Political Community According to Socrates

Political Community According to Socrates

write minimum 1500 words based on the instructions. What are the needs of the political community? What must all political communities do to insure their survival? What about Philosophy? What does philosophy seek? How does it go about this process? Now, please compare and contrast the Socrates of the Clouds, with the Socrates of the Platonic dialogues. 2. Is Socrates against nature, or following it? Please draw examples from Aristophanes’ The Clouds and the relevant Platonic Dialogues. 3. Does Socrates use the “unjust” speech? In order to answer this question, you should first define what the unjust speech is. Why is it unjust? And, is Socrates guilty of using it? If so, why? If not, why? 4. Does he invent new Gods? Or, does he follow the Gods of the city, i.e., the Delphic Oracle? 5. Last, does Socrates corrupt the youth? What is your opinion? PS 350 Midterm Study Guide I. Preliminary Thoughts To begin, lets articulate the distinction between the activities of politics and philosophy. A. What are some of the main functions of politics? What is the core function of all political communities? What are its goals? B. What is political philosophy? What does it search for? What does it desire? C. Bringing A and B together, tell me about the ways in which philosophy may be helpful to politics. And, in what ways may politics be dangerous to the city? II. Getting The Facts Straight A. In Aristophanes’ Clouds, Aristophanes argues that Socrates and philosophy (1) lead us to distort our physical natures; (2) that philosophy makes one a bad citizen (at the very least); (3) and, that philosophy is actually dangerous to the city due to its possession of, and willingness to teach, the unjust speech. Explain what each of these charges means, and give examples. B. Plato’s first response to Aristophanes’ accusations comes in his dialogue the Euthyphro. Here we see Plato trying to rehabilitate Socrates and philosophy. What is Plato, through Socrates, saying about the contribution of philosophy to the politics of the city? Here, I just want you to get the story straight. For example, where does Euthyphro’s conception of piety come from? Why is Socrates suspicious of Euthyphro’s “knowledge” and his arrogance? Why is Socrates ironic with him? Is this acceptable, or just mean spirited and nasty? Does the traditional Athenian conception of piety contribute to political stability or instability? Why does Socrates think that his idea of piety may be more useful politically? Socrates talks about the form or idea of piety. What are the characteristics of the forms? (Here, also, you should take a few minutes to reflect on Socrates’ important question: Is it pious because the Gods love it, or do the Gods love it because it is pious. Put simply: Do we love something because it is ours [thought in terms of our city, our church, and our ethnicity…] or do we love it because it is worthy of love?). What does Socrates’ questioning of piety do to the traditional Athenian conception of piety? Does Socrates corrupt, or help, Euthyphro? C. Continuing our “Collection of Facts,” let’s get straight about the Apology of Socrates. Socrates claims that he is facing two sets of accusers, one old and one new. Who are the old accusers? What are their accusations? Why does Socrates fear them more than the new accusers? How does Socrates defend himself? Do you think this is sufficient? Do you think that Socrates knows he’s a goner? What about the new accusers? What are their charges? How does Socrates defend himself? Also, in this dialogue, we get an explanation of Socrates’ life, and an explanation of the activity of philosophy. Why does Socrates claim that he is a benefit to the city? Why does he claim that he avoided participating in the politics of the city? What does this say about the tension between philosophy and the city? D. Finally, we must engage the Crito. What does the very setting and opening of the dialogue symbolize? Why has Crito come to see Socrates? What are Crito’s reasons for doing this? What does this say about Crito, and his relation to Socrates? What does this indicate about the relationship between philosophy and the city? What do the Laws say to Crito? Why does Socrates have the Laws say what they do to Crito? …

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