Socrates vs. the Sophists, and Plato’s Ideal Monarch

Socrates(470-399 BC), and Plato(428-347/348 BC), were two famous ancient Greek philosophers. In this essay I will be writing about Socrates disagreement with a group known as the Sophists. The Sophists were a group of people who specialized in philosophy and rhetoric, they believed in moral relativism. The second thing I will be writing about is Plato’s ideal monarch.

Socrates vs. the Sophists

Because the Sophists believed in moral relativism, they believed that there was no right or wrong, or in other words, one person’s view of wrong can be another person’s view of right. They also believed that laws were a convention. Socrates on the other hand believed that there was a right and wrong, and that absolute standards existed. He went against the Sophists by teaching the youth to pay attention to what they were doing, with the terms of right and wrong. Which is basically the opposite of what the Sophists believed.

Plato’s Ideal Monarch 

Plato’s ideal monarch is described in Book VI of The Republic. His ideal monarchs are philosopher kings. Because philosophers are intelligently and morally suited for the role of “king” in his eyes. The reason why he saw philosophers as moral is because philosophers seek for truth and knowledge. In other words philosophers  love truth, and because of that in his eyes, philosophers are free from things such as greed, which tempts many rulers to abuse their power.

Conclusion

Though Socrates and Plato are long gone, their legacy still lives on today. They are still studied by many, and most know of their existence in history. But most importantly their beliefs and philosophies have impacted the course of western civilization, and will most likely continue to impact it.


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