According to the majority of the jury members of Athens, Socrates is a corruption to the youth, doer of evil and does not agree with the gods of his people. In the Apology, written by Plato these are the assumptions and accusations Socrates is held in court for. In court, he is faced with what most men fear, being wrongly accused leading to the death sentence. Socrates argues and strives to prove that he has no fear of being hated, being accused of serious crimes, being threatened with punishment, or being put to death.
In Plato’s works Apology and Crito there is an attempt by Socrates to defend himself in court and defend his choice to receive the death penalty when found guilty. Although he makes very valid and strong arguments throughout one can only wonder why such a wise person would choose death over life. The following essay will analyze three quotes from Apology and Crito, find the correlation between them, and reveal any flaws that may exsist inside these arguments made by Socrates.
Through several dialogues Plato gives readers accounts of Socrates’ interactions with other Athenians. While some may think of him as a teacher of sorts, Socrates is adamant in rejecting any such claim (Plato, Apology 33a-b). He insists that he is not a teacher because he is not transferring any knowledge from himself to others, but rather assisting those he interacts with in reaching the truth. This assistance is the reason Socrates walks around Athens, engaging in conversation with anyone that he can convince to converse with him. An assertion he makes at his trial in Plato’s Apology is at the center of what drives Socrates in his abnormal ways, “the unexamined life is not worth living for a human being” (38a). Socrates, through aporia, looks to lead an examined life to perfect his soul and live as the best person he can be. This paper looks to examine the ‘unexamined life’ and the implications rooted in living a life like Socrates’.
In any case of law, when considering truth and justice, one must first look at the validity of the court and the system itself. In Socrates' case, the situation is no different. One may be said to be guilty or innocent of any crime, but guilt or innocence is only as valid as the court it is subjected to. Therefore, in considering whether Socrates is guilty or not, it must be kept in mind the norms and standards of Athens at that time, and the validity of his accusers and the crimes he allegedly committed. Is Socrates guilty or innocent of his accusations?
The fight to do what is right is not an easy path to traverse, but is one which demands a noble and enduring character. Defending principles of justice with logic and reason in the face of political opposition, is a difficult task to take, but the elusive Socrates boldly undertook this endeavor. In Plato’s Apology, he recalls the daring defence of the principles of truth that Socrates took against all odds. Plato’s recollections, much like the trial of Socrates at the time, has sparked numerous debates amongst scholars who seek to understand the events of the trial more deeply. One such debate has centered on what Socrates meant when he said his speech was nothing more than words spoken at random. Brumbaugh and Oldfather, in their scholarly analysis, contend that Socrates’s speech is riddled with fine polish and organization suggesting that his speech was not random. As will be discussed, there are several examples of organization in Socrates’s speech such as when he provides his jurors with an outline of his speech. Additionally, masterfully woven throughout his defence, Socrates employed many diverse modes of argumentation in a logical and consistent manner lending credence to the notion that he planned his speech beforehand. This skillful use of these modes in Socrates’s argument, all vindicate an intentional design and premeditation. Despite Socrates’s humble assertions
Socrates, the protagonist of The Apology believes he is providing wisdom to the city of Athens, which is his service to God. Though, very simple, Socrates professes his own ignorance to the jury through out his “apology”. What is quite interesting about his wisdom is the fact that he does not know what he does not know. Furthermore, Socrates believes that he is the greatest philosopher of all time and therefore, must never stop philosophizing. In relation, Socrates goes on and on about virtue and happiness, which is what he believes makes him the greatest philosopher of all time.
When studying Socrates, you the reader must come up with your point of view and take what Socrates is trying to teach into your own approach. You must also think why Socrates choose the words he choose. Socrates ' careful choice of words give much color to his quote, “an unexamined life is no life for a human being to live.” The word "examined" for example has many definitions, including: to observe or inspect carefully or critically; to study or analyze; to check the health or condition of something or someone; to inquire into; et cetera. We could imagine that Socrates would insist that asking other people what the quote means goes against its very nature. By suggesting this, Socrates gives praise to questions such as, "Is there more to reality than that which we can see and touch?" Socrates also asks, "Am I living my life according to my own rules, or the rules set for me by others?" Socrates believed that the purpose of human life was personal and spiritual growth. We are unable to grow toward greater understanding of our true nature unless we take the time to examine and reflect upon our life. As another philosopher, Santayana, observed, "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it."
Socrates was a greek philosopher, known to many as the father of modern philosophy. Socrates believed that philosophy should achieve practical results to benefit the wellbeing of society by attempted to establish an ethical system based on human reason rather than theological doctrine. He pointed out that human choice was motivated by the desire for happiness. One of his greatest quotes was Know thyself. For Knowing yourself enables one to better themselves and setting them on the path to becoming wiser. Heightening one's ability to reason and make choices that will bring us closer to true happiness. By far his most famous quote comes from his trial, “The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being”. For once one examines themselves and understand who they are they can take control of their lives. Socrates Believed that the ability to ask, examine, and to understand one's life can make life more fulfilling. Upon examining his own life, he realizes that he never voluntarily wronged anyone and so could not wrong himself. “But I, throughout my entire life, if I was ever publicly active, it is apparent that I was the kind of man, and of man, and I was the same in private, who never conceded anything to anyone contrary to justice—neither to those my slanderers say are my students, nor to anybody else.” (Apology) Socrates arrives to this conclusion based on the charges brought to him. He points out meletus contradictions of accusing Socrates of introducing new and
The examined life implies a way of responsibly engaging others in an epistemic manner. Others are not mere milestones in a career marked by rhetorical victories because they are closely connected with the questioner. The truth that comes to fruition, if it is able to be discovered, will be shared. But while the context of the statement in the Apology heavily involves other Athenians, it does not have to be a dialogue. As long as one examines his or her own life in accord with the standard set by Socrates' statement, then he or she can be both the one who questions and
The Apology is a piece of writing, where Socrates is addressing all of his accusers about the all of the wrongdoings that he has been accused of having a part in. The story starts off in a courtroom, where Socrates is addressing the men of Athens about the persuasive words of his accusers (Plato 1). Socrates states that he is a man of old age, being over seventy years old (1). He states that this trial is the first time he has ever been in a court of law, and he asks them to excuse any language that he may repeat (1). The Apology is a great piece of literature that gives the arguments of Socrates, in his defense, to the two accusation brought on him by his accusers.
Wisdom and knowledge are two things that many human dedicate their lives for. Some people became scholars, philosophers, academics in the pursuit of truth, whether in the metaphysical realm or on Earth. Some the early times in human history where this took place was in Greek in “[During] Pre-Socratic philosophy are from the 6th Century BCE” (Plato notes). Plato and Socrates were the fathers of philosophy which gave the world the foundations of western civilization. With so many people trying to pursuit wisdom and knowledge, these two things were offered compared and contrasted especially in The greek era. Two pieces of work that that have these two things as
Socrates believes that the jury who charged him guilty for corrupting the youth, and disrespecting the city’s gods are political unwise, since his philosophy advocates truth and justice. The Apology is an emblem for the violation of free articulation, with Socrates justifying his lifestyle as a philosopher and protecting the utility of logic for political life. Socrates believes that laws that undermine the use of philosophy in the society are unjust and should be relinquished. Additionally, his intelligence makes the authorities in Athens uncomfortable and they view it as a way of destabilizing the society.
Socrates died after his attempt to persuade the Athenians by telling the truth during a time when truthfulness was of little concern. I found unit 3 to be extremely interesting because I never knew about the trial or death of Socrates. Socrates is known as the father of Greek Philosophy and was put on trial by citizens of Athens in 399 399 B.C.E. for allegedly corrupting the youth and Impiety. Unit 3 allowed me to examine the trial and learn about the attitudes of people in Athens during this era. The title of the dialogue I learned about was, The Apology. The Apology was dialogue written by Plato, one of Socrates student’s and admirers, in an attempt to defend Socrates’ reputation after his death. It is a description of the speech that Socrates gave when he was on trial for the alleged crimes. Learning about the trial of Socrates was interesting to me because it caused me to examine the way criminal indictments has changed over the years.
The Apology is Plato’s version of what Socrates said in the court when facing a public prosecution against the charges of not believing in the city’s gods and corrupting the youths of the city, Athens. He lived during the time of Peloponnesian War, in which Athens was defeated by the hands of Sparta. The term “Apology” is a greek word that means to defense, in the book, Socrates defense his actions and beliefs. From the book, it seems that Socrates led a simple life, kept a distance the politician life and preferred to gather crowds to engage them in conversation about philosophy. He had a great influence among the youths of Athens. In 399 BC Socrates was bought on jury of around 500 Athenians. In Athenian Legal system, all verdicts are based on simple majority vote, has no judges or lawyers, and the court decisions must be reached within 24 hours. The author of Apology, Plato was one of the Socrates admirer, and he devoted himself in teaching Plato philosophy. In this dialogue, Plato has presented his mentor, Socrates as an honest and sympathetic person. Presumably, Plato aimed to defend Socrates in some points. Therefore, I think Plato’s depiction in Socrates trial presents the concept of “Hubris-Ate-Nemesis” of Greek tragedy.
A philosophical attitude toward life should play a major part in our lives. It is crucial for us as humans to learn and accept lessons learned through the experience of life. If you do not “examine your life” then what do you learn and what do you gain? Socrates’ in “The Trial and Death of Socrates” he details this in many ways. We can pull all the evidence and ideas we need from this text written by Plato. In the 3 parts Euthyphro, Apology and Crito many conclusions are made and there is much to learn from this text. Some of the most important parts allude to this idea of living life with a philosophical attitude. The book begins with the search for the definition of piety. In the apology Socrates’ details his side of the argument showing everyone the power of his own ideas and that is proved by his execution and finally in the Crito his commitment to his way of life is the last point that Socrates’ made. This text is chalked full of life lessons but the most important is the one that urges people to live their lives while never stopping to learn and think.