32 votes

If Socrates said he was ignorant but was in fact knowledgeable, was he simply a liar?

Not to dispute Dr. Palmer's account, but Socrates' main argument at his trial was that he was not trying to impose knowledge on the citizens of Athens. Instead — to use Socrates' analogy — he was like ...
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23 votes

If Socrates said he was ignorant but was in fact knowledgeable, was he simply a liar?

Socrates might not have ever claimed this. See here. An example of what he did say is: I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows ...
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12 votes
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Who is Plato and Socrates' God?

Whether Plato's character of Socrates or Plato himself believed in a God or many Gods is not perfectly clear. Additionally, we can't ascribe any sort of belief to the historical Socrates; we just don'...
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  • 2,790
11 votes

Did Plato record actual conversations in his dialogues?

Both of the answers are correct to point out that the dialogues are fictitious. It is extremely unlikely any section of any length is a transcript of an actual conversation between Socrates and anyone....
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10 votes

Was Socrates a monotheist?

In several places, most notably the discussion of the "Allegory of the Cave" in The Republic, Plato's Socrates identifies the Ideal of the Good as the singular source of all good things in ...
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10 votes
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Does Nietzsche's rejection of Socrates mean that he is a relativist about ethics?

I believe the Nietzsche's passage referred to is this one: "Socrates' decadence is suggested not only by the admitted wantonness and anarchy of his instincts, but also by the hypertrophy of the ...
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9 votes
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Buddhism in Phaedo

SOCRATES VERSUS BUDDHA ON THE SOUL If Buddhism denies the existence of any continuing self or soul, this appears to conflict with Socrates' view of a continuing soul which is freed and released from ...
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9 votes

What is the origin of the idea that moral realism requires a god?

Your understanding of Euthyphro sounds inverted. At the time, the idea that "good" was just a name for what the gods approve of was a commonplace. Plato's goal here, in fact, is to replace ...
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9 votes

If Socrates said he was ignorant but was in fact knowledgeable, was he simply a liar?

You stumbled over the Socratic paradox. It is a classical example of the Dunning–Kruger effect: You need a certain minimal competence to begin to perceive your own degree of incompetence. Because ...
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8 votes
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Was Socrates of the belief that knowledge was attainable after death?

The answer lies in the Phaedo, not much after the passage on suicide, to which you referred. The issue of suicide arises in the context of the question, put to Socrates, why he seemed to favor death, ...
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8 votes
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"The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms." - Socrates?

There's at least two reasons to suggest that Socrates never said this (though one of the reasons makes it so that it's unlikely one could definitively say this). Reason #1: Socrates did not write ...
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6 votes

Did Plato record actual conversations in his dialogues?

As far as I know Plato's dialogues are fictitious. E.g., Parmenides died at about 460 BCE in the South of Italy, while Socrates was born at 470 BCE in Athens. Hence the meeting of Parmenides with a ...
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6 votes
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Does Socrates fear Euthyphro?

You said "With these two comments in mind, could we infer that Socrates fears Euthyphro?" By just taking two comments from such a large conversation, you are going to conclude somethings which may be ...
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6 votes

From dialogue to monologue : Why (Platonic) Socrates claims to know nothing but manages to give book-length speeches all the time?

The Platonic Socrates did not claim that he knew nothing. When asked by Chaerephon whether there were any wiser than Socrates, the Delphic Oracle replied that there was no one wiser (Apology, 21A). ...
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6 votes

"Corresponding behaviour" in text on Socrates' philosophy

I'm put in mind of Socrates' speech in the Symposium, 201d- 212c, expressed as the report of a discourse of Diotima, the wise woman from Mantinea. I summarise from W.R.M. Lamb, Symposium, Loeb: ...
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6 votes

What Socrates meant when he pointed his finger up?

Not on David's Death of Socrates (the painting referred to in the question), but on Rafael's fresco the School of Athens (Scuola di Atene), an interpretation of Plato's and Aristotle's right hand ...
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5 votes
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What was Socrates/Plato's view on free-will?

Socrates' personality was in some ways closely connected to his philosophical outlook. He was remarkable for the absolute command he maintained over his emotions and his apparent indifference to ...
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5 votes

What did Socrates mean by " there is no more fitting reward than maintenance in the prytaneum"?

One of the key features when teaching the Apology (which many philosophers don't teach in intro courses, because it's somewhat sparse on arguments) is basically whether Socrates is defending himself ...
5 votes

What did Socrates mean by " there is no more fitting reward than maintenance in the prytaneum"?

Socrates claims to be rewarded with free feeding at the Prytaneum because he has served well the State by teaching. A Socratic irony. The Prytaneion was a building on the Acropolis of Athens. {...} ...
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5 votes
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Are people inherently good according to Plato?

Are people inherently good according to Plato? This may be a delicate question. On the one hand, Plato's Socrates asserts, in the Phaedo, concerning the misanthropist (hater of people), that only few ...
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  • 7,191
5 votes

When the Oracle called Socrates the wisest of the Greeks he at first rejected the label then accepted it. What caused Socrates to change his mind?

There's a lot of interesting features to the question. First, you need to consider how serious Socrates is being vs. how much of a joke he's making of the whole thing. Second, it's important to ...
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5 votes
Accepted

What were Socrates views on afterlife?

According to reference of Phaedo's recording of Socrates here: Socrates concludes that the soul of the virtuous man is immortal, and the course of its passing into the underworld is determined by the ...
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  • 3,805
5 votes

If Socrates said he was ignorant but was in fact knowledgeable, was he simply a liar?

This is similar to Descartes' "experiment" where he proposes to doubt everything. In the beginning of Pensées, he realizes that there is one thing he cannot doubt: his own existence. Hence &...
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  • 149
5 votes

What Socrates meant when he pointed his finger up?

In Plato's Phaedo which describes Socrates' last hours after he is sentenced to die by drinking a poison called hemlock (the cup in the painting), Socrates argues for the immortality of the soul and ...
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  • 2,633
4 votes

What did Socrates mean by "idea of equality" in the abstract?

The passage quoted in the question is from Plato's Phaedo 74b. In the passage around, Socrates aims at the difference between two concrete things, which are equal, on one hand, and on the other hand ...
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  • 19.7k
4 votes

What did Socrates mean by " there is no more fitting reward than maintenance in the prytaneum"?

In ancient Athens, once a person was convicted of a crime, the prosecutor and the defendant both had the opportunity to propose a just sentence, with the jury to vote on which to take. In theory, the ...
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4 votes

Was Socrates a monotheist?

Any answer about Socrates faces the difficulty that we do not have any texts written by Socrates but only texts written about Socrates. Texts about Socrates have been written by Plato, by ...
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  • 19.7k
4 votes

What social class was Socrates from?

From Wikipedia: Socrates initially earned his living as a master stonecutter... Several of Plato's dialogues refer to Socrates' military service.... In 406, he was a member of the Boule [group of ...
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