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Extended Project Qualification 2013-14

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on 2 January 2016

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Transcript of Extended Project Qualification 2013-14

Extended Project Qualification 2013-14
Why did I choose Extended Project?
The opportunity to research and learn more about a topic of interest
Why Socrates' Trial?
Because the Ancient World is still relevant today, and I hope to study Classics at university
The Main Themes of my Project
The difficulties in examining sources from centuries ago
My Conclusion
Skills I Have Developed
Time management
Given the Choice, Would I Do the Project Again?
Did I Enjoy the Challenge and My Specific Project?
'To what extent was Socrates guilty of corrupting the youth and impiety, and how far can we rely on the evidence?' 
To challenge myself, and to get used to the styles of work expected at university
To give me an achievement to talk about at interview
To increase my chances of getting a university place because I can demonstrate my ability
Socrates largely influenced Modern thought
It is one of many historical controversies
On balance, before starting the project, I probably knew less about Greece than Rome, and even so, had not studied the subject areas since the very start of secondary school
Differences of interpretation (also historical context)
Ancient Greek society - religion, social life, the legal system, views on philosophy
Was Socrates guilty of the charges, and if not, why did he die?
How to log and reflect upon my own decisions/improve based on the comments of others
How to reference using the Harvard system
Being more resilient and not giving up when things are difficult
analysis, interpretation and clear presentation
Difficulties I Experienced and How I Overcame Them
With Another Six Months...
- The challenges associated with an unfamiliar topic
- The difficulties in writing about ancient events
- Word count
- Too many quotes
- Not enough (reliable) sources
- No Classics department in QE
- Not visiting Durham University
- Visit Durham, if only to debate ideas with one of the members of staff and refine my report further
- With more preparation, I might have decided to present further afield to a larger audience
- Write a longer paper
Who Was Socrates?
Socratic Dialogues?
Plato and Socrates
Accusations of Socrates
Modern Historical Accounts
reliable sources?
Some advice for students considering EPQ
Was Socrates Guilty?
- Socrates was not guilty of corrupting the youth by conversation, nor was he impious
- He may have been charged as guilty by association with Alcibiades and Critias, however this charge could not be pronounced on him because of the political amnesty in Athens
- Thus, the charges were weak and not easily evidenced, nonetheless he was still found guilty
Are the Sources Reliable?
- The primary sources are not ideal, but we have to use them or else could lose sight of their exact meaning, and instead form an opinion about another author's interpretation about what they say
- While I haven't mentioned this in the report, if there had been more biographers, we may also now have more source differences to argue about - rendering further conflicting information 'unreliable', despite the fact that primary sources exist from the time of Socrates and thus embody some of the contextual views Socrates might have had.
Any questions?
'The Death of Socrates' - Jacques-Louis David
'To what extent was Socrates guilty of corrupting the youth and impiety, and how far can we rely on the evidence?' 
Some evidence for the Conclusion
“Plato regarded as shameful […] all homosexual intercourse; and there is no reason to suppose that Socrates thought otherwise”
"Socrates [...] flirted with associates to expose their weakness and lack of morality, and in the case of Alcibiades, passing judgements such as “‘How can you expect to control the state when you cannot even control yourself?”.
“It was the political, not the philosophical or theological, views of Socrates which finally got him into trouble. The dissent of his religious views diverts attention from the real issues.”
"Plato [...] reports Socrates as having said [...] that the reason he did not fear death was that he was sure he would spend the afterlife with “gods who are good and wise”
“Socrates was a sincerely religious man […] although it is not possible to say exactly what he believed”
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