68. Plato’s Apology: Socrates’ Defense at His Trial Before His Execution, Part 2

Socrates left no writings of his own, and all we know about him comes through Plato’s writings, including his dialogue Apology. The Apology is a recounting, through Plato’s eyes, of Socrates’ testimony and the trial leading up to his execution. Of all of Plato’s writings including his apology, this dialogue especially captures the human side […]

67. Plato’s Apology: Socrates’ Defense at His Trial Before His Execution, Part 1

Most defendants in a capital case have the singular goal of saving their own lives. With Socrates’ defense, we get a different impression. Although he would have no doubt welcomed an acquittal, we get the sense that Socrates’ primary goal was to enlighten those in the Athenian courtroom the day of his trial – to […]

65. Euthyphro’s Dilemma and the Relationship Between God and Goodness

What is the relationship between God and justice? Is something just because God wills it, or does God will it because it is just? This is the essence of what has been termed Euthyphro’s dilemma. I introduced this in my previous post 64 in the context of Socrates questioning a young, arrogant man, named Euthyphro, […]

64. Socrates’ Authentic Search for Piety in Plato’s Dialogue ‘Euthyphro’

Socrates found himself in some trouble in Plato’s Euthyphro. He had just been indicted on serious charges by a relatively unknown Athenian citizen. Miletus, his principle accuser, was simply a mouthpiece and puppet for Socrates’ true arch-enemy Anytus, a powerful Athenian politician.1 Miletus’ affidavit stated that Socrates was guilty of corrupting the youth and also […]

63. Plato’s Dialogues: Alcibiades and the Challenge of Self-Examination

Alcibiades was a young man in Athens who seemingly had everything: looks, noble birth, friends and connections in high places, and intense ambition to go with it all. He was a proud young man who elicited envy from his peers. One person who wasn’t envious, but instead, deeply concerned, was none other than Socrates himself. […]

62. Plato’s Great Political Failures in Sicily and Beyond

Plato failed. He failed three times in trying to establish his ideal philosopher-king in Syracuse, Sicily. But when we think of Plato, we do not think of Plato’s failures; on the contrary, we think of one of the most accomplished people in history. After all, he did leave an impressive corpus of philosophical dialogues that […]

61. Plato Establishes His Academy – The Greatest Philosopher 5

This is part five of a fictional dialogue amongst friends discussing the life of Plato. Please read the previous post for immediate context. If you want to start at the beginning, see post 57. Plato fled Athens after the execution of his friend and teacher Socrates for obvious reasons. Plato traveled for almost two decades […]

60. Plato’s First Visit to Sicily – The Greatest Philosopher 4

This is part four of a fictional Plato’s dialogues discussing the life. If you wish to start at the beginning, please see post 57. Young Plato fled Athens for obvious reasons after the death of his teacher Socrates. He spent some time in Cyrene where he learned mathematics. And then, he lived in Egypt for […]

59. Plato in Egypt – The Greatest Philosopher 3

This is part three of a fictional dialogue discussing the life of Plato. In the previous post, Plato fled Athens after the execution of his friend and teacher Socrates (I suggest also reading the first part of the story, if you haven’t already). After traveling for almost two decades, Plato spent his most significant time […]

58. Plato – The Greatest Philosopher 2

After publishing the previous post, not surprisingly I received some email inquiries concerning the virgin birth of Plato. I will comment on that later, but first I would like to finish the dialogue-story about the life of Plato that I started in Post 57. Please see that post if you wish to read this story […]