In this reading Plato tells the story of Socrates and his trial which ultimately lead to his death sentence. Socrates was a 70 year old man at peace with his own mortality yet willing to face his accusers with an almost definite possibility of death to maintain his own integrity and beliefs and morality. He fully understood from the beginning of his trial what the sentence handed down would be yet on a level of honor and courage not seen in abundance in modern society he maintained his stance and delivered a compelling and convincing argument. He openly stated that he knew his actions had offended Meletus and
In the Apology, Socrates aimed to do three things: defend his ideas and principles, continue to teach those who will open their mind and state that he knew regardless of what he said he was aware that all five hundred and one jurors knew who he was and disliked him. Socrates was well aware of the fact that he had made multiple enemies, he knew that the politicians, poets, rich and craftsmen all
Socrates opened his case by asking the jury to listen to him openly and to pardon him if he went into his usual style of speaking. His accusers had already spoken against him in the flowery manner common in courts of law. Socrates said that his accusers' speeches contained great refinement and skill, and he lacked the ability to speak so well. However, he said that he would speak the truth while his opponents lied. Socrates also stated that while his accusers’ speeches were
Only wanting a just verdict, Socrates did not wish to use pathos, or emotions, in the way it was most commonly used. Instead of groveling and weeping in front of the jury for mercy, Socrates merely used those who did such things as an example of what he would not be doing. He stated that he indeed had a wife and children, but he also said that he would not be bringing them forth just receive pity from the jury. His reason for doing so was the reputation of not only himself, but also the reputation of Athens. Through various ways, Socrates called those who wept and begged a disgrace to Athens, also saying that those who did such things should be ashamed and punished. By refraining from doing those childish things, Socrates showed that he would not degrade himself or bring shame upon Athens, even if it meant a better verdict.
In the year 399 B.C., Socrates was put to trial for impiety and corrupting the youth. During the trial, Socrates had to deliver his defense speech, called an apology, which derives from the Greek word apologia which means to ‘speak in one’s defense’. There are two accounts of Socrates’ apology; Plato’s and Xenophon’s. The main difference between the two accounts is that Plato was present during the trail and paraphrased what was said. Xenophon, on the other hand, was not present but instead based his on Hermogenes’ reports before, during, and after the trail. Although both show Socrates to be incredibly pious, just, and accepting of death, they have many differences.
Early in the Apology, Socrates argues that the charges of Meletus are not only false, but have led to the rise of prejudice against him, and he demonstrates this through what he considers his own reflection on the charges against him. Socrates suggests the indictment against him should read: “Socrates is guilty of engaging in inquiries into things beneath the earth and in the heaven, of making the weaker argument appear the stronger, and of teaching others the same things”. Socrates suggests that the breadth of the indictment against him could encompass the premises supported by many men, and that it is only through the prejudice against him, the belief in his wisdom purported by some, and the sense that Socrates has influenced men that has resulted in the charges, not through the true belief that Socrates has taken actions against the State.
Philosophy is defined as the ultimate quest to help humans seek answers to questions that orbit knowledge, reality and existence. Philosophers begin their study of knowledge by asking questions they may or may not have an answer to. One famous philosopher, Socrates, utilizes this process to question his understanding on the concepts he had already attained knowledge for. At one point during his life, Socrates is proclaimed to be the wisest man alive by the Oracle of Delphi. Upon being declared the wisest man alive, Socrates begins to question everything he thought he knew.
Socrates was a pompous man who believed that he was wiser than most, if not all, Athenian men of his time. He is also credited as one of the fathers of western philosophy, his own philosophy revolving around the welfare of one’s soul and reflecting on what the good life was. He was told by an oracle that he was the wisest of men and spent a great deal of time trying to prove it false, he decided that he was considered wise for accepting that he knew nothing, and never claimed to know anything that he questioned. In Plato’s text “Apology” Socrates is depicted as a man who was arrogant, hypercritical of others, and fixed on his ways no matter the consequences. He had the qualities of a man who saw no error in what he was doing because he
Socrates was a great thinker and debater dedicated to truth. He spent his golden years walking the streets of Athens in pursuit of wisdom. Socrates lived the destiny that was revealed to him in the Oracle. He created and perfected his own cross-examination technique; we today know it as the Socratic Method. He was thorough and unrelenting. His subjects were often humiliated. Socrates would methodically disprove anyone he thought was wrong. In his eyes, most of the people he interviewed were blind. It did not matter if one was wealthy and influential or if they were young and impressionable. Socrates could question anyone and turn him or her inside out. Unfortunately, he did so without regard to the
Throughout the piece Socrates, deals largely with the examination of others. In “The Apology”, Socrates said, "above all I should like to spend my time there, as here, in examining and searching people's minds, to find out who is really wise among them, and who only thinks that he is." In this, we see how the philosopher views the people around him. He thought that it was his responsibility to examine the “wise” men around him and expose their false claims of wisdom as ignorance (“The Apology”, n.d.). He is implying that it is important to evaluate the people around you, and their claims of being wise as well as that should not take everything at face value and should gain our own sense wisdom by examining ourselves and the people around us.
He uses phrases such as, beg of you and grant me this favor trying to win the mercy of the court. Socrates wanted the audience to be in his frame of mind by understanding the "language" in which he spoke. He made the assumption that the accusers were the ones that were lying through their eloquent words and phrases and he was just using plain style because he was telling the whole truth and was not hiding anything. Here he was insinuating that the accusers were manipulative and can not be trusted. Because there were so many people in the court he also used plain style so that everyone would be able to understand him and that he could talk to each member of the court. In the conclusion to Socrates's speech, he said that if he were destroyed, he would be destroyed with the other good men who have died and would probably be the death of many more. Socrates ends with this because he wanted to leave the court with a heavy heart and to insinuate that innocent men, such as himself, have been sentenced to death and he is sure that he will not be the last. Socrates almost seemed to have an arrogant tone in his speech in which he didn't seem to fully show respect for the court. It almost seemed as if he was talking down to them. He was interrupted several times in
The Apology and Phaedo by Plato are two different books describing what is like to be a philosopher per Socrates believes. These two books take place in two different scenarios in Socrates’ life, The Apology takes place in a court room where Socrates is to defend himself from false charges brought to him by Meletus who is acting as the prosecutor. Phaedo, on the other hand, takes place in a prison cell post judgment on the day of Socrates execution. Hence, The Apology and Phaedo appeared to display different philosophies: The Apology, Plato presented Socrates as wise for he knows that he knows nothing, hence he is seeking wisdom by questioning those who think they know more or something, just to find that they don’t know anything, therefore Socrates makes it his duty to make them look ignorant/stupid. Phaedo, Socrates focuses primarily on death and the immortality of the soul, hence he is seeking knowledge by devoting his final hours picking the minds of his friends to explain the role of a philosopher, which is preparing for death. Consequently, these two views are really the same, yet presented differently by Socrates, for in one he is defending his freedom and life using philosophy, hence he has only done what the Gods expected of him. From the other view, he resigned to his fate, for as a philosopher, he knows his soul will finally become liberated from the evils and limitations of the body to come to its divine state.
The name of the dialogue is derived from the Greek word “apologia” which translates into “defense.” Socrates mission has led to animosity from his fellow Athenians and is in trial for what he claims he is just following orders from God. To examine why Socrates is determined to continue this mission regardless of any consequences, we must first understand how Socrates began his philosophical mission. Socrates had a friend, Chairephone; he went to Delphi and asked the oracle if anyone was wiser than Socrates. In The Apology Socrates is recorded saying “he asked if any man was wiser than I, and the Pythian replied that no one was wiser” (The Apology, 21a). Trying to understand this “riddle”, Socrates was at loss and goes to question someone who was considered wise in Athens. After finding out that this man was no wiser than he was he thought to himself, “he thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas when I do not know, neither do I think I know; so I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent.” (21d). Socrates did not just stop with this one man. He went on to question politicians, poets, generals among others and received a similar experience with each one. What Socrates derived from these dialogues was that he was aware of his own ignorance rather than being completely wrong. This awareness of one’s own ignorance is known as “Socratic Ignorance” and is the premise of Socrates’
Throughout The Apology, the way Socrates defends himself is through logic, or logos. Socrates develops what is
The Apology is Plato's recollection and interpretation of the Trial of Socrates (399 BC). In this dialogue Socrates explains who he is and what kind of life he led. The Greek word "apologia" means "explanation" -- it is not to be confused with "apologizing" or "being sorry" for one's actions. The following is an outline of the 'argument' or logos that Socrates used in his defense. A hypertext treatment of this dialogue is also available.