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Socrates is dead .... LONG LIVE SOCRATES !!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:28 pm    Post subject: Socrates is dead .... LONG LIVE SOCRATES !!!! Reply with quote


" The Death of Socrates (French: La Mort de Socrate) is a 1787 oil on canvas painting by the French painter Jacques-Louis David ... "

The subject has been a favoured one in Republican art and drama because of the story of Socrates' decision to continue to uphold " The Rule of Law " as his last act of service to Athens. His friends argued that they could bribe the guards and so help him escape the sentence laid upon him of death but for Socrates this implied disobedience to " The Nomos " whom he had worshiped and served as a lawyer and judge all of his life. Athens was seething with unrest because of the many injustices being perpetrated by The Democrats, so Socrates conscientiously set an example for The People in Athens of his obedience to the incorruptible principled authority of " The Nomos " in contrast to the corruptible arbitrary authority of " The Law " of The Democrats in Athens which had condemned him to death. His object in this was not to save himself but to save Athens from descending into a civil war.

Most of those who write about The Death of Socrates say that he followed this course of action because of his " daemon " and they treat this as if it was the equivalent of our modern idea of " conscience " because of the way in which Socrates talked about an inner voice which deterred him from doing wrong but never advised him what to do otherwise : they are not recognising in this statement that Socrates is describing his idea of " The Nomos " i.e. " The ( Sacred / Divine / Natural / Cosmic ) Law " and attributing to it the legal principle which recurs again and again in diverse civilisations that whatever laws are made they should proscribe harmful i.e. coercive relationships - the correlation of which legal principle being that prescriptive laws create coercive relationships and therefore are inherently unjust. Like all of the other judges in Athens, before beginning the day's sessions Socrates would have first attended the prayers and offerings before the altar of " The Nomos " whose shrines were located at the entrances to the courts where the judges, rotated everyday to counter corruption, were sworn to uphold The Peace of Athens through The Rule of Law.

Hence Socrates in not running away was probably not so much obeying his " conscience " as his " daemon " and so he was refusing to break his oath to " The Nomos " as a judge : oaths in the ancient world were taken extremely seriously and in breaking an oath, even by accident, a man could easily become a social outcast and so might as well die. Socrates in refusing to accept that in his opportunity to escape an unjust execution ( i.e. his own murder ) there was a just expediency by which he could excuse himself from his duty as a judge of upholding The Rule of Law and thus The Peace of Athens was in all likelyhood not only just keeping his oath to " The Nomos " but also his sense of himself : he simply could not have acted otherwise - his body would have lived but Socrates himself would have died ... yet ... in having the courage to keep faith with " The Nomos " and in choosing to surrender his life for the sake of The Public Interest Socrates died in full possession of his life - and he still lives in ours ... well ... that is what I think, and I am going to stick to this my own preferred explanation of " The Death of Socrates " upon the noble grounds of the moral and ethical principles which have been engendered by my sheer bloody-mindedness and dull Republican political aestheticism - OK ?


" The Death of Socrates " by Jacques-Louis David 1787 : yes, in America and other civilised countries small children are taught about Republicanism -


An intro ? ... Some Help Understanding Plato's Apology - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkEzTrLkpTM

I enjoyed this & it is only half an hour - The Trial of Socrates - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=380KSdkV6zY

Same thing but as written : Great Speeches: Socrates "In His Own Defense" -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TaCV2MZqWU

Ah ! - Actually written down - but only a short bit - The Apology of Socrates - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbW_pdvxR84

( ITV ? ) SUNDAY NIGHT PLAY ( 1966 ) : The Death of Socrates - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niDinq2XmO8

BBC RADIO 4 PLAY : The Last Days Of Socrates by Plato by Hugh Tredennick [1986] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFpn7ZigStY

RAI-TVE : It looks much better in Italian with subs - on plain but without onions ? Socrates - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY-mgZbuxBA - BEAUTIFUL

PART OF THE RAI FILM - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4pOc-FW-lA

( Socrates' ) Apology by Plato ( audiobook ) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEgaurri3ng

If you want an easy-listening overview of Socrates and are a fan of Will Durant - The Philosophy of Plato - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEK4A9hrVjQ


Videos of lectures and discussions

Socrates Café - What is a Good Death ? ( Oct. 30, 2014 ) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nSL1QRK2w8

Last edited by dai on Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst I was knocking up the above the following video turned up in searches on Youtube - DO NOT BE PUT OFF BY THE TITLE " SOCRATES AND JESUS " - it is not exactly belly-laughs but it has had me giggling quite a lot and I like it : apparently the reason why it was turning up is that the pretext for this play is " What happened after The Death of Socrates ? " ... and the answer in this case is that in Kevin O'Brian's play Socrates was transported through time and space to re-appear on the student campus of a third-rate muddle-American University Philosophy Department where he finds himself in Christology 500 - a seminar with Ms Molly Coddle ( a rather hippy-dippy Christian ) and Mr Thomas Sceptic ( A Marxist Deconstructionist Freudian ) who are students of Dr Nuance ( whose authority rests upon what is presently fashionable.) ... At one point the exasperated Dr Nuance demands " MUST YOU QUESTION EVERYTHING ???? " and Socrates simply shrugs his shoulders and replies with the obvious answer - " Yes." ... Unfortunately the real Socrates' contributions to the second half of this script were discarded in favour of what the producers thought would sell to an muddle-class American audience ... the play is derived from the book by Peter Kreeft ( I think that he is a Catholic philosopher, but he also wrote ' The Philosophy of Tolkien : The Worldview Behind The "Lord of the Rings" ' )

Socrates Meets Jesus - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWxop3Kz8Fg


Socrates Meets Jesus: History's Greatest Questioner Confronts the Claims of Christ - Peter Kreeft - Intervarsity Press (15 Feb. 2002) - ISBN-10: 0830823387

SEE OTHER BOOKS BY PETER KREEFT - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Peter-Kreeft/e/B000APBQD0/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
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