Socrates didn’t have a job – at least not one where he earned money. In the Apology he talks repeatedly about how poor he is. Apparently Socrates received welfare from the city of Athens, which may have been supplemented by wealthy friends that believed in Socrates’s philosophical mission. He wouldn’t have wanted a job, because he wanted to be free to serve his community through philosophy as he thought the gods had commanded him (Apology, 23b). But let’s imagine Socrates was applying for a job anyway. In fact, imagine Socrates was applying for your job – either the job you currently have or the job you hope to get after you graduate from college.
For this journal, write a job résumé and application cover letter for Socrates. Based on the way his character is portrayed in the assigned reading, come up with some creative ways to list any of Socrates’s experience and skills that might be relevant in today’s workforce, specifically in your area of employment. Socrates might not really be qualified for your job, but that’s okay. Your goal is to imagine as many of his humanities-based skills as possible that are relevant in some way to your job.
Based on the Apology and Phaedo, write a one-page imaginary résumé for Socrates, listing at least ten humanities-based skills. Then write a two-page cover letter explaining a bit more about three or four of those skills. In the cover letter, say what job you are imagining Socrates applying for, and give evidence from the assigned reading to show that Socrates has some specific skills relevant to success in that job. Cite specific passages by Stephanus page (e.g., 57b, 17a, etc.). (See the Week 1 Resources tab for more information on how to cite sources in this class.)
Recommended Resources for this Assignment
The Ashford Career Services (Links to an external site.) website has many resources to help you create a résumé. You may wish to use their résumé template (Links to an external site.) or the Building and Optimizing a Modern Resume (Links to an external site.). The sample resume (Links to an external site.) for a stay-at-home parent can provide a helpful example of how to include skills and experience acquired from outside traditional employment.
Or, to take a completely different approach, you might consider writing a “skills-based résumé (Links to an external site.)”, which is uniquely suited to someone with a humanities background but not much job experience. This website (Links to an external site.) has a good list of relevant skills and how to describe them on a résumé. Finally, the Ashford Career Services website also has a handout on how to create a Cover Letter.
Plato. (n.d.). Selections from The Phaedo (Links to an external site.) (H. Tredennick, Trans.). Retrieved from http://www2.hawaii.edu/~freeman/courses/phil100/06. Phaedo.pdf
Plato. (n.d.). Apology (Links to an external site.) (B. Jowett, Trans.). Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20171219202911/http://socrates.clarke.edu/aplg0100.htm
Horowitz, Damon. (2011). Philosophy in prison (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/damon_horowitz_philosophy_in_prison
Puschak. E. [Nerdwriter1]. (2015). Understanding art: The death of Socrates (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKhfFBbVtFg
Žižek, Slavoj. (n.d.) The purpose of philosophy is to ask the right questions (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from http://bigthink.com/videos/the-purpose-of-philosophy-is-to-ask-the-right-questions
Taylor, A. [Director] (2008) Examined life – Cornel West (Links to an external site.) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfD3X3f5C_w
· These are all the scenes with Cornel West from Examined Life, a full-length documentary featuring interviews with contemporary philosophers. In part, West discusses Plato’s Apology and Phaedo from this week’s Required Reading.