Plato's Apology of Socrates

Topics: Plato, Political philosophy, Socrates Pages: 7 (1704 words) Published: November 14, 2013
• Last Class: November 21st

• Apology is a public speech; Crtio is a private speech
• Socrates
○ was the first philosopher concerned with human affairs (ethics, morality)
○ Socrates originally devoted his time to science
○ Later abandoned science and shifted attention to ethics-philosophy
○ Never wrote anything; so how do we know anything about him? Because of:
§ Plato
§ Xenophon
§ Aristophanes (Clouds)- accuser
○ Plato is the mouth piece of Socrates in most cases
§ But not verbatim; a lie in such that it cannot be verbatim
§ Idea that Plato is ventriloquist; allows us to just focus on the speech
• Apologia: Defence speech
• Socrates brought to trial
○ No judge, just officials
○ Jurors; chosen by lot (name out of a hat...kind of)
○ Jurors were citizens of Athens looking for the best interest of Athens
○ A trial of philosophers vs. non philosophers
○ OR trial of philosophers vs. city of Athens
○ Heard arguments from both sides; vote was taken (guilty or innocent)
• Charges against Socrates
○ Corrupting the youth
○ Not believing in the gods of the city(Athens) AKA the Impiety charge
• The accusers
○ Old accusers
§ More dangerous than the individuals who brought him up on the charges to begin with
§ Aristophanes
□ Depicting Socrates as the scientist he once was, says he teaches the weaker argument is the stronger(something the sophists really teach ), therefore depicting Socrates as a sophist which he was not.

□ False depiction of Socrates
§ Old accusers slandered Socrates name
○ New accusers
§ Meletus (lead prosecutor on behalf of politicians), Anytus (on behalf of poets), Lycon
• The defence
○ Socrates says he speaks the truth using plain language
○ Says he wont embellish to the jurors
○ Says the accusers are the clever liars
○ Socrates claims to be just and claims the accusers are the ones who are unjust
○ The very suggestion of Socrates saying he is just, is not really a good defence, wouldn’t work in a modern trial of a murder or otherwise either
○ Socrates things the jurors are prejudiced, which they are because of their false views of Socrates
○ Socrates knows he is doomed
○ Socrates sees it as is duty to defend himself; still does not think he will win the case; was shocked the votes were so close
○ Is there not a conflict between Socrates claiming he is speaking the truth and Socrates claiming he is just?
○ Socrates begins his defence with the old accusers
§ Cant cross examine them because the old accusers are dead
§ Did not charge Socrates with not believing in the gods; that was an inference made later buy the new accusers
§ Arguments (19a8 -20c3)
§ Addresses the jurors from childhood saying they have been prejudiced against him since childhood
§ Trials only lasted one day but how do you change someone's deep seeded prejudices in a matter of one day? You can't
§ Shows his support for Athenian law (19a7)
§ Defends himself because he says it is his legal duty; shows no strong hope that he will be acquitted
§ Socrates tried to disprove the Oracle who said Socrates was the wisest Athenian, Socrates did not think this was true but on the other hand he believed his Oracle was right (charge #2)
§ Socrates spent his whole life based on what the Oracle stated
□ How can you say/charge him with Impiety when his whole life has been based on the god(Oracle)
§ There was an envy felt towards Socrates, he was poor and had no political clout what so ever, but he was the wisest of Athens; adds to the dislike of Socrates by Athenians
§ Socrates had a following of many wealthy youth
§ Socrates argues that the youth follow him of their own accord
□ Socrates denies that he is a teacher
§ Recap
□ They have a falsified view of Socrates because of Aristophanes Clouds which left a prejudiced view from jurors
○ Socrates and his...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Socrates and the Apology Essay
  • Plato’s Apology: Defense of Socrates Essay
  • Essay about Plato's Apology
  • Plato's Apology Essay
  • The Apology of Socrates Essay
  • Essay on Plato's Apology
  • Essay about Plato's Apology
  • Socrates in Apology and Crito Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free