Complacency is NOT the Key

  1. Day Seventeen (October 20, 2015): 1.5 hours-

In class today we discussed some of the main quotes in the Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. Throughout the 12 books his stoic mindset becomes more and more evident.

2. Read William Deresiewicz’ article, “Solitude and Leadership.3+ hours I reads this 3 times it was very interesting.

3 . “alone with your thoughts?”:10 minutes

First one has to shut down constant communication with outside ideas, namely social media, when you do that you can then analyse the problem at hand. Once you analyse the problem you can start to formulate your own opinions.

You can start to ask yourself is what you are doing worth doing?

Is there a better way?

4.thinking for yourself? :10 minutes

the education system creates really good sheep / hoop jumpers

when you get to the job market it is not always about what you know but if you know how to climb the latter ,, so you are focused on getting higher up, and not questioning weather or not what you are doing is worth doing

social media we are constantly bombarded with other peoples thoughts

we are not able to be alone with our thoughts

in this age we are constantly trying to multitask so we do not stop so sit and think

5. Day Eighteen (October 22, 2015):1.5 hours

hope from where?

  • experience , self- knowledge
  • religion assurance
  • understanding of divinity
  • ideals, a love of them
  • technology, science
  • productivity

organized religion -“is it a Santa Clause ponzi scheme”

solitude hope

how do solitude and leadership go together

6.Review for Exam Two. Saturday 5 hours 3–8; Sunday 12:30–3:30 3hours; 7–9:45 2:24 hours; 1–3 2 hours; Monday 4:30- 6…….15+ hours

So basically I wrote down all the key concepts that I could think about, then I connected the points in the circles. Then I reviewed over each of the key concepts and made sure I can speak on every one of those points. I even talked to my mom for an hour on Monday 10/26/15 and taught her everything that we were doing in class in order to make sure I understood what was going on.

Plato’s Apology- Socrates

Things I Know

Reasons for trial:

He was charged with Impiety

Corruption of the Youth

Introducing New Deities

Not believing in the state appointed gods

Socrates as Gadfly:

Socrates believes he was meant to keep Athens moving forward just like how the gadfly stings the horse so the horse can stay awake.

Socrates purposed sentence:

A fine of 30 minae?

Things I Don’t Know- Things To Brush Up On

Some of Socrates Arguments-

Chaerephon went to Delphi and asked the oracle if there was anyone wiser than Socrates, and the Pythian prophetess answered there was no man wiser. Socrates had some difficulty believing that he was the wisest and set out on a quest to find a wiser man to present to the oracle and say “Here is a man who is wiser than I am, but you said that I was the wisest” .

For each case throughout his journey Socrates found out that “ I am better off than he is- for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think I know”.

As I am rereading the journey to find the wiser man I saw a connection between Socrates discovery, of how as Socrates states that “ I found that the men most in repute were all but the most foolish: and that some inferior men were really wiser and better”. I see a connection with modern day hierarchy . William Deresiewicz explains it best in him “Solitude in Leadership Speech” when he states

“Why is it so often that the best people are stuck in the middle and the people who are running things — the leaders — are the mediocrities? Because excellence isn’t usually what gets you up the greasy pole. What gets you up is a talent for maneuvering. Kissing up to the people above you, kicking down to the people below you. Pleasing your teachers, pleasing your superiors, picking a powerful mentor and riding his coattails until it’s time to stab him in the back. Jumping through hoops. Getting along by going along. Being whatever other people want you to be, so that it finally comes to seem that, like the manager of the Central Station, you have nothing inside you at all. Not taking stupid risks like trying to change how things are done or question why they’re done. Just keeping the routine going.”

Poets- Socrates took some of their passages and asked them questions, the poets themselves do not even understand the meaning of their own words, but are able to write in such a way that provokes other to think. So the poets posses no wisdom they just possess a way of saying many fine things.

“This investigation is the reason that has caused Socrates to have many enemies amongst the higher up or people in control of societal movements.”

After his journey he then concludes the oracle to have meant that, “the wisdom of men is little or nothing; “ He is wisest, who like Socrates, knows that in truth his wisdom is worth nothing.”

Socrates also had made enemies because if he comes along a person who appears to be wise, and if he is not wise then Socrates himself shows him that he is not wise”

Socrates 3 Accusers -

Meletus- who has a quarrel with Socrates on behalf of the poets-

Socrates shows that he never even cared about the youth, through the statement Melets made when Socrates brought him up to the stand. Socrates argues to Meletus how can I be practically an atheist, and at the same time introduce new gods to the youth. That is a contradiction. He also find a contradiction where he argues that how could he not believe in gods then thereafter say that he believes in demigods which are the children of gods. And since Socrates believes in the children he would have to then believe in their parents

Anythus- on behalf of the craftsmen

Lycon- on behalf of the rhetoricians

Socrates’ justifications for everything that he is doing

Typically his inner spirit or the oracle tells him when he is doing something wrong. He uses this to show that what is happening to him is good, and people who think that death is an evil are in error.

Xenophon's Apology- Socrates

superficial charm- “ Do you not know that I would refuse to concede that any man has lived a better life than I have up to now?”

In Xenophon’s apology Socrates explains how each of the charges that have been brought up again him make no since-


Do not believe in the state Gods- Meletus himself has seen me sacrificing at the communal festivals and on the public alters

new divinities- how could him saying that Gods voice is given to me and tells me my duty. he then goes to show that other men take their omens from the cries of birds amongst other things, and all these men call these utterances a voice sent from god, now Socrates is saying that he call this voice a divine thing, which he believes is more true and has a deeper meaning.

corruption of the youth- Socrates explains how for all matters we go to the ones who are presumed to be wise in that certain matter rather than go to our parents. When we are sick we go to a health care professional rather than listen to the advise of our parents, so why is it wrong for the youth to consult Socrates himself in the matters of education.

superficial charm- “First who is there in your knowledge that is less slave to his bodily appetite than I am? Who is more free, for I accept no gifts or pay from anyone,

Plato’s Phaedo — Socrates

Two main characters telling the story: Echecrates and Phaedo

Two main characters in the story other than Socrates: Cebes and Simmias

Conversation starts off with an examination of a philosophers attitude toward death. Questions suicide. “If a philosopher is so willing to die why is it wrong to kill yourself?” Socrates feels that the gods are our guardians , and they would be angry if one of their possessions killed themselves before their time without permission.

“The one aim of those who practice philosophy in the proper manner is to practice dying and death”

The true philosopher despises bodily pleasures such as food drink sex, so he more than anyone else wants to free himself from his body. The philosophers’ search for knowledge is most successful when the soul is “most by itself.”

Three/Four Arguments for the soul’s immortality -

What do we expect to happen to our souls after we die

a ) Socrates wants to convince people that the soul continues to exist after a person’s death, and b )that it still possesses intelligence

1st argument- all things come to be from an opposite state for instance if you are large you must have at one point been smaller.

Smaller and larger are opposite states and each opposite state has an opposite process, in the instance with smaller and larger you have increase and decrease, and if increase did not balance out decrease everything would get smaller and smaller.

Using that same argument being alive and being dead are opposite states and dying and coming back to life are opposite processes, there for coming to life and dying must balance each other out.

And since all things can be compared to being small , getting larger and becoming smaller again, everything that dies must come back to life again.

2nd argument- also explains why the soul still has to possess intelligence- When someone asks you a question that you do not know anything about , and the person that is asking you the question

3rd argument The Affinity Argument- comparing the body like the senses a visible tangible thing and the soul as an invisible, intangible, more define thing

Similarities / Differences between Plato’s Apology and Xenophon's Apology

In the beginning of Xenophon’s Apology he states that no other righter has shown that Socrates came to the conclusion that death was to be more desirable than life, but I believe that in Plato’s Apology that is exactly the conclusion that Socrates came up with.

In Xenophon’s Apology When Chaerephon went to the Delphic Oracle Apollo said not that Socrates was the wisest because in truth his wisdom was worth nothing, but the Oracle said that “no man was more free than I, or more just, or more prudent.”

In Xenophon’s Apology Socrates refused to name a penalty and forbid his friends to name one as well. Socrates believed that naming a penalty in itself implied an acknowledgment of guilt.

How is Socrates A Leader-





Is Socrates a psychopath how? how not?

Comments that show Superficial Charm- he even states that he believes that he is better in Meletus and Anytus by saying “Meletus and Aythus will not injure me: they cannot for it is not in the nature of things that a bad man should injure a man better than himself.”

“For if you kill me you will not easily find another like me”

He shows superficial charm- Socrates believes that is against gods will to condemn Socrates, and that to not condemn Socrates would be in the people of Athens best interest.

gadfly argument- superficial charm-

I am sort of a gadfly given to the state by the God, the state is like a horse moving forward very slowly, and that the horse needs a little help to be stirred into life. And even though you might feel irritated of me for awakening your thoughts and mind when you are sleeping, if you kill me now you the city of Athens will sleep for the rest of your life unless god is gracious enough to send you another like me.

instrumental aggression- showing the wise men that they are not wise in his journey to find the wisest man

The trial itself is instrumental aggression , he uses his words to inflict painful thoughts and question on to the jury in order to provoke a deeper and truer understanding, he uses the trial itself to teach the jury… (Find some concrete examples)

grandiose- even if Socrates does not think of himself as grandiose his followers hang on to his every word and admire him for being so knowledgeable. or do they really? can I find evidence of this statement?

does Socrates dehumanize ?

Socrates vs Alcibiades

Socrates states “ how long could I have survived if I lived a public life” this is one of the was that Socrates and Alcibiades differed

Alcibiades fleas to his enemies that Spartans to escape death, whereas Socrates says he will accept his death if it shall come to that and even though the arguments of his family could stop him from dying he will not bring them to court to plead out of respect for the law.

Socrates uses instrumental aggression to help others, Alcibiades uses reactive and instrumental aggression to help himself

In Xenophon’s Apology “I shall prefer death to begging meanly for longer life and thus gaining a life far less worthy in exchange for death”

In Xenophon’s Apology Socrates also states that even if his friends tried to break him out of prison he would not have accompanied him, Alcibiades would have forced his “friends” to break him out.

Marcus Aurelius as a Leader-

This can be compared to William Deresiewicz idea of solitude, and the role that outside forces play on you ideas and actions

“Do the things external which fall upon thee distract thee? Give thyself time to learn something new and good, and cease to be whirled around. But then thou must also avoid being carried about the other way. For those too are triflers who have wearied themselves in life by their activity, and yet have no object to which to direct every movement, and, in a word, all their thoughts”

He Marcus Aurelius seems to be describing his view on people that acts on emotions, and seems to justify why, like stoics believe, emotions cloud judgement.

Theophrastus, in his comparison of bad acts- such a comparison as one would make in accordance with the common notions of mankind- says, like a true philosopher, that the offences which are committed through desire are more blameable than those which are committed through anger. For he who is excited by anger seems to turn away from reason with a certain pain and unconscious contraction; but he who offends through desire, being overpowered by pleasure, seems to be in a manner more intemperate and more womanish in his offences. Rightly then, and in a way worthy of philosophy, he said that the offence which is committed with pleasure is more blameable than that which is committed with pain; and on the whole the one is more like a person who has been first wronged and through pain is compelled to be angry; but the other is moved by his own impulse to do wrong, being carried towards doing something by desire.

“But in truth they do exist, and they do care for human things, and they have put all the means in man’s power to enable him not to fall into real evils”

Marcus Aurelius believes which is true one could die at any given moment so one must live accordingly.

“reverence of the daemon consists in keeping it pure from passion and thoughtlessness”

“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others. If then a god or a wise teacher should present himself to a man and bid him to think of nothing and to design nothing which he would not express as soon as he conceived it, he could not endure it even for a single day. So much more respect have we to what our neighbours shall think of us than to what we shall think of ourselves”

What does Solitude have to do with Leadership”

First one has to shut down constant communication with outside ideas, namely social media, when you do that you can then analyse the problem at hand. Once you analyse the problem you can start to formulate your own opinions.

You can start to ask yourself is what you are doing worth doing?

Is there a better way?

the education system creates really good sheep / hoop jumpers

when you get to the job market it is not always about what you know but if you know how to climb the latter ,, so you are focused on getting higher up, and not questioning weather or not what you are doing is worth doing

social media we are constantly bombarded with other peoples thoughts

we are not able to be alone with our thoughts

in this age we are constantly trying to multitask so we do not stop so sit and think

Marcus Aurelius view on Death vs Socrates View on Death: in Phaedo and Both Apologies Death/Suicide-

Socrates in Plato’s Apology states that “ a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong”

Socrates in Plato’s Apology- Hitherto the familiar Oracle within Socrates is constantly in the habit of opposing him about things he is doing wrong. But the oracle has shown no signs of opposition when Socrates left his house went into court, anything that he had said or did in reference to the trial none of this the oracle opposed. Socrates took this as proof to mean that what has happened to Socrates is a good, and those who think that death is an evil are in error.

In Plato’s Apology- Socrates seems to be unsure what comes after death, he gives us two options to think about and says that he will great either with open arms. 1st He believes that death is either a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness or there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. He argues that if death is an undisturbed sleep death will be an unspeakable gain. And he makes the point that any man that has ever had a night that was even undisturbed by his dreams he could not find a day or night more pleasant than this one. 2nd If death is a journey to another place where you can meat the judges of your life, like Hestiod and Homer he would like to die again and again in order to converse with each of them.

Xenophon’s Apology- Socrates view on Death- If my years are prolonged old age will soon catch up with me, my eye sight will begin to diminish, my hearing will become less keen, I will soon become slow and more forgetful. So the Gods are doing me a favor by allowing me to leave this world at this time because if I lived any longer I would no longer be able to enjoy the pleasures of life. The gods are giving me a chance to end my life while I am still in season, and also in the easiest way.