Socrates-COSMIC BASEBALL ASSOCIATION-1997 Pisces Player Plate



1997 Paradise Pisces

Ancient Greek Philosopher

470-399 b.c.

That the Athenians thought Socrates subversive enough to try and convict him for corrupting the young and acting with religious disrespect was a result of the old spirit gasping one last time. For Socrates represented something new, and from the politicians' perspective, something very dangerous. The historian, J. B. Bury:

He was the first to insist, without modification or compromise, that a man must order his life by the guidance of his own intellect, without any regard for mandates of external authority or for the impulses of emotion, unless his intellect approves. Socrates was thus a rebel against authority...

That his famous pupil, Plato, made the "mandates of external authority" paramount in the conduct of human affairs is an irony well fleshed out by philosophers, historians, and other academic riddle schemers.

The biographical data on Socrates is small but extant. Plato and Xenophon are the primary sources. Aristophanes provides a parodistic view of Socrates in his play The Clouds. Early in life he was a distinguished soldier who saved the life of the Athenian Alcibiades during the battle at Delium. He was married, relatively late in life, to Xanthippe and had three children who survived him. And we know that in 399 b.c. the citizens of Athens executed Socrates after he was found guilty of "impiety" and of corrupting the young.

Socrates himself apparently spoke volumes but left no written work. His importance historically is large enough that the history of philosophy divides ancient Greek philosophy into the Pre-Socratics philosophers and the philosophers who come after Socrates, such as Plato and Aristotle. Is the difference between the Pre-Socratics and those that succeed them about abstract metaphysical notions or about political concepts that began to differentiate the individual from the collective? Is Mr. Bury accurate in making Socrates the avatar of the emerging individual? His protege Plato apparently learned a different lesson.

And by politics, what we really mean to discuss is ethics. Democracy itself cannot guard against shams, fakes, and rogues. Only the individual in an unfettered state of curiosity can search out and distinguish the true from the false. It is Socrates' legacy that he articulated the rules that this search should follow.

Socrates is a rookie

1997 Paradise Pisces Roster

Socrates Site

1994 Lecture Notes: Socrates

Student Essay on Socrates

Socrates- Cosmic Baseball Player Plate
Published: October 30, 1996

© 1996, 1997 by the Cosmic Baseball Association