The Spicy Lotus

July 25, 2010

Symposium, Plato/Socrates

Filed under: Uncategorized — pha9 @ 3:37 pm

The Symposium (Ancient Greek: Συμπόσιον) is a philosophical text by Plato dated c. 385–380 BCE. It concerns itself at one level with the genesis, purpose and nature of love.

Love is examined in a sequence of speeches by men attending a symposium, or drinking party. Each man must deliver an encomium, a speech in praise of Love (Eros). The party takes place at the house of the tragedian Agathon in Athens. Socrates in his speech asserts that the highest purpose of love is to become a philosopher or, literally, a lover of wisdom. The dialogue has been used as a source by social historians seeking to throw light on life in ancient Athens, in particular upon sexual behavior, and the symposium as an institution.

July 10, 2010

Phaedo, Socrates/Plato

Filed under: Classic,Greek — pha9 @ 3:54 pm

Plato’s Phaedo (pronounced /ˈfiːdoʊ/, Greek: Φαίδων, Phaidon) is one of the great dialogues of his middle period, along with theRepublic and the Symposium. The Phaedo, which depicts the death of Socrates, is also Plato’s seventh and last dialogue to detail the philosopher’s final days (the first six being TheaetetusEuthyphroSophistStatesmanApology, and Crito).

In the dialogue, Socrates discusses the nature of the afterlife on his last day before being executed by drinking Hemlock poison. Socrates has been imprisoned and sentenced to death by Athenian political leaders for not believing in Athenian gods and for corrupting the youth of the city. The dialogue is told from the perspective of one of Socrates’ students, Phaedo of Elis. Having been present at Socrates’ death bed, Phaedo relates the dialogue from that day to Echecrates, a fellow philosopher. By engaging in dialecticwith a group of Socrates’ friends, including the Thebans Cebes and Simmias, Socrates explores various arguments for the soul’s immortality in order to show that there is an afterlife in which the soul will dwell following death. Phaedo tells the story that following the discussion, he and the others were there to witness the death of Socrates.

July 5, 2010

Crito, Plato/Socrates

Filed under: Classic,Greek — pha9 @ 2:22 pm

The Crito (Ancient Greek: Κρίτων [ˈkriːtɔːn]; in English usually /ˈkriːtoʊ/ KREE-toh) is a short but important dialogue by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. It is a conversation between Socrates and his wealthy friend Crito regarding justice (dikē), injustice (adikia), and the appropriate response to injustice. Socrates thinks that injustice may not be answered with injustice, and refuses Crito’s offer to finance his escape from prison. This dialogue contains an ancient statement of the social contract theory of government.

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