Apology-Defence Of Socrates

  • Category: Philosophy
  • Words: 620
  • Grade: 1
Muhammad Farooq Haider


In Apology: Defence of Socrates, Socrates is on trial, being prosecuted on the charge of neglecting the gods of the state. He was also charged with corrupting the morals of the young and for "˜turning the weaker argument into stronger'

He goes on to explain why he has such an evil name. The irony is that Socrates, as reported by Plato, is standing in front of people who want him to be punished. It's also proposed by Anytus that either Socrates should have never been brought up to the court, or when he was brought so, he should not escape. So, we can all imagine what kind of situation it would have been. But, that is what adds excitement to this whole situation. Socrates is wise enough to prove all the charges against him are wrong, even though with a man of his wisdom could predict his end was near.

The problem is that the whole trial was unfair. There was no man in Athens who could prove that Socrates was wrong, but still they were confidently accusing him.

One of the reasons why Socrates was arrested was because he was being accused of corrupting the minds of the students he taught. I personally feel that it is almost impossible for one person to corrupt the thoughts and feelings of a whole group of people. Improvement comes from a minority and corruption comes from the majority. Socrates gives an example of a horse, and said that in reality, it's always one person, or a few(minority) who look after and care for the horse, whereas the majority infact are the one who spoils it. So it is not possible for him to be spoiling a large group, and it is the other way around.

Socrates was also put on trial for being an Atheist. In the argument Socrates has with Meletus, Socrates gets Meletus to admit that Socrates is an atheist and theist. As absurd as it sounds, Socrates reduced Meletus' image to that of a fool whose was confused of what he was saying.

Thirdly, because Socrates practiced making weak arguments strong (Sophist). The very thing that makes Socrates a wiser person (if not the wisest) is that he is ready to accept and declare that he is not wise, unlike other people. He claims that the only knowledge he has is that he has no knowledge. But then he argues with those who are supposedly considered to be intellectuals and then reduces then to be only people who boost that they have knowledge.

In the end, Socrates was convicted and placed under death penalty and died.

The main theme of the Apology seems like a defence of his way of life. Socrates thinks that there is nothing wrong with what he is proposing to people, and infact his questioning people benefits them as this helps to achieve genuine self- knowledge. He believes in exposing the truth, rather than "˜creating', as proclaimed by the Athenians.

We cannot deduce as to why is he was so stubborn to not to leave his ideas and acts, and even step up and embrace death. But that gives us the image of a wise man who actually believes that there is absolutely nothing wrong with his teachings and questioning. Some people might refute that Socrates reverted to "˜reverse psychology' at the end of the trial, but it is absurd to say for a man like Socrates. He could have evaded death, but that would have meant disposing of his thoughts and values, which, he might have perceived to be the death of his existence. That is one reason why Socrates was content in dying, rather than to avert to a non examiner in life.
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