PHL100Y1 Lecture Notes - Participatory Democracy, Sophist, Athenian Democracy

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3 Feb 2013
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Socrates: The Apology
- in the 5th century, a huge base of people obeyed and followed a dictator or
higher leader
- Greek people lived in the Middle East
- Greeks in city states organized themselves different than those run by kings;
citizenry of Sparta ran like the army, everything was done together; very
efficient because everything was done together
- the city state of Athens was a democracy: children and women couldn't
vote, certain qualifications were needed to be a participatory citizen
- it was democratic because any citizen could propose a law or speak against
it; a general participatory democracy; people would debate it and pass it or
not
- citizens were randomly chosen as generals
- the usual way to get something in your favour was to have effective
speaking skills, must be persuasive and use reason (essential to philosophy
and key to Athenian democracy)
- equality was built into the democracy of Athens because anyone could
propose or speak against a legislature
- for various reasons in the 5th century BC, the Athenians managed to lead a
league of Greek city states to successful military power, wealth and influence
- Athens had *suddenly* become wealthy and powerful
- the key to success in Athens was speaking well
- tutors in speaking and arguing well were Sophists
- Socrates was of the generation of the Sophists; he was involved in the art of
effective speaking
- in Ancient Greece:
-they were very experimental
-they were rich and powerful and had much influence
- Crisis of Traditional Values: the way things have been done will no longer be
done this way; these values were being called into question and Socrates was
one of these questioners
- Socrates was a native of Athens and he would go around and ask his fellow
citizens moral questions
- Socrates claims not to know, but wishes to and is a lover of knowledge
- the Oracle said that Socrates was the wisest person in the world so he went
around to politicians, artists and craftspeople and found that she was
probably right
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