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E. B. Dubois's Argument For Valuing Truth

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While Plato presents a broad argument that emphasizes the importance of pursuing truth over eloquent words and oration, W.E.B. DuBois presents an argument specifically to African Americans, urging them to value a higher education that is centered around seeking truth in the face of civil dispute. However, their arguments for valuing truth are similar because they both urge their readers to seek truth over wealth and to not simply follow the opinion of the majority, especially when considering matters that affect the soul. Plato’s argument for pursuing truth begins in the dialogue “Apology” in his famous work known as the Five Dialogues, a series of conversations portraying Plato’s mentor Socrates and his profound philosophical…show more content…
Later in his argument, he asks the jury to excuse his ordinary language and rather to “consecrate your attention on whether what I say is just or not, for the excellence of a judge lies in this, as that of a speaker lies in telling the truth” (Plato 18a). By demonstrating that he does not speak with eloquence or enticement, Socrates proves to speak with honesty and plainness, which shows that he considers truth a virtue. Here he also reveals why it is so important for both a speaker and a judge to focus on the truth; in a court, both are under an oath: the speaker to be honest, and the judge to be just based on the speaker’s actions. By asking the jury to ignore the eloquence of words he uses and focus on the truthfulness of what he is saying, Socrates shows that he is confident that the facts and correctness of his argument will lead the jury to see his innocence and the slander of his accuser’s claim. However, the jury do not seem to adhere to Socrates’ plea and gives its verdict of guilty, and Meletus asks for the death penalty. Here, Socrates begins considering various alternative punishments such as imprisonment, exiles, or fines, but comes to the conclusion that he would rather be put to death because all other options
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