Also, unlike other Sophists of the time, he refused to accept pay for his teachings. Because he had no texts written by himself on his beliefs, we turn to his followers for information on his beliefs. Plato documents many of Socrates’ conversations with the youth of Athens in his book, Plato’s Republic. In 405 BC Socrates was convicted (wrongly I might add) of corrupting the youth of Athens, interfering with the religion of the city, and for his intervention into politics. There is a text called `Apology’, which documents his unsuccessful defense speech before the Athenian jury.
“I know that I know nothing.” says the man who has influenced modern Western philosophy and literature, has changed the way people have though with just simple questions regarding everyday words like “good” or “justice”, and has been put to trial and sentenced to death just on grounds of “defying the gods and corrupting the minds of the young.” Socrates was an influential Greek philosopher born around 469 B.C. in Athens, Greek. Despite his immense influence of philosophy and how it was understood, Socrates himself did not write anything. He simply asked questions. We know about his lessons today through the works of those who admired him: Aristophanes, Xenophon, and Plato.
To back this up, he talks about how most philosophers accept payment for their services, but Socrates has never accepted money for his teachings. Fundamentally, his main goal is to learn from others, which leads to the true philosophical pursuit of knowledge that can only be achieved through rational arguments. Socrates goes on to speak of an experience he had at the Oracle of Delphi, in which it is revealed that Socrates is the wisest man in Athens. He questions the truth of this statement, and sets off to question the poets, politicians, and other wise men. After questioning different experts in various fields, he discovers that no one really knows what they are talking about.
He felt that "The unexamined life is not worth living." Plato's Apology is the speech Socrates made at his trial. Socrates was charged with not recognizing the gods recognized by the state and corrupting the youth of Athens. In The Apology, Socrates attempted to defend himself. He spoke in a very simple, uncomplicated manner.
The two works hold unique views about government, as well as opening the eyes of the Grecian people to the world as they knew it. In the Apology, Socrates was told by the Delphic Oracle that there was nobody wiser than him. With ancient Greece having been a prominent home of philosophy and art since before Socrates' time, the Athenian court found his proclamation both insulting and hard to believe. Socrates goes through great lengths to find the wisest of men and seeing if their reputations are in fact true. He hoped to find a man wiser than him to prove the oracles prediction was false, even Socrates failed to believe he was the wisest man.
In the trial, rather than pleading and begg... ... middle of paper ... ... Protagoras, one of the greatest Sophists ever known believes conflicted with Socrates in many ways. He believe that human knowledge was through experience in this life and not in reincarnation. Protagoras also believe that human reason was not trustworthy and careful observation and world experiences would bring people closer to knowledge. Socrates strayed away from most of the philosophies that came before him but learned and observed how the individuals developed their own theories. He didn’t believe in many of the Gods.
Socrates on the other hand, was self thought and believed that he was wise enough to know that he could be ignorant at times. Unlike the sophists, he was not rich and did not ask for fines to teach people of this wisdom he had learnt. He was an orator, a great orator at that but according to the dialogue in Plato’s Apology (1.17c) he was not the kind of man who would talk in a formal tone as he was used to talking in common places. Socrates also saw himself as a god sent to open the eyes of the people to see what they had not learned. In Plato’s apology, Socrates is seen defending himself from two brad accusations that he was someone who neglected the gods and secondly that he misled the youth.
Socrates felt, however, that the Sophists, for all their talk of self-interest, had little curiosity about the status of a self; they assumed that it was merely an isolated center constantly greedy for more pleasure, prestige, and power. The Sophists further thought that the values that people advocated were all conventional, varying from one culture to another, and that no one would ever act against his or her own interest, regardless of how many people talked as though they would. This complex of ideas offered little to explain human nature and excellence. Socrates' Later Life and Thought Socrates, setting about his search for the self, was convinced of the importance of his quest. Until educators and teachers knew what human excellence was, he thought, they were engaging in false pretenses by claiming that they knew how to improve students or societies.
In the eyes of his contemporaries, Socrates' blatant defiance of tradition and religion as the sole importance of life and thought was so unorthodox that it was punishable by death. According to The Human Record, "Socrates refused to accept the answers of tradition and the way of the past as infallible guides to wisdom and behavior" (Human Record 115). To members of Athenian society, this refusal was completely unacceptable. Even worse to his fellow citizens was Socrates' desire to spread his knowledge and his tendency to encourage others to follow him on his "uncompromising search for truth and goodness of soul" aside from religion (Human Record 119). For his devotion to science, rational thought, secularism, and defiance of religion as life's sole purpose, Socrates' fellow citizens condemned him to death.
It was believed in ancient times that a God came down from the heavens and gave answers to mortals through the oracle. This claim that Socrates is the wisest baffled Socrates and caused him to go on a life long journey to try to figure out if the Gods were actually right. The court tries to argue that this journey was Socrates’ way of trying to prove the Gods wrong and ultimately use that as Socrates doesn’t believe in the God if he is trying to prove him wrong. But in reality, Socrates was doing the exact opposite. He never had a doubt that about the Gods sincerity.