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History Of The Philosophical Discussions

The theme of the Euthyphro is a question—what is piety?—that is crucial to understanding the charge against him.(p.9)The main features of the Platonic dialogues are Socrates’ method of question and answers, his zeal for definition, his avowed professions of ignorance, and his main thesis that virtue is knowledge. This is almost on par with the contemporary conception of scientific understanding than ordinary knowledge. Plato’s dialogues have a distinct charm about them. They do not create a fictional world but are thought-provoking, and kindle the inquisitiveness of the reader. They set philosophical discussions, with an initiation depiction-like a wealthy man’s house, a religious festival, a visit to a prison, a long walk on a hot day etc– The topics seem to be simple, from the ordinary walks of life, and they provide vivid portraits of a social world. A clear picture of the social mores prevailing at that time emerges. Socrates is not the invention of Plato. one sees the acceptance of the teachings of Socrates in Plato’s dialogues. Socrates is the principal character of Aristophanes comedy, Clouds. and Xenophon, a historian, and military leader wrote, like Plato, both an Apology of Socrates (an account of Socrates trial) and other works in which Socrates appears as a principal speaker. The Clouds is not the yardstick to judge the distinctive mode of Socrates’ philosophizing. It is not intended as philosophical work either. The most part of it is an attack on philosophy itself–Apology does not contain a complex philosophical agenda. Nevertheless, there is enough justification for accepting Socrates’ speech in Apology as reliable evidence about the historical Socrates, and thus whatever related to that speech in other works, can also be attributed to Socrates.

History Of The Philosophical Discussions