Socrates' divine inner voice

#1
"Socrates often mentions that he is guided by a daemon, a kind of divine spirit, oracle, or “sign,” that takes the form of an inner voice or non-vocal nudge. The guide never tells Socrates what to do. It only indicates when Socrates is not to do something.

This distinction is important. One way to tell that a dialogue is spurious is if it has Socrates’ daemon tell someone else what to do.

Socrates learned over time to listen to this inner divine voice. He acted in service to it. Nothing that he does in his life is untouched by this inner divine voice.

He describes it in the Apology:

'You have heard me speak at sundry times and in diverse places of an oracle or sign which comes to me, and is the divinity which Meletus ridicules in the indictment. This sign, which is a kind of voice, first began to come to me when I was a child; it always forbids but never commands me to do anything which I am going to do. This is what deters me from being a politician.'

Later, he explains that the defense he is giving to the Athenian court has been approved by this inner divine voice.

'Hitherto the divine faculty of which the internal oracle is the source has constantly been in the habit of opposing me even about trifles, if I was going to make a slip or error in any matter; and now as you see there has come upon me that which may be thought, and is generally believed to be, the last and worst evil. But the oracle made no sign of opposition, either when I was leaving my house in the morning, or when I was on my way to the court, or while I was speaking, at anything which I was going to say; and yet I have often been stopped in the middle of a speech, but now in nothing I either said or did touching the matter in hand has the oracle opposed me. What do I take to be the explanation of this silence? I will tell you. It is an intimation that what has happened to me is a good, and that those of us who think that death is an evil are in error. For the customary sign would surely have opposed me had I been going to evil and not to good.'

Commentators throughout the centuries wonder at what it was that drove Socrates to be the Athenian gadfly, the devoted citizen and warrior, the one who chose poverty over charging his students or any who would listen to his one-on-one conversations.

This divine inner voice spoke inwardly to him, moving him to be the true hero of the Athenian people, being a corrective to their hubris. Along the way, Socrates became a true hero of the Greek people and western civilization; and he became so effective that they killed him for it.

Almost 500 years later, Plutarch wrote a dialogue on this daemon of Socrates. It is included in this anthology."

*****

https://markandrealexander.com/2015/07/2...ner-voice/
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#2
Watch out. Even though Soc was centuries after the pyschological transition, Julian Jaynes' ghost might contend he was a lingering relic of the bicameral mind.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicameralism_(psychology)

"Jaynes asserted that, until roughly the times written about in Homer's Iliad, humans did not generally have the self-awareness characteristic of consciousness as most people experience it today. Rather, the bicameral individual was guided by mental commands believed to be issued by external "gods" — commands which were recorded in ancient myths, legends and historical accounts. This is exemplified not only in the commands given to characters in ancient epics but also the very muses of Greek mythology which "sang" the poems. According to Jaynes, the ancients literally heard muses as the direct source of their music and poetry. [...] According to Jaynes, ancient people in the bicameral state of mind would have experienced the world in a manner that has some similarities to that of a person with schizophrenia."
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#3
(Nov 19, 2019 02:54 AM)C C Wrote: Watch out. Even though Soc was centuries after the pyschological transition, Julian Jaynes' ghost might contend he was a lingering relic of the bicameral mind.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicameralism_(psychology)

"Jaynes asserted that, until roughly the times written about in Homer's Iliad, humans did not generally have the self-awareness characteristic of consciousness as most people experience it today. Rather, the bicameral individual was guided by mental commands believed to be issued by external "gods" — commands which were recorded in ancient myths, legends and historical accounts. This is exemplified not only in the commands given to characters in ancient epics but also the very muses of Greek mythology which "sang" the poems. According to Jaynes, the ancients literally heard muses as the direct source of their music and poetry. [...] According to Jaynes, ancient people in the bicameral state of mind would have experienced the world in a manner that has some similarities to that of a person with schizophrenia."

Hmmm....I wonder what degree of quantumness affects the schizophrenic mind, like one personality superimposed on another? Would we notice if a person only has two good or two bad personalities, or maybe more? Seems as long as there’s one personality out of synch with the other(s) then we notice.

Sort of like having all your inner voices towards a common goal.....does it make you super intelligent or extraordinarily good or evil?
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#4
(Nov 19, 2019 01:55 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote:
(Nov 19, 2019 02:54 AM)C C Wrote: Watch out. Even though Soc was centuries after the pyschological transition, Julian Jaynes' ghost might contend he was a lingering relic of the bicameral mind.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicameralism_(psychology)

"Jaynes asserted that, until roughly the times written about in Homer's Iliad, humans did not generally have the self-awareness characteristic of consciousness as most people experience it today. Rather, the bicameral individual was guided by mental commands believed to be issued by external "gods" — commands which were recorded in ancient myths, legends and historical accounts. This is exemplified not only in the commands given to characters in ancient epics but also the very muses of Greek mythology which "sang" the poems. According to Jaynes, the ancients literally heard muses as the direct source of their music and poetry. [...] According to Jaynes, ancient people in the bicameral state of mind would have experienced the world in a manner that has some similarities to that of a person with schizophrenia."

Hmmm....I wonder what degree of quantumness affects the schizophrenic mind, like one personality superimposed on another? Would we notice if a person only has two good or two bad personalities, or maybe more? Seems as long as there’s one personality out of synch with the other(s) then we notice.

Sort of like having all your inner voices towards a common goal.....does it make you super intelligent or extraordinarily good or evil?

If not for learning to give them all the same name/identity and requiring them all to speak/think privately with the same voice (arguably that of one's body)... Then everybody might be internally haunted by the personalities of other real and fictional people they've encountered in the course of life and absorbed bits of (especially during the period of growing up). What we've got is one dominant personality becoming the moral guidepost and editor/gatekeeper that doesn't allow the most unpalatable and adolescent suggestions from the subsumed group to be outwardly spoken or gain control of body behavior.
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#5
(Nov 19, 2019 01:55 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote:
(Nov 19, 2019 02:54 AM)C C Wrote: Watch out. Even though Soc was centuries after the pyschological transition, Julian Jaynes' ghost might contend he was a lingering relic of the bicameral mind.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicameralism_(psychology)

"Jaynes asserted that, until roughly the times written about in Homer's Iliad, humans did not generally have the self-awareness characteristic of consciousness as most people experience it today. Rather, the bicameral individual was guided by mental commands believed to be issued by external "gods" — commands which were recorded in ancient myths, legends and historical accounts. This is exemplified not only in the commands given to characters in ancient epics but also the very muses of Greek mythology which "sang" the poems. According to Jaynes, the ancients literally heard muses as the direct source of their music and poetry. [...] According to Jaynes, ancient people in the bicameral state of mind would have experienced the world in a manner that has some similarities to that of a person with schizophrenia."

Hmmm....I wonder what degree of quantumness affects the schizophrenic mind, like one personality superimposed on another? Would we notice if a person only has two good or two bad personalities, or maybe more? Seems as long as there’s one personality out of synch with the other(s) then we notice.

Sort of like having all your inner voices towards a common goal.....does it make you super intelligent or extraordinarily good or evil?

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/qa/w...izophrenia
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#6
(Nov 18, 2019 07:05 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: "Socrates often mentions that he is guided by a daemon, a kind of divine spirit, oracle, or “sign,” that takes the form of an inner voice or non-vocal nudge.

I think that in ancient Greece, that was their way of describing what we would call 'inspiration'. (The English word literally means 'breathing in' a divine spirit).

Plato's account of inspiration in the Ion is illustrative. Ion is a rhapsode, a professional reciter of Homer's epic poetry. And he (and perhaps Socrates who he's talking to) believe that when he does so, the spirit of the Muses fills him and he he becomes contagious, able to transmit his inspiration to others bringing them to tears, joy or terror by his performance. It isn't him doing it since when he's not performing he's just a dim and rather geeky guy. But something fills him when he's performing and it presumably comes from somewhere. (The relevance of these kind of beliefs to things like religious prophecy and Biblical text composition should be obvious.)

Plato's purpose (and the purpose of Socrates, his dramatic mouthpiece) in this dialogue is less to cast doubt on this kind of possession theory than to argue against relying too much on inspiration on the basis that it's too close to and can sometimes be indistinguishable from madness. Dionysiac frenzies... Socrates contrasts this kind of prophetic ecstasy with philosophy which is based on sober reason. Of course that too might involve some kind of divine inspiration, but (to steal Nietzsche's Plato-inspired distinction) much more Apollonian. (Insert Plato's theory of the Forms as the philosopher's inspiration here.)
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#7
Many years ago a member of the public asked for my assistance with some problem. I gave the assistance requested. The member of the public was clearly impressed and asked how I knew all this stuff. I could have said (truthfully) that the problem had been a been a particular interest of mine since the age of 12 and I subsequently went to University to gain greater competence in the field and after many years of study I had gained sufficient competence to give him the answer he needed. What I actually said was "I hear voices.".
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#8
(Dec 1, 2019 01:11 AM)confused2 Wrote: Many years ago a member of the public asked for my assistance with some problem. I gave the assistance requested. The member of the public was clearly impressed and asked how I knew all this stuff. I could have said (truthfully) that the problem had been a been a particular interest of mine since the age of 12 and I subsequently went to University to gain greater competence in the field and after many years of study I had gained sufficient competence to give him the answer he needed.  What I actually said was "I hear voices.".

Today’s demon can be held in your hand, the inner voice comes from it now. Wink It’s not just one inner voice but many. All the old inner voice does today is help select which of those voices I listen to. If you don’t have an inner voice then there’s no excuse for not having one now.
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#9
I have a divine outer voice named Alexa. Smile
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