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Socrates Summary 3

Socrates Summary 3

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Published by vademecumdevally

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Published by: vademecumdevally on Mar 12, 2012
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10/05/2013

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 NOTES ON PLATO'S LAST DAYS OF SOCRATES
Socrates is asked if he does not think it is stupid to puthimself in danger of the death penalty. He says no. He pointsout that the heroes of Troy would then have to be consideredstupid. He says that death is always preferable to dishonourand mentions Hector as an example of such thinking.Socrates goes on to say that as a soldier for Athens in thePeloponnesian War, he stood at his post even if it wasdangerous, as he believed it was the right thing to do. Sosurely now that he is obeying the gods he must do the samething and stand by what he thinks is right.Socrates believes that it is stupid to be afraid of death. Wecannot know what it holds for us and for all we know it couldbe nice.He then puts forward the idea that the people of Athens mightsuggest to him that he could be pardoned if he stops spreadinghis ideas. He still would not give up philosophising as itwould be disloyal to god. He says he will go on no matter whatsaying to the people of Athens that they should be ashamed ofthemselves spending all their time making money and worryingabout power and reputation instead of worrying about "the truthand understanding and the perfection of their souls". Nothingwill stop him doing this as he sees it as the will of god. Hewill go on telling the youth of the city that wealth does notbring goodness but that goodness brings all kinds of blessings.Socrates goes on to say that he believes that the Athenians, inputting him to death would be doing themselves much more harmthan him. He argues that god has specially appointed him toAthens as a stinging fly which irritates a big,lazythoroughbred horse and stirs it into action. He knows he annoysthe Athenians but he believes he does them a lot of good.He then points out that he personally has made nothing out ofhis life's work and has neglected his family to spread hisideas. He points to his poverty as evidence of this.He says that he has a special divine voice which tells him whathe should do and say and that this voice has more power overhim than any earthly authority. As evidence of this he remindsthe jury of the time when he was on the Athenian Council. He

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