Plato, The Apology Part I: The Defense Rhetoric and Sophistry The Oracle at Delphi and Socrates’ mission Socrates’ followers Trumped-up charges Socrates’ Explanation of the Charges “Socrates is guilty of being a busybody, in that he inquires into what is beneath the earth and in the sky, turns the weaker argument into the stronger, and teaches others to do the same.” (29)
Part I: The Defense (cont’d) Socrates and Meletus: “Socratic dialogue” Who influences the youth for the better? Intentional harm. Meletus’ contradiction. Conviction by slander. Fear of death? “Socrates is guilty of corrupting the young, and of failing to acknowledge the gods acknowledged by the city, but introducing new spiritual beings instead.” (32) “[T]he fear of death amounts simply to thinking one is wise when one is not.” (35)
Part I: The Defense (cont’d) Cease and desist? “[S]o long as I draw breath and am able, I shall never give up practicing philosophy.” (35) The gadfly analogy Socrates’ daimon “[A]nyone who truly fights for what is just, if he is going to survive for even a short time, must act in a private capacity rather than a public one.” (37) Not a teacher.
Part I: The Defense (cont’d) No begging, no pleading. “A juror does not sit to dispense justice as a favour, but to determine where it lies.” (39) Part 2: The Verdict Guilty! ‘Let the punishment fit the crime.’ -Free food! -Imprisonment? -Banishment? -Fine?
Part 3: The Sentence Socrates’ prophesy The daimon’s silence Death is a blessing “I have been convicted, not for lack of arguments, but for lack of brazen impudence and willingness to address you in such terms as you would most like to be addressed in—that is to say, by weeping and wailing, and doing and saying much else that I claim to be unworthy of me…” (40-1)
The Value of Philosophy? “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Value for the self. Value for society. Is Socrates guilty?