Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Section 12, Group Socrates and Plato

Our group consists of:

Marisa Fraley
John Mcaffrie
Heather Steekley
Nathan Osborne
Taylor Lynch

Our topics include:

Socrates & Plato.
Their lives, deaths, impact on society, and their philosophies.

This post is so we can comment 250 words about what our individual contributions are.


  1. To understand the views of Socrates, we have to rely entirely upon his students, namely Xenophon and Plato, as Socrates himself was not a writer but more of a public teacher. However, most accept that what his students accounts of him are accurate. Some of Socrates' most famous philosophies include his famous "Socratic Paradoxes", the following are among those paradoxes, "No One Desires Evil", "Virtue, All Virtue, Is Knowledge", and "Virtue is Essential for Happiness". One of his best known sayings, being another Socratic Paradox, is "What I do not know I do not think I know", usually paraphrased as "I know that I know nothing". Socrates believed the best way for people to live was to focus on the pursuit of virtue rather than the pursuit of material wealth, he stressed that "the unexamined life is not worth living, ethical virtue is the only thing that matters. Focusing on finding happiness in community and lifestyle, Socrates never went out of his way to find wealth or fame, and devoted himself to the city and people of Athens.

  2. Anonymous9:48 PM CST

    Taylor Lynch

    For my contribution to our group’s project, I researched and found information on Socrates’ life through the Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia. I tried to do it chronologically, so it will be easy to understand how his life began and ended. I researched the times for when he was born and when he died along with his birthplace and place of death. I described in my research what Socrates did for a living and how he felt that his career was the same as his private life. I also gave a short family background about his parents and what they did for a living as well. In regards to Socrates’ career, I explained how he decided to become a philosopher through the inspiration of his mother. For the most part, Socrates spent the majority of his life as a philosopher in Athens, Greece. However, I also found information pertaining to what he did for a short amount of time outside the city and other interesting facts about his life. Lastly, I gave a brief description as to how and why Socrates died. With this research, our group should have an informative insight as to what Socrates’ life from the beginning to the end. I had no need for any other sources, because the encyclopedia I used had all the information I felt I needed for my part in this project. Hopefully, my research on Socrates’ life will compliment everyone else’s contribution to the project.

  3. My contribution to our group's project will include a look into Plato's philosophy. This will include his most famous works, sayings, and philosophies on life. Plato’s philosophies revolved around the philosophy that Socrates held until he died in 399 BC. His studies were directed toward the question of virtue and the formation of exemplary character. After the death of Socrates, Plato remained loyal in terms of philosophy for a good while. His first works after Socrates’ death were known as the Socratic Dialogues due to how similar they were to his teachings. "Apology" was written seemingly close to the death of his teacher, and other texts related to this were "Crito", "Laches", "Lysis", "Charmides", "Euthyphro", "Hippias Minor", and "Hippias Major". From 387 to 361 BC, Plato is said to have been in a transitional period as he was attempting to create his own voice and establish his own philosophy in the world. "Meno", "Euthydemus", "Menexenus", "Cratylus", "Repuglic", "Phaedrus", "Syposium", and "Phaedo" are all thought to have been written during this transitional period. Although Plato was creating his own voice and philosophy, he still retained parts of the teachings of Socrates. "The Republic", Plato’s most famous work, is also included within his transitional dialogues. It discusses topics about the individual and society that include courage, wisdom, moderation, and the virtues of justice. The main questions to be posed in "The Republic" is how to live a good life, and how an individual is defined. This dialogue covers just about every point Plato could think to make.

  4. Socrates was a significantly influential man, for one who denied being knowledgable. In order to understand who Socrates was, however, one must look at the how the life and death of this one man changed the world forever. My contribution to this project will discuss the topic of Socrates' death in 399 BC, and how many aspects of life were and are impacted by the life of that small, inquisitive man from ancient Greece. The influence that Socrates played on Ancient Greece is immeasurable. Even though he was sentenced to death by hemlock poisoning because of his questioning, Socrates had started something important. The people that were once certain that life was quite cut and dry could now question many things no one dared to question before, and there really was no going back. He mentored the great thinker, Plato, who would go on to mentor a great amount of other powerful minds of the time. The influences that Socrates played on the world today are innumerable. Not only did Socrates teach a great number of thinkers in his time, but his teachings in morals and ethics still influence a great number of philosophers and students today. In my presentation it will be seen that Socrates was one of the most influential early philosophers and that his school of thought gave way to be the building block for a number of other credible schools of philosophy still relevant to this day. His influence can be seen in from the education systems to psychology. His ideals are still shaping the modern era some 2,414 years after his time on the Earth!

  5. Plato's works have heavily influenced modern society and modern philosophy. Many philosophers after Plato even fall into a school of thought following either Plato or Aristotle. Plato's philosophy is very metaphysical in nature. He focuses on improving one's self through thought and trying to reach a higher realm of thought and being. This has impacted Western society heavily as the thought processes are very common in Western ideals. The Socratic method is even based off of Plato's writings of Socrates as he questioned the motives and definitions of everything in order to reach a better understanding. This has been widely adopted in many schools of thought and even in modern philosophy. The constant questioning was to reach a perfect realm of thought. The Socratic method is often used to scrutinize seemingly "common sense" things. By further examining what is thought to be known, one is able to reach a place of better understanding and thinking.
    Plato was also influential with his politic thoughts having written The Republic. After the death of his teacher, Socrates, it seemed that Plato believed that the best government was one ruled by philosophers. This mirrored his ideals that one should focus his efforts on improving his mind and reasoning as Plato believed those were gifts of the divine.
    Plato is thought to have died around 348 BCE. It is not completely known how Plato died; however, most accounts say that he died rather peacefully, either in his bed or in his sleep.

  6. For this upcoming group project, my contribution to the group will be to research about Plato’s life. I will look into when he was born and where, his family background, what his life was like, some accomplishments he made, some of the places he traveled, and when and how he died. Plato was a very influential and well-known philosopher who was known to study under Socrates, and he was also the teacher for Aristotle. Most of my information will be from Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia. From both sources, it says Plato was actually a nickname he acquired meaning “broad” or “wide” because of his broad shoulders and his real name was Aristocles, but all remembers him as Plato. From there I will try to look into his life as chronologically as possible and present the information I find in that order. Plato is a very influential philosopher even to this time where some of his ideas are still present. He differed from his teacher Socrates because he wrote down most of his ideas and the teachings of his teacher, so there is an advantage to find more of his teaching and his life. Plato did travel a little and he also started the Academy for other philosophers. After he made the Academy, he didn't travel too much and the Academy seemed to be like his home. There is not much to find on his early family life, but there is some information available whether it is truly reliable or not.