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 Class Forums - Spring 2013
 PHIL 200-001 - Sokrates and Plato
 Memorable Passages from Plato's Apology
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Eva Gomez
Fledgling

5 Posts

Posted - Jan 27 2013 :  4:38:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here are some passages that stood out for me as I read Plato's Apology:
quote:
From The Apology (p. 509)

From this enquiry, gentlemen, many dislikes have arisen against me, and those very dangerous and crushing, so that many calumnies have come out of them, and I got the title of being wise.
quote:
From The Apology (p. 509)

And because of this busy life, I have had no leisure either for public business worth mentioning or private, but I remain in infinite poverty through my service of the god.
     Besides this, the young men, those who have most leisure, sons of the most wealthy houses, follow me of their own accord, delighted to hear people being cross-examined; and they often imitate me, they try themselves to cross-examine, and then, I think, they find plenty of people who believe they know something, when they know little or nothing.
quote:
From The Apology (p. 509-510)

[T]hey repeat the stock charges against all philosophers, "underground lore and up-in-the-air-lore, atheists, making the weaker argument the stronger.
quote:
From The Apology (p. 512)

What a blessing it would be for young people, if only a single one corrupts them, and all the rest do them good! But really, Meletos, that is enough to show that you never were anxious about young people, you show clearly your own carelessness—you have cared nothing about the things you impeach me for.
quote:
From The Apology (p. 517)

Many thanks indeed for your kindness gentlemen, but I will obey the god rather than you, and as long as I have breath in me, and remain able to do it, I will never cease being a philosopher, and exhorting you, and showing what is in me to any one of you I may meet, by speaking to him in my usual way….
quote:
From The Apology (p. 518)

Be sure of this, that if you put me to death, being such as I am, you will not hurt me so much as yourselves. I should not be hurt either by Meletos or Anytos, he could not do it, for I think the eternal law forbids a better man to be hurt by a worse.
These are just some of the passages that I enjoyed and thought very memorable. If any passages in the dialogue were passages that moved you or that you enjoyed, feel free to add them. :)

What do you guys think about these passages? What do you think Socrates was trying to get out to his "audience?" Why do you think they voted him guilty?

[Very lightly edited to enhance readability -TT]

Tom Trelogan
Forum Admin

1430 Posts

Posted - Jan 28 2013 :  11:30:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like all those passages, Eva, especially the last one, which I find especially thought-provoking. It suggests something that many of the other things the Platonic Sokrates says also suggest, namely, that whether a man or a woman is an excellent human being or a lousy human being is entirely a function of his or her own actions and choices. Here's another passage from Plato's Apology I like a lot—for essentially the same reason:
quote:
From The Apology (p. 515)

You are wrong...if you think a man with a spark of decency in him ought to calculate life or death; the only thing he ought to consider, if he does anything, is whether he does right or wrong, whether it's what a good man does or a bad man.
You'll find Plato's Sokrates saying much the same thing to an old friend, Kriton, in the Crito as well, and if you look, I think you'll see it elsewhere in the Platonic dialogues we read this semester too. And of course if what Plato's Sokrates says in these passages is true, then the question of just what it is to be an excellent human being—certainly one of the questions Plato's Sokrates cares about most if it isn't the question he cares about most—really is an important question.
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Nate Natale
Newcomer

2 Posts

Posted - Jan 30 2013 :  12:57:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like the passage where Socrates is talking about his conversation with the statesmen regarding wisdom.
quote:
(p. 507)
I went away thinking to myself that I was wiser than this man; the fact is that neither of us knows anything beautiful and good, but he thinks he does know when he doesn't, and I don't know and don't think I do: so I am wiser than he is by only this trifle, that what I do not know I don't think I do."
It seems to me that Socrates is saying that a wise man recognizes his own ignorance while the unwise man just goes on pretending to know it all.

I think Socrates wants people to wake up from their illusions about what they think they know and instead yearn to discover ultimate truths and pursue a life that is good and just.

I think the court found him guilty because he was thinking and speaking of ways to view things that didn't fit in with the status quo.

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Eva Gomez
Fledgling

5 Posts

Posted - Jan 30 2013 :  1:40:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nate...

What a great passage to add to the thread. I like it. Can't believe I overlooked it.

I think Socrates devoted his entire being to "waking people up," and although many people were grateful and understanding, a lot of people didn't understand the meaning of living "simply and well." It was a new concept...

I like your choice of terms here: "status quo"—that’s exactly what I was thinking of. "Stick to what you know."

Thanks for the reply, Nate.
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Jessica Shadowen
Fledgling

7 Posts

Posted - May 08 2013 :  7:04:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think all of those passage are great. I also think that these are some great passages.
quote:
(p. 516)
To fear death, gentlemen, is only to think you are wise when you are not; for it is to think you knows what you don't know.
I think this one is interesting because Socrates so often proves people to be unwise when they think they are wise, as he does in the Euthyphro.

I also really like this passage:
quote:
(p. 529)
Let us consider in another way, how great is the hope that [death] is good. Death is one of two things: either the dead man is nothing and has no consciousness of anything at all, or it is, as people say, a change and a migration for the soul from this place here to another place.
I was wondering what you guys think of these passages.

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Alejandro Tapia
Fledgling

5 Posts

Posted - May 08 2013 :  7:52:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In regards to the quote that Nate presented:
quote:
(p. 507)
I went away thinking to myself that I was wiser than this man; the fact is that neither of us knows anything beautiful and good, but he thinks he does know when he doesn't, and I don't know and don't think I do: so I am wiser than he is by only this trifle, that what I do not know I don't think I do."
I have to say that it was one of many passages that really made my mind boggle. I never really thought of it, but it is true that many people claim themselves to be "wise" but cannot defend this claim. They are only pretending to be smart and wise.

And Nate, you're also right in saying that "a wise man recognizes his own ignorance." In society -- nowadays and well, since the beginning of time -- being knowledgeable gives you a higher status/position than, let's say, that of a not-so-smart individual. In view of this, I can see why many people out there try to lie their way through about knowing things. They want to impress people, whether it is a guy trying to get a specific girl's attention, or simply a man who is trying to get the managers of a firm to notice him. Although it may be a tad bit sad, many people will do anything to impress and 'wow' the crowd. Take a look at reality TV shows; twenty years ago, who would have thought there would be a program about teenagers' being pregnant?

Anyway, back to the central topic:

Many individuals out there pretend to be smart and knowledgeable, but a man who is truly wise recognizes his flaws and ignorance.
Who else completely agrees with this? Does anyone disagree?

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Jessica Shadowen
Fledgling

7 Posts

Posted - May 09 2013 :  11:39:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Alejandro, I completely agree. I think that the same can be said for people who admit that they are wrong. It takes courage for people to admit that they are wrong. It's as if we respect those who can admit they have flaws because as human beings we know that we are not perfect. That is why it is ludicrous when someone has to be better than someone else or has to prove someone else wrong, or is never wrong in general, because we know that people who do this are lying since nobody is ever right all the time. Such people are very annoying. It makes one wonder why people think they are constantly right. Is it pride? What makes them believe that being wrong is a sign of weakness?

Any thoughts?

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Patrick Jorgenson
Newcomer

4 Posts

Posted - May 09 2013 :  2:00:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
From The Apology (p. 512)

What a blessing it would be for young people, if only a single one corrupts them, and all the rest do them good! But really, Meletos, that is enough to show that you never were anxious about young people, you show clearly your own carelessness—you have cared nothing about the things you impeach me for.
This passage from the Apology that Eva pointed out is part of a passage that I had been searching for for awhile.

By pointing out that Meletos, one of his accusers, doesn't care about the Athenian youth, Socrates shows that his argument is null and void. Bringing out this contradiction was, I felt, Socrates' coup de grâce in The Apology.
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Patrick Jorgenson
Newcomer

4 Posts

Posted - May 09 2013 :  2:29:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
From The Apology (p. 531)

And now it is time to go, I to die, and you to live; but which of us goes to a better thing is unknown to all but God.
This, I feel, doesn't just show us how amazing of a speaker Socrates is, it also illuminates Plato as a writer, the other person this course has been on. Leaving off on this monumental statement was very strategic on Plato's part.

The last passage gave me shivers, and I visualized the entire court having the same reaction.

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Alejandro Tapia
Fledgling

5 Posts

Posted - May 09 2013 :  5:24:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In regards to what Patrick has posted, I'm going to have to say that I agree. That remark of Socrates really packs a punch, and his audience must have been shocked when they heard him say this. I would have to say that this may be the most powerful thing ever said by Socrates. It shows his acceptance of 'dying' and of 'moving on,' which nobody else expected. The court must have been caught completely off guard by this amazing speaker.

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