Reductio's Argument In Socrates 'Apology'

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The function of philosophical tools to philosophical discourse is the same as experimentation to the natural sciences: a method of inquiry into assertions about their respective domains. In Plato’s Apology, Socrates’ argument uses philosophical tools like constructive horned dilemmas, thought experiments, reductio ad absurdum, and analogy to questionably argue that his death would instantiate a beneficial outcome for himself. While Socrates’ rhetorical flourish precedes his reputation, he fails to consider important alternatives to his argument and roots his ideas heavily in Greek religion, making the argument unconvincing to the contemporary reader who does not share the same set of assumptions.

Socrates develops a single argument throughout the excerpt. His singular argument rests upon a constructive horned dilemma. A constructive horned dilemma is a method of argumentation in which the arguer sets up a disjunction of two conditional statements, affirms that the disjunction of the antecedents must be true, and then concludes that the
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In a reductio ad absurdum, the philosopher advances an idea by proving that an absurd idea results from denying it. For example, we know that all bachelors are unmarried, otherwise we would have to accept a ridiculous contradiction in terms. In Socrates’ case, he utilizes the reductio to convince us that denying death is a blessing leads to absurd implications. If his constructive dilemma is correct, then to believe that death is not a blessing is to believe that an eternity of dialect ,free from the political trappings of Ancient Greece, is a negative outcome. Alternatively, it would mean that we should fear the type of death that would free us from the adamantine chains of our daily grind. Since both of these beliefs seem ludicrous, Socrates attempts to show us that the denial of his thesis leads to an untenable result, forcing us to accept his

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