Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Plato: Gorgias

"At the same time he acknowledges the natural result, which he hardly seeks to avert, that he who speaks the truth to a multitude, regardless of consequences, will probably share the fate of Socrates." - Plato's Gorgias, Introduction, by Benjamin Jowett

In case the reader doesn't know, Socrates was condemned to die by the assembly of Athens and forced to drink poison.  I don't know why professor Jowett feels he needs to be so tedious in his long introduction to this work, but, well, I guess he just has a lot to say.  The introduction has involved 2 hours of listening so far and much of the plot has been given away..  Gorgias talks about pain, evil, and sophistry.  There is also some talk of our condition after death.

Occasionally professor Jowett says something significant, and I suppose the above qualifies as we consider the current political situation in the developed world.


Delirious said...

We haven't gotten to the point of people being put to death for what they say, or "thought crimes", but it has existed in recent years in the country where I live. You never know how our own country will change....

Ramana Rajgopaul said...

The tyranny of the majority is what Socrates had to face. We have this in amply measure in all democracies, as flawed as they may be that what one individual may consider sane need not be accepted as such by the majority. In democracy the minority has to accept and live with the sanity as conceived by the majority. This however is utopian thinking as the minority does not accept. The latest moves in the USA to secede because Obama won, the Egyptian winter of discontent, the Indian political scene on reforms etc are all pointers to this effect.