An analysis of the two claims of socrates about wisdom

He answers that he has developed a reputation for wisdom--but a kind of limited, human wisdom, not the kind of super-human wisdom that would be required to speak authoritatively about matters such as the Presocratics and the sophists discuss. This reputation originated in a prophecy given by the oracle at Delphi to his friend Chaerephon. Chaerephon asked the omniscient oracle if there was anyone wiser than Socrates, and the priestess replied that there was not. Socrates recounts how he took this news with great puzzlement:

An analysis of the two claims of socrates about wisdom

Table of Contents Analysis and Themes The Apology is one of those rare works that gracefully bridges the divide between philosophy and literature. The work is less concerned with asserting any particular philosophical doctrines than it is with creating a portrait of the ideal philosopher.

On trial, with his life at stake, Socrates maintains his cool and unwaveringly defends his way of life as unassailably just. This speech has served as inspiration and justification for philosophical thinkers ever since.

It is also valuable in that it links three major themes in Socratic thought: Socratic irony, the elenchus the Socratic mode of inquiryand the higher ethical concerns that dominate Socrates' life. The Delphic oracle, which proclaimed that Socrates was the wisest of men because he knows that he knows nothing, can be posited as the source of Socratic irony.

This oracle has led Socrates to assume his highly ironic stance of confessing his own ignorance, and yet showing his interlocutors to be even more ignorant than he; great wisdom turns out, contrary to expectation, to reside in a humble acknowledgment of ignorance.

From the SparkNotes Blog

With wisdom of this kind, Socrates does not take himself too seriously. Indeed, his wisdom is deeply humbling, as it casts all pretensions to human knowledge into question.

With a smile, Socrates accepts that he is better off the less he thinks he knows, and passes this wisdom along with appropriate wit. This irony, then, deeply informs the elenchus, Socrates' preferred mode of inquiry. It is important to note that almost all written accounts of Socrates are dialogues The Apology is an exception --Socrates never lectures on his beliefs in a one-sided manner.

An analysis of the two claims of socrates about wisdom

This supports the idea that Socrates has no knowledge of his own to put forward. His method of inquiry consists of identifying what his interlocutor thinks he knows, and then slowly dissecting those claims of knowledge. The Apology, however, is presented almost exclusively in the form of a monologue, because Socrates is not discussing and dismantling any one particular claim so much as he is laying out the method behind these dismantlings.

As such, it is an invaluable commentary on the other dialogues. The elenchus acts to disabuse Socrates' interlocutors of their pretensions and thereby deepens their wisdom. For Socrates, wisdom and virtue are closely connected, so his efforts serve to improve society as a whole. In Socrates' view, if we are all wise, none of us will ever do wrong, and our self-knowledge will lead to healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Thus, the philosopher, according to Socrates, does not merely follow abstract intellectual pursuits for the sake of amusement, but is engaged in activities of the highest moral value.The Apology is a rare exception in Plato's works, in that only a small part of it is given over to the elenchus; in most of the works, it is the principal means by which Plato lays out Socrates' arguments.

There is no testimony in support of these claims. S, unlike the sophists with whom he is being confused, does not claim to teach virtue, and accepts no fees for his conversation. S’ notoriety is explained by his irritating wisdom, attested by the oracle at Delphi: that he alone recognizes that he is not wise.

Analysis of Plato's Apology.

An analysis of the two claims of socrates about wisdom

The Apology is Plato's recollection and interpretation of the Trial of Socrates ( BC). In this dialogue Socrates explains who he is and what kind of life he led. This paper is an attempt to analyze Socrates’ words, as presented by Plato in these two dialogues, in order to clarify what Socrates’ claims to know and not to know, as well as his attitude on human wisdom in .

Socrates tells them that he will indeed speak the truth, and he implores the judges not to be thinking of the manner of his speech but only of the justice of the cause for which he pleads. In making his defense, Socrates will reply to two kinds of accusations.

Socrates reports that he is puzzled by this answer since so many other people in the community are well known for their extensive knowledge and wisdom, and yet .

SparkNotes: The Apology: Analysis and Themes