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POL200Y5 Study Guide - Final Guide: Examined Life, Meletus, Timocracy

Political Science
Course Code
Mark Lippincott
Study Guide

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September 13th
-presumed knowledge
owhen we need to use that knowledge – inadequate
Trial and Death of Socrates
-impiety – not believing in the Gods of Athens
owhat does it mean to love the Gods?
ohow do mortals know what the Gods want and don’t want?
-not trying to deceive anyone, is honestly trying to understand – rethink what we know
-*Homer is guide to what Gods want
-Plato’s Socrates – not verbatim to what was said

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September 20th
The Trial and Death of Socrates
-we always run out of time: what Plato wants you to feel
-people that give us answers do not know what they are talking about
-accusing Socrates in not believing in the official Gods of Athens and corrupting the young
-what Plato thinks of Socrates – the dialogue
-Socrates’ first time in court – 2 charges
oFormal: Meletus
oOld Accusers: reputation of Socrates
make weaker arguments weak and stronger arguments strong
gossip about who Socrates is and what he does
-it is important to him to represent himself to the jury, not hire a speech writer
ofinally see the person everyone has been talking about, hear not only him, but
how he does things, what he does – be clear – change the misconceptions about
who he is and what he does
-question: is anyone wiser than Socrates? – NO
-the Gods as we know, do not speak straightforwardly
owe must investigate this “NO” – how is he the wisest of all humans?
-go to the people with the greatest reputation for wisdom
ofound out that they knew nothing
-came to the following conclusions about the answers
o2 main possibilities:
1. human knowledge is worthless
no one said Socrates was wise, just that he was wiser, so we
could all be stupid
-who directed you towards what is good and evil?
ohow do you know they are telling you anything worthwhile
omethod by which you can strip away nonsense (presumed knowledge)
ohe knows what he knows, and he knows he doesn’t know things
-never had students, never charged fees – came to conclusions with his formal
surveys/investigations, all he did was spend his life talking to whomever whenever to talk
about important things
-dedicated his life to try to wake up Athenians
-Plato sees Socrates as a beginning of a new form of knowledge
-what separates Socrates from everyone else is that he can start from scratch to eliminate
the presumed knowledge
-no one intentionally harms people he is with all the time – unintentionally – not illegal –
should be instruction
odon’t ask people to follow him around – free will
othey imitate him and start questioning people
-what he believes has annoyed people is his following and his reputation
-he believes he performs a service to Athens
osees it as a strong but lazy force
ocalls himself the gadfly – annoying

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ocomes to wake Athens – not think this, not follow me, not bound to that – but
simply WAKE UP – to the possibilities of your own life
dream-walking due to presumed knowledge
each of you will wake up differently – what do you really know?
-if you don’t wake up and examine your presumed knowledge, you will succumb to it and
it will be your downfall
-doesn’t tell you what to think, but what to examine
othe unexamined life is not worth living – you’re not really alive – you’re living
someone else’s life, the one that taught you the lies
-death to Socrates vs. free meals
otreat me with respect like an athlete because I performed a service for Athens
-why would he propose a penalty if he did nothing wrong?
obut how about a (small) fine – he is a poor man
-more people voted to kill him than to kill him
ofree meals comment backfired – not taking things seriously
-he tells the people that voted for his innocence that his entire life he has been followed
by a demon – conscious – when he was about to do something that would be harmful to
him, it would stop him
-Socrates trusts this voice – he is not the only one in Athens to experience this – voice
never gives him direction, only warns him when he about to take an action that will harm
onow he is under a sentence of death – the voice never spoke to him during the
trial, never stopped him from saying anything (happy meals etc)
-he offers them 2 “good hopes” about deaths – based on his experience of the voice not
o2 opinions of the afterlife
1. it is like an eternal sleep, there is no afterlife
he has lived a full life, not saying he wants to die – not afraid to
die – why? doesn’t have presumed knowledge of the afterlife
if you don’t know what it is, how can you afraid of it
not afraid of the dark, afraid of what you think is in the dark
making up things about what is out there
doesn’t want to live longer if he has to live the life he doesn’t
want to live – can’t force him to change his life
going to death without any regrets, thus he is not afraid
2. party with the best – ex. Homer
got nothing but time, will talk all day about the questions of life,
for eternity
if you are living the examined life, you will not presume to know
things about the afterlife that you do not know
-if you live a good life, why should you fear the afterlife
-think about death properly and you will think about life properly
-Socrates’ last night
-a month has gone by since his sentencing to his execution
-his oldest friend comes to him the night before his death to ask him to flee into exile
guards have an arrangement and do not care
odo not want his death on his friend’s hands
otake your family with you and leave – live happily
-Socrates says I am willing to rethink this with you at death’s doorstep
-think about your children:
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