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Four Socratic Dialogues Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno - Essay Example

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The author examines the four dialogues with Socrates which reveal much about his life until his execution. The author states that the battles characterize the history of philosophy. One major debate is the source of knowledge and this argument pits rationalists against empiricists.  …
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Four Socratic Dialogues Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno
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Four Socratic Dialogues "Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno" The four dialogues with Socrates reveal much about his life until his execution. In the Euthyphro, it is questionable why another dialogue with a son charging his father for piety is introduced in the text. Even though, the debate is not extended at length, its introduction signals the interplay between religion and politics. The Polis was responsible for creating laws that guided the behavior of citizens. It is not surprising that King Archon justifies the boy’s accusations against his father and orders for a jury to oversee the course of justice.
In Apology, the dialogue reveals the tension that persisted between citizens in society, who discovered the tyrannical government and its regressive tendencies. Religion was employed to pacify the masses to follow particular norms and traditions that defined morality, but Socrates in his defense criticizes its exploitation and misuse of authority. For instance, he mocks the jury when he requests free meals for the rest of his life to be his sentence, but is later sentenced to death.
Socrates dislike and disregard for the political system is extended in his third dialogue Crito where he decides to remain after the jury sentences him to death when found guilty. Even though, his second text Apology neglects his accusers, the system almost reigns supreme when he complies with the unjust laws of Athens and waits for his execution. I believe Socrates did not loathe interplay between religion and politics, but despised the manner rulers wielded power and influence over the masses.
Finally, his last dialogue, Meno takes a sudden twist when though Socrates appeared to have lost the battle of justice, his dislike for the political system is seen when he decided to self-administer his death. He remained unconvinced by the jury’s verdict and considered his fate not in their hands. The dialogue is full of debate between Immortality and soul and subtly implies the inevitability of the continued existence of the soul.
Rationalism and Empiricism
It is apparent battles characterize the history of philosophy, especially between camps debating major issues about human existence. One major debate is the source of knowledge and this argument pits rationalists against empiricists. Even though, rationalists claim the starting point of human knowledge is reasoning, I believe the beginning of human knowledge is sense experience (Carrutheras 123). It is the human senses that provide us with the original data concerning events in the world. Without the raw data obtained through sense experience, then knowledge cannot exist at all. The raw data is subjected to reason, and influences the decision and action of individuals. In this manner, sensory experience gives rise to all human knowledge and beliefs (Carrutheras 123).
Empiricism has won many supporters because it is difficult to identify behaviors that do not occur through sense experience such as tough, sight, sound, taste, and smell. It is agreeable that humans are rational beings, and rationalists continue to criticize empiricism for major failings (Carrutheras 102). For instance, they insist there are many beliefs that cannot be explained by sensory experiences like cause and effect. This argument is commendable, but it is apparent sensory experience provides a foundation that humans base rational thought about events that happen in their environment (Carrutheras 104). Without sensory experience, it is impossible to reach rational conclusions about events in the environment.
Work Cited
Carrutheras, Peter. The Nature of the Mind: An Introduction. Psychology Press, 2004. Read More
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