Socrates and plato
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Socrates and Plato. DO NOW - Journal: What would you be willing to give up your live for, and why? Try to include the word “value” in your answer. ( Value can be a verb or a noun .). Values. Everyone will have a personal answer to this question that is unique to their situation.

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Socrates and Plato

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Socrates and Plato

DO NOW - Journal: What would you be willing to give up your live for, and why?Try to include the word “value” in your answer. (Valuecan be averbor a noun.)


  • Everyone will have a personal answer to this question that is unique to their situation.

  • They will refer to specific things they care about.

  • This is called subjective value. These things have subjective, or personal, importance.

  • (Opposite –universal or “Objective” value)

  • For Socrates, one universal value: TRUTH

  • This value was worth dying for…

Athens, 300 B.C.

  • Greek City-State

  • Birthplace of Westernphilosophy

  • Socrates

  • His Pupil Plato

  • Socrates developshis Socratic method

  • Plato founds the first college to teachphilosophy

  • Plato’s student Aristotle develops the field

The Trial and Death of Socrates

  • Socrates compared himself to a “Horse-fly” on society’s butt

  • He managed to piss off lots of powerful people with his constant questions

  • Eventually he was arrested on 2 charges:1. Impiety (for his “strange” view on the Gods)2. Corrupting the Youth (for encouraging the young not to fight in Athens’s constant wars over territory)

Death of Socrates

  • “I would rather die having spoken in my manner, than speak in your manner and live. …The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs deeper than death…”

    • Quoted from Plato’s Book on the trial, Apology, 38e-39a

Plato: Everyone is Stupid

  • Socrates had a student, Plato, who was greatly upset by his execution. He was furious at his fellow Athenians (some voted to kill Socrates.)

  • He decided the world needed philosophy, so he founded the first college: ACADEMY Here, he began to teach his famous THEORY of FORMS, a theory about True Reality

Allegory (Myth) of the CAVE


-Plato’s famous fable about Truth

-Come down on the floor – demonstration

-Video: Each element of the story is symbolic. Figure out the symbolism, and the message of the myth.

Summary of the Myth

  • Plato sees that things in the material world do not last, but decay over time (impermanence)

  • Ideas and Concepts, however, are Eternal

  • He reasons that Ideas represent a Higher Realm than the world of sensory experience

  • Trust thought, not your senses

  • Truth is not a physical thing, but an Idea (Form)-

  • What kind of epistemology is this?

  • Why are its (scary) implications?

What is our Reality isn’t REAL?

  • If there are “other Realms” that we lack the faculties to perceive, what else don’t we know?

  • If our senses deceive us, how can we be sure our experience is the Truth?

  • These kind of questions lead to an epistemology of doubt: SKEPTICISM

  • Various “Skepticisms” about Reality

What if we’re Dreaming?

  • Anyone who’s had a vivid dream knows it feels “Real” to your mind until you wake

  • It is impossible to prove this is not a dream(How would you prove it 100%?)

  • If this was a dream, what would you “wake up into?”“ Is all that we see or seemBut a dream within a dream? “ – Edgar Allan Poe

What if we’re Prisoners?

  • French Philosopher Rene Descartes asked:What if what I think of as the Outside World is an illusion created by an Evil Demon to trick me?

  • He didn’t really think this: he was testing the limits of knowledge. He was shocked he couldn’t disprove it!

  • Descartes finally decided: “Cogito, ergo Sum.”

  • This means, “I think, therefore I exist.”

  • Because he could experience his own thoughts from “within,” he was convinced his mind was real, but not necessarily his body or the Outside World!

What if we’re Just Brains?-The “Brain in a Vat” idea-A modern update of Descartes

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