Plato's Comparison Of Socrates And The Apology Book

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Plato’s The Last Days of Socrates and Shonagon’s The Pillow Book, although vastly different in regards to subject matter, style, and tone, both contribute much to what we consider important to us as humans. Plato was a philosopher in Classical Greece and founded the Academy of Athens as the first institution of the Western world. In the Apology of Socrates, Plato makes it clear that he was a devoted young follower of the widely recognized and controversial figure, Socrates. Socrates himself wrote nothing but is depicted in conversation in works by a small circle of his admirers, including Plato. Along with Socrates, Plato helped lay the foundations of Western Philosophy. Sei Shonagon was a Japanese author, diarist, and poet. She was a learned…show more content…
Plato’s principal tool of persuasion is argument. Socrates means of examining the correctness of the view of others, and probably the most important contribution to Western thought, is known as the Socratic method, or ‘elenchus’. It is the weapon employed in the Euthyphro or in the cross-examination of Meletus in the Apology. “It is a tool for the exposure of problems with beliefs and inconsistencies in sets of beliefs rather than for demonstrating what is true and what is false” (xv). This is important because often Plato is more concerned to discourage certain beliefs than to promote any particular ones himself, but it is in his discouragement of certain beliefs that we are able to interpret what beliefs he is trying to expose and portray as true. Sei Shonagon uses a completely different writing technique, style, and tone than Plato. She presents her observations, thoughts, ideas, and opinions by composing short lists, anecdotes, and poems. The title, The Pillow Book, is a fitting title since one can compare it to a diary, or a book you leave next to or under your pillow for personal use. While Plato is dedicated to writing his experiences with and about Socrates, Sei’s writings consist of solely her own experiences and the views of the world through her eyes as a sophisticated court

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