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Episode #003 ... Socrates and the Sophists

2013-06-23 | 🔗

This week we talk about the prosperity of athens and how it led to the rise and ideas of a group of philosopher teachers called the Sophists, we tied up some loose ends and helped put all that we've learned in the last two episodes into context with a graph of the presocratics, and we ended by talking about a man named Socrates.  

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For more information about this or any episode of the podcast check out the website at philosophize? start work. We have additional content. Further reading, transfer, so every show. All pre, of course, but if you value the shows an educational resource and you want to help keep it going, you can find not more about how to do that at patriarch dot com, slash philosophize this or alter if you're buying something from Amazon this week anyway consider clicking through our banner it's at the bottom centre of the landing page philosophize, this dot org more percentage goes back to the show. It may just be a click for you, but every little bit adds up there key for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday, and I hope you have the show. Hey guys? It's me Stephen West. This is philosophize this one quick order of business, animal get onto the stuff, you're actually interested in There will be no new fangled
Rock and roll musical interludes. In this episode, I've gotten several complaints, look maternity, give some edge to the shore and historic? The show has a rock n roll theme is disposed to break up them. Not me of me droning on about philosophy for six hours straight. I it's for you guys when you started doze Fifteen minutes in it's supposed to be like an alarm clock, but regardless the way I see it is we have two options. Moving forward we either find and a new way to transition between segments- or We have no transitions and I just become a much more interesting speaker, a speaker that doesn't make Sound, like one massive block of audio, but just now in this interim whatever deficiencies, I may have a speaker, it's not for lack of effort, I'm I'm spinning every free. Second, I have tried to get better and I'll never be content with doing nothing that you can guarantee. I am always going to try to improve, but anyway,
under the philosophy. Let me start by asking when history looks back on today, twenty thirteen well. Let's say that your country was in a golden age. At the time Are you living in a golden age, trying to imagine yourself as a citizen of Athens right around the fifth century BC, the city of Athens at this point is undergoing massive period of prosperity and theirs dining Pericles in charge. He just assume the throne, he's doing a really good job, and this leads to a golden age of culture and philosophy. So, naturally, when things are going really well, in one place, people flocked to that place from all the surrounding areas. In this case, it was mostly other greek city states. Now, as an Athenian, you would live in a democratic society that had a love of its legal system, Athenians loved a good argument. They loved to be entertained, and most of the time you could on both of those things in the courthouse.
Athenians would have been huge fans of judge duty. Then it would have been judged you juices or something, but it was exciting if someone took you to court for something it could affect the entire. Hey outcome of your life problem was language, and nickel thinking was still in its infancy, so defending herself in one of these trials is not only crucial, but it was incredible. Unlikely that you had the ability to argue or speak well enough to do an effective job of it. On top of all, this people were just as ambitious back then as we are today and, It's possible to work your way up the social ladder and earn a prestigious placing government, but no going to vote for you. If you weren't, educated and well spoken these two things created enough. Market in Athens for self improvement that an entire industry, a philosopher teachers arose called the sophists now
We talk last episode about the word philosophy, the love of wisdom right, but the second half That word is Sophia, which means wisdom. Sophists they have work for wisdom right there in their name. They certainly were wise, but I mean You can see there is no love involved here. Sofas were a mixture between I TT tech, and a taco truck. I mean they were mobile schools. They teach you anything. We wanted to learn about for the right price, music rhetoric, mathematics gram, and actually does remain over. Ninety detect commercials always to people in an elevator how can one guy goes man, I wish I had the skills to move forward in my career and the other guy goes. You should call ITT Tech, they tech. They cannot be specializing, paralegal, dental assistant, Scuba instructor. You know the Marquis that pops up at the bottom of the screen, ITT Tech, provides it's a very similar service to what the early sofas provided and this kind of commercial
to be compared to how they used to have competition screaming at each other, trying to draw a crowd and show that they knew more than the other fists. The Sorts of screaming man is combined with just the generally sleazy nature of charging a lot of money for something that was held to be sacred. It just made a lot. People dislike them, not to mention the act. The subject matter they were teaching was pretty shaky in itself. I remember The demand for surface only came about because people were being called the court to defend themselves. Well, when all those people told these, office, they wanted to win the argument in court. The sofa taught them. How to win arguments didn't teach him any true Knowledge and wisdom. So, as a result, you and hundreds of people that just became mass of rhetoric, there's even cases where they probably should have. And guilty, and there were able to win the sofas tat these people, Little argument, tactics like NIT picking, insignificant points or Crediting the source of the information
taught them to win the argument, even if they had the worst argument- and this didn't make people too thrilled with the sofas. But definitely understood the power of language and its ability to influence people one very notable. So but the guy named gorgeous and he wrote about. Which, in one of his works, called and chromium of Helen, it was basically a emotional flyer for school: he wrote it with the soul. intention of attracting new students in getting business and really trying to make a case for why the vestment of their money. What eventually yield benefits. He said it like this quote. Just as different drugs draw fourth different humorous from body some putting a stop to disease others to life. So too, with words, some cause pain, others, joy, some strike, fear some stir the audience to boldness, some be numb and be which the soul with evil persuasion. End quote. You can definitely see in this quote that he not only understood the power of language, but I mean
a funny way. He was trying to use the power of language to try to recruit people to learn the power of language from one common threats. Among all the surface was that they were sceptics, didn't like the idea of accepting something, because these and tells us it should be true. They wanted hard evidence. Really they just one the philosophy that made since, through the lens of everyday experience, didn't like the idea is of Democritus are emphatically where they said that our senses show us an artificial world and that the real world exists at the atomic level or at the level of the mixing of the elements they thought. Human experience should be paramount. The only question was, if truth, is based on a sensory experience whose sense we experience should be the guide one of the very first and most influential of all the surface was a guy named protagonists. He was so then, that guy the walked around and bronze shoes. That tells you anything like the other selfish protagonists made his money teaching people not what right or wrong was but teaching them how to argue so it really was. Can
conveniently aligned with his job security when he decided that he believes that all arguments, of two sides, neither of which is more. Right than the other. He said he could in an argument with a worse argument. If he was just more persuasive than his opponent, because of this he concluded its the man holding opinion. That's the measure of the worth of the argument, not the actual argument itself for the facts. It's based on. Where's he put it in the opening line of one of its most famous works may is the measure of all things he took. Idea one step further and applied to everything. What is true for one person may be false for another. What's hot for one person may be called for another, but he also Why did the morals what's right, for one person may not be right for another. He said nothing is inherently good in itself, something is only right because a person or a society judges it to be right. This idea, there being no absolutes or moral principles and that everything is subjective is known as relativism protagonist. In
truth was something that only God new or that you could only attain by thinking and analyzing things for decades, he thought truth was what One guy makes it to philosophy Protagoras is the ultra accepting Fanny Pack, where, soccer, mom that hands out caprice, sons at the end of the games, I mean We all know someone or have known someone who agrees with him. It really is a compassionate and accepting way of looking at things and people, so you can't be too mad at them, but relativism always begs the question. So if everyone is right in whatever truth they arrive at then what about the people that condemn all other cultures and think everyone else's wrong shouldn't. They be right, too, I remember reading something. Socrates said one time and it was like if relativism is true, Everyone is right, regardless of what they think. How can, Any one man be wiser than another: aren't they all correct and also art sofas in the business of teaching people stuff
so wise anybody paying to be taught anything if they already know the truth, the surface would have said that they don't teach people anything. That's better. Knowledge they just teach them more useful knowledge, knowledge that can be used to benefit the person like in the context of the courts. So all this stuff, this relativist view on morals that there isn't a good or bad just different and their special ladys rhetoric and language do sometimes make the worse argument when all the this no doubt led to the negative outlook on the sofas people, always about their argument, skills and assume. They only use them to do nefarious things. They have this view like the sofa. Are just sitting around teaching one o j sense and after another out to get off Scot Free, but don't forget that could have just as easily use a special ability to argue to fight for justice or to do at the citizens. Thought was right. I mean you can definitely fine several examples of how the sofas help advance philosophy relative
Some was a direct assault on the idea of moral principles or they're, just being one definition of good or one definition of just or whatever, and this discourse ended up heavily influencing Plato. Do dress the tenants of morality and really try to base it on something eternal or stronger than one man's opinion, and if it weren't for the sofas Plato have never taken the time to clarify these things in it. Some of its most important work personally, I like what they had to say because it was open minded and if argument was their specialty than a truly great position at the time would have had to suffer the gauntlet of so fast and if it could survive that, no matter how annoying it must have been at the time. That argument would be a stronger, more wellcrafted argument for the experience so real quickly. I'd like to tie up some loose ends and help bring together all the stuff we've covered. So far in the last two episodes. Now we aren't the first people to ever study, presocratic philosophy. There have been,
several really smart people that have categorized all these thinkers and ideas in detail, and they wanted to on the way to remember it more effectively to so you can probably imagine they didn't all use the same method of categorizing them. If there's one. Thing you do outside of this podcast this week, you guys you need to look at a graph of the pre socratic philosophers? That's really common! It's it's really important guys like you, have see the visual it'll really help you put into context all the philosophers we've covered so far and the dates that they lived. Going to have it up on the website, but it's probably faster for you to just go to Google images and type in pre socratic graph. It's going to be the first thing that comes up it's on the it shows the years they lived on the are the names of them. Color coded alleging that designates the school of thought they came from and then arrows pointing to all all other students and all the people they influence respectively. Another different way
these people categorize is pre socratic one examples. What we ve already done, About the Ionian in the italian classes. Those are two geographic regions, so if you wanted to remember them, based on where they came from. That would be one method of remembering, but there are other ways. countries? The historians of the presocratics will will break them down by their ideas, and this usually what then being separated down into six are so different schools of thought. Now these schools, that will probably never ever come up in a convert station you're having about philosophy, but anything of it. This way, if it ever comes up as a question on pretty all your friends are gonna. Look at you like you, the rain man, for knowing that answer. Then you can just stand up and go. Oh, it's a teen jeopardy. Now too easy, I'm leaving. You walk out of the room, instant legend by the but another reason is you'll see why we learned about the particular philosophers we learned about each one of them comes from a different one of these six schools and have even seen a cup
guys, break down the six schools into two separate categories, further I them into motorists and pluralist bonus where philosophers who thought the universe, made up of one fundamental substance. The three schools this way or the my lesion school. You know. That's worth dailies in an axiom andor came from the Pythagorean School, the school formed by Pythagoras and his followers and the early attics whose most notable member was permitted, ease and it's called the Eleatic school, because parmenides came from a town in ITALY called Elia, so those were the monist schools. The pluralist schools were made up of people who believe there wasn't one fundamental substance, but many fundamental substances, the three schools classified as pluralist, would be you guessed it. The pluralist school now The one in Pedicles was part of what this earth fire air and water, the Atomic Pluralist School, which had democratic and Lucius at the helm and then the sofas, so we just talked about, but it's important to note that the sofas, weren't necessarily
a pluralist data lived at the same time that pluralism was very popular in fact, data. Here at all about what the universe is made of. I just wanted to make money- maybe versus made out of coach purses are something they what occurred. But if you look at the graph it moves, pretty deliberate direction towards one guy, not only the highly educated from all the conflicting schools of thought that existed at the time, but it all that he learned from them and created a zone completely new way of thinking, a way of thinking that made him one of the big names and philosophy, Socrates, socrates- must have smelled like the dumpster behind Panda Express mean he had famously terrible. Hygiene, people would say he went everywhere without shoes he never bathed. He never cut his hair, not to me He was a very easy on the eyes to begin with, there is a story of him being challenged to a beauty contest as a joke against a guy named britannulists. Now in this beauty.
Contest. Both sides have to make an argument as to why there more beautiful than the other and action went through with everything to entertain themselves. That's the kind of people did back. Then Socrates starts making his case for why he's more beautiful than his opponent here? What do you mean? Well, then that beauty is to be found only in man or is it also another objects protagonists in faith? My opinion is that beauty is to be found quite as well in a horse. Or an ox or in any number of inanimate things. I know at any rate that a shield may be beautiful or a sword or a spear Socrates? How can it be that all these things are beautiful when they are entirely dissimilar. Britannulists. Why they are. beautiful and in fine if they are well made for the respective functions for which we obtain them, where they are naturally welcome. suited to serve our needs. Socrates, do you know reason. Why we need eyes protagonists while, obviously to see with? In that case it would appear without further
Do that my eyes are finer ones in yours. How so because, while yours only see straight ahead, mine by bulging out as they do see also to the sides, do you mean to say that a crab is better what visually than any other creature absolutely for its eyes, are also better set to ensure strength. End quote so I love this story. Because it encompasses a lot of what Socrates was. He had a great sense of humour. He was famously unkempt and through asking for Tabula to give his definition of what beauty is he's able to use the contradictions in his definition beauty to make a case for why he's more beautiful, even though it's obvious to everyone that he isn't, he lost the contest by the way, but it didn't matter what he succeeded in doing. Is he showed cre obolus that made He didn't know exactly what beauty was quote. Tabula said when things are well made for the respective functions for which we obtain them, they are
beautiful, but by asking a series of questions, Socrates proved that the answer could it be that simple? This is what he is known for. Socrates numbers started a university. He never lived in castle? You never even wrote any of its thoughts down. You didn't believe written text was the weighted the philosophy anyway to Socrates. The only thing philosophy was was discussion, questioning an argument. His particular brand of it was called the socratic method. Now the best guess historians can make as to how he developed this intense questioning style is in a famous story about a friend of his go into the Oracle at Delphi, York Le Delphi was a rotating older peasant woman that lived in the area that was on drugs, who apparently channeled the God APOLLO and people would go to her and asked her for advice and Socrates. This friend asked the woman HU the wisest man in the world was. She said. Socrates has friend came back and said a Socrates
the Oracle said: you're the wisest man in the world and Socrates was absolutely shocked by this. You want slightly to work to get to the bottom of it by the way, no victory dancer anything he just started. He just went around all the wisest people. He knew and started interrogating them. He realized that these people only thought they knew a lot. When you ask the right questions, it turns out their knowledge is false. Here's a quote from the apology. I am wiser than this man. It is likely that neither of us knows anything worthwhile, but he thinks he knows something when he does not whereas when I do not know neither do, I think I know so. I am likely to wiser than he to the small extent that I do not think I know what I do not know. End quote this method. He used a question people and ultimately point out how little they actually knew was his greatest contribution to philosophy. There's a quote from
guy named Cicero, was writing about this Socrates. When he said quote. Socrates, however, was the first who called philosophy down from Heaven and placed it in cities and introduced it even in homes and drove it to inquire about life and customs and things good and evil. End quote This quote about. Socrates is amazingly insightful for someone who lived almost half a millennia later before Socrates Blossom, He was done only by men and We by men who were born into or were clever enough to attain a lot of money, so they didn't have to spend their days working. They could spend them thinking. Once Socrates realised that the reason it was wiser than everyone is because he can admit that he knows nothing. He set out to correct the citizens of Athens and fix their assumptions and preconceptions. He hit the streets.
Like those Mormons it, come to your house and there ten speed, bicycles in the market place and the public square in the front of the courthouse anywhere. He just started accosting anyone unfortunate enough to not look busy when he was walking around he'd, walk up to them with a very self effacing manner. About I'm saying things like: oh, please help me, I'm an ignorant person. I'm I'm wondering if you can help me get to the bottom of something. What is justice or what is virtually one of these questions? People would give their obviously flawed response and he would just lay end of them, questioning them pointing out contradict- and there are exceptions and eventually getting to a place where the person was either angry at him, because he made them feel stupid or angry him, because he wouldn't leave them alone either They were angry and this didn't make. A lot of friends around town even did it to judges, are prestigious generals or government officials. It didn't take law
long before he had so many people mad at him for doing this, that they started labeling him a sophist, but he didn't care. If people like him or not, his main goal wasn't to make friends. It was help others discover how little they knew and get them on the path. The truth he compared himself to a midwife, but instead of helping deliver babies he questioned to one and help deliver new ideas into the world, but his midwifery didn't stop in his lifetime by any means. The socratic method is also known as inductive argument. This is where a set of premises based on experience is first published, and then those premises are thin shown to lead to a universal truth. Inductive argument was used extensively by Aristotle and even Francis Bacon, We use that as a major influence in the scientific method. I may I guess that had a little bit of an impact right, Socrates
eventually humiliated enough people in public that they banded together and he was put on trial at the ripe age of seventy, the entire story of his trial, his defense, his conviction and his reactions are catalogued by play. Doh and one of his most famous works. The apology because Socrates didn't write anything down the only thing we have to go off of our other people's perspectives. In the case of Socrates, it comes down to four people play Doh, Xenophon, Aristophanes and Aristotle, now, Xenophon was an old friend of Socrates, but he doesn't go in too much detail and he often put his own theories in the mouth of Socrates as if they give the merit by association. So we can't really trust him. Aristophanes was a playwright who made a ridiculous caricature of Socrates. Has a character and comedic play so he's not a good source.
And Aristotle wasn't even born until after Socrates was dead, so that brings us to the last guy Plato. Plano was Socrates, a student and he deeply respected Socrates, so he probably the best testimony if we want to know the absolute truth, but here is all we have and of the four of them Plato's. Testimony is usually held in the highest regard, especially because he was the closest to Socrates at the four of them. But one thing is for sure, although these four sources very considerably about who Socrates was
it's a pretty good chance that the similarities that we find in all four of them are accurate to understand why Socrates was put on trial in the first place and the kind of biased Jerry that he faced. It's good to know about the political climate that existed in Greece at the time. Five years before the trial of Socrates, Athens and Sparta ended the Peloponnesian WAR Sparta one by the way. So Athens was turned into an oligarchy taken over by a nice group of gentlemen, known as the third tyrants in the year four hundred and four BC they committed such gruesome genocide that they were overthrown only a year later now it took a couple of years to sort things out and democracy was finally restored. Socrates was being tried only two years after democracy had been restored in Athens and back then two years was nothing, so they were really uneasy and really testy towards anyone who was questioning government or trying to evoke change in any way.
The charges that they eventually placed against him were corrupting the young and denying the gods of the state and introducing new gods see there was no separation of church and state back then, in fact, quite the contrary. Only the state had the power to choose what was a suitable God to worship or not, worship, and it didn't look very good for Socrates being a guy that used to walk around I mean he was getting advice from this thing that followed them around called Demonian or his paw snow guardian angel or something like that. People started to ask him about it and he was like what this guy Demoniac now it's just flying around. Given me advice all the time and Sonic God or anything he was treading on thin ice. Take all the personality traits we discussed.
As far and now imagine what you would think of. Socrates win. An extremely popular play is released with him as a central character. The play was by aristophanes. It was called clouds. Socrates was depicted as a complete moron and it was ridiculous cartoonish version of Socrates, but it was supposed to be that way. It was a comedy. The goal was to make people laugh and it worked. The Socrates in the play would just ramble on about silly things like this one scene where he does puts his. Arms out and spin around in a circle screaming. I am knocking on air, I'm walking on air, everybody would just dial acting in the audience. Apparently that was a hilarious part, but, seeing how many people in modern times get their perception of the world through media or entertainment, and then they take no time to educate themselves. But whether its true or not, it's not hard to
imagine this immensely popular play, shaping the public's collective view. On Socrates, I mean this kind of stuff happens. All the time like how many movies have you seen where a drug deal is going down or some two time in ST hustlers are taken people to the cleaners and for some reason, it's accepted as the gospel truth that if you ask a cop, if he's a cop, he hasnt hell. You yes turns out, that's not actually the case, but I mean you ask somebody that watches those movies, and now it's in the car the tution man he has to tell you. Sometimes people just accept what they see in movies and it doesn't seem like it was much different back in the time of Socrates. The play also painted him as a sophist and people hated the sophists. The reason it was a common rumor that he was a sophist is because of his lifestyle. Although we didn't take any money as payment, the guy didn't shower, let alone work or know where his next meal was going to come from. He was broke.
So he would trade sitting around having good conversation with people for meals and shelter. This is how we made his living. He just didn't take money like the sofas did, but people still saw that is taking payment for teaching people it's kind of an unfair parallel to draw I mean the intentions of Socrates. Is actions in the intentions of the safest were completely different. So all of this is what people of the jury had in their heads as what they knew about. Socrates, when I first started the trial Plato, chronicles everything that happened during Socrates is trial in his work. The apology, although it was called the apology, Socrates, didn't apologize for anything he refused to grovel, he refused to beg for his life. It was common at the time to bring up your family in front of the jury and try to appeal to the sympathy of them, but he refused to do that to see. Socrates was about doing the right thing, not about trying to get acquitted
in the first part of his trial, when he needs to address the charges levelled against them, they were like to the charge of corrupting the young. What say you he says quote: is that a truth which are superior wisdom has recognised thus early in life, and am I my age in such darkness and ignorance as not to know that if a man with whom I have to live is corrupted by me, I am very likely to be harmed by him, and yet I corrupt him and intentionally to end quote. Basically, what I'm saying is to corrupt someone is to harm them
and it makes no sense to say that I'd harm someone, because these younger and stronger than I am seventy years old and he could beat me up so I would I ever do this not just doesn't make any sense. It went down in history as one of the worst arguments ever crafted, but he didn't give a bad argument because he was incapable of defending himself. He got it on a lot better. He just wasn't making decisions for the sake of staying alive or avoiding punishment. He was just trying to do what he saw as the right thing to do which wasn't begging the jury for mercy and manipulating people, and his main focus wasn't even on defending the actual charges he spent most of his time defending the terrible reputation that followed him into the trial, that really boil down to him defending the way he carried himself like not bathing, not caring about the typical things Athenians cared about like money or status. He had to explain why he question people about their beliefs and embarrassed them in public and in the process of x,
cleaning all this. He didn't just defend the way he lived his life. He didn't just claim. He shouldn't be punished for what he does. He actually went so far as to tell the Athenians they should be thanking him for all his questioning. He has bestowed upon them just to clarify or quick in athenian trials. There are a few different votes that the jury does in any given trial. The first one is to determine if you're guilty or not guilty, he obviously failed miserably there. He, you didn't argue very well. The second vote was the person accused offers what they think a suitable punishment would be. You think he would start changing the unapologetic tone after being voted guilty, but instead he decides. The best course of action is to insult them. A bit more He went on to say other things in a trial like this quote.
Are you not ashamed of heaping up the greatest amount of money and honour and reputation and caring so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul and cool when he was asked what the proper punishment would be in the second part of the trial He says that he's been doing the Athenians a favor with all this questioning he's been throwing at them for years, so he suggests his punishment, for this crime should be free meals for life at the expense of the state I mean. Usually, this kind of thing was done only for people who were victorious at the Olympic Games that were from Athens and after he said
during the second vote. People voted for the death penalty by a larger margin than they voted him guilty. In the first place he actually turned people from thinking he's not guilty to wanting him dead. He didn't care, though he saw death is just another one of these things that people think they are wise about, but really know nothing about. Nobody knows whether death is a bad thing or whether it's the best thing that had ever happened to you and when he said that he wasn't talking about going to an amusement park in the sky or something he was talking about, a release from all the things that trouble humans on a daily basis. This is a quote from the apology quote: to fear death. Gentlemen is no other than to think one self wise when one is not to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of all
and surely it is the most blameworthy ignorance to believe that one knows what one does not know. End quote, like I said before Socrates wasn't saying this stuff to try to get the charges dropped. He was saying this tough with the same motives, he had for doing everything else in life to live a good and virtuous life. He was one of the first philosophers to ask what is a good life? In his opinion, a good life was getting a sort of peace of mind as a result of doing the right thing, as opposed to doing things simply because society tells you it's a good idea. He didn't agree with protagonists and most of the sofas who believed morals relative, he believed morals were absolutes and they apply to everyone in the world the same way, regardless of what country or time period therefrom, and I think this is very insightful. The morals and laws of then are not the same as now, but which one of them is more right. Socrates would have argued that neither of them are right and that we are in
no place to be even labeling. What is good or bad, because we don't even know what good or bad is. How can you philosophize about? What is good? If you don't even know what the word good truly means, he thought that life, when you're on this earth is not just some preparation for what happens after death. He thought there was a whole set of tasks and problems to tackle when you're on the planet like sought, self reflection and striving to live a virtuous life among others, but the catch was. Socrates thought that the only
way to live a virtuous life is to know what the true definitions of these virtues were, and the only way to find that was through extensive thought. He believed that the key to living a good life was understanding. These virtues virtue was the best and most important trade to have. He thought that when people don't act virtuously and commit evil acts that no one actually desires to do evil, if only they knew enough, they would never commit acts of evil, because that knowledge would then make them uncomfortable in humans. All strive by their nature to be ass, comfortable ass possible, so they would never do it now. It doesn't take a genius to
Why several counter examples to this, like people addicted to cigarettes, want to stop if they can or various other examples where we know what the correct decision is but choose to act otherwise out of convenience, but at the time people must have not argued with Socrates that much about it and just thought they had not reached the level of wisdom. He was that he appeared to be walking proof of this life. He was dead only seen as wise, and he seemed to never make an immoral decision. In retrospect, Hisself mastery was probably just a by product of countless hours of self reflection, and it was through these countless hours of thinking about things that you arrive at knowledge he famously said there was only one good knowledge and one evil. Ignorance, liquid said. If people knew enough, they would never make a wrong decision or commit an evil act.
One really notable thing that makes them stand out from other philosophers around the time is that he thought everyone could be a philosopher not just could be, but should be, or must be. His most famous saying was when he was defending himself at his trial, saying that the unexamined life is not worth living. So really, he thought if you were a person who just walked around aimlessly, not questioning anything or why you believe what you believe. He doesn't think that life is worth living to. Socrates. Pursuing knowledge was the ultimate goal of life. It isn't because its entertaining to us it's a reason why we pursue it. It is the reason why we exist and this makes sense to me, but maybe I'm a little biased from the time we are babies, we're just information, sponges, constantly trying to learn more and gather skills that will make surviving later in life easier, but for some reason, at a certain age, some people just stop there perfectly content with the knowledge they gained thus far, and they just call it a life
you know honey, Bubu and yelling at twelve year olds on call of duty all day, but Socrates takes it one step. Further. Knowledge is also supposed to help. Your soul He thought the unexamined life makes the sole dizzy and confused where the wise, solid, stable and eventually, through with, all the straying that makes the sole dizzy and confused can be brought to an end by not seeking truth, your harming your soul and by pursuing at your nurturing your soul, so in this case doing good thing acting Morley is in your own self interest, which is a pretty cool way of looking at it. He said in the apology quote: I tell you that to let no day pass without discussing goodness and all the other subjects about which you hear me talking and that examining both myself and others is really the very best thing a man can do end quote
Socrates was convicted of death and, with all of his friends around him crying, he was forced to drink hemlock or a poisonous broth made from a plant indigenous to Europe that actually is found in the parsley family of Plant
or if you want a modern version of hemlock disco by a zero calorie energy drink. But Socrates died a martyr for the cause of philosophy and his dialectical method and the questions he asked would change the way philosophy was done forever. It's really sad. Socrates had so many enemies. Just for asking questions. He really was kind of like an annoyingly inquisitive child. That's actually how I think about them. Sometimes I mean I'm sure we have all had that curious little kid asking us a bunch of questions at a family reunion or something like that at some point in our lives. You know you say something and then the kid just keeps asking why why? Why, because I said so right, I mean adults that get angry at that either react with, though, because I said so or they tell the kid you know knows a lot about that. Your mother
You should go and ask her. It's funny how similar these two reactions are to the reaction Socrates would get in the public square of Athens. The because I said so would be as victims getting angry, because he embarrassed lemon the go ask your mother would be as victims getting angry, because he wouldn't leave them alone. These enemies of his would label him as a socialist, and it's that lay and the reputation that went along with his name, that eventually landed him a guilty conviction to a crime he didn't commit. But Socrates wasn't a surfaced. I mean every source of history agree is that Socrates could have easily avoided execution. He could have easily defended himself manipulated the jury with his superior intellect have been deemed not guilty. So if a so was someone people despise for their ability to use I direct to win an argument. Even when they should have lost the argument, then Socrates was the first.
This thing I can imagine from a sophist. He lost an argument. He could have easily won because of how much he cherished his moral principles and just think about this for a second guys, he faced death. He knew he could easily avoid it, but to him living life wasn't good enough in itself. Living a noble life was the bare minimum to go against. His basic survival instinct was to go against hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, and I can't think of anything more admirable than what he did in modern times. Most of the characteristics of people that we admire as humans are characteristics that are gained from going against our evolutionary instincts like to see the delicious calorie, dense, cupcake, full of fat and sugar that our brains are telling us we need to
jump on a case. We don't catch an antelope next week. It's an admirable person that never succumbs to that desire or to be a selfless person removed from your own ego. That ego that's put here by evolution in the interest of self preservation. To make me the most important thing make no mistake what Socrates did went against them. I, was deeply ingrained of all animal instincts and forget philosophy for a second he's, an incredible human being for that last week I asked you, if there's anything you care about so deeply that you would do it for free indefinitely, because it's not about the return you get for it. Think about that thing. That's really important, EU and philosophize. This is there anything you believe in
so deeply that you would pick it on its behalf in the streets. Is there anything you believe in so deeply that you would die for it? Thanks for listening. Hey guys if you'll love philosophize this and want to make sure you never miss. In episode, consider signing up for email notifications whenever a new episode is released, I will personally send you an email telling you. It was released, along with a short summary, to pick your interest picture guaranteed to make his smile and pretty much anything else. Interesting in the philosophical world that week, you can sign up the front page of Stephen. Why show net and, as always, thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday,
Transcript generated on 2020-10-01.