The Apology Is Plato 's Retelling Of Socrates 's Trail
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The Apology is Plato’s retelling of Socrates’s trail. Within his account, he portrays Socrates as a confident, but almost haughty, and reasonable man. The main philosophical themes that Plato presents through Socrates are wisdom, justice, and his purpose in the community. Socrates is at this trial because he has been accused of two things: 1) “Socrates is guilty of wrongdoing in that he busies himself studying things in the sky and below the earth; he makes the worse into the stronger argument, and he teaches these same things” (Apology 19b) and 2) “Socrates is guilty of corrupting the young and of not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other new spiritual things” (Apology 24b).
In order to defend himself, Socrates recounts his life and actions. In his defense against the first accusation, Socrates tells the jury that when asked if there was anyone wiser than Socrates, an oracle said “no”. Socrates then says that he went to prove the oracle wrong by asking questions to the wise-men, the “Sophos”. In his quest, Socrates discovered that these men were not actually as wise as they claimed to be. These men claimed to know things even if they actually did not know. As Socrates said, “…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 that he to this small extent.” To Socrates, wisdom is the ability to admit ignorance. Since Socrates is able to admit what he does not know, he is