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Socrates - October 10, 2013.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
Political Science 2237E
Professor
Mike Laurence
Semester
Fall

Description
The Sophists Continued • The Sophists are depicted the ‘other’ of philosophy.  The other is a condition of  being secondary.  Plato considered them dangerous because of their  commonalities: earned a living by charging fees, and they rejected the notion of  the common good or universal morality/definition of justice (in Athens).   • Many argue that justice is defined by the elites of society.  These relativists’  notions of justice put forward by the Sophists were very controversial. • Contemporary theorists suggest that language cannot reach universal truth, but  that we are caught up in a mixed power struggle – this is why rhetoric and use of  language is so value.  Plato detested this idea – for him, justice is universal and  timeless. • Lyotard implies that we have lost the ability to listen to grand, world­wide  narratives. Who was Socrates? • According to Plato, Socrates was the patron saint of philosophy.  He brought  philosophy into the marketplace. • How did he pursue his wisdom/knowledge? By what means? o Wandered amongst the people, using Socratic questioning – he would  cross­examine to critique moral and claims to knowledge. o There is a value for critique, even if nothing positive comes of it. The Apology Analysis • The Apology is rooted in the Greek word Apologia, meaning “defense”. • Athenians accused the Sophists as being guilty of corrupting morals, and saw  Socrates as a Sophist (he wasn’t). • The burden of proof was on the accused. • Socrates offers 2 defenses: o First: Defends himself against his reputati
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