He betrayed Socrates , just as his uncles had done.
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These, besides betraying Socrates, had also tried to implicate him in their terrorist acts, but they did not succeed, since he resisted. I know of course that this judgement will seem outrageously harsh, even to those who arc critical of Plato. But if we look upon the Apology and the Crito as Socrates' last will, and if we compare these testaments of his old age with Plato's testament, the Laws , then it is difficult to judge otherwise.
Socrates had been condemned, but his death was not intended by the initiators of the trial. Plato's Laws remedy this lack of intention. Here he elaborates coolly and carefully the theory of inquisition. Free thought, criticism of political institutions, teaching new ideas to the young, attempts to introduce new religious practices or even opinions, are all pronounced capital crimes. I cannot doubt the fact of Plato's betrayal, nor that his use of Socrates as the main speaker of the Republic was the most successful attempt to implicate him.
Plato’s Shorter Ethical Works
But it is another question whether this attempt was conscious. Socrates had refused to compromise his personal integrity. Plato , with all his uncompromising canvas-cleaning, was led along a path on which he compromised his integrity with every step he took. He was forced to combat free thought and the pursuit of truth. He was led to defend lying, political miracles, tabooistic superstition, the suppression of truth, and ultimately, brutal violence.
The lesson which we thus should learn from Plato is the exact opposite of what he tries to teach us. It is a lesson which must not be forgotten. Excellent as Plato's sociological diagnosis was, his own development proves that the therapy he recommended is worse than the evil he tried to combat. Main article: Euthyphro. Main article: Apology Plato. Main article: Protagoras dialogue. Main article: The Republic Plato. Main article: Laws dialogue. Disputed [ edit ] Successful people never worry about what others are doing. Alleged source in Plato unknown.
Earliest occurrence to have been located is a Tweet from Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil. While this argument might be appealing it is not without difficulties:. The dialogue offers no definite answer to this question, but the fact that he proceeds with deliberating the issue for himself suggests that the answer is one of the latter two. We might also add that he owes Crito a proper reason why he does not accept his offer.
The central moral principle Socrates suggests is that one must never do wrong. This fact shows that the term signifies a new concept, unknown to those lacking an education in philosophy, and also that Crito has no such philosophical education. Indeed, we can observe here almost the birth of a new philosophical concept that is so familiar to us. Rather, it emphasizes that every act of injustice harms the wrongdoer himself as such actions corrupt his soul.
Again, it is not the consequences of our wrong actions that can harm us, but the very actions themselves. And are we sticking to a just agreement, or not? But this answer is partial as the Speech of the Laws never mentions any person harmed by the escape from prison.
Consequently, Socrates here presents a full argument that does not depend on the Speech of the Laws. The laws first tell that by escaping from prison Socrates would destroy the laws and the city since the city is destroyed if the verdicts of its courts have no force but nullified by private individuals. Objection suggested by Socrates and heartily agreed heartily by Crito : it was the city who wronged Socrates and it was not right. Answering this objection the Laws offer three further arguments interestingly, the Laws do not mention that Socrates should not harm the city, according to his own principle, even if he was wronged by the city first.
Nathanson separates three — formally similar but materially — distinctive arguments:. Of course, it is a metaphor. In conclusion, I must speak of a significant gap in this collection. Iamblichus is not listed in the Index Locorum and there is no mention of the five fragments of his commentary on the Phaedo Dillon ; The Neoplatonic curriculum which received its highly influential form from Iamblichus in the th century, prevailed until the 6th century Introduction 6. However, while Syrianus did not author a commentary on the dialogue cf. Therefore, he would have deserved a chapter in this volume especially since his style of commentary became the benchmark for the commentaries written after him.
Iamblichus made the dialogue part of his introductory course on Plato, placing it third after the First Alcibides and the Gorgias. This means that he saw it primarily as a powerful protreptic. Indeed he paraphrased Phaedo 64ED over the span of 6 pages in his Protrepticus ed. Pistelli Chroust v. A scholarly edition of the Protrepticus is in the works in a forthcoming edition by D.
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Hutchinson and M. Although the Phaedo had a central place in the Platonic curriculum even before Iamblichus Tarrant , it is through his Protrepticus that we become aware of the importance of this dialogue for the protreptic genre. After all, so much of this genre is lost to us.
Both extradiagetic interruptions are about the reception of the dialogue. Plato evidently wanted to influence somewhat the reception of this dialogue through these extensive extradiagetical interruptions.
Through his choice of vocabulary in the framing narrative, he strongly suggests that the dialogue was first received as an effective protreptic. It is logical therefore that Iamblichus used it so extensively in his Protrepticus. After all, it was the death of Socrates that inspired the genre of the Socratic dialogue that in turn, gave birth to the Platonic tradition. It was the Platonic dialogue that gave this millennium-long living philosophical tradition in antiquity its coherence and sustenance.
This omission certainly does not distract in any way from the usefulness of this thoughtfully edited volume. Its editors deserve special kudos for producing such a rich, well-organized and thought-provoking collection of the finest scholarship on the topic.
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