The Historical Socrates i. His family was not extremely poor, but they were by no means wealthy, and Socrates could not claim that he was of noble birth like Plato. He grew up in the political deme or district of Alopece, and when he turned 18, began to perform the typical political duties required of Athenian males. These included compulsory military service and membership in the Assembly, the governing body responsible for determining military strategy and legislation.
West and Grace Starry West. That comprehensive crisis is one in which ancient beliefs and traditions that had sheltered and defended the possibility of nobility, piety, justice, and indeed all the virtues, have been shaken to the roots. Simultaneously we have witnessed the appearance of unprecedented phenomena: As a result, man frequently seems overpowered by alien forces, by a fate and destiny beyond his control and seemingly beyond his ken, at a time when he has no sheltering beliefs.
And these ancient questions have been reborn for us with a force and vitality that to a certain extent makes ours a privileged age. The relationship between reason and tradition, philosophy and poetry, man and the gods, truth and the city, are no longer matters of simple historical interest, the business of those who wander absentmindedly in the dust of the past.
They have become living issues, matters of decision for us in the present. Yet our intellectually privileged position, and the joy and exhilaration it brings with it, is but the opposite side of our moral and political crisis. It was Hegel who, in his own Olympian fashion, first called attention to the unique nature of our age.
He raised the possibility that something cultivated long ago had finally borne its ultimate fruit and that a political and moral problem lurked in that impasse. But it was Nietzsche who drew the most radical conclusion, that when all the latent possibilities of an epochal legislation have been acted out, what is left is decadence and eventual decay into nothingness.
In response Nietzsche tried to show that what he saw as the resulting nihilism of contemporary humanity could be traced to the very roots of the Western tradition, to the door of Socrates and Socratic rationalism. For Nietzsche, the task was to recover the health of a more "natural" age, to consciously negate the negation that Socrates represented.
Agreeing with Hegel, Nietzsche saw a uniformity to human history and indeed an inevitability that led inexorably from conception to decadent culmination. Hence what was born of a human act could be overcome and replaced by a human act, this time self-consciously enacted. Socrates was the great example of what could be done as well as of the problem that had to be reversed.
For Nietzsche, the politically and morally exposed state of contemporary man was the direct result of the Socratic replacement of the "natural," unself-conscious man of "good form" by the resentful, highly self-conscious man who could give a reasoned account to justify his actions.
This latter, Socratic, man was allegedly unequipped to compete in the world except by imposing the standard of reason and self-conscious explanation upon others, a standard that would become increasingly universal and blind to the particular differences among men.
Through the hegemony of this Socratic man, self-conscious reason tried to reorder and remake the world, in the process making superfluous the "natural" man who was dominated by a fortuitous efficient causality.
Hence Socrates was seen as the father of that optimistic scientific faith that reason could remake the world, which thereby need no longer be the scene of an infinitely extended tragic play. After Nietzsche, Heidegger likewise saw the time of Socrates and Plato as a great turning point in the history of man, which led inevitably to the "oblivion of Being" and the "darkening of the earth.
Leo Strauss has also made Socrates a center of attention, yet, unlike Nietzsche and Heidegger, presents himself as a friend of Socrates. Instead Socrates is presented as struggling with a tension inherent in the nature of human existence, a tension that can never be resolved but only recovered and reconstituted anew from age to age.
Only continual reapproximation of a balance leads to the most sanguine solution to the human problem that can be hoped for. We cannot pursue these issues beyond this very general level, but we can at least conclude that Socrates and what he stands for has come to the cutting edge of thinking about the unique situation of our age.For Nietzsche, the task was to recover the health of a more "natural" age, to consciously negate the negation that Socrates represented.
Agreeing with Hegel, Nietzsche saw a uniformity to human history and indeed an inevitability that led inexorably from conception to decadent culmination. think Socrates’ social-political theory does follow his theory of human natural, He believed that an ideal state, embodying the highest and best capabilities of human .
In my opinion, Socrates analysis of human nature is very true as it ultimately brings us his I agree with his theory of human nature but not his social-politicaltheory.
In order to understand Platos theory of human nature and his social-politicaltheory, we must examine each one of them closely. Socrates refuses avoid his death by leaving Athens, although he could flee, but such an escape would be contrary to his moral principles and would be an injustice to the state which was his parent, his education, and the origin of law.
Social Contract Theory. Social contract theory, nearly as old as philosophy itself, is the view that persons' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live. The Republic begins with Socrates explaining his claim that the just man is the happy man par excellence.
Socrates argues that in order to have a happy and good life, man must first have an idea of the ends of human existence.