4 The Apology: Background Athenian DemocracyPeloponnesian Wars ( BCE)Rule of Thirty Tyrants (8 months in BCE) and Socrates’ friendship with Critias, one of the leaders of the ThirtyFriendship with Alcibiades (Defeat at Syracuse, Sicily)The Sophists – Aristophanes’ The CloudsSocrates’ anti democratic viewsDelphic oracle and the creation of powerful enemies within AthensReligious oddity: His own personal daemon
5 The Apology: Philosophers vs. Sophists Elegant rhetoricPersuasiveCleverDisdain for TruthPhilosophyAimed at TruthQuestion and AnswerPlainEarnest
6 Informal Charges“There’s a man called Socrates, a ‘wise’ man, a thinker about things in the heavens, an investigator of all things below the earth, and someone who makes the weaker argument the stronger. (18 b-c).LongevityNo defenseNo named accusers – except perhaps for Aristophanes
7 Defense of Informal Charges Personal Daemon (conscience or intuition who must be obeyed above all else)Different interest than the Pre-SocraticsNo interest in the make-up of the external world: the inward turnNot a sophist: is not paid for his ‘teaching’Chaerephon and the Delphic OracleThe conceit of wisdom (Hubris)Recognizing the limits of one’s knowledge
8 Formal ChargesMeletus (poets), Anytus (artisans and politicians), and Lycon (orators). Anytus was a democratic leader who helped restore democracy to Athens after the Thirty were expelled. Probably the real leader of the three.“Socrates is guilty of corrupting the young, and of not acknowledging the gods the city acknowledges, but new daimonic activities instead” (24 b).
9 Corruption of the young: discussion with Meletus Who improves the young and who harms them?All Athenians improve them except Socrates who harms themAnalogy to horse training: The few improve, the many harmWe would choose to live among good people better than bad (because good people benefit others while bad people harm them).So, if I am harming them, I must be doing so unintentionally.But if so, then the remedy is “private instruction and admonishment” not a public trial (26a).
10 Impiety charge Atheist: “You don’t acknowledge any gods at all” (26c). Not AnaxagorasCan you believe in godly activities without believing also in gods (analogy: can you believe in human activities without believing in humans)He clearly believes in godly activities: daimons
11 Fear and doing the right thing Fighting in Peloponnesian WarGiving up Philosophy?Athens: pursuing honour and wisdom rather than wealthAdmonishes youth to pursue virtue over wealthPutting Socrates to death (and banning him or getting him to stop philosophizing) more harm to Athens than to Socrates.Socrates as gadfly.Private vs public life (32)Events where Socrates stood up despite possible retribution (32)
12 Guilty verdict Not surprised (mere 30 votes difference) Politics: “if Anytus hadn’t come forward with Lycon to accuse me, Meletus would have been fined a thousand drachmas, since he wouldn’t have received a fifth of the votes” (36a).I should get what I deserve.I have devoted myself to the city and its people so I deserve “something good” (36d). Free meals in the Prytaneum, i.e., the house of the king or prytanis.Death may be a good or a bad thing.Imprisonment? Fine? Exile? Keeping quiet and minding your own business?30 minas fine to be put up by his friends (a significant amount of money = ten year’s salary for someone engaged in public works.
13 Death penalty and Final Words Words to those who voted for his deathDenigrated Athens’ reputation for a little time (before Socrates , as an old man, would have died anyway)No regrets (and no bad behaviour on his part)There are worse things than death, like loosing your honour.Curse: Vengeance on them via younger men like Socrates.
14 Death penalty and Final Words Words to those who voted for himConscience is clear – daimonic voiceDeath is either a sleeping state or a good thing – where Socrates can talk with great men who have died“Nothing bad can happen to a good man, whether in life or death” (41d).Take care of my sons the way I have taken care of you – by questioning them and getting them to pursue what’s important.