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Socrates Method of Cross-Examine Essay example

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In this paper, I will argue that Socrates does not typically benefit those that he cross-examines, but that his activity is nonetheless useful and justified. I will argue that Socrates’ cross-examinations are justified and useful because it is a divine mission and because it develops critical thinking skills. I will argue my thesis by first, using The Apology and Euthyphro dialogues to show the usefulness and justification of Socrates’ elenchus. Second, I will suggest objections to the reasons why Socrates’ elenchus is useful and justified. Finally, I will give my rebuttal to the objections against Socrates’ elenchus.

I think it is important to first explain Socrates’ divine mission. Chairephon, a friend of Socrates, went to the Oracle of
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During Socrates’ defense, he uses the elenchus to argue against Meletus’ charges. In the beginning of The Apology, Socrates asks Meletus if it is better to associate with wicked people or virtuous people (The Apology 25c). Meletus says that it is worse to associate with wicked people, than virtuous people. Meletus reasoning was that wicked people would cause harm and misfortune to their associates. Socrates thinks Meletus’ answer in uncontroversial (The Apology 25c). Socrates argues that because associating with wicked people is harmful, he would not intentionally corrupt the Athenian youth (The Apology 25e-26a). Since Socrates would not intentionally corrupt the youth, he argues that the charge of him doing so is false.

Socrates’ counter argument to Meletus’ charges serves as an example of the elenchus’ usefulness. First, Socrates asked Meletus a question not only to get an answer, but to also begin looking for inconsistencies within Meletus’ argument. As Meletus answered Socrates’ questions, Socrates developed concepts about wicked people and virtuous people based on Meletus’ comments. Socrates uses the concepts he developed from Meletus’ comment to show that Meletus’ charge is contradictory to his own comments. Meletus’ contradictory argument serves as an example of him not being aware of his own ignorance. Meletus did not consider whether his comment about associating with wicked people was consistent with his charges against
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