THE CASPIAN REGION:Politics, Economics, Culture

Scientific journal

The platonic analogy between socrates and achilles: the replacement of the homeric model of bravery

2015. 1, pp. 174-184

Stefou Konstantinos Chr  - Ph.D. (Philosophy), Professor, University of Ioannina, P.O. Box 1186, Ioánnina, 45110, Greece, kostasstefou@yahoo.gr

It is well-known that Plato, in his early dialogues, invents many literary devices in order to depict Socrates as the true model of virtue. An example of one of these devices can be found in the Apology and the Crito , where Plato resorts to the analogy between Socrates and Achilles. Before the possibility of death, they must both perform certain deeds that are characterised by bravery and endurance and are in compliance with the values they represent. Thus, the concept of bravery furnishes the occasion for further reflection on the two systems of values that Socrates and Achilles represent. However, where does this analogy cease to be absolute? A closer examination of Apology 28a3-29c1 and Crito 43a-44b5 shows that the Achillean system of values fails to provide a consistent model of conduct according to which someone’s words and deeds are in absolute harmony. On the contrary, the Socratic model, which discloses with absolute consistency the faithful application of its ethical dictates, represents a more consistent, effective and beneficial model for the human: the just deed.

Key words: Plato, Socrates, bravery, values

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