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A POLOGY CHALLENGE 1 The trial of Socrates is in which Platonic dialogue? The Apology.

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Presentation on theme: "A POLOGY CHALLENGE 1 The trial of Socrates is in which Platonic dialogue? The Apology."— Presentation transcript:

1 A POLOGY CHALLENGE 1 The trial of Socrates is in which Platonic dialogue? The Apology.

2 2 1What year is it set in, and what age is Socrates? 399, 70 2 The amnesty of retribution on people after the Peloponnesian war is wearing thin. There are many who have reason to resent Socrates. Give 3 reasons. Blame for Athens fall from glory/embarrassment by being the target of his elenchus/ associated with Athens’ failed leaders and tyrants (Charmides, Critias, Alcibiades) /popularity among the modern/young/false caricatures as Sophist or naturalist 3We know of only 3 formal services of Socrates for the city. Give two of them. Brave war service where he saved Alcibiades 420s /dissenting councilor in the generals of Arginusae courts case 406/ refusal to carry out order of the 30 tyrants to bring in a victim for execution 404. 4 Name his 3 accusers? And their occupations Meletus (Poet or seer), Anytus (democratic politician), Lycon(orator) 5 Socrates thought these 3 were the lesser threat – what was the greater threat? The false stories that had been circulating for over a generation about Socrates that he can no longer rebut (sophist, naturalist, rhetorician ). 

3 A POLOGY CHALLENGE 3 In what way was Socrates’ Daimonion more than simple conscience? It was preventative (told him when to stop, not what to do) / it was experienced more strongly than most consciences.

4 4 1In his opening comments to the jury, Socrates pulls no punches. Give 2 points he makes? The accusers are lairs, he will rely on the truth, he will speak plainly/no flowery language/court speak, he will speak as he does around town. 2Socrates says his real challenge are the “earliest charges” that arise from rumours that have circulated since before Aristophanes’ Clouds a generation ago. What are they? There is a wise man called Socrates who believes in natural not divine causes, teaches these errors (is a sophist), makes the weaker case seem stronger. 3Why are these going to be such a problem? Because they have been accepted all the lives of the people, and he can no longer find and rebut those accusers. 4 How does he rebut rumours that he is 1) a naturalist 2) a sophist (teacher)? 1) He has no interest in science, and no one has witnessed him speculate. 2) he doesn’t charge fees– (is poor )– claims no knowledge to teach. 5 He next explains what he DOES, and how it might have caused the current charges. What is it? He searches for wisdom among prominent people and those who claim wisdom, but the result is always that he shows them to be ignorant – hence he raises their fury. 

5 A POLOGY CHALLENGE 5 Who is Chaerophon and why is he important at this point in the story? The boyhood friend of Socrates who got the Delphic response that no one was wiser than Socrates. This is what has set him on his life of service to the God Apollo.

6 6 1What is his interpretation of the Oracle as he searches for wisdom among the Athenians? That the God must be giving him as an example as he has no particular knowledge, that his wisdom is not knowing stuff (That is God’s prerogative), but knowing he’s worthless in wisdom. 2The formal charges have 3 parts. What are they? Socrates follows gods of his own invention, doesn’t believe in the cities gods, and corrupts the young. 3He rebuts the corruption of the young charge by arguing that Meletus has never even thought about the young, ie is not concerned about the charges. How? By leading him to make the nonsense claim about the young that everyone but Socrates in Athens is a good influence on them. 4 Next he gets Meletus to say Socrates corrupts the young intentionally. So?.... He must be stupid and need enlightening, not punishing, because to corrupt them intentionally would mean he’d be among the first to suffer at their hands. 5 Does Socrates claim to believe the moon and sun are gods or earth and rock? Gods. 

7 A POLOGY CHALLENGE 7 Next he attacks Meletus’ charge of him not believing in the city gods but in his own inventions. What self-contradicting statement does he equate this to? That Socrates doesn’t believe in the gods, but believes in the gods.

8 8 1In this argument he uses analogy that to believe in human matters you must believe in humans – so…to believe in supernatural matters……. …you must believe in supernatural beings. 2He argues that if he believes in supernatural matters as charged, then he must believe in supernatural beings (hence the gods), which contradicts the second part of the charge. What’s wrong with Socrates argument? The charge isn’t that he believes in NO gods, but in the CITY’S gods.. 3How would describe Socrates tone now, and what do you think its consequence would be ? He is sarcastic, and mocking, and this will have not made the jury well disposed to him. 4 Despite this he repeats that its not the accusers arguments that will defeat him – what will? The hostility of the population. 5 He sees that he has to choose between an undoubted evil, and a possible evil. What are these two paths? Definite evil – dishonourably deserting the pursuit of truth/his mission. Possible evil – dying. 

9 A POLOGY CHALLENGE 9 Socrates says that lawful superiors should be obeyed. Why then does he not obey the city authorities and cease his mission? If the divine clashes with the human superior, then the divine takes precedence. And in this case it does.

10 10 1He further enflames the jurors when commenting on his work among his fellow citizens. How? By saying that his taking care of their souls is the greatest good Athens could have. 2What does he say about wealth and virtue? That virtue precedes wealth, and offers his poverty as evidence of his pursuit of virtue. 3He now makes some points about his daimonion. What are they? a) evidence of gods mission b) prevented him from civil service where he would have offended them even -faults with democracy c) probably motivated their belief he invents his own gods. 4 Because he hasn’t been a teacher he cannot not be held responsible for those who have turned out badly. What is wrong with this argument? His influence doesn’t only have to have been through formal teaching. 5 What does he say the lack of witnesses in court with corrupted sons proves? He hasn’t corrupted the young minds. 

11 A POLOGY CHALLENGE 11 280 jurors find him guilty, 221 innocent. What is his first reaction to being found guilty? He is not surprised or distressed – 30 voting the other way could have acquitted him.

12 12 1He says Meletus should be fined 1000 D for not getting 1/5 of the jurors on his side. How does he work this out, and what was the likely effect of this argument? He reckons Meletus needs 100 votes, but his 1/3 share of the guilty votes is only 94. This facetious point is likely to have annoyed the jurors further. 2How does he further antagonises the jurors with his first suggestion of a penalty? By saying he deserves reward of free meals in the Prytaneum for his service to the city. 3He rejects the possibility of exile, or giving up his mission of examining life – why? It would be disobeying his God-given mission in Athens/”the unexamined life is not worth living”. 4 Getting serious now he proposes a fine of what, which is increased by his friends to what? 1 00 to 3000. Drachma 5The jury votes on the penalty and vote for death. What shows that Socrates response to the guilty verdict has not been effective in gaining him support. 80 jurors who voted for acquittal have changed their minds to support his death! 

13 A POLOGY CHALLENGE 13 Socrates addresses the jurors saying it was not the weakness of his arguments that is causing his death. What is? That he hasn’t given the expected plea for mercy, and play for sympathy.

14 14 1What does he say to those who voted for death? That they could have avoided the blame had they waited for nature who would shortly take him anyway/ That he is pleased not to have fought to escape death, but that they have failed to escape disgrace/iniquity. 2Who is “convicted by truth herself of depravity and injustice?” The jurors who have voted for his death. 3He says that the way to silence criticism is not to kill the critic, but ….. To stop doing things deserving criticism. 4 To his friends who may be thinking that he has not done his best work conducting his case he says… As his daimonion didn’t prevent him he is content that he conducted the case correctly in the eyes of the God. 5He also takes comforts them about his fate. He says death as “a marvelous gain”? Or better – an “unimaginable happiness“. What are these? Dreamless sleep and the company of heroes of old to debate with. 

15 15 6 He reassures his friends by saying why death should be met with confidence? Because the “no harm can come to a good man either in life or after death” and his fortunes “are not a matter of indifference to the Gods” 7 What are his final words to his condemners and accusers? That he bears the no grudge/ he commends his 3 sons to there care to keep them valuing goodness before money etc. 8It is likely that Socrates was sentenced to death because of the way he conducted his defence. Give three examples of this. That he would tell the truth (unlike his accusers); his facetious suggestion that Meletus should be fined for not gaining sufficient support; suggestion that he be rewarded in the Prytaneum; that he owed greater obedience to the gods than to citizens. (evidence – the number who swung a\ 

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