Socrates

Born:470 BC
Died:399 BC (age 71)

Socrates was a philosopher in classical Greece.

1   Life

Socrates was the son of Phaenarete, a midwife. [2]

Socrates was a veteran of the Battle of Potidaea (430 BC) where he saved the life of Alcibiades.

2   Trial & Death

static/images/The_Death_of_Socrates.jpg

Jacques-Louis David. The Death of Socrates (1787).

Socrates met Theaetetus before leaving for his trial, when Theaetetus was still a youth. [2]

Socrates met Euthyphro before his trial. [1]

The trial and execution of Socrates took place in 399 BC. Socrates was tried on two charges: corrupting the youth and impiety. More specifically, Socrates' accusers cited two impious acts: failing to acknowledge the gods that the city acknowledges and introducing new deities. A majority of the jurors voted to convict him, and then voted to sentence him to death.

Socrates was a well-known figure in Athens for many years prior to his trial.

Meleteus is the deme of Pitthis. [1]

Socrates died on February 15.

If you try to read Plato's texts you will see that it's written about an incoming ship from Delo. We know the correspondence between that rite on the ancient greek calendar and our calendar.

There was two main charges by Meletus: Corrupting the youth. Specifically, attempting to explain physical phenomena without reference to gods. "Making the lesser argument the stronger" --> basically teaching rhetorical skills which were looked down upon. In the Apology, Socrates claims that these are bogus charges and the only reason why he's being charged is because he upset a lot of people by pointing out that they're not as wise as they think they are. They convict him, and he gets a chance to argue for a different punishment than death. Socrates then argues that in lieu of a punishment, he should receive free meals for the rest of his life as a reward for his service to philosophy. The jury then sentences him to death.

They put him on trial for corrupting the youth (but really he was just a pain in the ass, and the sophists wanted to do something about him). At trial he was found guilty. Funny thing is, the defense and the prosecution were allowed to ask for different punishments. The prosecution asked for death (but really all they wanted was exile, getting him out of their hair). Socrates, thinking exile was kinda bullshit, asked for a free lunch from the court for wasting his time. I'm totally serious here. Of course they told him no, and they had to go with the death sentence.

3   Socratic method

The Socratic method stimulates the learner's awareness of ideas by asking leading question. Method of examination.

4   Socratic irony

Socratic irony is "a means by which a questioner pretends to know less than a respondent, when actually he knows more".

5   References

[1](1, 2) Euthyphro
[2](1, 2) Plato. Theaetetus.