Plato’s Five Dialogues and Applications of Today’s Society
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Socrates put one’s quest for wisdom and the instruction of others above everything else in life. A simple man both in the way he talked and the wealth he owned, he believed that simplicity in whatever one did was the best way of acquiring knowledge and passing it unto others. He is famous for saying that “the unexplained life is not worth living.” He endeavored therefore to break down the arguments of those who talked with a flowery language and boasted of being experts in given subjects (Rhees 30). His aim was to show that the person making a claim on wisdom and knowledge was in fact a confused one whose clarity about a given subject was far from what they claimed. Socrates, in all his simplicity never advanced any theories of his own but rather aimed at bringing out the worst in his interlocutors.
Socrates insistence on finding the truly wise people pitches him against Euthyphro and Meletus. Euthyphro is religious by all means necessary. He even makes prophecies and has a firm claim on the fact that he is wise. He brings a murder charge against his father. On the other hand, Meletus is the man responsible fro bringing charges against Socrates with an aim of having him executed. Meletus, having been cross-examined by Socrates, is put to utmost shame for his lack of a firm grip on facts that are required of him (Desjardins 33). When questioning Euthyphro, Socrates makes an effort to truly find out from this religious man what holiness is. After engaging him for a while, Euthyphro is frustrated and leaves the conversation an angry man. This way of throwing doubt on someone’s beliefs is what Socrates’ signature way of argument became.
In today’s society, Socrates' way of argument, referred to as the ‘sting ray’ method, is used by...
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...ledge above everything else, Socrates put an emphasis on the quality of knowledge and the quality of teaching thereafter. To this day, the seeking of knowledge and the eventual passing it on are revered tasks. It is said that teachers are among the wisest people on the land not only for their knowledge but their experience in handling different personalities. They are also respected for their grasp of the facts of life and what goes on around us. They explain life and make it worth living. No wonder Socrates said, “The unexplained life is not worth living” (Brisson 90).
Brisson, Luc. Plato the Myth Maker. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
Desjardins, Rosemary. Plato and the Good: Illuminating the Darkling Vision. New York: BRILL, 2004.
Rhees, Rush. In Dialogue with the Greeks: Plato and dialectic. New York: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2004.