Socrates Essay, Research Paper

Much contention continues over Socrates & # 8217 ; s attitude towards democracy. I.F. Stone, embarrassed that the first democracy should hold killed a adult male for exerting freedom of address and freedom of faith, attempted to warrant this by traveling after Socrates as an enemy of democracy ( The Trial of Socrates ) ; but since Stone was busy supporting Josef Stalin back in the Thirties, and even wrote a book in 1952, the Hidden History of the Korean War, supporting the communist invasion of South Korea, his ain democratic certificates are fishy. Indeed, an rating of Socrates basically depends on the inquiry of what democracy is supposed to be. That can be answered in due class.

There are three topographic points in the Apology that provide grounds about Socrates & # 8217 ; s attitude towards the democracy in Athens. The first is at 20e, where Socrates relates the narrative of Chaerephon inquiring Delphi if anyone was wiser than Socrates. He says that Chaerephon was his friend and the friend of many of the jury, sharing their expatriate and their return. Exile and return? Well, of class, the expatriate of the Democrats from Athens, after the autumn of the metropolis in 404, and during the Spartan business and the government of the Thirty Tyrants. That makes Chaerephon sound like a reasonably serious zealot of the democracy. Would such a one think of Socrates as the wisest adult male, to the point of inquiring Delphi about it, if Socrates were conspicuously against the democracy? Not likely. That is non decisive grounds, of course, but it is implicative in connexion with other things.

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The following point, logically, is at 32c, where Socrates relates his experience under the Thirty Tyrants. An enemy of the democracy, and a sympathiser of the Spartans, should hold been in 7th Eden after Sparta had really conquered Athens and installed its sympathisers. But Socrates didn & # 8217 ; t want to hold anything to make with that authorities and crossed them to the extent that his life might hold been in danger if they had non been overthrown. That complements the positive feeling from the side of Chaerephon. The logically concluding point, nevertheless, occurs antecedently at 32b, where Socrates relates his existent clang with the power of the Assembly, over the inquiry of seeking the admirals from the conflict of Arginusae. Socrates was the lone one of the prytanes ( in office through batch ) to decline to make anything contrary to the Torahs ( par to*s n mous ) . In his position it was his responsibility to stand for the jurisprudence and for justness despite the wants of the Assembly. So he did so, at hazard of prosecution or decease.

To foil the will of the Assembly doesn & # 8217 ; t sound really democratic, but so the will of the Assembly was frequently arbitrary and barbarous. The will of the Assembly discredited the really thought of democracy for centuries. In Federalist Paper # 10, James Madison remarks on the job of democracy to be overcome:

From this position of the topic it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a little figure of citizens, who assemble and administrate the authorities in individual, can acknowledge of no remedy for the mischievousness of cabal. A common passion or involvement will, in about every instance, be felt by a bulk of the whole ; a communicating and concert consequences from the signifier of authorities itself ; and there is nil to look into the incentives to give the weaker party or an objectionable person. Hence it is that such democracies have of all time been eyeglassess of turbulency and contention ; have of all time been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of belongings ; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deceases.

Socrates himself was among the original type of & # 8220 ; objectionable single & # 8221 ; against whom a pure democracy may turn. A all right statement about the danger of the dictatorship of the bulk comes from Alexis de Tocqueville:

If it be admitted that a adult male, possessing absolute power, may misapply that power by wronging his antagonists, why should a bulk non be apt to the same reproach? Work forces are non disposed to alter their characters by agglomeration ; nor does their forbearance in the presence of obstructions addition with the consciousness of their strength. And for these grounds I can ne’er volitionally put any figure of my fellow animals with that limitless authorization which I should decline to any one of them.

James Fenimore Cooper, the writer of authoritative American novels like The Last of the Mohicans, said in his political statement, The American Democrat, in 1838:

The common maxim of democracies, nevertheless, which says that & # 8220 ; the bulk must govern, & # 8221 ; is to be received with many restrictions. Were the bulk of a state to govern without restraint, it is likely as much unfairness and subjugation would follow, as are found under the rule of one.

By James Madison & # 8217 ; s twenty-four hours some impression of a feasible democracy returned merely with an oculus to the really sort of unfavorable judgment that Socrates implies in the Apology: that even the Will of the People must be capable to the Rule of Law. That is already inexplicit in the thought of democracy as Thucydides ( in The Peloponnesian War ) expresses it in the funeral oration delivered by the great Athenian leader Pericles:

We are free and tolerant in our private lives ; but in public personal businesss we keep to the jurisprudence. This is because it commands our deep regard.

We give our obeisance to those whom we put in places of authorization, and we obey the Torahs themselves, particularly those which are for the protection of the oppressed, and those unwritten Torahs which it is an acknowledged shame to interrupt.

The regulation of jurisprudence means that it is non left to the discretion of those in executive power to make up one’s mind what actions to O.K. and what actions to reprobate. They must follow the criterions laid down in the jurisprudence. Just as of import, nevertheless, the regulation of jurisprudence does non intend that any actions can be approved or condemned merely because some legislative authorization happens to go through a jurisprudence about them. Pericles & # 8217 ; s mention to & # 8220 ; unwritten Torahs & # 8221 ; is consistent with the positions of John Locke ( The Second Treatise of Civil Government ) , Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even Martin Luther King Jr. [ 1 ] that the cardinal footing of positive jurisprudence is the unwritten natural jurisprudence dictated by ground itself ( finally by God, every bit far as they were concerned ) , and that the cardinal protection of the person is non in some positive grant of rights by legislative authorization but in the natural rights which are portion of the unwritten natural jurisprudence. Therefore, the Ninth Amendment of the United States Constitution says:

The numbering in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall non be construed to deny or belittle others retained by the people.

The & # 8220 ; others & # 8221 ; are clearly natural rights. Yet it is now common for people, even attorneies and Judgess, to & # 8220 ; deny or disparage & # 8221 ; certain rights, like privateness, merely because they are non mentioned in the Constitution. Possibly such people would make good to really read the Bill of Rights.

Those who & # 8220 ; disparage & # 8221 ; unwritten Torahs and rights frequently defend the regulation of jurisprudence as a rule of unsighted obeisance ; and they use it to reason that people must obey written Torahs whether they agree with them or non [ 2 ] . Indeed, that construct of the regulation of jurisprudence would hold forbidden the American Revolution, or any Acts of the Apostless of civil noncompliance & # 8211 ; which were justified by Martin Luther King by citing St. Augustine that, & # 8220 ; An unfair jurisprudence is no jurisprudence at all. & # 8221 ; But how, one might inquire, can people merely go around judging for themselves whether a jurisprudence is merely or non? The reply is that they have to, and that is the rule of freedom of scruples & # 8211 ; as when Socrates tells the jury, & # 8220 ; I will obey the God instead than you, & # 8221 ; or when Martin Luther himself told the Imperial Diet and the Emperor Charles V at Worms in 1521, & # 8220 ; Here I stand ; I can make no other ; God assist me! & # 8221 ; ( & # 8221 ; Hier st nde ich, ich kann nicht andres, so hilf ich Gott! & # 8221 ; ) . The regulation of jurisprudence is non contrary to that ; for the regulation of jurisprudence is non an injunction to blind obeisance.

To be & # 8220 ; ruled by Torahs, non by work forces, & # 8221 ; is the old look. Now, American colonies declaring independency, or a jury invalidating a jurisprudence to happen a defendant inexperienced person, or a dissenter practising civil noncompliance, are non engaged in governing. Alternatively, they are making the precise antonym: contradicting the instructions and actions of authorities. The rule of the regulation of jurisprudence does the same sort of thing, for it means that the authorization and power of authorities and of persons in office is limited to those domains, those issues, and those actions that are specified by the jurisprudence. The regulation of jurisprudence denies to authorities limitless or discretional power and authorization. The regulation of jurisprudence is therefore portion of a system of cheques and balances to forestall absolutism and absolutism. Civil noncompliance, etc. is merely to state that the authorization of authorities has gone excessively far and must be farther limited.

Whether it is decently understood or non, much talk about democracy holds the regulation of jurisprudence in disdain, either because it contravenes the Will of the Peoples or because it besides denies power to those who would govern harmonizing to Jean Jacques Rousseau & # 8217 ; s thought of the & # 8220 ; General Will & # 8221 ; : The & # 8220 ; General Will & # 8221 ; of the people is what they would desire if they knew what was best for themselves. Such a theory could warrant, and has justified, the worst dictatorship, like the Soviet Union, as in fact a & # 8220 ; democracy. & # 8221 ; It is a theory implicit in Marx & # 8217 ; s impression of & # 8220 ; false consciousness & # 8221 ; : that people have & # 8220 ; false & # 8221 ; desires and wear & # 8217 ; t truly cognize what they want & # 8211 ; but we can cognize for them. Karl Popper ( in The Open Society and Its Enemies ) traces all that kind of thing to Plato: the job Plato has with democracy in the Republic is non the absence of the regulation of jurisprudence but merely the fact that the incorrect people are in power & # 8211 ; people without the proper virtuousnesss. With the philosophers in power, ex hypothese, the wise will govern & # 8211 ; although Plato himself, like Socrates, elsewhere ( as in the Symposium ) defines the philosophers as those who are non wise but are merely cognizant of that.

The regulation of jurisprudence represents one facet of life with limited cognition, the ouk O district attorney, & # 8220 ; I do non cognize, & # 8221 ; of Socrates, that neither the People nor selected swayers can be trusted to cognize the good good plenty to govern at their discretion or to foreshorten the rules and rights that exist in natural jurisprudence and can be set down in cardinal jurisprudence like the Bill of Rights. Without hoi sopho, & # 8220 ; the wise, & # 8221 ; no 1 can be trusted with excessively much power. The regulation of jurisprudence is the shield of every honest individual against those who want to claim superior power out of their supposed superior apprehension. That was the rule of the Constitution, though, as Jefferson anticipated, it has been steadily eroded by the natural power-seeking of authorities, the recreant adjustments of the tribunals, and the changeless pursuit of those prosecuting their ain involvements through the authorization, bureau, and coercion of authorities.

Therefore, Socrates may be seen non simply as a zealot of democracy, but as a zealot of a proper and true democracy, a constitutional democracy, where the People and the authorities can non be trusted with absolute and arbitrary authorization any more than a male monarch or dictator can be. Such a democracy is a via media and is accepted, non because the bulk can be ever trusted to be morally superior, but because it may be less susceptible to mistreat than other signifiers of authorities. Thus Winston Churchill said that democracy is the & # 8220 ; worst signifier of authorities, & # 8221 ; merely better than all the others. Churchill echoes an earlier statement by James Fenimore Cooper once more, that & # 8220 ; We do non follow the popular civil order because it is perfect, but because it is less imperfect than any other. & # 8221 ; That, so, is the democracy of Locke, Jefferson, and Madison: the Liberal Democracy of the nineteenth century. But it is non democracy as many people refer to it today. If the Law is whatever some tribunal ( even the Supreme Court ) happens to construe it to be, so none of us can trust on it non to be interpreted off as a protection. This is much of what has happened, merely as Thomas Jefferson anticipated that the Supreme Court, although a cheque on the other subdivisions of the federal authorities, would non enforce a cheque on the federal authorities as a whole, to which the Court itself belongs. That is why the federal authorities, with zero authorization from the enumerated powers of the Constitution ( go againsting the Tenth Amendment ) , can prehend your house ( go againsting the Eighth Amendment ) and put you in gaol merely for turning a marihuana works in your pace & # 8211 ; because, I suppose, it is bad for you. This would hold appalled and astonished most Americans populating before this century. It would hold outraged the likes of Jefferson. It is greater tyranny than King George III of all time dared exercising. And it is justified, non by the rules of Liberal Democracy, but by the rules of Social Democracy: which abridges freedom for the intent of the & # 8220 ; societal good, & # 8221 ; as that is determined, of course, through political power and the bulk.

The Free Market

The Socratic rule of the restriction of our cognition may besides be seen as a cardinal land for capitalist economy and the operation of the free market as understood by Ludwig von Mises ( Socialism ) , F.A. Hayek ( The Road to Serfdom and The Fatal Conceit ) , and, presently, Milton Friedman ( Free to Choose ) and Thomas Sowell ( Knowledge and Decisions, Markets and Minorities, Race and Culture, etc. ) . One of the basic rules of all of them & # 8211 ; a basic rule of the whole Austrian School of economics & # 8211 ; is that persons, or particular organisations, can non hold all the cognition that would be necessary to cipher the value, as a relationship of supply and demand, and so the proper monetary values, of things in the market. There is merely excessively much to cognize for it to be quickly acquired and continually updated, particularly when demand depends on what people want, and this alterations and by and large can non be known at all until people really spend their money. Merely the free market itself can function to organize the spread cognition of battalions of manufacturers and consumers into the finding of a market glade monetary value. Anything else will non unclutter the market & # 8211 ; i.e. it will bring forth excesss ( e.g. unemployment & # 8211 ; a excess of labour ) or deficits ( e.g. rental lodging in New York City under rent control ) & # 8211 ; waste and inefficiency.

Therefore, in 1920 von Mises began to reason that, since the cognition of the demands, desires, and abilities of people is excessively huge to get, and so, since thereby monetary values can non be calculated, an economic system without a free market, i.e. socialism, can non win. This is a lesson good illustrated by the Soviet block provinces that boasted for decennaries about the reason and efficiency of their & # 8220 ; planned & # 8221 ; economic systems. They were neither rational nor efficient & # 8211 ; trusting alternatively on Marxist pseudo-science bolstered by dictatorship. In fact they were about incredibly uneconomical and inefficient, go forthing deficits of about everything, hapless quality, etc. Equally of import to economic computation is the fact that anybody anyplace can woolgather up some new invention that changes production and the quality of life. That is radically non-predictable and led Karl Popper to postulate that there can non be a prognostic & # 8220 ; scientific discipline & # 8221 ; of history, or of scientific discipline itself, the manner Hegel or Marx wanted. Today the theory of helter-skelter events puts the cast of mathematical description on non-predictiveness. But all this is a lesson ill learned by many still forcing & # 8220 ; industrial policy & # 8221 ; and economic planning in the West.

Without a free market, person else must make up one’s mind what sorts of good things will be produced for us. Even if there is some manner for us to pass on our desires to them, that is non good plenty. They will make up one’s mind whether our desires are & # 8220 ; socially worthy & # 8221 ; of being satisfied. The same goes for new merchandises. The enterpriser who proposes a new merchandise must run the gamut of administrative officials who will make up one’s mind whether the merchandise is worthy of being produced. In the Soviet Union, the consequence of a apparatus like that was that what people wanted was reasonably much irrelevant. There were deficits even of things that were regarded by one and all as necessities. And nil new of all time got produced. Even technological inventions in production that were regarded by higher governments as brilliant and necessary frequently took decennaries to be implemented, if of all time. In the free market, an enterpriser produces a new merchandise without inquiring anyone & # 8217 ; s permission, offers it on the market, and so sees if people will purchase it. What people so want is apparent in what gets bought. Audio cassette tapes, CD & # 8217 ; s, and VHS machines get bought ; Edsels, 8-Track tapes, and Beta machines don & # 8217 ; t. People go see Terminator II, Jurassic Park, and The Fugitive ; they don & # 8217 ; t travel see Super Mario Brothers or The Last Action Hero. The consequence of this is a system damned as & # 8220 ; commerce & # 8221 ; by the autocratic Left and as & # 8220 ; permissiveness & # 8221 ; by the autocratic Right: Each, of class, regards the things that people are willing to purchase as unworthy. What they want is the power to forbid people from bring forthing what might be wanted and from purchasing what is wanted. Each see people as victims either of false consciousness produced by advertisement ( the Left ) or merely of moral corruption, of whatever beginning ( the Right ) .

At the same clip each might claim to be implementing the democratic will of the people. Sometimes they are. Often they are non. Even if they are, their prohibitions are normally an illustration of the dictatorship of the bulk. A bulk of Americans believe that temper or head neutering drugs are unworthy. Because it took more than a century for the clear apprehension of the function of American authorities to be eroded, it was non until 1914 that any drugs were really prohibited ( opium foremost ) ; but since so it has bit by bit come to be the instance that every drug is prohibited until it is approved by the FDA & # 8211 ; which now wants to widen its power to vitamins as good. And if you are found in unauthorised ownership of a & # 8220 ; controlled substance, & # 8221 ; you can be put in prison, your belongings seized, and your life intentionally ruined. All to carry you either that such drugs are unworthy or that you don & # 8217 ; t have the right to make up one’s mind on your ain. But force and panic have ne’er been persuasive as statements & # 8211 ; particularly when they involve blazing misdemeanors of the Constitution as any literate individual with a transcript of it can detect.


Aristotle reasoned that non everything can be proven. If we ask that everything be proven, so nil would of all time acquire proven, since we can demand a new cogent evidence for each reply we can give. But if non everything can be proven, so there must be some propositions that don & # 8217 ; t need to be proven. Those propositions are called, by definition, the & # 8220 ; first rules of demonstration. & # 8221 ; The authoritative illustration of first rules of presentation are the maxims of geometry. The inquiry so is, How are first rules known to be true? How are they verified?

That is the “Problem of First Principles.” Aristotle thought that first rules are axiomatic: He said that their truth is intuitively known through no s, “mind” . But to acquire to the point where we can understand first rules and acquire that intuitive penetration, Aristotle thought that we relied on experience and used the logic of initiation: An inductive illation is the generalisation that consequences from numbering single objects or events. The “Problem of Induction” is the realisation that we can ne’er cognize how many persons or events we need to number before we are justified in doing the generalisation. That is why Aristotle introduced no s ; for every bit shortly as we reach the point where first rules are seen to be axiomatic, so it is no longer necessary to reply the Problem of Induction.

Francis Bacon believed that empirical scientific discipline uses initiation, and his positions influenced everyone & # 8217 ; s position of scientific discipline until this century. But Bacon didn & # 8217 ; t believe in axiomatic first rules and couldn & # 8217 ; t reply the expostulation that initiation ne’er proves anything. Nor could anybody else. Aristotle, of class, understood the trouble that would make, but it eventually wasn & # 8217 ; t until David Hume that the point was truly goaded place in modern doctrine. Finally, in The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Karl Popper shattered the conundra of confirmation and initiation by merely disregarding them. Initiation ne’er had proven anything. Aristotle & # 8217 ; s job of verifying first rules is resolved by Popper with the observation that deductive statements can travel in two waies: ponendo ponens [ “ affirming by confirming ” : if P implies Q, and P is true, so Q is true ] held out the mirage of confirmation, but a deductive statement can besides utilize tollendo tollens [ “ denying by denying ” : if P implies Q, and Q is non true, so P is non true ] , which means that premises can be falsified even if they can non be verified [ 3 ] . Replacing confirmation with disproof explains many distinctive features in the history of scientific discipline and is, so, the & # 8220 ; logic of scientific find, & # 8221 ; although people like Thomas Kuhn, in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, have muddied the Waterss with other issues ( some of them legitimate, some non ) .

In relation to the Apology, the affair of involvement is how Socratic Method uses disproof. The signifier of Socratic discourse is that the middleman metropoliss belief X ( e.g. Euthyphro, that the pious is what is loved by Gods ) . Socrates so asks if the middleman besides happens to believe Y ( e.g. Euthyphro, that the Gods fight among themselves ) . With acquiescence, Socrates so leads the middleman through to understanding that Y implies not-X ( that the pious is both loved by the Gods and hated by them ) . The middleman so must make up one’s mind whether he prefers X or Y. That doesn & # 8217 ; t turn out anything, but one or the other is falsified: merely as in scientific discipline a falsifying observation may be itself rejected alternatively of the theory it discredits. Although Y frequently has more leading facie credibleness, the heat of the statement is apt to take the middleman into rejecting Y for the interest of keeping their statement for X. Socrates so, of class, finds belief Z, which besides implies not-X. After sufficiency of that, X starts looking reasonably bad ; and the bystanders and readers, at least, are in no uncertainty about the result of the scrutiny.

Why it was ever possible to happen another belief that would connote not-X is a good inquiry. The late Plato and Socrates scholar Gregory Vlastos thought that Socrates already believed, and Plato surely believed, that it was because non merely did everyone already cognize the truth, but that they were truly unable to consistently map in life without it. The rule of enquiry, so, was that merely the truth allows for a wholly consistent system of belief. That is non because of the built-in logical qualities of the beliefs ( as though they were all self-evidently true ) , but merely because people will ever utilize them. As Hume said, whatever our philosophical uncertainties, we leave the room by the door and non by the window & # 8211 ; the same Hume who ruled out, non merely miracles, but besides free will and opportunity because he thought they all violated the same rule of causality that he so famously doubted. That still, in sense, doesn & # 8217 ; t turn out anything positive, but it does give Socrates, and us, an eternal chance to prosecute the enquiry.

Socratic Method therefore portions the logic of disproof with Popper & # 8217 ; s doctrine of scientific discipline and thereby avoids the booby traps that Aristotle encountered after he formulated the theory of tax write-off and faced the job of first rules and of initiation. Both Socrates and Popper are left in a certain status of ignorance because the weeding procedure of disproof ne’er leaves us in a concluding and absolute cognitive province: we ever may detect some incompatibility ( or some observation ) that will necessitate us to screen things out once more. Our ignorance, nevertheless, may be of a curious sort. We may really cognize something that is true, but the restriction will be in our apprehension of it. Galileo was in a place to cognize that the Sun was a star, but his apprehension of what a star was still was most fundamental. Isaac Newton had a theory of gravitation that still works merely all right for moderate speeds and multitudes & # 8211 ; the force of gravitation still declines as the square of the distance & # 8211 ; but Einstein provided a deeper theory that encompassed and explained more. When it comes to affairs of value that scientific method can non touch, Plato had a theory of Recollection to explicate our entree to knowledge apart from experience, and his theory was really true in the sense that we do hold entree to knowledge apart from experience ; but Immanuel Kant finally provides a much deeper, more elusive, and less metaphysically bad theory that does the same thing.

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Copyright ( degree Celsius ) 1996, 2000 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

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Money in Plato & # 8217 ; s

Apology of Socrates

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Socrates references that the Sophist Evenus charges a & # 8220 ; moderate fee & # 8221 ; of 5 mynas. But how & # 8220 ; moderate & # 8221 ; is that? What sort of money are we speaking about? Liddell and Scott [ An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, 1889, 1964 ] give the value of an Athenian myna as 4 1s 3d ( 4 lbs sterling, 1 shilling, 3 pence ) , based on the silver value of the dram. They wrote in 1888. Get downing from that, on the gilded criterion ( at $ 4.86+ to the lb ) , a myna would hold been $ 19.77, a dram ( 100 per myna ) 20 cents, and an obol ( what the boater Charon charges the dead to ferry them across the Styx into Hades & # 8212 ; 6 per dram ) 3 cents. Since so, [ 11 ] until 1990, the dollar has inflated by about a factor of 15. So a myna would now be $ 296.56 & # 8212 ; allow & # 8217 ; s say $ 300 & # 8212 ; a dram about $ 3, and an obol about 50 cents.

However, Ag was deserving more in the Athenian market that this by a considerable factor. John Burnet, who in 1924 published the Grecian text that is really used by G.M.A. Grube for our interlingual rendition, references that five mynas was & # 8220 ; about the monetary value of a superior oitek s, & # 8221 ; a family slave, and that one myna is mentioned by Aristotle as the common monetary value for a ranson of a captive of war [ John Burnet, Plato ‘s Euthyphro, Apology of Socrates, and Crito, Oxford University Press, 1924, 1967, pp. 87 & A ; 160 ] . Will Durant estimated that a dram was deserving about a dollar in 1938: & # 8220 ; A dram in the first half of the 5th century buys a bushel of grain, as a dollar does in twentieth-century America & # 8221 ; [ In The Life of Greece, volume II of The Story of Civilization, now on CD-ROM by the World Library, Inc. ] . The editors of our text [ Plato, Five Dialogues, Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo ] besides mention that a dram was the standard day-to-day pay of a labourer in late 5th century Athens.

Comparing this with modern rewards is hard, since existent rewards increase over clip as productiveness and the size of an economic system addition. For illustration, Henry Ford increased the day-to-day pay of his workers in 1913 from $ 2 to $ 5. [ 12 ] That $ 2 pay was already high. The old expression, & # 8220 ; Another twenty-four hours, another dollar, & # 8221 ; reflects fortunes when a dollar a twenty-four hours was a good pay. A recent film, The Picture Bride, references that Nipponese cane field workers in Hawaii in 1918 were paid 65 a twenty-four hours. [ 13 ] When the 16 twelvemonth old John D. Rockefeller got a occupation as a bookkeeper in 1855, he was paid 50 a twenty-four hours, which is what David Horowitz tell us his gramps was paid ( for a six twenty-four hours hebdomad ) in a sweatshop when he arrived from Russia in 1905 ( in the book Radical Son [ The Free Press, 1997 ] , p.9 ) & # 8212 ; $ 6 a hebdomad would be $ 156 a twelvemonth, or $ 1240 in 1990 dollars, which is still comparable to the per capital income of the United States in 1945: $ 1,223. Union Civil War soldiers were paid $ 13 a month, which comes down to about 43 a twenty-four hours. Now, if a gilded criterion dram would be deserving 20 cents, so we might gauge, really approximately and cautiously, utilizing the dollar-a-day pay, another factor of 5 to acquire us from the gold criterion back to Athenian Ag. In 1990 dollars this puts the myna at $ 1500, the dram at $ 15, and the obol at $ 2.50. [ 14 ]

With that in manus, Evenus & # 8217 ; s fee, the first amount of money mentioned in the Apology, would be $ 7500. That & # 8217 ; s a batch more than what it costs to travel to Valley College, though comparable to traveling to the University of California these yearss. By comparing, Protagoras is said to hold charged 100 mynas, or $ 150,000! [ 15 ] Not suprisingly, harmonizing to Plato in the Meno, Protagoras died a really affluent adult male, even wealthier than Phidias, the sculpturer who did the sculptures on the Parthenon in Athens and the great statue of Zeus at Olympia, regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The 2nd amount mentioned in the Apology is the cost of a book by Anaxagoras: 1 dram. So that & # 8217 ; s about $ 15 & # 8212 ; a small expensive, but no more expensive, for an epoch before publishing imperativenesss, than a batch of books today, and a batch less expensive than many text editions.

The 3rd amount mentioned is the all right assessed at prosecutions that fail to derive a fifth of the ballots of the jurymans: 1000 dram & # 8212 ; $ 15,000. A really big mulct.

The 4th amount is what Socrates proposes as a mulct: 1 myna. Then he raises this to 30 mynas ( the fifth amount ) , with the support of Plato and others. So that & # 8217 ; s $ 1500 and so $ 45,000. Xenophon says that Socrates & # 8217 ; s full cyberspace worth was merely 5 mynas, so even 1 myna was a batch of money to him ; and 30 mynas was far beyond his agencies.

Another unit of money at Athens was the endowment ( 60 myna ) , which would so be $ 90,000. A few endowments are traveling to add up to some existent money. J.B. Bury [ A History of Greece, 1900 ] says that the & # 8220 ; tribute & # 8221 ; Athens received from the League of Delos was about 460 endowments a twelvemonth. So that & # 8217 ; s at least $ 41,400,000. By comparing, in 55 BC, King Ptolemy XII Auletes of Egypt ( male parent of the celebrated Cleopatra ) , who had been deposed from his throne, endowment 60 myna

mina 60 boodles,

100 dram

stater 2 boodles

shekel 10 oboloi

dram 6 oboloi

obolos 1/10 shekel

bribed the Roman governor of Syria to reconstruct him with the promise of 10,000 endowments, possibly the full one-year gross of Egypt. That would be $ 900,000,000, about a billion dollars, nil to sneeze at even today.

Comparing Athenian money with that of other Grecian metropoliss gets reasonably complicated. The whole system is fundamentally a Babylonian system of weights: 60 boodles ( Bab. shiqlu, Gk. siglos ) to the myna ( Bab. mana, Gk. mna ) , and 60 mynas to the endowment ( Bab. biltu, Gk. talanton ) . The first coins ( struck by the Kingdom of Lydia ) were staters, equal to two boodles. The uneven figure of obols to the dram may ensue from their being a ten percent of a shekel. Having 10 obols to a shekel and 100 dram to a mina represent a partial decimalisation of the basic Babylonian sexagesimal ( basal 60 ) system.

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Copyright ( degree Celsius ) 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001 Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

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Womans in the Apology

The most dramatic thing about adult females in the Apology of Socrates is their absence from where we might anticipate them. Merely two specific adult females are mentioned: 1 ) the Pythia, the priestess of Apollo, who answers Chaerephon & # 8217 ; s inquiry that no 1 is wiser than Socrates ( 21a ) ; and 2 ) Thetis, the female parent of Achilles ( who himself is non mentioned by name but merely referred to as the & # 8220 ; boy of Thetis & # 8221 ; ) , who warns him that he will decease if he kills the Trojan hero Hector ( 28c ) . Merely two other times does Socrates even mention adult females: 1 ) a belittling mention that those who embarrass the metropolis by coming into tribunal, crying and transporting on to win the understanding of the jury, & # 8220 ; are in no manner better than adult females & # 8221 ; ( 35c ) ; and 2 ) a comment that Socrates would bask oppugning people in the afterlife, & # 8220 ; both work forces and adult females & # 8221 ; ( 41c ) , although everyone he really names is male. Socrates does non advert oppugning adult females in his probes. Nor do adult females happen either as witnesss to his inquiries or in relation to all his talk about educating the & # 8220 ; youth. & # 8221 ; The & # 8220 ; youth & # 8221 ; are evidently all immature work forces. And once more, Socrates references his household and his boies without adverting his married woman. Plato relates some relationships Socrates had with adult females ( particularly with Diotima in the Symposium ) , but those may be fictional. The lone episode of Socrates oppugning a adult female that is clearly historical is related by Xenophon in his Remembrances of Socrates: Socrates inquiries the courtesan Theodot, who is celebrated for her beauty and airss for creative persons.

Socrates lives in a universe where the domains of life of work forces and adult females were radically separate. In Plato & # 8217 ; s Symposium, which is a imbibing party, both work forces and adult females are imbibing and partying, but they do so in separate parts of the house. The musicans and terpsichoreans go back and Forth between the work forces & # 8217 ; s party and the adult females & # 8217 ; s party. Political life was regarded by the Greeks as portion of the male domain of things, and so there were surely no adult females in Socrates & # 8217 ; s jury ; but it is difficult to cognize whether there were any in the audience. There has been some difference about whether adult females attended Greek dramas, the comedies and calamities, when they were staged & # 8212 ; though there are mentions by Plato to adult females in theatre audiences. We have this trouble in portion because it was non considered proper for aliens to turn to respectable adult females in public. The device of turn toing a group of aliens as though there were merely work forces nowadays is besides conspicious in the New Testament. Note Matthew 5:27, where there were surely adult females present in the crowd that Jesus spoke to, here in the Sermon on the Mount, but he simply says & # 8220 ; everyone who looks at a adult female lustfully has already committed criminal conversation with her in his heart. & # 8221 ; There is nil about what happens if a adult female looks at a adult male lustfully. We are left to presume that this must be every bit as bad for adult females, but Jesus doesn & # 8217 ; t really say so.

There surely were no adult females histrions in Greek dramas, which would hold been intolerably disgraceful & # 8212 ; the same state of affairs as in Shakespearean Britain and in the Kabuki dramas of Tokugawa Japan. By Roman times there were some female histrions, but when the hereafter Roman Emperor Justinian married the former actress Theodora, they were afflicted with barbarous rumours from so on that she had been a cocotte. Unmarried Grecian adult females attended events like the Olympic games & # 8212 ; where the jocks went bare & # 8212 ; but married adult females did non. Respectable adult females did non even travel shopping in the market place. The lone adult females who freely moved in public life were concubines ( like Theodot ) .

Although Plato will later inquiry separate domains and functions for the sexes ( at least among his Guardians ) and admitted adult females to the Academy ( Axiothea of Phlius and Lasthenia of Mantinea & # 8212 ; as Pythagoras is supposed to hold admitted at least one adult female, Theano, to his order ) , Socrates does non. Indeed, the domains of life of work forces and adult females remained radically different in every civilization and civilisation until this century, and that state of affairs was non earnestly questioned in political discourse until within the last two centuries & # 8212 ; a procedure whose first major influential statements possibly were Mary Wollstonecraft & # 8217 ; s A Vindication of the Rights of Women ( 1792 ) and John Stuart Mill & # 8217 ; s The Subjection of Women ( 1869 ) , which were, significantly, written foremost in the shadow of the American and Gallic Revolutions and so after the abolishment of bondage by both Britain and the United States. In traditional civilizations, nevertheless, the thought that everyone should be free to make the same sorts of things would non even make sense for work forces, allow entirely for adult females. Some women’s rightists talk about the & # 8220 ; silence & # 8221 ; of adult females in something like Grecian literature. The great poetess Sapph was the exclusion. Will Durant references ( in The Story of Civilization ) that Plato wrote about her & # 8220 ; an enraptured quip & # 8221 ; :

Some say there are Nine Muses. How careless they are!

Behold, Sappho of Lesbos is the One-tenth!

But of class, besides most adult females, most everyone alive at the clip was soundless. The rare thing is that we happen to hear from anyone. Nor is it surprising that composing belonged, largely, to the domain of work forces: in all three thousand old ages of Egyptian history, we have many statues of Scribes, normally shown sitting cross-legged with a papyrus coil laid across their laps, and non a individual one of them is a adult female.

What is possibly surprising about Greece is the grade to which the function adult females played in Grecian life was conspicious, non hidden. A batch of that was because of faith, where adult females participated at all degrees, from the Pythia and other priestesses on down. Aristophanes & # 8217 ; s play Thesmophoriazusae trades with an one-year three twenty-four hours festival ( the Thesmophoria ) in which the adult females of Athens took over the Hill of the Pnyx, where the Assembly met. The festival was spiritual, but Aristophanes & # 8217 ; s drama is about the adult females prosecuting the dramatist Euripides for defaming adult females ( because of characters like Medea ) . The ownership of the Pnyx therefore implied, nevertheless briefly, the powers of the Assembly. Aristophanes wrote another drama, Ecclesiazusae, the & # 8220 ; Women & # 8217 ; s Assembly, & # 8221 ; but this seems to hold been an fanciful map, non based on something like the Thesmophoria. Aristophanes exploits this sort of thing for its amusing possibilities ( as he does in Lysistrata, where the adult females of Athens go on a sex work stoppage until the work forces agree to stop the war with Sparta ) , but such subjects besides have a serious side, i.e. the implied judgement that Athenian work forces have so botched political personal businesss that it is clip for the adult females to set in their two cents


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