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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

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