Plato’s Apology of Socrates is one of the most famous and influential works of philosophy. In this work, Socrates defends himself against charges of impiety and corruption of the young. Socrates’ defense is twofold: first, he argues that he is not guilty of impiety because he has always acted in accordance with the will of the gods; second, he argues that he is not guilty of corrupting the young because his intentions have always been good.
Socrates’ first argument is based on his belief that the gods have always directed his actions. Socrates believes that it is impossible for him to have committed any wrong actions because he has always acted in accordance with the will of the gods. This argument fails to take into account the possibility that the gods could have been mistaken in their guidance of Socrates.
However, even if we grant that the gods have always been correct in their guidance of Socrates, it does not follow that Socrates is innocent of all the charges against him. For example, Socrates may believe that the gods want him to engage in certain activities that are actually harmful to the young. In such a case, Socrates would be guilty of corrupting the young, even though he acted in accordance with the will of the gods.
The Apology of Plato is one of the most well-known works by him, perhaps owing to its dramatic style and context that appeals to readers of all backgrounds. The “Apology” is Socrates’ defense speech before a court panel charged with determining his fate. He has been charged with deliberately corrupting the youth and failing to believe in the gods of Athens.
In the speech, Socrates tries to prove his innocence by first stating that he has never deliberately corrupted anyone and secondly, that even if he had, death would be a far preferable punishment than exile. In order to do this, Socrates must firstly present an argument for why death is better than exile, and secondly explain how it could be possible for him to have never deliberately corrupted anyone.
Socrates begins his argument by stating that death is not something to be feared, as those who believe in the afterlife believe that it is either a place of nothingness or a place where one’s soul is purified and they are rewarded for their good deeds in life. He then goes on to say that even if death is something to be feared, it is still better than exile, as in exile one is forced to live away from everything they know and love.
Socrates concludes his argument by saying that even if he were guilty of the charges against him, death would still be the preferable punishment, as it would allow him the time to reflect on his life and actions, and make amends for any wrongs he may have done.
Socrates then goes on to explain how it could be possible for him to have never deliberately corrupted anyone. He firstly states that he has never claimed to be wise, and so anyone who has followed him has done so of their own free will. Secondly, Socrates explains that even if he had been trying to corrupt the young, he would not have been successful, as they would have seen through his false claims of wisdom and realised that he was not worth following.
It is widely believed that Socrates was tried, convicted, and executed as a real event. The truth of Plato’s description of his defense is unknown. According to David Leibowitz, the Greek name implies that the work may be interpreted two ways: as a speech for or by Socrates.
In this essay, I will be looking at the way in which Socrates defends himself and analysing whether he succeeds in doing so. Socrates begins by telling the court that he will not use sophistic oratory, which is the kind of speech that would have been expected from a professional speechwriter.
He says that he is not an expert in this area and so it would be wrong for him to use it. This is interesting because it shows us that Socrates is not interested in trying to save his own skin by any means possible. He wants to give a defence that is true to him and his beliefs, even if that means he will be found guilty.
He goes on to say that he does know one thing and that is that he is not wise. This is a strange thing to say in his defence, but Socrates is being honest. He is not interested in pretending to be something he is not.
He then tells the jury that the Oracle at Delphi told him he was the wisest man alive. When he investigated what this could mean, he found that it was because he alone was aware of his own ignorance. He realised that the other people who thought they were wise were not actually wise, they just thought they were.
Socrates says that it was his duty to investigate what the Oracle had said and so he questioned people who were thought to be wise, including politicians, poets and craftsmen. He soon found that they did not actually know anything.
This is an important part of Socrates’ defence because he is showing that he has done nothing wrong. He was just trying to find out what the Oracle meant when it said he was the wisest man alive.
However, his questioning of the so-called wise men did make them angry and they decided to get revenge by accusing him of corrupting the youth and not believing in the gods.
Socrates says that these accusations are false and that he has never corrupted anyone. He tells the jury that if they find him guilty, it will be because they have been misled by his enemies.
He goes on to say that even if he is found guilty, he will not stop doing what he is doing. He will continue to question people and try to find out the truth about things.
Socrates then makes a famous statement which has become known as the ‘Socratic paradox’. He says that the only way to harm him is to do what he is accused of doing, that is, corrupting the youth.
If Socrates is put to death, he will no longer be able to question people and so they will never know the truth about anything. The only way to harm Socrates is to stop him from doing what he does.
In conclusion, Socrates’ argument in the Apology is that death is preferable to exile, and that he could not have deliberately corrupted anyone even if he had wanted to. This argument is significant as it allows us to see Socrates’ beliefs about death and how he thought people should live their lives. It also provides a different perspective on what it means to be wise, and how one can achieve true wisdom.