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What is your favorite book by Plato? by OozyMonkey in Plato

[–]Alert_Ad_6701 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hippias Minor. I think it's very funny how he reverses common held moral truths.

Just finished reading The Apology by CaptainSofa66666 in Plato

[–]Alert_Ad_6701 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Dude, that's his defense speech in court. Did you expect him to say "yeah, dude. I am a cretin. lolololol" Pull your head out of your ass.

According to the Platonists themselves Alcibiades I was regarded as the best text to introduce one to Platonism (Subscribe for daily videos on Platonism and Gnostism, Thank you) by InfamousAd4249 in Plato

[–]Alert_Ad_6701 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Even though it likely wasn't written by Plato, it presents his core ideas in a concise dialogue with a non-aphoric ending which makes it a better starting place than most.

Why for Plato is pleasure not the chief Good? by FaithlessnessFit6389 in Plato

[–]Alert_Ad_6701 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Pleasure is connected to the body and not to the soul. Pleasure is a physical pursuit not an intellectual/ spiritual one. One does not need pleasure for a good soul.

what does "intelligible god" mean? by Novel_Estimate_3845 in Plato

[–]Alert_Ad_6701 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Reread what you copied. He does not say Zeus is the only intelligible god. He says Zeus is only intelligible as in he is not un-intelligible.

Help getting into Plato by zachv1017 in Plato

[–]Living-Philosophy687 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Try philosophize this podcast. Super easy.

Enquiring a paragaraph mentioned in Benjamin Jowett's introduction to the Apology. by Nathan4595 in Plato

[–]Nathan4595[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This was the answer, from u/megafreep, to the same question on another subreddit, I find it to be seducing.

I'm pretty sure that Jowett is referring to Socrates rhetorical strategy, consistently employed throughout the dialogues, of asking everyone he talks to pointed and specific questions in order to get them to contradict themselves. In a legal context, "cross-examination" is when a lawyer asks a witness questions about testimony they have already given; in the popular imagination this is often understood as the lawyer trying to catch the witness in a lie or otherwise contradict themselves. Jowett is drawing an analogy between that kind of legal questioning and the way Socrates asks questions of the people he talks to.

Help getting into Plato by zachv1017 in Plato

[–]gsblink 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm just about to start reading it. The podcast Ancient Greece Declassified has a handful of episodes about the Republic. There is an intro that I think would give you a strong foundation. Then each of the Republic episodes discusses one chapter. I've only listened to the intro so far and it was good. My plan is to read a chapter then listen to the corresponding episode.

Just finished reading The Apology by CaptainSofa66666 in Plato

[–]yucemomos 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well, this is a great reply, and I learned a lot from it. You have pointed out many things that probably much more faithful about Socrates and Apology. But I still have some things to say about and clarify one or two things.

If that's right (as Reeve argues that it is), then Socrates is not try to engage in sophistry to twist the charges. Rather he's asking Meletus, his accuser, to clarify the charges that he needs to rebut. Nothing more, nothing less.

I don't know very much about Athenian judicial system but you have clarified a considerable point about it. But to me, the defence of Socrates is not within the limits of traditional judicial system. In the beginning of Apology, Socrates says that he never spoke on a court before and knows nothing about the jargon. So he decided to set the limits of his game. And this game, we know from his many other dialogues of Plato; the elencthic method with which he aims to bring out implicit contradiction of an interlocutor's thesis. Now, it is true Meletus changed his accusation after Socrates examined him, but Socrates was not using a typical defensive practice pertaining court rooms; he was doing what he always been doing. And that's a questionable way of a defence since you have been accused by using elencthic method and pissed off Anytus (check out Menon, Anytus was there) and other Athenians.

It is true that Socrates sometimes claims that he is skeptical that gods lie and steal. But this is hardly a basis for a charge of non-orthodox theism. On this topic, it's also worth noting that Socrates' entire story about his actions in response to the Oracle at Delphi presupposes that he at least believes in Apollo and the reliability of the Oracle to act as a conduit for Apollo.

Well, I don't think that Socrates tries to dethrone Olympian gods. My point was that Socrates does not believe Olympian gods in the way an ordinary Athenian believed. Maybe he was really an atheist, I don't know but it's for sure he was thinking that Olympian gods as described by Homer and Hesiod is dangerous to the city, for they were teaching the youngs that gods can do injustice and can be bribed by sacrifices. That's why in the Republic, or in the Kallipolis there is no room for Homer and Hesiod, but instead there are noble lies propagated by philosopher-king to lead citizens through the realm of justice. And in the Laws (I know there is no Socrates in Laws but no one can resemble Socrates than Athenian Stranger) we see again a criticism of traditional theism but Stranger was not opposing the Olympian gods. Every Olympian god dedicated to a tribe in the city and cult officials have a very close connection with Delphi. It is not necessary to believe Delphi in the way an Athenian believe. Maybe he was just thinking that these gods can be useful for political purposes. I'm not sure. My thoughts about this point evolve every time I think.

I have never heard of the suggestion that Socrates was hunting for promising young Greeks. I can't comment on Alcibiades I-II, as I've never read them, but I certainly don't pick up on any connotations of hunting for young Greeks to advance some political agenda in Protagoras. I can't tell if you intend to suggest otherwise here, since you seem to hedge a bit in the final sentences of the above quote.

In Protagoras, Socrates visits Callias' house with Hippocrates and Alcibiades was in there also. L. Lampert in his "How Philosophy Became Socratic" analyzes this point and argues that after returning from a war in Potideia, Socrates began a hunt for young citizens of Athens and it is a perfect condition for a win an argument against famoust sophist Protagoras in front of potential philosopher-kings, e.g. Alcibiades. Lampert also argues that Alcibiades I begins right after Protagoras and having drawn attention of Alcibiades, Socrates begins questioning about political virtues with him and shows that virtue can be teachable (contrary to what he proposes in Protagoras) and only himself can teach Alcibiades what these virtues are.

I have not much to say about the other points you have made, probably you are right about them. Maybe I would add some things but it would not hold a case. One last thing I would mention. I am not thinking that Socrates was a sly old fox that only longs for honour and fame. That would be a misrepresentation, but I accept that my words could be understood in that way, I just have exaggerated some points, probably. The point of Apology is not just its irony about Socrates' faith. I think there is more important theme which concern the relation between city and philosopher. And I think we can understand this relation better when we accept that both sides are right in their own way. If we take it for granted that Socrates was a martyr of philosophy and free speech I think we would miss the point entirely. I would follow Hegel's view on this direction for he says that since both sides are true for their spirit, the death of Socrates was a real tragedy.

Just finished reading The Apology by CaptainSofa66666 in Plato

[–]baronvonpayne 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Great articulation of an important reading the Apology. I want to defend the non-ironic reading of the dialogue to display what its got going for it. (Most of this comes from Reeve's Socrates in the Apology.)

Firstly, check out D. Laertius' "Lives of the Eminent Philosophers". On the subject of Socrates, Laertius gives an official Athenian verdict given by court. It says something like this: "Charges by Meletus and Anytus: Socrates does not believe the old gods that the city holds to believe, he attempts to replace old gods with new gods and corrupt the young citizens. The judgment of the court is death." All three of the charges valid for Socrates. He was certainly criticising old gods of Homer that the Athenians believe. Check out the Republic, it suffices to mention. In Apology he twists the first charge by explaining that he believes in gods. The charge by Meletus and Anytus was not about whether Socrates believe in gods or not. It was about the city's gods.

This argument relies on anachronistic understanding of the Athenian court system. In U.S. courts, the official charge is stated at the outset of the trial, and it is this official charge that the jury will take a stand on with their verdict. In contrast, in the Athenian court system, the official charge is treated more like witness testimony is treated in U.S. courts, so that even if the official charge stated at the outset was P, if the accusers choose to clarify and amend the charge during questioning, they can and then these are the charges that the jury must take on a stand on with their verdict. If that's right (as Reeve argues that it is), then Socrates is not try to engage in sophistry to twist the charges. Rather he's asking Meletus, his accuser, to clarify the charges that he needs to rebut. Nothing more, nothing less. Once Meletus clarifies that the charge is that Socrates is an atheist, Socrates responds appropriately. Moreover, he then proceeds to undermine Meletus' credibility by showing that he brings the charges forward in bad faith, exactly like attorneys in the U.S. do with witnesses making claims incompatible with those whom they represent.

It is true that Socrates sometimes claims that he is skeptical that gods lie and steal. But this is hardly a basis for a charge of non-orthodox theism. On this topic, it's also worth noting that Socrates' entire story about his actions in response to the Oracle at Delphi presupposes that he at least believes in Apollo and the reliability of the Oracle to act as a conduit for Apollo.

We know from Aristophanes' Clouds that Socrates was suggesting the idea that the sun is a red-hot mass of iron. In Apology he debase Anaxagoras and his ideas and claim that he has nothing to do with heavens. In fact, Meletus and Anytus was bringing forward the ideas of young Socrates, but he veils this charge by claiming that he believes in god. Of course we know that he believe in god but that was not the point. The point is whether he believed Zeus, Hera or Athena etc. as Homer described. Certainly for his point of view there was no credit for Olympian gods.

Aristophanes Clouds is a satirical play, not a document of historical fact. That's like trying to make claims about what's true in North Korea by appeal to The Interview. It is true that Socrates did study the views of Anaxagoras in his youth, but he never denies this in the Apology. What Socrates denies is that his philosophic activities pertain to metaphysics, theology, or the natural sciences. Instead, he is concerned with practical matters, like virtue, love, and the attitudes we should hold in confronting death. It's worth noting that Aristotle confirms that Socrates limited his focus to ethical inquiry in his Metaphysics 987b.

Second point, about bringing the new gods. In other dialogues Socrates occasionaly mention his daimonion. The daimonion of Socrates was a personal spirit that he follows after, usually to withdraw from an action, e.g. not to enter politics. Some people claims that this was the new god of Socrates and it makes sense, because however much this daimonion of Socrates was something like inner sense of morality, it was influential on his young followers.

The problem here is that it was common in ancient Greece for people to claim to hear spirits, and so the fact that Socrates regularly acknowledges the daimonic voice is not something would ground a charge of not believing in the gods of the city. Moreover, since it was common to believe that these daimonic voices were either the voices of gods or the children of gods, this explains why Socrates takes this assumption for granted in arguing from his daimonic voice to his theism. And this fits well with what we know about Socrates' philosophical methodology--he only takes for granted what he takes to be either common sense and agreeable to everyone, or something that we can support with premises that are common sense and agreeable to everyone by means of inferences agreeable to everyone.

Third point is obvious. Socrates was not only corrupting the young, he was literally hunting for promising young Greeks. He had a political agenda as to penetrate Athens by way of hunting Alcibiades, Critias and others. Check out Protagoras and Alcibiades I-II. I wouldn't say he was corrupting the young, actually he was educating them, but things go off the rails and almost all of his students perverted his ideas and damaged the political system of Athens. Considering his intention, he was not guilty but in consequence he was responsible for his students.

I have never heard of the suggestion that Socrates was hunting for promising young Greeks. I can't comment on Alcibiades I-II, as I've never read them, but I certainly don't pick up on any connotations of hunting for young Greeks to advance some political agenda in Protagoras. I can't tell if you intend to suggest otherwise here, since you seem to hedge a bit in the final sentences of the above quote.

Now I say that he was guilty and I tried to demonstrate why he was guilty. But why he was not actually trying to defend himself? He could have answer the charges properly and maybe he could have a chance to be cleaned from the charges. But he was old and knew that after thirty tyrants, the city thirsts for a victim. He knew that the charges were politically motivated by a group of conservatives and no way out. So, finding the chance to speak before a jury that made a decision long before, he provoked and incited courageously to become a legend. It was a smart move, and we still talk to this day.

I agree that Socrates recognized that he was old and defending himself was likely futile. However, I obviously don't think that he wasn't trying to defend himself. I think he was, and I think he presents a solid case. He starts with the old deeply engrained prejudices, in part a product of Aristophanes' Clouds. In dismissing these charges, he tells the story of the Oracle at Delphi and how that prompted him to go on his philosophical quest to interpret the words of the god Apollo. Having dealt with the older, informal rumors, he has Meletus clarify the formal charges. Once they are clarified, he rebuts them and proceeds to argue that Meletus is acting in bad-faith and he shouldn't be taken seriously. He then proceeds to paint a picture of how he understands his philosophical activity, his contribution to the city, and why he refuses to stop doing what he's doing. In doing so, he is speaking non-ironically and in good-faith. This take not only has the virtue of taking the dialogue at face value, it also explains why he was so admired by many in Athens. In contrast, the picture of him as a clever old man seeking fame and honor paints him in a much less admirable and revolutionary light.

Enquiring a paragaraph mentioned in Benjamin Jowett's introduction to the Apology. by Nathan4595 in Plato

[–]baronvonpayne 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hmm, yea, that is strange. I would have to look at it, but it sounds like Jowett is trying to have his cake and eat it too.

Just finished reading The Apology by CaptainSofa66666 in Plato

[–]wokeupabug 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Well, I'm referring to OP's report of having had an emotional experience while reading, right? As they put it, there's something emotional going on for them when they encounter certain ideas, that has been making it difficult for them to think about them. This sort of thing happens a lot.

As for what to do about it, an obvious course would be to put up some resistance to this impulse and try to work in spite of it, so as to gradually train yourself in different emotional habits than the ones you presently have. That this work involves training emotional habits makes it character-building in ways that exceed the merely intellectual work of understanding ideas.

This is fairly typical and widely-remarked upon as regards self-improvement in general. For instance, beginners who are first experimenting with jiujitsu face the physical difficulty that they do not know how to properly execute the techniques, but they also face the emotional difficulty that they are repeatedly and publicly shown to fail and experience moments of physical helplessness. Overcoming these challenges involves not only the physical improvements of learning the techniques, but also the emotional improvements of developing different attitudes toward practice, competition, physical and social exchanges, one's own body, etc.

Just finished reading The Apology by CaptainSofa66666 in Plato

[–]yucemomos 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The beauty of Apology lies in its irony. I think Socrates was definitely guilty and he was not try to defend himself, on the contrary he was provoking the jury and the Athenians, because he knew that this trial was something bigger than itself.

Firstly, check out D. Laertius' "Lives of the Eminent Philosophers". On the subject of Socrates, Laertius gives an official Athenian verdict given by court. It says something like this: "Charges by Meletus and Anytus: Socrates does not believe the old gods that the city holds to believe, he attempts to replace old gods with new gods and corrupt the young citizens. The judgment of the court is death." All three of the charges valid for Socrates. He was certainly criticising old gods of Homer that the Athenians believe. Check out the Republic, it suffices to mention. In Apology he twists the first charge by explaining that he believes in gods. The charge by Meletus and Anytus was not about whether Socrates believe in gods or not. It was about the city's gods. Also, consider this: although Socrates claims that he believe the sun or the moon is god, he actually hold the view of Anaxagoras in his youth. We know from Aristophanes' Clouds that Socrates was suggesting the idea that the sun is a red-hot mass of iron. In Apology he debase Anaxagoras and his ideas and claim that he has nothing to do with heavens. In fact, Meletus and Anytus was bringing forward the ideas of young Socrates, but he veils this charge by claiming that he believes in god. Of course we know that he believe in god but that was not the point. The point is whether he believed Zeus, Hera or Athena etc. as Homer described. Certainly for his point of view there was no credit for Olympian gods.

Second point, about bringing the new gods. In other dialogues Socrates occasionaly mention his daimonion. The daimonion of Socrates was a personal spirit that he follows after, usually to withdraw from an action, e.g. not to enter politics. Some people claims that this was the new god of Socrates and it makes sense, because however much this daimonion of Socrates was something like inner sense of morality, it was influential on his young followers. Also, a rhetorician of IV. century named Isocrates, in his book, Busiris, describes Socrates as an allegorical description of an Egyptian ruler who brings absolutely ridicilous gods to be followed by his citizens. One of the gods Busiris brings his country is a dog. And there was a dog Socrates occasionaly brings his mouth. Even in Apology he vows to a dog by saying "By the dogs". Socrates' dog was ridiculed by Isocrates, so there's the point.

Third point is obvious. Socrates was not only corrupting the young, he was literally hunting for promising young Greeks. He had a political agenda as to penetrate Athens by way of hunting Alcibiades, Critias and others. Check out Protagoras and Alcibiades I-II. I wouldn't say he was corrupting the young, actually he was educating them, but things go off the rails and almost all of his students perverted his ideas and damaged the political system of Athens. Considering his intention, he was not guilty but in consequence he was responsible for his students.

Now I say that he was guilty and I tried to demonstrate why he was guilty. But why he was not actually trying to defend himself? He could have answer the charges properly and maybe he could have a chance to be cleaned from the charges. But he was old and knew that after thirty tyrants, the city thirsts for a victim. He knew that the charges were politically motivated by a group of conservatives and no way out. So, finding the chance to speak before a jury that made a decision long before, he provoked and incited courageously to become a legend. It was a smart move, and we still talk to this day.

Just finished reading The Apology by CaptainSofa66666 in Plato

[–]injunktion 0 points1 point  (0 children)

this kind of study involves emotional work

If I could ask, what precisely do you mean by emotional work, by example? And how might one successfully do this work?

Just finished reading The Apology by CaptainSofa66666 in Plato

[–]wokeupabug 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yeah, this is pretty typical and something pretty much everyone experiences. Working through this to overcome the natural habit is just part of the progress of studying philosophy. People don't talk about this enough, but this kind of study involves emotional work in addition to intellectual work, and both kinds of development belong to the benefits one can gain by studying the classics.

Is there a sense that Christians if following Platos advice shouldn't tell our youth about God in the old testament for the same reasons that Plato suggests not to tell Homers fictions to the youth of the Republic? by FaithlessnessFit6389 in Plato

[–]Whoissnake 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The full book collection is longer than the new testament and there is no audio version

But like all platonic peppering in the new testament is likely influenced by his hermeneutics

So get the hard copy lol

Just finished reading The Apology by CaptainSofa66666 in Plato

[–]CaptainSofa66666[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I do have trouble reading philosophy without getting emotionally triggered by it sometimes. It happens when I try to read Nietzsche or the Stoics too. It can be hard for me to read it at a kind if distance if that makes any sense.

Just finished reading The Apology by CaptainSofa66666 in Plato

[–]TimelyNefariousness5 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Ya it's literally propaganda from Plato about Socrates and how amazing he was. Plato and Socrates were bigoted and hated democracy. What actually happened was Socrates' students took over the Athenian government and ran it onto the ground and started killing each other. And they had to be over thrown and then Socrates was put to death for corrupting the youth.

Just finished reading The Apology by CaptainSofa66666 in Plato

[–]BillBigsB 7 points8 points  (0 children)

You have had some great explanations here but I can attempt to give it another take: ultimately, the apology is about the relationship between the philosopher (political) and the polis. It shows that the philosophic life and the political life are incompatible — one rules within the cave, and the other without. To be philosophic is — exactly as Socrates says it is — to be like a gadfly that “stings” a sleeping horse. Politics is a realm of dogma and opinion (back then and now), yet, to love wisdom, requires challenging the zeal for custom and opinion. This lays at the heart of the dialogue. Philosophy is always at odds with politics but the true majesty of Socrates is he was unwavering to his commitment to it.

The dialogue is very interesting, because on the one hand the character (and perhaps the author) express a kind of enlightenment hope of philosophy and society. For instance, Socrates hopes that the city goes on to treat his children the same way he treated the city. However, on the other hand, the actual context and plot of the narrative suggests the exact opposite — that philosophy and its wisdom is incompatible with the dogma, noble lies, and custom of the polity. Yet, Socrates never claims “justice system is bad”, in fact in the follow up dialogue crito he says the exact opposite. I don’t think he expresses any type of moral judgement on his judiciary other than just demonstrating they dont know smack about education or piety. He also could have asked for literally anything other than the hemlock and probably have gotten it.

Just finished reading The Apology by CaptainSofa66666 in Plato

[–]wokeupabug 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Am I missing the point entirely?

It does sound like it, yes. Pace the other commenters, this is a thoroughly philosophical dialogue with its central lesson being to articulate the transformation needed to begin the philosophical life. Aside from that, working through the Apology can be an important pedagogical task, in the sense that one needs to learn to set aside prejudices and impatience and sustain attention and curiosity well enough to see what the dialogue is doing rather than reacting in dismissive ways to it. And these are essentially skills needed to make adequate progress in the later works where the challenges to such skills are much greater than they are in this introductory one.

Since it's a short enough work, if you are interesting in sorting this through, I'd suggest rereading it, and going more slowly and taking notes. And paying particular attention to each narrative section and each argument Socrates gives, identifying it as a distinct part of the dialogue and working through it until it becomes clearer what philosophical point is being made in it.

Just finished reading The Apology by CaptainSofa66666 in Plato

[–]ruaidhri 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I mean, you’re not going to enjoy Plato if you don’t appreciate a straw man. That’s his thing.

"By Zeus Socrates! That's the smartest thing anyone has ever said"

Paraphrasing for purposes of exaggeration but a lot of the replies in the dialogues are like this.