Notes on chapter 2 pg.14-25 Socrates: The First Moralist
Socrates (c.470-399 B.C) he was 70 years old when he died, his father was Sophroniscus, a sculptor, his mother Phaenarete, was a midwife. Socrates was likely a stonemason and a sculptor before turning to philosophy. He was a soldier during the Peloponnesian War. He has walked barefoot across ice, meditated standing up for thirty-six hours. He had the ability to ignore physical discomfort in order to achieve some greater mental or spiritual objective.The oracle at Delphi began his philosophical mission. He went to disprove the oracle and questioned citizens for knowledge but found they had none. He said “Real wisdom is the property of God, and this oracle is his way of telling us that human wisdom has little or no value.” Socrates unlike others had no knowledge and knew it when others thought they had knowledge but did not. To be aware of one’s own ignorance is true wisdom.
-is the most important philosopher in the history of western thought. He raised philosophical questions about virtue and the nature of good life. Socrates- “The unexamined life is not worth living” He would not stop philosophizing even to save his life. Much of his early life and education are unclear. We have learned some from his student Plato. In 299 B.C Socrates was brought to trial on two charges. One was not worshipping the gods whom the state worshiped but introducing new and unfamiliar religious practices and two was corrupting the youth of Athens. He cold have gone to exile but chose to defend himself in front of 501 jurors. He was found guilty and received the death penalty. He drank hemlock and died. He invented the field of philosophy known as ethics and is the first moralist.
Sophists were traveling teachers. They taught rhetoric (persuasive speech). They charged fees for teaching and usually sought the rich who could pay.
Protagoras(409-420 B.C) was the most influential sophist in Athens. He said “Man is the measure of all things; of the things that are, that they are, of the things that are not, that they are not.” Relativism- the view that each person must decide the truth for his or her self. In ethics there are no absolutes. Socrates had a different view than the sophists. He thought certain moral knowledge could be arrived at through the pursuit of truth, rather than persuasion. He was trying to establish a solid basis for morality. ETHICAL DOCTRINES One is that knowledge and virtue are the same thing, to know the good is to do the good. The second is that wrongdoing harms the doer more than it harms the recipient of the wrongdoing. He says that if a person fully understands what the good is then he will do that good. Vice or evil is the asense of knowledge.. anyone who knows what goodness is will automatically do it. Self-knowledge is the most important kind of knowledge there is. Socrates explained why he did not fear death. He described it as either a state of unconsciousness, a dreamlike state of sleep. Or a place he would meet his ‘true judges’. He said atat those who have put him to death will suffer more. He sought definitions of terms like justice and virtue, love and piety. Unless one could define these terms that one didn’t know what love and virtue were. He used inductive reasoning. If...
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