An introduction to the history of plato and socrates

As an infantryman, Socrates showed great physical endurance and courage, rescuing the future Athenian leader Alcibiades during the siege of Potidaea in B. Despite his intellect and connections, he rejected the sort of fame and power that Athenians were expected to strive for. His lifestyle—and eventually his death—embodied his spirit of questioning every assumption about virtue, wisdom and the good life.

An introduction to the history of plato and socrates

Pythagoreanism Although Socrates influenced Plato directly as related in the dialogues, the influence of Pythagoras upon Plato also appears to have significant discussion in the philosophical literature.

Introduction to Plato

Pythagoras, or in a broader sense, the Pythagoreans, allegedly exercised an important influence on the work of Plato. Harethis influence consists of three points: It is probable that both were influenced by Orphism.

The physical world of becoming is an imitation of the mathematical world of being. These ideas were very influential on HeraclitusParmenides and Plato. Metaphysics These two philosophers, following the way initiated by pre-Socratic Greek philosophers like Pythagoras, depart from mythology and begin the metaphysical tradition that strongly influenced Plato and continues today.

His image of the river, with ever-changing waters, is well known. According to this theory, there is a world of perfect, eternal, and changeless forms, the realm of Being, and an imperfect sensible world of becoming that partakes of the qualities of the forms, and is its instantiation in the sensible world.

The precise relationship between Plato and Socrates remains an area of contention among scholars.

An introduction to the history of plato and socrates

Plato makes it clear in his Apology of Socrates that he was a devoted young follower of Socrates. In that dialogue, Socrates is presented as mentioning Plato by name as one of those youths close enough to him to have been corrupted, if he were in fact guilty of corrupting the youth, and questioning why their fathers and brothers did not step forward to testify against him if he was indeed guilty of such a crime 33d—34a.

Introduction to Plato

Phaedo 59b Plato never speaks in his own voice in his dialogues. In any case, Xenophon and Aristophanes seem to present a somewhat different portrait of Socrates from the one Plato paints.

An introduction to the history of plato and socrates

In the times of Homer and Hesiod 8th century BC they were quite synonyms, and contained the meaning of tale or history. Later came historians like Herodotus and Thucydides, as well as philosophers as Parmenides and other Presocratics that introduced a distinction between both terms, and mythos became more a nonverifiable account, and logos a rational account.

Instead he made an abundant use of it. This fact has produced analytical and interpretative work, in order to clarify the reasons and purposes for that use.

Plato, in general, distinguished between three types of myth. Then came the myths based on true reasoning, and therefore also true. Finally there were those non verifiable because beyond of human reason, but containing some truth in them. He considered that only a few people were capable or interested in following a reasoned philosophical discourse, but men in general are attracted by stories and tales.

Consequently, then, he used the myth to convey the conclusions of the philosophical reasoning. Aristotle gestures to the earth, representing his belief in knowledge through empirical observation and experience, while holding a copy of his Nicomachean Ethics in his hand.

Plato holds his Timaeus and gestures to the heavens, representing his belief in The Forms. In ancient Athens, a boy was socially located by his family identity, and Plato often refers to his characters in terms of their paternal and fraternal relationships. Socrates was not a family man, and saw himself as the son of his mother, who was apparently a midwife.

Christopher Taylor

A divine fatalist, Socrates mocks men who spent exorbitant fees on tutors and trainers for their sons, and repeatedly ventures the idea that good character is a gift from the gods.

In the Theaetetus, he is found recruiting as a disciple a young man whose inheritance has been squandered. Socrates twice compares the relationship of the older man and his boy lover to the father-son relationship Lysis a, Republic 3. Socrates is often found arguing that knowledge is not empirical, and that it comes from divine insight.

In many middle period dialogues, such as the Phaedo, Republic and Phaedrus Plato advocates a belief in the immortality of the soul, and several dialogues end with long speeches imagining the afterlife. More than one dialogue contrasts knowledge and opinion, perception and realitynature and custom, and body and soul.

Several dialogues tackle questions about art: Socrates says that poetry is inspired by the musesand is not rational. In IonSocrates gives no hint of the disapproval of Homer that he expresses in the Republic. Socrates and his company of disputants had something to say on many subjects, including politics and art, religion and science, justice and medicine, virtue and vice, crime and punishment, pleasure and pain, rhetoric and rhapsody, human nature and sexuality, as well as love and wisdom.

While most people take the objects of their senses to be real if anything is, Socrates is contemptuous of people who think that something has to be graspable in the hands to be real.

In other words, such people live without the divine inspiration that gives him, and people like him, access to higher insights about reality. Socrates says that he who sees with his eyes is blind, and this idea is most famously captured in his Allegory of the Caveand more explicitly in his description of the divided line.Introduction to Socratic Ethics commentators believe that the Socrates presented in Plato’s early dialogues (especially the Euthyphro, Crito and the Apology) most closely represents the real Socrates.

It is to these Journal of the History of Philoso-phy 25 (): Plato's Socrates also made important and lasting contributions to the field of epistemology, as a representation of the actual Socrates as he lived in history. At the same time, however, many scholars believe that in some works, Plato, being a literary artist, pushed his avowedly brightened-up version of "Socrates" far beyond.

Socrates has a unique position in the history of philosophy. Had it not been for his influence on Plato, the whole development of Western philosophy might have been unimaginably different since Socrates wrote nothing himself, and our knowledge of him is derived primarily from the engaging and infuriating figure who appears in Plato's dialogues.

Aug 22,  · Some have argued that the most important and influential philosopher of all time is Plato, the brilliant student of Socrates who carried on and greatly expanded the tradition established by his.

To clarify the Greek history before Plato’s time further, Of course, like his teacher Socrates, Plato wanted to transform his society, In his “General Introduction” to Peter Meineck’s translation of Aristophanes’ Clouds, Wasps, and Birds.

The name of Plato’s teacher, Socrates, appears in the title of only one dialogue, the Apology of Socrates. Other titles refer to the theme of the dialogue (e.g., Republic, Laws, Statesman, Sophist).

Socrates: A Very Short Introduction - Very Short Introductions