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Lecture 1

PHIL-105 FA2 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Finishing School, Meletus, Sophist

Course Code
PHIL-105 FA2

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Lecture Notes 1/24/2017
Socrates was hideously ugly and notoriously ugly but people were attracted to him for some reason
because of his high moral standing and heroic acts on the battle field
He was weird and would say that a daimon that was not quite a god and not quite a human
would come to talk to him to tell him not to do something but never to tell him to do something
(moral conscience?)
He would zone out in the middle of events and conversation
He never took money for any of philosophical advice and talks
This was how he differed himself from the sophists who were tutors of high culture and
how to speak well (experts in rhetoric)
Finishing school for the young men of Athens
Sophical is when you feel like you are getting tricked
It helped to differentiate during his trial later on
Sophists versus philosophers
Sophia is the root word and roughly means wisdom
Sophists were those who claimed to possess wisdom
Philo means love or friendship (loving attitude towards something)
Philosophy then means a love for wisdom
Socrates was attracted to them because the sophists claimed that they have wisdom and
philosophers loved wisdom
Socrates found a passion in questioning others who claimed they have wisdom
Plato was one of the men who followed Socrates to learn for him
Plato made it in a dialogue form because it gave it a place in culture because he wanted to train people
and bring them into his academia, however now it makes it more accessible
By not giving them the answer to what piety is, he was training people what it was like to think
and to question the world around them
By writing this in a dialogue, Plato was also allowing Socrates to live on and show how intelligent
he was in his conversations and how he acted with people
Perhaps by going through the questioning of what is happening, it makes you more comfortable
with the decisions you make and the situations around you
Socrates isn't Plato's puppet. He is not right all the time. Plato isn't putting his ideas through Socrates
mouth and don't equate the views of Plato to the views of Socrates. He cares about context and not just
how the argument moves but also how people engage with it.
In this dialogue, the first question isn't the last question.
What is the issue at stake here? What world and characters and dramatic tensions are there?
How do the interactions move on to something else?
The question of this piece is what is piety?
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