PHI 1010 Pasco Hernando State College Socrates The Apology Questions

Socrates The Apology Questions


The Apology question

Choose one of the following!

1. In the Apology, Socrates has several different opportunities to avoid conviction and the death sentence he ended up receiving. Describe 3 ways in which Socrates could have avoided the conviction and/or the sentence. Why does Socrates choose not to take the “easy way out”? Do you think this makes Socrates a martyr or not? If so, what is he a martyr for? If not, then why do you think Socrates insists upon a defense that will not save him from death?

2. In the 1stMeditation, Descartes suggests that it is possible the external world is something I have dreamed up through the Cartesian Dream hypothesis. He then suggests that the dream might not be my dream but might be a dream fed to me by an evil being in the Evil Genius hypothesis. After explaining what each hypothesis is by discussing the sorts of knowledge that each hypothesis doubts, explain why the Evil Genius hypothesis is a much stronger form of doubt than the Cartesian Dream hypothesis. Don’t forget to consider an objection to your position.

3. In The Republic, Plato argues that most people live their lives as though they are prisoners staring at a wall of shadows inside a cave. He believes that philosophy can be used to free people from their enslavement to the senses, so that they can then understand the universal truth of the forms. Do you think that philosophy has the kind of liberating power that Plato thinks? If so, do you agree that the truth provided by the forms is universal? If not, explain why even philosophy cannot save us from our bondage (keep in mind, that you are free to argue that human beings are not enslaved to anything, as well).

4. In The Rotation Method, Soren Kierkegaard argues, through his pseudonym “A”, that marriage should be avoided if one wants to avoid boredom and live a life that results in self-variance. Explain why “A” thinks that marriage will lead to boredom and why self-variance as a goal requires one to avoid spending one’s life with the same significant other. Is “A’s” characterization of marriage accurate – why or why not?

5. Feel free to pick a topic that we discussed in class that is not examined in one of the above prompts. If you choose this option, you will need to come up with questions that you will then need to answer within your paper while both explaining the position of one of the philosophers we read and presenting your own position. You will also need to get permission from me before starting so that I can make sure your idea will work for a paper

4-6 pages in length. 4 FULL pages minimum – there really isn’t a maximum length requirement.

Double space between lines – not between sentences (be careful with Word’s default which adds an extra space between paragraphs – turn it off). Do not use any other slick formatting tricks in order to subvert the minimum length requirement. Please submit a digital word version of your paper to me through email to on or before Sunday, 8-01 at 11:59pm– late papers will result in a significant loss of points, so make sure you complete your paper on time100 points possible

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