Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Plato and the Trial of Socrates

Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Plato and the Trial of Socrates

Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Plato and the Trial of Socrates

Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Plato and the Trial of Socrates

Synopsis

Socrates is one of the most influential philosophers in western civilisation, and Plato his most famous pupil. The Euthyphro , Apology of Socrates , Crito and the death scene from the Phaedo are Plato's account of Socrates' trial and execution, and together they provide the most important depiction of Socrates' ideas.In this GuideBook , Brickhouse and Smith provide clear explanations of these texts for students coming to them for the first time. Situating the works in their historical context, the authors carefully go through each text, exploring the philosophical issues raised in an accessible way. Plato and the Trial of Socrates is the ideal introduction to both the ideas of Socrates and the work of Plato.

Excerpt

Socrates was born in Athens in 469 B.C.E. Although he wrote nothing of any significance and had no students in anything like the ordinary sense of that term, he became one of the most influential philosophers in western civilization. During his own life-time, his philosophical activities, which were carried on in public settings and private homes, together with his idiosyncratic demeanor, gained him great notoriety and, indeed, must have made him one of Athens' best known figures. To many, however, he must have been more than a mere curiosity, for in 399 B.C.E. Socrates was tried on a charge of impiety, convicted, and executed after a period of imprisonment.

Plato, who was a member of one of Athens' most aristocratic families and who dedicated his life to philosophy because of Socrates' influence, occupies a central place in this debate. The Euthyphro, Apology of Socrates, Crito, and the death scene from the Phaedo, the four writings to be examined in this book, are Plato's dramatizations of various episodes in Socrates' final days. The Euthyphro purports to be a conversation between Socrates and a self-styled religious expert that takes place in front of the office

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