An analysis of socrates apology

Whitehead, once said; "All philosophy is but a footnote to Plato.

An analysis of socrates apology

Euthyphro, who claims to know more of these matters than the ordinary run of men, is shown to know very little when subjected to the test; the contradictions in his position, derived from the poetry, will not stand up to the questioning of philosophy, derived from reason alone.

Can we accept so easily a faith that is bound by reason and must we deny to theology its own methods and sources, apart from philosophy? Speaking as a theologian, I find it necessary to defend the art of our guild, even when practiced by one so artless as Euthyphro.

An analysis of socrates apology

Euthyphro and Socrates, the seer and the sage, are both drawn to the court by issues of impiety, one to make such a charge and one to be so charged. The irony is compounded by the fact that the seer is present to prosecute his own father, a most impious act in the eyes of his countrymen.

Seeing that Euthyphro knows enough about piety to commit such an act, Socrates becomes his student, somewhat disingenuously, in order to learn some defense for his own trial, and Euthyphro promises to help him.

But the sage is able to learn little from the An analysis of socrates apology, despite the An analysis of socrates apology that Euthyphro offers no less then seven definitions of piety. All are found wanting by the philosopher, who begins with a rejection of the poets upon whom Euthyphro depends.

In the end, the irony is made complete as the befuddled theologian departs the court, abandoning both the threatened prosecution of his father and the promised defense of Socrates; the philosopher meanwhile remains to face his own trial alone, without the help of revealed theology.

Human wisdom alone must carry the day, as it has already carried off the theologian. The first question is actually the basis of his own trial; he tells us that because he rejects the myths, people believe him to be sinful.

Poetry is a bad place to search for essential forms, for poetry moves us by metaphor through the particular towards ideas it assumes to be otherwise inexpressible.

The unity of the lovely and what is loved by the gods is also rejected, and not without support of the poets themselves. Since the gods war with each other, they cannot agree on what is good; hence there must be different goods to different gods.

And just as clearly the good must be something apart from the gods; hence the opinion of the gods cannot count for more than the opinion of men; the gods might be powerful, but they are not thereby truthful.

Men must be able to grasp the truth apart from the myths, and this is especially true as the Muses themselves are prone to lying; man must develop his own wisdom, since he cannot trust the wisdom of the Muse.

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Further, since the gods may love what is not good, then the good precedes the gods and stands above them and ought to rule them, just as the philosophers ought to rule the state. Aside from dividing truth from poetry and the good from the gods, Socrates divides justice and holiness.

The service of the gods and the service of men become two clear and distinct things, only one of which involves piety.

This service of the gods is conceived to be in the same class as the service of horses or of dogs, something done to improve them. Thus piety at best becomes a divine commerce, neither more nor less noble than that which takes place in the agora.

Against this, Euthyphro can only re-assert his original definition; threatened by Socrates with repeating the conversation from the beginning, the Theologian flees the scene, abandoning both father and philosopher to their fates, and the philosopher must continue alone. His method, as we have seen, is the method of analysis, of continually dividing things until their indivisible elements are reached, along with the chain of causes that connects them.

In this way, Socrates gets to the essential form of all things, which is found to be the pure and pre-existing ideas. Moreover, he subjects not only the theologians to such analysis, but the statesman, the poet, and the artist as well; all are found lacking in wisdom, all have failed in proper analytic technique.

Indeed, the gods themselves must be subjected, like all else, to the test; no longer are they active subjectswhom men must seek to placate, but objects, like everything else, to be analyzed.

The analysis does them ill; in the end, it is only the philosopher who is fit to govern; indeed, it is only the philosopher who is fit even to breed, or at least direct the breeding of others. Nor is it an easy task to overthrow this reasoning, however uneasy it may make us feel.

For the logic of the pure ideas is indeed compelling in the face of the confusing complexity and changeability of the real world.

An analysis of socrates apology

Even in religions that accord these ideas a great deal of respect, such as Christianity, their place is mainly confined to the higher realms of theology and they rarely intrude themselves on the liturgical or prayer life of the community.

Must we then abandon the idea of a natural theology, or limit its reach to the philosophers? We find that all peoples believe certain things about the divine, among which are that the divinity is reached by prayer, ritual, and sacrifice, and that it is spoken of primarily through poetry and metaphor.

However, this theology is not reachable by the tools of philosophy per se, but by the tools of theology, oddly enough. The canon is designed as a test for Christian tradition, but works as well for tradition in general.

When we apply this canon, we find something remarkable. It may be, as Socrates seems to suspect, that such things are the product of ignorance. Yet, given the ubiquitous nature of the belief, this explanation seems flawed; one would expect correct reasoning to always reach the same result, while ignorance and error would always march off in all sorts of different directions.

For man must not only analyze, he must also synthesize and, mostly, he must act. And the power of man that allows him to integrate all of the diverse elements that the philosophers divide is his experience of the holy, something he experiences mainly as a lack.

Still, he might have stood his ground. But he might have asked Socrates if analysis is the proper way to know persons, and especially divine ones. But Euthyphro cannot define the way in which the warring gods exemplify; a Christian would locate his failure in following the wrong gods, or rather in following gods instead of God, and especially in following gods who lie and make war and love with equal abandon.

However, the Christian ought not to be too superior on this point, since the God of Abraham is not above deceit in guiding his people, as Ahab and Jeremiah discover cf.Socrates of Athens: Euthyphro, Socrates' Defense, CRITO, and the Death Scene from PhAedo PLATO Translated by Cathal Woods and Ryan Pack This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No.

Published: Mon, 5 Dec In its plot, the “Crito” dialogue draws on the continuation of the events discussed in “Apology of Socrates”, i.e.

it describes Socrates as a prisoner under a court sentence and awaiting death in jail. an analysis of the ethical issues related to privacy Polished original Roderic, its an analysis of the apology of socrates gardener contours detoxify multifariously.

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