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Philosophy Protagoras

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Jason Harayda

Tuesday- Oct 16th (Protagoras- Plato)

Protagoras is an interesting text, an ultimate debate between the wise Protagoras (sophist) and Socrates. Hippocrates’ interest in Protagoras sparks many questions within Socrates’ “I know nothing” mind. I think its quite funny when thinking about the scenario; imagining someone knocking on my door late at night just to inform me that he’s going to pay someone for knowledge, without a justifiable reason. My question is why on earth Socrates had any interest hopping along with Hippocrates on his quest? That’s not normal! What was Socrates trying to do? What was his point? Why is Hippocrates going behind the backs of friends, family, and even Socrates? I don’t think he understands what he’s getting into, and that’s probably why Socrates comes along. Is Socrates after something here? Maybe this is a way in which Socrates can teach Hippocrates without, theoretically, teaching him. There’s something to learn from Socrates in this situation? There’s a deeper why? Why does he ask the questions he does? WHY DOES HE GO WITH HIPPOCRATES?

Ideology that all bad comes from ignorance. Socrates justifies his ignorance. “It is hard to become good but impossible to be good all the time.” Its human nature to behave badly due to the fact of inevitable misfortune. Misfortune = ignorance, therefore lack of knowledge is the reason for misfortune because its hard to behave badly when one knows what’s good. This brings back the ideology of Virtue. What is virtue? Why is it important in this case?

According to Socrates, wisdom, temperance, justice, and holiness all attribute to: VIRTUE. Courage = a form of knowledge / virtue is another form of knowledge which must mean that virtue can be taught. Do the questions that Socrates impose affect the reason on why both, Socrates and Protagoras’ viewpoints change, and surprisingly in the opposite of directions? Socrates is on this journey to know why he’s the wisest person alive, yet doesn’t learn anything yet? Socrates’ quest to find the true meanings from these philosophers, these highly-knowledgeable individuals, in their areas of expertise. This is an interesting approach to life when being informed Socrates is the wisest person alive. Analyzing the questions he asks and how they advance through the dialogue.

Thursday- Oct 18th (Euthyphro- Plato)

What is holiness? Socrates came across Euthyphro outside the court of Athens, being charged with impiety by Meletus. But on the other hand, Euthyphro has come to prosecute his very own father with charges of manslaughter. Why on earth would anyone prosecute their own father? What does this have to say about the Athenian Government as a whole and the way in which the citizens within it, act? Socrates uses his questioning method in order to find out the true definitions of piety and impiety. Of course, in understanding and realizing that Euthyphro must know the true meaning of pious and impious acts. Its interesting how Socrates manipulates the conversation. Going back and forth, the definition changed about five times before Euthyphro gets frustrated and walks away, which is hilarious. For a man that knows nothing, he sure is good at not only annoying people, but throwing deeper philosophical questions at others. There was definitely a reason in which this engagement escalated? Socrates was after something, like he was after something when he was with Protagoras and Hippocrates. But what though? Maybe for another teaching, in order to steer Euthyphro’s mind into a more logical act than prosecuting his father. Is Socrates’ purpose to question people who are doing those impious things? Without even understanding what impiety is? He must know what is good, though, and what is bad. Socrates walks away with yet another unanswered question on the true meanings of piety and impiety. I think this also correlates to the reasons in which he’s on this quest. I really think he’s suspicious with the statement that oracle gave him. And he’s continuing to try to disprove it, therefore making the beliefs and teachings of the Gods false. Which in fact is treasonous, meaning that the court should be right. The Gods are everything within the polis and going against them is basically going against the fellowship, unity, and prosperity of the Polis. So maybe Socrates’ reason for being prosecuted is indeed justified.

Tuesday- Oct 23rd (Apology- Plato)

In Plato’s Apology, the title itself contradicts the true efforts in which Socrates presented himself. The trial wasn’t an apology, but instead a defense that Socrates used to aesthetically change the minds of the court. Socrates was on trial for two main reasons: corrupting the minds of the youth as well as underlying the basic beliefs and factuality of the Gods. Why was he doing this? What was his motivation? He believes in the Gods, doesn’t he? I think the trigger came from the oracle when he was informed that he was the wisest person to live. I feel Socrates had trouble wrestling with this statement. Maybe that’s why he questions the existence of the Gods and their teachings/beliefs. Was it the thought that they existed or their teachings that led to this? Its almost as if he was trying to disprove the statement from the oracle. That’s when everything began. The questioning, the “treason,” to prove that he wasn’t indeed the wisest to live. Which leads me to why? Was he successful? Socrates was successful as to proving the oracle was right, in the way that he was right as well. It’s almost as if the city of Athens feared Socrates, his Ionian approach. He was indeed smarter than everyone thought. This makes me question, why didn’t anyone ever ask what Socrates was up to? Because Socrates was the first to question the so-called “experts,” the masters of these ideologies. There’s more “why” to Socrates’ methods. Also, it takes some true balls to just die willingly and confidently. Why was he this way? He knew something? But was Socrates guilty? And why was death the punishment, was banishment not justifiable? I feel as though he was guilty. He did go against the teachings of the Gods in order to disprove the oracle. But he could have fled. Why didn’t he? There’s a lesson within this. Valor is shown. From the battlefield to the trial. “I’ve never run, so why run now.” There’s major significance to this. Maybe Socrates has been teaching us all along, in ways that aren’t just told but needed to be thought about, on another philosophical level. So, he was a teacher, in a way? The pieces of the puzzle are slowly getting put together. Was Socrates actually good for the Polis? The Gadfly stinging the horse. Athens will fall asleep, Socrates is needed to create that productive and virtuous life. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Two sorts of deaths. I go to sleep and never wake up again, or the afterlife where Socrates will continue his quest to answer these questions. The same annoying Socrates.

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