Isocrates, Antidosis

Aaron Arias

English 5001

Dr. Kim Devries

Spring 2009


Isocrates, Antidosis


Isocrates is being accused of corrupting the youth of the land for educating them in a manner that creates independent thinkers (Sounds familiar, maybe it is a generational thing).  Isocrates states, “These Sycophants would like to see many of our citizens corrupted and deprave, since they know that when they live among these characters, they wield great power.”(241)  His passion concerning the two faced dealings of politicians seems to hit home in the fact that even to this day, politicians are not usually the smartest cookies in the bag, yet they are well equipped to dumb down the masses in order to maintain control. In this case, the power of the mob has overcome sanity, and an emotional pathos is dictating the events that Isocrates is trying to combat. 

Isocrates makes the point that People come to him to learn how to be better men.  He states that his accusers are men who could not differentiate the desires of the trained mind from those of animals.  He also says of those who are putting up all of the demands of his teachings, are speakers of rubbish themselves. (199) This is interesting for the fact that the individuals who are in charge of putting curriculum and policies for public school systems together are usually politicians who have no experience in the field.  More and more commoners think that teachers are the problem and not the solution.  They think that anyone can just walk in from the street and do the job of an educator.  For all intents and purposes, that is just not the case.  In a comparison of what transpired in Isocrates time and the state of affairs today it seems that some things never change.

Speaking of stagnate propositions, If youths came to him to experience corruptness, all they would have to do is look into their natural habitat and grasp what is so easily accessible…Corruption.  Isocrates states,” I am of the opinions that while all those who are envious of my success covet the ability to think and speak well, yet they themselves neglect to cultivate it.” He is bringing home the fact that this is a witch hunt that is being emotionally realized through jealousy of the less educated.  In my travels as an educator and as a man, I can identify with feeling of being attacked for no other reason than being a paragon of Virtue.  When one exudes strength and superior ability in a field of expertise, the ugly head of jealousy rears its consequences and damaging effects to a cause.  He seems perturbed that he is being accused of plotting to take other men’s land when he distinctly teaches and philosophizes about the training of the mind for enlightenment.  He is a firm believer that the mind is an instrument of enlightenment; unfortunately for him, he is on the wrong side of the fence in the matter of freedom vs. control. 

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