76. Plato’s ‘Meno’ Part 2; A Common Uneducated Slave

Can a common, uneducated slave do complex geometry without ever learning it? This is one of the questions in Plato‚Äôs Meno. Plato was hoping that the answer to this question was yes, for that would give hope to slaves everywhere. This and other unusual aspects of the dialogue make it one of Plato’s most interesting […]

75. The Essence of Virtue – Plato’s ‘Meno’ Part 1

The Essence of Virtue – Plato’s ‘Meno’ Part 1

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 […]

5. Socrates an Ambassador of Truth to Athens

  Previously, I discussed how Socrates was convicted of “corrupting the youth” and “impiety.”1 He was accused of impiety because he tried to expand the meaning of piety beyond mere ceremony into intellectual understanding and the development of virtue. What good is honoring the gods if you are ignorant of what you are doing and […]

3. Socrates the Wisest Man in Athens

Why was Socrates executed? He was tried in front of 501 of his Athens peers who, acting as judge and jury, declared him guilty and sentenced him to death.1