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The Apology Essay

1374 words - 6 pages

By definition, the Socratic Method is a method of teaching by question and answer used to elicit truths from students. Named after the Classical Greek philosopher Socrates, this is a form of inquiry and debate between individuals with opposing viewpoints based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas. The most famous example of this method is evident in The Apology, which was written by Plato in observance of Socrates dialogue during his trial.
Why was he disliked? He is the gadfly, he tests and examines men. Socrates’ philosophical questions made the leaders of society appear to be fools. Because of this he was accused of ...view middle of the document...

Meletus, Socrates accuser, holds Socrates responsible for the corruption of the youth. In response Socrates asks, “This is to say, that no-one else has any influence over the youth? If he were responsible for involuntarily harming the youth, wouldn’t that mean he requires education, not a death penalty?” With this, The Delphic Oracle was asked if there were any man living who was wiser than Socrates. The answer was "no." Socrates concluded that the god meant that he was the wisest man because he recognized his own ignorance. If he is ignorant and knows nothing, how could he teach the youth anything?
Thirdly, early societies were theocracies since political power derived from the gods and in many cases political leaders might regard themselves as divine or able to trace their ancestry back to the gods (as did the Greek aristocracy). Ancient people did not usually care what gods people believed in as long as they gave due honor to the gods of the city in which they lived. Not to do so lead to a kind of treason since it undercut the authority and legitimacy of a particular regime. By being accused of being a natural philosopher, Socrates was also accused of not believing in the gods of the city. In his rebuttal Socrates catches his accusers in a contradiction: He can’t believe in false gods and be an atheist and he can’t believe in divine things and be an atheist.
The reputation of being a busy body came of the “rumor mill”. He is said to be annoying because he “nags” people. Was he one of “those” people who stand outside the Target or Vons begging people for a minuet of their time just to hear a spiel?
After the verdict, Socrates' final remarks did not beg for mercy. This could have been interpreted as either arrogance or irony. On one hand, he is showing defiant bravery in a dangerous situation, while openly criticizing the normal practices of the law courts. One's reading of this final passage depends on whether one prefers to see Socrates as the passionate

and noble defender of a philosophical ideal, or as an ironic trickster who refuses to be taken too seriously.
If the jury were to have reflected on Socrates’ life, they would see that he believed life should be spent of the improvement of our souls for the unexamined life is not worth living. This is why banishment or other isolated punishments would not have been acceptable for Socrates. Perhaps Socrates could have had used his more powerful rebuttals if he weren’t so excepting of the judicial suicide.
For Socrates, wisdom and virtue are closely connected and so were his efforts serve to improve society as a whole. In Socrates' view, if we are all wise, none of us will ever do wrong, and our self-knowledge will lead to healthier, more fulfilling lives. Thus, the philosopher, according to Socrates, does not merely follow abstract intellectual pursuits for the sake of amusement, but is engaged in activities of the highest moral value. ...

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