Socrates (Defense), the Apology

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Socrates – “The Apology” or (Defense)

Socrates had no written work, never had a job and there are questions of whether he was even literate. However, Plato was a student of Socrates and recorded what occurred at his death trial.

Socrates asked lots of questions and made people with political power look stupid.

At no time during his trial does he claim to be innocent. He (attacks his accuser instead)

There were two types of charges brought against him.
- The new or (Official) Charges – which is why he was brought to trial o “He corrupts the youth”
o “He disses the Old Gods and tosses props (credits) to New Gods.” - Old Charges (Rumors/Not Official)
o “He makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger..” (As if Socrates was using witchcraft to win his arguments.”)

Possible Test Q – “What is the Old Charge and how does Socrates defend himself?”

Socrates has an old friend named Caraphon.

Caraphon thinks that no one is better than Socrates. To validate this he goes to see the Oracle at Delphi and asks “Is there anyone wiser than Socrates?”

The Gods say “No one is wiser than Socrates”

When Caraphon tells Socrates of the news. Socrates says “Crap! This cannot be the literal truth, but must instead be a riddle of some sort”

Socrates goes on a quest to find a wiser person. He goes to different people and asks “What is Beauty/Justice/etc?” He asks people who are suspected of being wise like: - Politicians
- Artists/Poets
- Engineers/Technical point

No one could answer the questions though all claimed to know the answer. At no point does Socrates claim to know the answers.

After talking all these people, Socrates concludes that what the Gods meant was that to be wise is to be like Socrates and admit what you don’t know. So the Gods must want Socrates to show people that they lack wisdom.

Conclusion is False because the charge was based on pride.

Socrates corrupts the youth....
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