Socrates Apologizes

Topics: Plato, Socrates, Corruption Pages: 4 (1720 words) Published: April 10, 2005
An Apology From Socrates' The Apology is Socrates' defense at his trial. As the dialogue begins, Socrates notes that his accusers have cautioned the jury against Socrates'eloquence, according to Socrates, the difference between him and his accusers is that Socrates speaks the truth. Socrates distinguished two groups of accusers: the earlier and the later accusers. The earlier group is the hardest to defend against, since they do not appear in court. He is all so accused of being a Sophist: that he is a teacher and takes money for his teaching. He attempts to explain why he has attracted such a reputation. The oracle was asked if anyone was wiser than Socrates was. The answer was no, there was no man wiser. Socrates cannot believe this oracle, so he sets out to disprove it by finding someone who is wiser. He goes to a politician, who is thought wise by him self and others. Socrates does not think this man to be wise and tells him so. As a consequence, the politician hated Socrates, as did others who heard the questioning. "I am better off, because while he knows nothing but thinks that he knows, I neither know nor think that I know" (Socrates). He questioned politicians, poets, and artisans. He finds that the poets do not write from wisdom, but by genius and inspiration. Meletus charges Socrates with being "a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the State, and has other new divinities of his own." In his examination of Meletus, Socrates makes three main points: 1) Meletus has accused Socrates of being the only corrupter, while everyone else improves the youth. Socrates then uses an analogy: a horse trainer is to horses as an improver is to the youth. The point is that there is only one improver, not many. 2) If Socrates corrupts the youth, either it is intentional or unintentional. No one would corrupt his neighbor intentionally, because he would harm himself in the process. If the corruption was unintentional, then the...
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