Essay PreviewMore ↓
In Plato’s Apology of Socrates, Socrates has to defend himself to the city of Athens. The city of Athens is at odds with Socrates’ philosophy; it contradicted several Athenian beliefs. The city believed that Socrates was an atheist, that he was responsible for corrupting the youth, and that he made the weaker argument the stronger. Socrates believed that he was the most important teacher in the city therefore he continued to defend his actions and beliefs even when his life was on the line. He saw himself as the most important teacher after his visit to the oracle. He believed it was his mission to change the Athenians viewpoints, and he was willing to die for what he believed in. Socrates forced the Athenians to think and to question how they lived their lives. He was a great philosophizer and he knew how important he was to the city.
The city did not share Socrates own view of himself as the most important teacher. They believed his philosophies were evil and they were willing to put him to death for his ideas. In Socrates’ first defense, he uses the story of the Delphic oracle. According to Socrates, the oracle once declared that no one was wiser than Socrates. At first Socrates thought the oracle to be wrong so he began to obtain evidence by conversing with wise people in order to refute the oracle:
He examined the politicians, poets, and artisans and found that they were almost completely ignorant (except for the artisans, who at least knew well their own areas of expertise), and that all thought they knew things, especially “the greatest things,” but in fact they did not know them. Since Socrates was at least aware of his own ignorance, he ranked himself above them in wisdom. (18)
Thus Socrates began to believe that he was the wisest person in the city. The oracle was a turning point in his life. Instead of focusing on astronomical and physical studies, he began to concern himself with moral and political opinions: “this turn to the examination of opinions brought Socrates into conflict with the city as such, for his doubt of the worth of generally accepted opinions was also a challenge to the most authoritative opinions, those which concern the city’s gods and the city’s laws…”(18). The fact that Socrates knew he was the wisest and that he began to concern himself with philosophies of the city shows that he saw himself as the most important teacher in the city.
How to Cite this Page
"Does Socrates see himself as the most important teacher in the city?." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Apr 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Over the years of my highschool and college education, I have read the “Apology of Socrates” and “The Republic of Plato” four times. Every time I read these two texts, I come out of the experience with something new. There is just so much information in these two books that you are never able to catch all the little details and hidden meanings. I imagine that even if I read these books hundreds of times, I still wouldn’t have grasped all that I was intended to. I think the reason behind this is because Socrates’ personality is so complex, and you never fully understand exactly what he’s trying to say.... [tags: Plato, Socrates, Apology, Athens]
1279 words (3.7 pages)
- Introduction Paper When most think about death and the after life they suddenly become shaken. Is death painful. Is it scary. Is there like after death. Are we truly at peace. What happens to our soul. Those who believe that God is our creator they seem to be less frightened about the idea of death. Socrates on the other hand was never once frightened about the idea of death. Throughout the Apology, one is able to clearly analyze Socrates’ view on death and the soul. The Apology is the actual speech delivered by Socrates during his death trial.... [tags: Socrates, Plato, Life, Philosophy]
1192 words (3.4 pages)
- Socrates’ Conviction: How and Why. Around the time of 469 to 399 A.D. Socrates existed as a stone cutter who had a passion for philosophy. He taught many pupils, including the well-known philosopher Plato, and created a method of teaching called the Socratic Method. This new method of thinking encouraged people to question everything around them and invest in critical evaluation. One day Socrates was accused of corrupting the minds of the Athenian youth. Was Socrates wrongly convicted, or was what the Athenians did just.... [tags: Plato, Socrates, Athens, Athenian democracy]
1294 words (3.7 pages)
- The death of Socrates has had a huge and almost continuous impact on western culture. The only death of comparable importance in our history is that of Jesus, with whom Socrates has often been compared to. The death of Socrates has always been controversial. The cultures of Graeco-Roman antiquity remain relevant not because we share the beliefs of the ancients, but because we continue to be preoccupied by many of their questions, worried by their anxieties, unable to resolve their dilemmas. The trial of Socrates is the first case in recorded history when a democratic government, by due process of law, condemned a person to death for his beliefs.... [tags: Socrates, Plato, Democracy, Trial of Socrates]
1052 words (3 pages)
- “To stand up for what you believe in is more important than to be scared of imprisonment or death.” – Socrates The Apology In this literature review I will discuss both Socrates and Jesus Christ (Jesus). I will compare and distinguish them, by their trial, misdeeds (through the view of society), law, justice and punishment. In addition, I will write about their influence in today’s society and what impact they have made through time. Both Socrates and Jesus had many things in common yet, they we’re different.... [tags: Comparing Socrates and Jesus Christ]
1058 words (3 pages)
- Socrates was a revolutionary thinker. He brought new ideas and processes of thought to Athenian society and his work still has its place in the world today. However during his time, his ideas were not always thought of as a good thing. Many viewed him as a corrupting influence on other people and accused him of forcing his ideas upon others. Perhaps most frequently the center of controversy was his thoughts on theocracy and piety as seen in the Plato’s Euthyphro. Socrates also appears at the butt end of Aristophanes’ comedy Clouds, where he is satirically ridiculed and seemingly corrupting the youth of Athens in his school, the Thinkery.... [tags: Philosophy, socrates, government,]
638 words (1.8 pages)
- The Last Days of Socrates Plato. The Last Days of Socrates. London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1993 Imagine the time just after the death of Socrates. The people of Athens were filled with questions about the final judgment of this well-known, long-time citizen of Athens. Socrates was accused at the end of his life of impiety and corruption of youth. Rumors, prejudices, and questions flew about the town. Plato experienced this situation when Socrates, his teacher and friend, accepted the ruling of death from an Athenian court.... [tags: Plato Socrates Philosophy Essays]
2263 words (6.5 pages)
- The two main principles of theology represented by Socrates at the end of Book II are in reference to his plan of guardian education. The importance of the education of the Gods is the implementation of the Guardian class on the city. As the class will be young and impressionable when hearing the stories it is critical that these are watched carefully. Socrates further expands the education of the Guardians to that of justice that comes from the city and the city is made up of its people. The first principle of theology in relation to the education of the Guardians that Socrates asserts is that the Gods are purely good thus only create good in the world.... [tags: Virtue, Plato, Ethics, Philosophy]
1460 words (4.2 pages)
- “If you are willing, let’s first find out what sort of thing justice is in cities, and afterward look for it in the individual, to see if the larger entity is similar in form to the smaller one” (Republic 368e8-369a2). This idea that there will be more justice in a city as compared to a single person sets Socrates off on an extended tangent trying to create the just city, Kalliⲑpolis. Theoretically, he was making a utopian society. By utopia, I mean that the city possesses perfect elements, or more simply put, there would be no better city.... [tags: Dystopia, Society, Analysis]
1286 words (3.7 pages)
- Socrates and Properties By Characterizing himself –Socrates- as both ignorant and wise, he presents us with one of the most striking paradoxes. Like so many of the other philosophers, is provocative in that its apparent self-contradiction hides an important idea for us readers to discover. Though out this text Socrates ignorance results from his belief that he has no knowledge of moral idea, or moral properties, such as justice, virtue, piety, and beauty. He asserts that, if only he knew the relevant definitions, he would be a moral expert who could answer philosophical questions about moral properties- questions such as is a certain action just.... [tags: essays research papers]
3231 words (9.2 pages)
Socrates was on a mission to change the city’s beliefs and outlook on life. He truly believed he was essential to changing the Athenians:
And if one of you disputes it and asserts that he does care, I will not immediately let him go, nor will I go away, but I will speak to him and examine and test him. And if he does not seem to me to possess virtue, but only says he does, I will reproach him, saying that he regards the things worth the most as the least important, and the paltrier things as more important. I will do this to whomever, younger or older, I happen to meet, both foreigner and townsmen, but more so to the townsmen, inasmuch as you are closer to me in kin. (81)
Socrates was completely against how the Athenians valued money and material possessions over ones soul: “Not from money does virtue come, but from virtue comes money and all of the other good things for human beings both privately and publicly” (81). Socrates showed his belief of his own importance as a teacher by how he relentlessly questioned and examined the beliefs of the Athenians. He taught the young because he knew that they would be able to produce change whereas the elders would not change their beliefs.
Socrates knew that what he was teaching would anger most of the people in Athens. He was in reckless pursuit of the truth and he knew that he could be put to death for what he was teaching but he went ahead and did it anyway. He wanted to make change and that is why he taught the young and not the old. He regarded himself as so important that he was willing to die in order to make change:
Probably what has occurred to me has turned out to be good, and there is no way that those of us take it correctly who suppose that being dead is bad. In my view, a great proof of this has happened. For there is no way that the accustomed sign would not have opposed me unless I were about to do something good. (94)
Socrates believed that being dead is one of two things. It is either like being nothing without any perception, or it is a change of place and a transition of the soul from one place to another place. He regarded either one to be great so he had no fear of dying. He truly felt that he had something worth dying for and he was truly convinced of his importance to the city.
Socrates truly was an amazing teacher, he was wise in many ways and he knew that he was important to the city of Athens. The oracle confirmed his wisdom and led Socrates focus his teachings on bettering the city. Socrates therefore made it his mission to teach the Athenians to examine and question their lives. Finally, Socrates knew he was so important to the city that he was willing to recklessly pursue what he believed in even if it meant death as a consequence. Even after Socrates died his teachings lived on through his student Plato, and Plato’s student Aristotle.