athens. Whilst confronting the charges brought against him by Meletus, Socrates embarks on a famous discussion on the nature of wisdom.

What is human wisdom? How is Socrates wise?

In "Crito" and "Phaedo," Socrates and his disciples grapple with the jury's verdict. Faced with the opportunity to flee Athens and escape execution, Socrates discusses his relationship with the state.

Why does Socrates reject Crito's offer?

The life and death of Socrates are enshrined in the works of Plato, Socrates' pupil. Plato lived in Athens from 429 to 347 BCE, where he founded his Academy. Plato, in turn, trained another major figure of the Western Tradition: Aristotle. Teacher and student are depicted above, in Raphael's iconic The School of Athens. (Perhaps this setting looks strangely familiar). In his countless dialogues, Plato expresses an extraordinary fascination for forms -- the eternal, essential abstractions underlying all earthly objects.


If Plato wasn't present at Socrates hearing, is there anything reliable in the Apology?

I don't know if this belongs on askphilosophy, or askhistorians.

Is Plato's dialogue, or at least Plato himself well known to not make things up and ask present witness' what occurred? Or is his work more like Plutarch and/or Thucydides. Where if they didn't know something, they just inserted a story?

I'm wondering if Socrate's defense can be given any merit, or if his called out accusers can be given any merit?

Plato was present at Socrates' trial (it was a trial, not a hearing), I'm not sure why you think he wasn't. In die Verskoning Socrates specifically names him as being there during his mention of all of his followers that are present, and Plato is named as one of Socrates' guarantors when Socrates finally proposes a thirty-mina fine. Xenophon was not there, as he was at the time of the trial in Persia with the Ten Thousand, but Plato was, and Xenophon's Verskoning was based on the testimony of eyewitnesses.

Socrates' trial is mostly known from Plato's Verskoning and from Xenophon's work by the same name. The two accounts differ from each other on several points and for several reasons. First and foremost, Plato was a philosopher, not a historian, and he is largely uninterested in presenting actual history. The degree to which his Socrates really resembles the historic Socrates is a subject of no small debate among scholars, and there are arguments about whether specific statements and beliefs of Socrates as presented in Plato are really Socrates' own or Plato's. Plato wrote in dialogue, and was largely no more interested in presenting perfect historical facsimiles as Cicero was when using Scipio the Younger or Scaevola in his own Socratic dialogues. By and large Socrates' character seems to line up and is consistent, but precise statements and beliefs are not necessarily those of the historical person. Sometimes this is obvious, other times less so. In die Verskoning as presented by Plato there's a great deal of anti-democratic rhetoric towards the end that is generally considered to be largely Plato, although it's probably based on what Socrates himself said. The accounts also differ because Xenophon was not there, although I question how important this would have been since Xenophon routinely seems to have not fully understood Socrates.

On the whole though the two accounts generally agree with each other as to what actually happened. Wat precisely Socrates said is not known, although many of the passages in Plato are probably quotations of Socrates, particularly the ones that exhibit odd grammar or idioms peculiar to Socrates himself. In general Plato and Xenophon agree with the course of the trial, although Xenophon interprets Socrates as acting arrogantly whereas Plato presents Socrates as making a philosophical point, and then further uses it to press his project


The Socratic Legacy

Socrates is unique among the great philosophers in that he is portrayed and remembered as a quasi-saint or religious figure. Indeed, nearly every school of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, from the Skeptics to the Stoics to the Cynics, desired to claim him as one of their own (only the Epicurians dismissed him, calling him “the Athenian buffoon”). Since all that is known of his philosophy is based on the writing of others, the Socratic problem, or Socratic question–reconstructing the philosopher’s beliefs in full and exploring any contradictions in second-hand accounts of them–remains an open question facing scholars today.

Socrates and his followers expanded the purpose of philosophy from trying to understand the outside world to trying to tease apart one’s inner values. His passion for definitions and hair-splitting questions inspired the development of formal logic and systematic ethics from the time of Aristotle through the Renaissance and into the modern era. Moreover, Socrates’ life became an exemplar of the difficulty and the importance of living (and if necessary dying) according to one’s well-examined beliefs. In his 1791 autobiography Benjamin Franklin reduced this notion to a single line: “Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”


Death of Socrates

Plato welcomed the restoration of the democracy, but his mistrust was deepened some four years later when Socrates was tried on false charges and sentenced to death. Plato was present at the trial, as we learn in the Apology, but was not present when the hemlock (poison) was given to his master, although he describes the scene in clear and touching detail in the Phaedo. He then turned in disgust from Athenian politics and never took an active part in government, although through friends he did try to influence the course of political life in the Sicilian city of Syracuse.

Plato and several of his friends withdrew from Athens for a short time after Socrates's death and remained with Euclides (c. 450� B.C.E. ) in Megara. His productive years were highlighted by three voyages to Sicily, and his writings, all of which have survived.

The first trip, to southern Italy and Syracuse, took place in 388 and 387 B.C.E. , when Plato met Dionysius I (c. 430� B.C.E. ). Dionysius was then at the height of his power in Sicily for having freed the Greeks there from the threat of Carthaginian rule. Plato became better friends with the philosopher Dion (c. 408� B.C.E. ), however, and Dionysius grew jealous and began to treat Plato harshly.


An Athenian Juror at the Trial of Socrates

The trial of Socrates would have taken place in a large open area such as this one, called the Pnyx, near the Acropolis in Athens. (Image: Dimitris Koskinas/Shutterstock)

An Athenian Juror’s Opinion of Socrates

The Roman orator and philosopher Cicero said that Socrates brought philosophy down from the skies. He meant that Socrates made philosophy relevant to ordinary people. As the son of a humble stonemason, Socrates is one of the first persons of humble origins to burn his way onto the pages of history. But that’s in hindsight.

Socrates was a famous and familiar face to most Athenians at the time of the trial. (Image: Vatican Museums / Public domain)

But imagine you are an Athenian juror in 399 B.C. Everyone has heard of Socrates. He is one of the most famous Greeks alive. You’ve heard him many times in the agora, teaching for free. He’s that fat guy with a squashed nose, who looks like a satyr. He asks questions such as, “What’s the best way to live?” “What’s virtue?” “What’s justice?”

As far as you are concerned, Socrates is a busybody. For 50 years, he’s been making himself pretty obnoxious by telling people like you that your life has no value. Finally, a man called Meletus, along with a couple of his cronies, charges Socrates with “corrupting young people, ignoring the gods, and introducing his own daimonic beings”.

Dit is 'n transkripsie uit die video -reeks Die ander kant van die geskiedenis: die daaglikse lewe in die antieke wêreld. Watch it now, Wondrium.

Trial by Jury Without Lawyers

You turn up on the day of Socrates’ trial and are selected as one of the 500 jurors for the day. The proceedings are directed by a magistrate, whose job simply is to keep order. No witnesses will be called. Any depositions from witnesses will be read out in court. There are no lawyers.

Imagine that, trial by jury without lawyers! Socrates will speak on his own behalf. As Socrates and Meletus file into the law court where the trial is set to take place, the atmosphere is truly electric. You never know what to expect from Socrates.

The trial of Socrates begins when the prosecutor Meletus gets up and speaks first. As he begins, the clerk of the court, who is a slave, removes a cork from a water clock known as a klepsydra. A klepsydra is one of the simplest timepieces ever invented. It consists of two vases placed one above each other. The upper one has a hole just below the rim so that it can be filled only to that exact point. The water trickles at a steady rate out of this vase into the one beneath it.

If Meletus pauses for any reason—let’s say he asks that a deposition be read to the court—the clerk will replace the cork for as long as needed, in this case, for as long as the deposition is being read. As the water drains, the flow from the upper vase alters, so Meletus knows when he is coming to the end of his allotted time. In this way, both prosecutor and defendant speak for the exact same amount of time.

Meletus speaks for about an hour and then it is Socrates’ turn. He goes out of his way to antagonize you by suggesting he despises the whole process. He has the temerity to suggest that he is performing a valuable public service by lecturing you on your inadequacies. Then he abruptly sits down. The place is in an uproar. A lot of people are outraged.

The Verdict is announced

The arguments in the trial of Socrates are over. It is now time for you and the other members of the jury to vote. You don’t retire to consider your verdict. You simply take your place in line while you wait to cast your vote, which each of you does one by one by means of a secret ballot. Then, when the votes have been counted, you return to your bench and eagerly await the result.

After a few minutes, the magistrate announces that a majority of you have found the defendant guilty. Both the plaintiff and the defendant are invited to recommend a punishment. Meletus again rises to his feet first as is customary and solemnly recommends the death penalty. You’re expecting Socrates to recommend a more lenient penalty.

But Socrates never plays by the rules. He recommends that he should receive free meals in the prytaneum, the equivalent of the town hall, for life. That’s the honor that’s reserved for public benefactors! Pandemonium breaks out. So you, along with other jurors who had previously voted for his acquittal, vote for his death. On learning the verdict, Socrates delivers this memorable line, “And so we part. You to life, me to death. But which of us goes to a better destiny, only the god knows.”

The Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David. The trial of Socrates resulted in his being sentenced to death by the Athenian jury. (Image: Jacques-Louis David/Public domain)

Hearing those words, you—like many other jurors—suddenly begin to have second thoughts. Did he really deserve to die? Everything happened so quickly and you got caught up in the general mood. You won’t admit this to anyone, but as you leave the law court, you’re actually hoping that one of his many friends will help him to escape—after all that’s happened many times before when an Athenian citizen has been condemned to death. But Socrates rejects that easy option, which means you will be left with your misgivings for the rest of your life.

To conclude, while ancient Greek society valued human potential, it wasn’t a good thing to become too noticeable, as the trial of Socrates demonstrates. Democracy came at a cost.

Common Questions About the Trial of Socrates

Socrates asked philosophical questions such as, “What’s the best way to live?” “What’s virtue?” “What’s justice?”

Trials in Athens were very different from modern trials. The proceedings were directed by a magistrate, whose job was simply to keep order. No witnesses would be called. Any depositions from witnesses would be read out in court. There were no lawyers.

During the trial, Socrates suggests that he is performing a valuable social service by talking about the inadequacies of the people of Athens .

Athenian jurors did not retire to consider a verdict. They cast their vote by means of a secret ballot. Then, when the votes had been counted, the result was declared.


On Our Obligation to Obey the Law – a short reading from Plato’s Crito

In the year 399 B.C., in Athens, Socrates was brought to trial on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth. He was found guilty and condemned to death. Die Crito, written by Plato, is a dialogue between Socrates and his good friend Crito. It is set in Socrates’ jail cell the day before he is due to be executed. Crito has come at the break of dawn to persuade Socrates to disobey the law and break out of jail. He has already bribed the guards and made all necessary arrangements to allow Socrates to escape. But Crito ultimately fails to persuade Socrates and he remains in his cell to await his execution.

In this passage, Socrates argues that he has an obligation to obey the law and remain in his cell, even if he was unjustly sentenced to death.

Lees

The following reading is from the Crito by Plato, translation by Benjamin Jowett. The full text can be read online at Project Gutenberg or a audio version of this reading on Youtube.

SOCRATES: Ought a man to do what he admits to be right, or ought he to betray the right?

CRITO: He ought to do what he thinks right.

SOCRATES: But if this is true, what is the application? In leaving the prison against the will of the Athenians, do I wrong any? or rather do I not wrong those whom I ought least to wrong? Do I not desert the principles which were acknowledged by us to be just—what do you say?

CRITO: I cannot tell, Socrates for I do not know.

SOCRATES: Then consider the matter in this way:—Imagine that I am about to play truant (you may call the proceeding by any name which you like), and the laws and the government come and interrogate me: ‘Tell us, Socrates,’ they say ‘what are you about? are you not going by an act of yours to overturn us—the laws, and the whole state, as far as in you lies? Do you imagine that a state can subsist and not be overthrown, in which the decisions of law have no power, but are set aside and trampled upon by individuals?’ What will be our answer, Crito, to these and the like words? Anyone, and especially a rhetorician, will have a good deal to say on behalf of the law which requires a sentence to be carried out. He will argue that this law should not be set aside and shall we reply, ‘Yes but the state has injured us and given an unjust sentence.’ Suppose I say that?

SOCRATES: ‘And was that our agreement with you?’ the law would answer ‘or were you to abide by the sentence of the state?’ And if I were to express my astonishment at their words, the law would probably add: ‘Answer, Socrates, instead of opening your eyes—you are in the habit of asking and answering questions. Tell us,—What complaint have you to make against us which justifies you in attempting to destroy us and the state? In the first place did we not bring you into existence? Your father married your mother by our aid and begat you. Say whether you have any objection to urge against those of us who regulate marriage?’ None, I should reply. ‘Or against those of us who after birth regulate the nurture and education of children, in which you also were trained? Were not the laws, which have the charge of education, right in commanding your father to train you in music and gymnastic?’ Right, I should reply. ‘Well then, since you were brought into the world and nurtured and educated by us, can you deny in the first place that you are our child and slave, as your fathers were before you? And if this is true you are not on equal terms with us nor can you think that you have a right to do to us what we are doing to you. Would you have any right to strike or revile or do any other evil to your father or your master, if you had one, because you have been struck or reviled by him, or received some other evil at his hands? You would not say this. And because we think right to destroy you, do you think that you have any right to destroy us in return, and your country as far as in you lies? Will you, O professor of true virtue, pretend that you are justified in this? Has a philosopher like you failed to discover that our country is more to be valued and higher and holier far than mother or father or any ancestor, and more to be regarded in the eyes of the gods and of men of understanding? also to be soothed, and gently and reverently entreated when angry, even more than a father, and either to be persuaded, or if not persuaded, to be obeyed? And when we are punished by her, whether with imprisonment or stripes, the punishment is to be endured in silence and if she lead us to wounds or death in battle, thither we follow as is right neither may anyone yield or retreat or leave his rank, but whether in battle or in a court of law, or in any other place, he must do what his city and his country order him or he must change their view of what is just: and if he may do no violence to his father or mother, much less may he do violence to his country.’ What answer shall we make to this, Crito? Do the laws speak truly, or do they not?

CRITO: I think that they do.

Bespreking

The central question raised in this passage is: Do we have an obligation to obey the law, and if so, why are we obligated? Socrates speaks on behalf of the laws and argues that he must obey, even if this means he will be put to death, and even if he was unjustly sentenced in the first place.

First he argues that by disobeying the law he will harming the city by contributing to the destruction of it’s legal institutions. He goes on to say that he is obligated to obey the law in a similar way that a child is obligated to obey a parent. A son should never attack his parents he owes them for bringing him into this world, for educating and raising him. Without them, he would not even exist. Similarly, without laws around marriage his parents would never have come together to have a child, without educational laws he wouldn’t have received a proper education. And there are countless other laws from which he has benefited from living under. A citizen should never harm the city’s legal institutions because he owes them for bringing him into the world, for educating and raising him. Without the laws, he would not even exist. Socrates claims that to harm the state would be a greater crime than harming one’s parents.

This passage is an early example of the gratitude theory of political obligation. But it also raises problems about whether we are obligated to obey unjust laws. This is a topic that Plato will (partially) address in the next reading: On Consenting to Laws – another short reading from the Crito.

For a more thorough discussion, Dr. Gregory Sadler has several videos on the Crito. This one gives a general introduction to the dialogue, while this one focuses specifically on this section of the dialogue.

Verdere leeswerk

To learn more about the ideas of Socrates and Plato, please see the following links:

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A Collection of the Greatest Philosophical Quotations

A History of Western Philosophy in 500 Essential Quotations is a collection of the greatest thoughts from history’s greatest thinkers. Featuring classic quotations by Aristotle, Epicurus, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Michel Foucault, and many more, A History of Western Philosophy in 500 Essential Quotations is ideal for anyone looking to quickly understand the fundamental ideas that have shaped the modern world.


The Four Words on the Mace in the Scottish Parliament:

Wisdom - Justice - Compassion - Integrity

"Think critically act humanely" Education for a Better World

Socrates - Last Days and Legacy

It is to Aristophanes, Xenophon and Plato that we must turn for information about the life and teachings of Socrates. Perhaps the following conclusions are the nearest we can arrive at without speculation.

Socrates was born in Athens c. 470 BCE and died there in prison c. 399 BCE at the age of 71. In his youth, Socrates was a student of Archelaus. His father was probably a sculptor by the name of Sophroniscus. His mother was a midwife. Socrates used the term "midwife" as a metaphor to identify his method of asking critical questions, engaging in discussion and helping others to deliver the baby of new ideas, thereby rejecting old opinions in order to arrive nearer to truth. Although he questioned everything, his main interest was ethics and especially: What is virtue? And how do we apply it to the search for a better world, a better state and a better life for her citizens?

The docudrama Socrates - Last Days and Legacy as performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2006 is available to purchase from lulu.com for &pound9.72.

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He served courageously as a hoplite, a heavy infantryman, at Delium and Amphipolisin in the Peloponnesian Wars. He considered a life in politics and spent some time working as a stonemason, but his father left him a sufficient inheritance to allow him with frugality to become an unpaid teacher. He had an early interest in the scientific theories of Anaxagoras who taught that there are an infinite number of different kinds of elementary particles (atoms) and it is the action of Mind upon these that produces the objects that we see. But Socrates came to regard the physical world to be deceptive because he believed that the senses of the body created difficulty for the thinking of the mind. The philosophers who came before him were mainly interested in metaphysics, particularly questions about the physical world around us. Socrates was not interested in what is (metaphysically or morally) but in what ought to be in justice and virtue, applying a moral critique which he believed was offered by the search for wisdom.

In appearance, Socrates was short and stout, with a flat nose, a rough beard, and protruding eyes which, according to Aristophanes, he rolled as he strutted about like a waterfowl. He was known for his robustness of body, self-discipline, simple lifestyle, perceptive intellect, and commitment to the search for truth and justice. Believing that the virtuous life was the best path to happiness and that virtue depended upon wisdom, Socrates sought to help others in the search for knowledge because he placed their well-being above his own and because he believed that a better world depended upon people of wisdom. He sought knowledge but believed that the road to its attainment was difficult. He believed that his work (which he sought to understand through critical questioning and dialogue) was given to him as a divine mission and, hence, was his duty. His total lack of interest in material possessions was evidenced by his always being seen barefoot and wearing an old cloak the whole year round. His habit of going barefoot even in winter showed his powers of endurance. To him, the aspiration for virtue was the highest aim anyone could have.

Socrates was a foe of the sophists, the professional teachers who claimed to have all the answers and who believed that "might makes right". The sophists were teachers of debate and rhetoric who took money for their teaching and in return gave accepted popular opinions and claimed to have all knowledge. Socrates believed that one should not accept someone's opinions but put everything to the test of critical reasoning. His tactic: Its so wonderful to be with so wise a man as you as I am so ignorant and can claim no knowledge. There are one or two questions, however, that I would like to ask you: Then by asking probing questions he would expose their teachings as misleading, unhelpful or even dangerous, irrationally held popular opinions. To him answers had no value to one who was asking the wrong questions, or no questions at all. But he had many loyal friends and followers who were devoted to him as he was to them and to his family. He married Xanthipp late in life and his third son was born shortly before he died.

After Athens lost the 27-year Peloponnesian War with Sparta for the conquest of Greece, the old democracy was replaced by one controlled by tyrannical Neo-conservatives and religious Fundamentalists. These political leaders of Athens felt threatened by the popularity of Socrates, his unorthodox views (at a time of political instability), and by the notoriety of some of his friends. (Critias and Alcibiades were extremists who contributed to the impending downfall of the Neo-conservative and Fundamentalist government of Athens). Refusing to compromise his principles or to disobey the law, at the age of 71 Socrates was brought to the Athenian court for prosecution by Anytus, a leading Athenian statesman who chose Meletus, a poet, to present the case. Socrates was charged with being an evil doer wrongfully teaching false doctrines to young people, being greedy by taking exorbitant sums of money for his teaching, and being an atheist by denying belief in the Greek gods. Although sentenced to death, according to Athenian procedure he could have appealed and probably would have received a lesser sentence. But he refused to appeal (on the principle of upholding the verdict of the court and the laws of the land) and drank the prescribed hemlock.

Socrates left no writings of his own, but his best known disciple, Plato, wrote at least 24 Dialoë giving accounts of the discussions his mentor held in Athens but also incorporating his own beliefs. Through Plato, Socrates influenced Aristotle (a student of Plato) and subsequent philosophers. Aristotle regarded Platos account of the life and teaching of Socrates to be essentially true and the Dialoë as offering a faithful account. Today there is a tendency to differentiate between the "Socrates of history" and the "Socrates of Plato". However, the only Socrates that can be detailed is the Socrates of Plato. It is questionable whether Plato who knew his beloved teacher well would have needed to falsify the record of his life, or would have wanted to abuse it by presenting it as something he knew was not true and to do this in the name of philosophy.

It is difficult to make a clear distinction between the teachings of Socrates and Plato because Plato at times may have included his own conclusions in his Dialoë as a tribute to his teacher who had so inspired and guided him. But this should not concern us because it is the critical method of Socrates - to question everything, to avoid sophistry and to seek justice and the good life through the search for wisdom - that is on offer.

Appropriately, we will examine the teachings of Socrates in the way he would want them taught: through dialogue, particularly through three of Platos dialogues, Verskoning, Crito en Phaedo, as we identify with Socrates in the last days of his life and with his method of teaching.

In short, we will use the Socratic method, a discovery method, to examine the wisdom of Socrates and to draw our own conclusions. To what extent was Socrates the father of the Scottish Radical Enlightenment? What is his relevance for us and for our world today? Is there an urgent need for every nation to know itself (including to see itself as others see it) as well as every person to know "himself" with the unexamined life not worth living? Is there an urgent need for dialogue to replace confrontation between all the nations and between all the people of all the nations? What contribution should the UN make towards this? What contribution should we make?

Our Philosophy plays & Philosophy Lessons on Socrates

Are you Interested in using our philosophy play on the life and legacy of Philosopher Socrates during your University Philosophy, High School Philosophy and College Philosophy class? We have advice for your philosophy lesson on the Philosophy of Jeremy Bentham.

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Kyk die video: Platos best and worst ideas - Wisecrack (Januarie 2022).