Hey y’all. Here I am again recycling old content I wrote for school. If y’all ever have the chance to take philosophy classes in college, take them! Even though a lot of the ideas and beliefs that were the basis of the philosophies of the olden times have been proven false or incorrect now, it is still worth a study because philosophy teaches you how to think and how to build an argument about something you have little information on based on logic. If nothing else, it will make you question what knowledge you take for granted.
With that said, the following is an essay analysing certain aspects of three of Plato’s books listed in the title. Let’s begin. I will separate each part of the prompt by starting a new page. Also, I haven’t completely proof-read this so there might a mistake here or there. Let me know if you spot any and when in doubt, always refer back to the original material.
*This is for educational purposes only. All who plagiarise or otherwise attempt to reproduce this content will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. *
Socrates’ Stance on Authority (The Apology)
Socrates suggests that we should consider the pursuit of justice as a craft. If this is true, Socrates implies, we should not heed the opinion of the many, but seek direction from knowledgeable experts. Reconstruct in your own words the arguments that support these suggestions of Socrates.
During the dialogue between Meletus and Socrates where Socrates is accused of corrupting the youth, Socrates asks who then improves the youth and Meletus answers everyone else but Socrates; in other words, that the majority improves the youth while the individual corrupts them (Apology, 24d-25a). Socrates then makes the point that people as a majority cannot claim to improve the youth but knowledgeable individuals can. He likens the situation to horses and the horse trainers, saying that only horse trainers can have a positive influence on the horse while most other people will have a negative influence (Apology, 25b). Later, in The Crito, Socrates brings up another example on who we should listen to when it came to health. Obviously, we should take the expert opinion and advice of a doctor or a trainer over any opinion or advice from the general public or else we would suffer harm to the body (Crito, 47b-d). When Crito brings up the fact that the majority still has the power to harm individuals, Socrates counters by saying that we shouldn’t harm ourselves with unjust acts because we fear persecution from the majority (Apology, 32a-33b) because what is important isn’t that one lives, it is that one lives a good, just life and to follow not the majority in matters like justice but to follow the expert (Crito, 48a-b). Just like other crafts that need craftsmen with special knowledge, justice can be considered a craft and should be practised only by experts in the field.