Term Paper: Apology the Great Story

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Apology

The great story the Apology, by Plato presented some insightful dialogue about life and how to live it. This story, which recreates the trial of Socrates amongst the wise and rich men of Athens, elaborated on how one should lead the philosophical life. The purpose of this essay is to argue, from the standpoint of a juror on this trial, that Socrates was not guilty of the crimes that were alleged towards him. To explain this position, I will analyze each of the four charges discussed in this story and explain how and why I find Socrates to be not guilty of any crimes.

An Overall Presumption of Innocence

Before explaining each charge, as a juror, I am completely convinced of Socrates' innocence. His reasoning is beyond reproach and, regardless of him breaking any laws, which I believe he did not, his eloquence and understanding of the limits of language, law and human relations point to him as a role model and example of a full and rich life, not a criminal.

Charge 1: Socrates as a Physicist

In the beginning of this work, Plato described Socrates' first charge as a physicist. He wrote "Socrates is an evil-doer, and a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better cause; and he teaches the aforesaid doctrines to others. " Ancient Greeks appeared very stern about their ways of thinking. Although it appears that man himself is important, this individual importance does not supersede the republic.

Socrates defended himself by suggesting the natural quality of a man's curious nature. Deviating from old models of thinking, and philosophical thought is what it appears to be Socrates' main disagreement with this charge. To me, as a juror, it appears that Socrates' detractors are jealous of his ability to use his intuition as a pathway to wisdom. Socrates explained this in a poetic way when he spoke, " that not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration; they are like diviners or soothsayers who also say many fine things, but do not understand the meaning of them." Ironically, Socrates continually downplays his knowledge by using many different comparisons that demonstrate the fleeting and elusive nature of knowledge and understanding. This first charge is a thought crime, and in a just and fair society, thoughts cannot be held against you.

Charge 2: Socrates as a Sophist

Socrates' emphatically explained his true intentions for his thoughts and understood morals to be a relative and subjective matter. What was more important was the result of the experience as felt from within. He pleaded with his detractors that "I believe that to this day no greater good has ever happened in the state than my service to the God. For I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons and your properties, but first and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. " for many this ideal is threatening because it devalues the argument of good vs. evil.

Sophists can argue from either side and do so with little or no remorse. In today's society sophists are classified as lawyer or attorneys of law. Such a title would disrespect Socrates' however as his defense in his… [END OF PREVIEW]

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