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In what sense was Socrates' mission political?

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gabra92 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 2, 2013 at 11:29 PM via web

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In what sense was Socrates' mission political?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:33 AM (Answer #1)

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If we look at Plato's dialogues, it is clear that Socrates desired to make a political impact among the Athenians. 

For example, Socrates states that his mission was to be a gadfly to cause the Athenians to seek truth. He considered the Athenians to be a dim-witted horse that needed to be goaded in the right direction. This is why he believed that the Athenian government should reward him instead of punishing him.

Plato states:

"If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me," because his role was that of a gadfly, "to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth." 

For another example, all you need to do is to consider the Republic. The whole work is about the ideal polis, which is political. 


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