Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Socrates first impression

My impression of Socrates is that he is extremely intelligent, but also that he likes to rub his intelligence in when dealing with others. He accomplishes this through the use of long-winded arguments that in their roots are so simple that his opponents can't help but to feel childish. He uses outlandish examples and arguments that run on for so long that by the time he makes his point I have forgotten where he started. Socrates’ ethos is persuasive, however, as it demonstrates phronesis, arete, and eunoia. For example, in his argument with Polemarchus regarding the definition of justice (pp.5-10) Socrates uses very common-sense arguments about people not in their right senses and examples of people of other professions (camp guards, doctors, and musicians to name a few) to support his arguments. These simple sensible arguments represent Socrates’ phronesis. His arete is demonstrated in the mere argument itself; he is arguing for a definition of justice that does not involve wronging others even when you believe it is deserved. Socrates represents moral virtue by not defending the belief that “justice is doing good to your friends and harm to your enemies.”(p.10) Finally, Socrates eunoia is demonstrated, though only mildly, through his compliments of the life and financial doings of Cephalus, and also in the calm, non-hostile way that he argues with Polemarchus.
Socrates’ ethos is tied to both his logos and pathos. For pathos, he pressures his audience (Polemarchus) to feel guilt about certain questions, therefore implying a certain answer or solution. For logos, Socrates uses not only common examples, but also historical examples to make his point. This can be seen when he refers to Homer (p.8) to help his argument. I found Socrates’ argument to be convincing, if not roundabout and slightly confusing, and thought that the ethos, pathos, and logos were tied together well for an overall persuasive argument.

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