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An analysis of the philosophical works of Plato and his representations of Socrates together with Marx’s Communist Manifesto informs of the ideological underpinnings of philosophy and its contribution to Western philosophy. Socrates’ died in much the same way as he lived: exuding in his philosophical logic that the body and the soul are separate entities. In Jacques-Louis David’s (1787) Death of Socrates the ancient Greek philosopher is sitting on his death bed and is about to take hemlock from his executioner, but he remains animated and talkative. The impression left by the painting is that while his disciples and the executioner are profoundly saddened by his death, Socrates continues to believe in his philosophy that the soul is timeless although the body is not. David’s (1787) painting therefore represents the perpetuation of Socrates’ philosophy. Within ten years of Socrates’ death, his philosophical ideologies were carried over by Plato, one of his most ardent students/disciples (Graham, 1992). Much of Plato’s philosophical writings appear to be a mere “reproduction of speeches delivered by other persons” particularly Socrates (Merlan, 1947, p. 406). ...
Thus Plato invites profound logic and thinking about the distinction between what an individual knows and what an individual believes in determining by logical deduction that which is representative of the truth. In Western justice systems, jurors are instructed to assess the evidence and to determine for themselves what they believe to be a true and just verdict. Jurors are not instructed to arrive at the actual truth. Thus Plato’s Theaetetus can be said to inform the mechanisms of the Western justice system’s fact finding purpose. Plato once again revisits the issue of knowledge through a dialogue with Socrates in The Republic. Plato questions whether or not the man who professes ignorance is more knowledgeable than the politician who purports to know all things when he does not (Plato, 2000). Through Socrates and his dialogue with a number of Greeks, Plato focuses on a debate that underpins theories of justice, politics, morality and knowledge. Thus The Republic is often described as one of the greatest influences on Western philosophy (Blackburn, 2008). Plato’s Republic examines the meaning of justice and explores whether or not it is achieved via the fear or threat of punishment. The dialogue in The Republic asks a series of questions relative to justice and social order and ultimately concludes that justice is necessary. Essentially, Plato constructs the ideal politically just society which consists of different classes of individual within an hierarchal construct (Plato, 2000). Plato’s Apology is yet another immortalization of Socrates and expresses Socrates defense at this trial. Socrates was put on trial for failure to follow the Gods ...Show more
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Course Date Philosophy Philosophy engages five areas of inquiry: logic, ethics, politics, metaphysics and esthetics (Durant, 1961). Socrates, an Ancient Greek philosopher is largely regarded as the father or Western philosophical thinking. His student Plato is credited with providing the most insightful representations of Socrates’ philosophies in his works and dialogues (p…
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Philosophy
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