Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Socrates

Having never read this before, what first springs to mind is the way in which Socrates takes an initial idea and continually asks a series of questions to lead to a seemingly pre-determined conclusion (in his mind). By doing so, it seems to me that Socrates makes more points through his ethos and logos and not so much through his pathos since his arguments are definitely more logic-based than emotion-based. His logos is constantly showing up with his lines of reasoning and strings of arguments. This is apparent especially beginning in the middle of the passage and continuing until the end. Take, for example, the conversation on page 7. Socrates keeps posing questions based on each previous response and notes instances where a generalization will not hold true. Continued at the top of page 8, we see Socrates posing questions that result in his assertion that "the just man has turned out to be a thief." This statement alone would seem false, but after having read the dialogue, you can see that it is logical.
Another thing I noticed about Socrates in the first couple of pages of our excerpt was that he is very inspired by those who are older and wiser than himself. At the bottom of page 2 and top of page 3, Socrates is asking Cephalus "I should like to ask of you who have arrived at that time which the poets call the 'threshold of old-age' - Is life harder towards the end, or what report do you give of it?" This is a good example of ethos in the sense of practical wisdom, since the reason for Socrates' asking this question is that he realizes he will eventually have to travel down the same road and face all of the same issues.

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