Plato's Defense Of Corruption In The Apology By Socrates

961 Words4 Pages

Introduction The Apology was written by Plato, and relates Socrates’ defense at his trial on charges of corrupting the youth and impiety. Socrates argues that he is innocent of both charges. Plato reports the contents of three speeches delivered by Socrates in his own protection in court which has been arranged over him by the Athenian democrats and has terminated in the death sentence to the great philosopher. The word "apology" in a literal translation means "justification". Plato's purpose when writing "Apology" was to acquit posthumously Socrates from false accusation. In the Apology Socrates defends himself against the charges brought against him by his prosecutor Meletus in two ways. In the first way Socrates describes his method and …show more content…

New accusers say that Socrates corrupts the youth and does not believe in the gods of the State, and has new divinities of his own. To defend himself against these charges, Socrates asks Meletus some questions. As a result, Meletus is shown to be contradicting himself and making accusations that are absolutely absurd. To the question “Who are the improvers of the youth?” Meletus replies that they are all citizens, but not Socrates, arguing that he is only one who is corrupting them. At the same time, he recognizes that no one would intentionally make the people worse because he is obliged to live among them. From this it follows either that Socrates is not making the people worse or he is doing so unintentionally. Obviously, Meletus is not able to understand the logical consequences implied in the statements made by him. Further Meletus refers to Socrates as an atheist because he teaches that the sun is stone and the moon is earth. Socrates then reminds Meletus that it was Anaxagoras the Clazomenian who stated that the sun and moon were only material substances. Meletus must have a very poor opinion of the judges at this trial if he thinks they will not be aware of his mistake. Furthermore, Socrates figures out that Meletus has involved himself in a self-contradiction: he accuses Socrates of introducing new and strange divinities and at the same time asserts that he is an atheist who does not believe in any

Open Document