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Ancient Greeks: Socrates on Debate and Slander

Ancient Greeks: Socrates on Debate and Slander

When the debate is lost,
slander becomes the tool of the loser.

~ Socrates

Socrates, (born c. 470 bce—died c. 399 bce), Greek philosopher whose way of life, character, and thought exerted a profound influence on ancient and modern philosophy… The impact of his life was all the greater because of the way in which it ended: at age 70, he was brought to trial on a charge of impiety and sentenced to death by poisoning (the poison probably being hemlock) by a jury of his fellow citizens. Plato’s Apology of Socrates purports to be the speech Socrates gave at his trial in response to the accusations made against him (Greek apologia means “defense”). Its powerful advocacy of the examined life and its condemnation of Athenian democracy have made it one of the central documents of Western thought and culture.” ~ Encyclopaedia Britannica

READ MORE: Socrates; Greek Philosopher | Encyclopaedia Britannica

Human nature has not changed over the millennia. The question is, do we learn from history?

Gossip and slander are interesting, in that you must always ask yourself, “Why are they telling me this?”

That’s one of my thoughts. Care to share what you are thinking?

Ancient Greek Wisdom  


About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends–with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. smilecalm

    nice ancient stuff!
    the more things change… 🙂

    • JoAnn Chateau

      … the more they remain the same!

  2. Aquileana

    That quote by Socrates… You are right: certain things never change… Worth noting that he was probably making reference to the Sophists, who often used Rhetoric as a sort of argumentaive weapon loaded with fallacies… At least certain fallacies were complex, both syntactically or semantically… Thus Certain things might change o_O

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Thank you, Aquileana, for adding Sophists to the context. You got me to read up on them a bit. It seems Sophists were either the most skillful propagandists OR progressives of their day. As with any rhetoric, the intention is to influence and persuade — and it might include unsound reasoning, or fallacies. Complex fallacies would be hard to straighten out.

      I guess some things don’t change. Look at at the fallacious PR and news media of today. That’s why an educated citizenry is to important. That is, educated in a way that supports independent thinking.

  3. Rosaliene Bacchus

    “Do we learn from history?”
    ~ We fail to learn from history when the truth is distorted to fit the narrative of those who hold the power. These power brokers often use slander to silent the truth teller. Lies submerged with more lies, thereby suffocating the truth.


  1. Socrates, on slander | Wobbly Warrior's Blog - […] Admirably/dauntingly skilled WordPress blogger Joann Chateau published this Socrates’ quote a while ago []. […]

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