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Author Topic: Did Socrates Say This?
callee
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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From a local paper:

quote:
"Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers." So wrote Socrates in 450 B.C.


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a moment for old friends now estranged, victims of the flux of alliances and changing perceptions. There was something there once, and that something is worth honoring as well. - John Carroll

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AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Socrates never wrote anything. If anything, it would have been Plato quoting Socrates.

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"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

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diddy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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It would be difficult to prove anyway since most of teh writings of pgiilospheres were done in dialouge format making misquoting or mis-attributing phrases or expressions very easy.

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W.W.F.S.M.D?
But this image of Bush as some sort of Snidely Whiplash tying the fair maiden to the railroad tracks is beyond the pale. - Joe Bentley

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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In ancient Greece, being a tyrant (τυραννος) wasn't a bad thing -- a tyrant was a person who became king by merit rather than by birth (a king by birth is a βασιλευς).

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Kathy B
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Well, I hate to defer to another Google expert, but someone has researched this for them. See "The trouble with youngsters today..." The first answerer has turned up all sorts of efforts to verify that Socrates said it. The closest anyone came was a mayor of Amsterdam who "said he'd seen the lines by Socrates in a Dutch book whose title he could not recall. " The general conclusion is that neither Socrates nor Plato ever said any such thing

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AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Humorously, Socrates was convicted of corruption of the young. The Greek writer of comedies, Aristophanes, in his play "The Clouds", essentially accuses Socrates of instigating the behavior in the original quote. At the end of the play a son beats his father and does all sorts of terrible things because Socrates taught him that the gods don't exist.

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"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

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DemonWolf
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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In the immortal words of Socrates, "I drank what?"


10 pts for reference.

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ali_marea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by DemonWolf:
In the immortal words of Socrates, "I drank what?"


10 pts for reference.

Chris Knight, Real Genius

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diddy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by callee:
From a local paper:

quote:
"Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers." So wrote Socrates in 450 B.C.

Wll lets ask him... Oh wait yep, hes dead, too bad, guess we will never know for sure....
Yes, im being sarcastic.

--------------------
W.W.F.S.M.D?
But this image of Bush as some sort of Snidely Whiplash tying the fair maiden to the railroad tracks is beyond the pale. - Joe Bentley

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Publius
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadslayer:
In ancient Greece, being a tyrant (τυραννος) wasn't a bad thing -- a tyrant was a person who became king by merit rather than by birth (a king by birth is a βασιλευς).

But didn't Plato's Socrates consider it a bad thing to be a τυραννος, based on Book IX of the Republic? Or is that "tyrant" (in my English translation) not a τυραννος?

quote:
Originally posted by Color me Admiraldinty:
Humorously, Socrates was convicted of corruption of the young. The Greek writer of comedies, Aristophanes, in his play "The Clouds", essentially accuses Socrates of instigating the behavior in the original quote. At the end of the play a son beats his father and does all sorts of terrible things because Socrates taught him that the gods don't exist.

Also rather ironic that Socrates was executed in part for introducing new gods to Athens, and Plato chooses to open the Republic with an account of the Athenians doing the same.
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Protagonist
Deck the Malls


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Besides, I'm very, very sure Socrates, in reality, wasn't too fond of parentals - he implies several times that youth should question their parents as they would anyone else. You can imagine how annoying this got. Just think of the average teen. Now, imagine the average teen with elenchus. Yeah.

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DemonWolf
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by diddy:
quote:
Originally posted by callee:
From a local paper:

quote:
"Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers." So wrote Socrates in 450 B.C.

Wll lets ask him... Oh wait yep, hes dead, too bad, guess we will never know for sure....
Yes, im being sarcastic.

We could get John Edwards (the psychic, not the senator) to channel him! [fish]


quote:
Originally posted by ali_marea:
quote:
Originally posted by DemonWolf:
In the immortal words of Socrates, "I drank what?"


10 pts for reference.

Chris Knight, Real Genius
I love that movie.

--------------------
Friends are like skittles: they come in many colors, and some are fruity!

IMJW-052804

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Publius:
But didn't Plato's Socrates consider it a bad thing to be a τυραννος, based on Book IX of the Republic? Or is that "tyrant" (in my English translation) not a τυραννος?

The modern English word "tyrant", although derived from "τυραννος", is not an exact equivalent. "Tyrant" simply meant a person who earned his right to rule (often by popular coup), rather than was born into it (as a βασιλευς was). It was only later when tyrants ruled like what we would call tyrants, that the word tyrant developed a negative connotation.

It looks like the Thiry Tyrants were the ones who gave "tyrants" a bad name. Their crime was limiting participation in democracy, restricting the right to bear arms and to a jury trial, and executing hundreds of Athenians (including Socrates). That would place the change of the connotation tyrant from positive to negative right at the time when Plato wrote Socrates's dialogues. I'm not sure that the word "tyrant" would be used to describe children ruling over people so soon -- and I'm not sure about the word "tyrannize"... would it have become a verb that quick?

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Turing test failures: 6

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Protagonist
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadshochet:
[QUOTE]
It looks like the Thiry Tyrants were the ones who gave "tyrants" a bad name. Their crime was limiting participation in democracy, restricting the right to bear arms and to a jury trial, and executing hundreds of Athenians (including Socrates). That would place the change of the connotation tyrant from positive to negative right at the time when Plato wrote Socrates's dialogues. I'm not sure that the word "tyrant" would be used to describe children ruling over people so soon -- and I'm not sure about the word "tyrannize"... would it have become a verb that quick?

Actually, the Thirty Tyrants didn't execute Socrates. He was executed, with a jury trial, in the Athenian democracy that followed. If I remember correctly, he was killed in the backlash. He was in Athens during the Thirty Tyrants, in fact, and, from what I've read, didn't suffer too much under that system.

In fact, despite what a lot of PBS specials and references in high school textbooks will tell you, Socrates was extremely critical of democracy, particularly the sort that the Athenians had. He didn't seem to believe that the average person had the intelligence to decide matters of state. The man was, for all intents and purposes, the perfect elitist.

Some of the leaders who overthrew the Athenian democracy going into the Thirty Tyrants period were actually students of Socrates. Most namely, Critias. According to some sources, Critias was one of two examples given as to Socrates "corrupting" the Athenian youth (the other being, of course, his rabid statue-smashing ex-boyfriend, Alcibiades).

So, yeah, I don't think he would've said this. One: the man wasn't terribly against rule by a single individual, a tyrant, assuming the individual was qualified (at some point, I think, it was stated that an inept king was better than a democracy, though.) Two: He spent a lot of his time turning those children against their parents (and, oddly enough, into actual tyrants.) Three: It says he wrote it. The man was too busy deriding the establishment to write anything down.

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Unusual Elfin Lights
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Thinking back to my good old days in University, this was quoted to me as being either from a wall inscription on an Egyptian tomb, or from some form of Egyptian scroll. Definitely not from Socrates. (I remember Bill and Ted being very popular at the time, so a Socrates link would have stuck in my head).

It was not quoted to me from the school, just something that someone read in passing. My memory is getting hazy over the years, but if I remember more I will detail it here.

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Funkmistress
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadslayer:
In ancient Greece, being a tyrant (τυραννος) wasn't a bad thing -- a tyrant was a person who became king by merit rather than by birth (a king by birth is a βασιλευς).

True, but then again children have no right to be τυραννοι, they're supposed to be obedient towards their elders. Kind of like referring to a spoiled girl as a "princess". There's nothing inherently wrong with princesses, but the connotation is there.

One of the favorite pasttimes of history and Classics scholars is pointing out modern sentiment in ancient texts. One of my old professors loved to talk about a letter, dated to Alexandrian Egypt, from a young man writing his parents to ask for money.

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First Amongst Daves
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I don't supppose you've got a citation for that? I'd love to read it (a translation, anyway).

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Tarokaja
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
In fact, despite what a lot of PBS specials and references in high school textbooks will tell you, Socrates was extremely critical of democracy, particularly the sort that the Athenians had. He didn't seem to believe that the average person had the intelligence to decide matters of state. The man was, for all intents and purposes, the perfect elitist.

Pardon my nitpick here. We don't know for sure what opinions Socrates himself had, since he didn't write anything down (or at least, nothing that survives). We know only what Plato says Socrates believed or said (and, to a lesser extent, what Xenophon says).

Was Socrates critical of democracy? Very likely, although we don't know for sure. More to the point, how critical was he of democracy? How much of it is Plato's personal slant on things? Again unknowable, but of course Plato had a very good personal reason to dislike the Athenian democracy: it had condemned his beloved teacher Socrates to death.

(edited to correct a typo)

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