Critical Paper: Plato's Apology
In the retelling of his trial by his associate, Plato, entitled "The Apology"; Socrates claims in his defense that he only wishes to do good for the polis. I believe that Socrates was innocent of the accusations that were made against him, but he possessed contempt for the court and displayed that in his conceitedness and these actions led to his death.
In his defense, Socrates claims over and again that he is innocent and is not at all wise, "
for I know that I have no wisdom, small or great." Throughout the rest of his oration he seems to act the opposite as if he is better than every man, and later he even claims that, "At any rate, the world has decided that Socrates is in some way superior to other men." This seems to be his greatest mistake, claiming to be greater than even the jury.
Socrates was accused of bringing false gods into the polis and corrupting the youth. The only false god was himself. For he might have presented himself in such a way to his many followers. These followers were mostly, as he says, wealthy young men with not much to do. This I could imagine is where a good deal of his conceitedness comes from, being almost worshipped be others. These men followed all of his teachings and practices, including the condescending cross-examinations, which were probably the worst of his acts.
Socrates high respect for himself also may have started with the oracle from Delphi, when Chaerephon, "
asked the oracle to tell him whether there was anyone wiser than I was
answered that there was no man wiser."
Thus began Socrates cross-examinations, which I have said, was probably the worst thing he could do. In these, he tested to see how wise so-called wise men were and each and every time he claimed that these men were not wise at all. Socrates went and tested all sorts of men from poets, politicians, and artisans. He claimed that all were inferior to him because they claimed to know much...
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