Socrates’s Desire to Die: On Xenophon’s Apology

Xenophon's Memorabilia ("recollections") is his public defense of Socrates, but the title is notably silent about whether or not the recollections are exclusively of Socrates. The text is, instead, rife with the recollections by Xenophon on the Socratic, and therefore, the philosophic life. As an alternative, his shorter Socratic writing, the Apology of Socrates, is clear about who … Continue reading Socrates’s Desire to Die: On Xenophon’s Apology

Socrates Ridiculed in the Clouds

The Clouds, first performed in 423 BC at the Dionysia, is Aristophanes's masterpiece despite receiving a mere third place at the Dionysia festival. Aristophanes's earlier plays had all been a string of successes. There is a rumor that, in anger at his loss over the Clouds, Aristophanes edited the original manuscript. This is referenced in … Continue reading Socrates Ridiculed in the Clouds

Wandering Thoughts on the Philebus

Plato's Philebus is a teleological dialogue -it is focused on the finality of things. On the surface, the subject matter of the Philebus concerns the question of pleasure. The pursuit of pleasure, as opposed to Thomas Jefferson's "pursuit of happiness"- is a limitless activity. However there is the question of the finality of the philosophic life -what … Continue reading Wandering Thoughts on the Philebus

Thoughts On The Gorgias

In the Gorgias dialogue, Socrates travels with his friend and follower, Chaerephon, to the house of Callicles, whose name means "famed for visible excellence". At Callicles's house a distinguished guest and self-proclaimed rhetorician from Sicily named Gorgias resides, along with his follower, Polus. Callicles, the host, is important to the dialogue because he is also a … Continue reading Thoughts On The Gorgias