What was Socrates' main value?

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kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 26 Nov, 2008 10:29 am
@jgweed,
jgweed wrote:
For this reason, most of the "Socratic dialogues" end in aporia, in which there is no final decision or definition or accepted answer, but in which everyone feels that progress has been made.


And if clarification of the issues is progress, then they are right. Certainly, when in the course of the dialogue we learn at least what are the wrong answers.After all, according to Karl Popper, that is the best we can expect in science, as well.










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Pangloss
 
Reply Wed 26 Nov, 2008 10:42 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;35676 wrote:
There is always a range of interpretation. But no one would interpret Socrates (Plato) as denying that knowledge both a necessary and sufficient condition of virtue.


I never said this would be a good interpretation...I agree with your post where you said that for Socrates, "knowledge is virtue", and am not trying to dispute anything you have said about Socrates/Plato, other than the reference to learning what we were taught in school, because on this matter, people are taught very different things.

I'm only trying to point out that, there are a wide range of interpretations, some of which differ quite significantly, and it is important to not just take one of them as being "correct"; at some point you have to make up your own mind. You have to keep an open mind when reading Plato's works, and when reading others' interpretations. Sometimes it is clear, other times not so much.

As an example, there are many professors throughout academia who still do not agree on The Republic. Some of high repute will insist that it was Plato's sole intent to construct an actual city in this work. Others of high repute, like Strauss and Bloom thought that this work was really more of a thought experiment for students, and the goal was not to construct a real city. And yet there are many professors who will also teach that the entire thing was written as an analogy for how to best govern the soul (this is how it was in my case).

Some people might say that Plato's intent was not important, but of course there's a huge difference in interpretation depending on what you think the intent was. There is good evidence to support all of these interpretations of the republic...so which one is right?

Quote:
Certainly, when in the course of the dialogue we learn at least what are the wrong answers.


Indeed we do...and this is definitely progress.
 
Icon
 
Reply Wed 26 Nov, 2008 12:46 pm
@Aphoric,
Read the Meno. Pretty much solves this.

Socrates did not believe in virtue because he could not define virtue. Socrates was about one thing and one thing only, regardless of what your philo 101 tells you to write down.

Socrates knew that he knew nothing. This confused him. In this confusion, he set out to find answers. He knew that he could not learn anything substantial but perhaps he could lay a foundation for the discovery of something substantial. Socrates was no more virtuous than Hitler thought himself to be. Socrates just wanted to know.
 
Stringfellow
 
Reply Wed 26 Nov, 2008 04:25 pm
@Icon,
Icon wrote:
Read the Meno. Pretty much solves this.

Socrates did not believe in virtue because he could not define virtue.


I think Socrates believes virtue exists, but that it is not knowledge that can be taught nor is it taught. Virtue could only be taught by a virtuous man who knows what virtue is, and if you can find Socrates a man like that, he'll sell you some oceanfront property he owns in Sparta. He seems to be saying that virtue resides in the soul as potential through recollection or what we might call an "Aha" experience. But that it is not something that a man is likely to have and to know, and even if there were such a man, Socrates still could not define virtue as you say.

~ S.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 26 Nov, 2008 06:08 pm
@Icon,
Icon wrote:


Socrates knew that he knew nothing. This confused him. In this confusion, he set out to find answers. .


Socrates certainly knew he was an Athenian. He knew he was a male. So how could he have known he knew nothing?








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longknowledge
 
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2009 11:19 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;35752 wrote:
Socrates certainly knew he was an Athenian. He knew he was a male. So how could he have known he knew nothing?


What Socrates actually said was:

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Which is Greek for "I know nothing! Nothing!":bigsmile:
 
 

 
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