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Lecture

Plato's Apology

3 Pages
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Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA232H1
Professor
Victoria Wohl

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04.04.11
Plato’s Apology
-Alterity within society ~ if not solved, can lead to fracturing of society (e.g., Athens, 2 oligarchic
coups at the end of 5th c.)
-Scapegoat ~ instilling bad fortune on one individual or animal and exiling or sacrificing them to
get rid of the evil
oGirard postulates that the scapegoat ritual exist to resolve differences and create unity in
the society that remains
oBanish those who embody the difference (the Other) to create a homogenous society
oE.g., Jews and Nazis; Oedipus
-Athen’s form of scapegoat ritual = Ostracism
oPolitical procedure; voted on to be initiated for the year
oIf voted to be held, members vote on who to exile for 10 years (usually a prominent
person / politician)
oTo eliminate threat of civil war or tyranny – prevent one person from amassing great
power through banishment
-Politics is a competition – all or nothing
-Scapegoat is seen in Comedies
oComedy = Subtle scapegoating ~ taking an individual who is different, laughing at him,
making him removed from the rest to restore the norm (put him on the spotlight to create
a semblance of unity among the audience)
-Socrates a favorite scapegoat – why is he so dangerous to the Athenians?
-Older man will educate the young lover (old-fashioned education)
oTeaching him values of Athenian elite community – traditional
oConsolidates class hierarchy, identity
oConvert social elite to political elite
Advantages of wealth >> advantages of political power (buy education)
-430s, Sophists
oSophia, wisdom
oSophists = traveling teachers (wise men)
oTeach rhetoric for a fee
Make political power open to anyone
Subversive to (old) aristocratic elite
oSophists = strangers, foreigners, take money for education
Makes them suspect to the Athenians
How to know if they are in it for the money only/
oUpholds no other virtues but wisdom (and rhetoric)
oKnow of them from enemy records (biased to them being suspicious, bad) – radical
Protagoras: man measure of all things (~ might makes right)
Emphasis on logos (argument, logic)
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Description
04.04.11 Platos Apology - Alterity within society ~ if not solved, can lead to fracturing of society (e.g., Athens, 2 oligarchic th coups at the end of 5 c.) - Scapegoat ~ instilling bad fortune on one individual or animal and exiling or sacrificing them to get rid of the evil o Girard postulates that the scapegoat ritual exist to resolve differences and create unity in the society that remains o Banish those who embody the difference (the Other) to create a homogenous society o E.g., Jews and Nazis; Oedipus - Athens form of scapegoat ritual = Ostracism o Political procedure; voted on to be initiated for the year o If voted to be held, members vote on who to exile for 10 years (usually a prominent person politician) o To eliminate threat of civil war or tyranny prevent one person from amassing great power through banishment - Politics is a competition all or nothing - Scapegoat is seen in Comedies o Comedy = Subtle scapegoating ~ taking an individual who is different, laughing at him, making him removed from the rest to restore the norm (put him on the spotlight to create
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