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Political Science
Mark Lippincott

POL200 th September 13 - presumed knowledge o when we need to use that knowledge inadequate Trial and Death of Socrates - impiety not believing in the Gods of Athens o what does it mean to love the Gods? o how do mortals know what the Gods want and dont want? - not trying to deceive anyone, is honestly trying to understand rethink what we know - *Homer is guide to what Gods want - Platos Socrates not verbatim to what was said POL200 September 20 th The Trial and Death of Socrates Euthyphro - 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 Trial - 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 o Formal: Meletus o Old 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 o finally 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 o we must investigate this NO how is he the wisest of all humans? - go to the people with the greatest reputation for wisdom o found out that they knew nothing - came to the following conclusions about the answers o 2 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? o how do you know they are telling you anything worthwhile o method by which you can strip away nonsense (presumed knowledge) o he knows what he knows, and he knows he doesnt 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 o dont ask people to follow him around free will o they 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 o sees it as a strong but lazy force o calls himself the gadfly annoying o comes 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 dont wake up and examine your presumed knowledge, you will succumb to it and it will be your downfall - doesnt tell you what to think, but what to examine o the unexamined life is not worth living youre not really alive youre living someone elses life, the one that taught you the lies - death to Socrates vs. free meals o treat me with respect like an athlete because I performed a service for Athens - why would he propose a penalty if he did nothing wrong? o but how about a (small) fine he is a poor man - more people voted to kill him than to kill him o free 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 him o now 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 speaking o 2 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? doesnt have presumed knowledge of the afterlife if you dont 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 doesnt want to live longer if he has to live the life he doesnt want to live cant 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 Crito - 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 o do not want his death on his friends hands o take your family with you and leave live happily - Socrates says I am willing to rethink this with you at deaths doorstep - think about your children: o what kind of father would I be if I teach them to live a certain way then become a coward and leave - imagine the laws intersecting me
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