2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

The Rhetorical Answer: Socrates and His Society
Molly McCaughey
Prof. Martha L. Rose and Dr. Steven Reschly, Faculty Mentors

With the advancement of Rhetoric as a school of thought, scholars accept Greek academics like Socrates and his student Plato as true rhetoricians. This paper focuses on Socrates, the founder of the Socratic Method. Classical Greece advocated conformity and unity, but Socrates believed this prevented members of society from recognizing that they were actually ignorant of true wisdom. Consequently, he spent his life persuading anyone who would listen to examine his own life, and to question his assumed knowledge. More than just establishing a system of logical reasoning, Socrates’ mission was to propel society to think beyond the physical world—even if it meant being a social menace—because he believed that the acquisition of knowledge led to doing what was right. As we stood before the site of his death—the prison at Athens—in May 2007, we saw the grim consequences, in 399 BC, of Socrates’ actions.

Keywords: Socrates, Rhetoric, Greece, Classics, Athens

Topic(s):History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 36-2
Location: OP 2111
Time: 1:30

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