In the beginning of the Apology (the “defense”) of Socrates, Socrates deals with bias that jurors may have had for 40 years because of the Ancient Greek media (e.g. the playwrights) and gossip. Explain one of these biases (e.g. He was a Naturalist/Pre-Socratic philosopher, a Sophist, an aloof thinker, etc.) he deals with in the beginning of the dialogue citing the text with Stephanus numbers (e.g. 17a-c).
(1b) Give an example of your own life where you had to deal with rumors before you could even get a fair shot. If you are an angel, deal with something in history, For example, I see many people reject Jesus because of bad Christians that have nothing to do with Jesus and what Jesus taught, and many people accepted everything Obama said/did and reject everything Trump says/does because of the news media bias that keeps people from analyzing their arguments. (Media 95% negative on President Trump https://shorensteincenter.org/news-coverage-donald-trumps-first-100-days/). (Links to an external site.)
(2) Many philosophers (e.g. Charles Darwin) and others argue that there is no “human nature” or a way we ought to be and that humans are always in flux. In light of Plato’s Apology (written 2500 years ago), find 3 or 4 different quotes to illustrate either that view or the view of Natural Law Theorists (Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers) that human nature doesn’t change (and so humans have the same virtues and vices that they have had for thousands of years).
(3) Choose a passage (at least 5 sentences) from the first half of the dialogue that interests you to type up and use Stephanus Numbers (4a – b), analyze it in 50 – 100 words, and give us three discussion questions around it. Use the PowerPoint or YouTube lecture if you are stuck. You may also use some of the Part 1 questions from the five reading responses to help you find an interesting passage.
(4) FAITH AND REASON: Texting possible information from God: Socrates thought he could figure out if God was behind the Oracle or not. Briefly explain this and tell us if Socrates could be a guide for us to test potential “special revelation/information” from gods or God (e.g. the words of prophets like Jesus, Muhammad, Joseph Smith, David Koresh, Applewhite of Heaven’s Gate, Shin Aumriko, Jim Jones, L. Ron Hubbard, etc.)
(4) Give an example of either “Socratic Irony” or where he reduces his opponents’ arguments to a contradiction or an absurdity. Cite the text with Stephanus numbers and explain which of the three elements is at play (as you would to a grandparent). See the PowerPoint lecture if you get stuck.
(6) What do you make of Socrates’ character in this dialogue? Give us at least three passages to support your view (and cite with Stephanus numbers). If you are stuck, see the PowerPoint for ideas (e.g. ask yourself if you would prefer death over exile and why you agree or disagree with Socrates’ choice to follow God’s mission for him to the death).
(7) What do you make of Socrates’ last request of the jury? Explain what it is (cite with Stephanus numbers) and tell us if this is sane, virtuous, vicious, and if you would do the same or something different.
Links that may help: