One major reason for the trial and conviction of Socrates was a combination of the uprise of both social and political tension in Athenian society. In Ancient Greece, there were travelling intellectuals who charged other people a fee in order to educate them, called sophists. Sophists generally taught academic subjects like astronomy, mathematics, etc., but what they specialised in was the art of rhetoric. The sophists were highly educated and very strong orators; being able to speak well was an important part of Athenian society because it was linked to your status and power and orators were considered high class. The sophists taught students how to be skilled orators and in public speaking in order to be able to make well-thought arguments in politics, in court, or in …show more content…
This was a real cause for people to associate Socrates with being a sophist and perpetuated people to falsely believe that Socrates was actually a sophist who questioned and corrupted the minds of the youth. The unfair association of Socrates being a sophist thereby led to his trial because people were afraid of his methods of questioning because it would cause the youth to lose confidence in the political system of Athens. Socrates, however, defends himself against Meletus, one of his accusers, in ‘The apology’ saying that he was not a sophist: ”if you had heard anyone say that I try to educate people and charge a fee, there is no truth in that” (19E). He did not charge people, but due to old rumours and the play ‘Clouds’ it had led to his conviction because his ways of questioning the Athenian polis was a threat not only to the aristocratic ruling party’s power and status but also a threat to the social stability of Athens both at that time and possibly even in future. This is summed up by Protagoras, an Ancient Greek philosopher, who examines that “It would be wrong to use violence to try to overthrow the laws but a wise sophist might by skilful argument persuade a city to change its
In Plato's Gorgias, it is apparent that Socrates has no desire to be a good statesman as it is defined in the eyes of the Athenians. His calculation is that Athenian rhetoricians place no reliance on facts or truth, nor are these their aim. Instead, they rely on the illusion of knowledge, and this morally weakens both themselves and their audiences. It is clear however, that if he wishes, Socrates is able to match most or all of the other statesmen in Athens, as is clearly indicated by his very eloquent speech which ends the dialogue. Additionally, under his own definition of a good statesman, it is evident that Socrates is more than qualified.
Socrates defended himself well during the trial. I do not think that Socrates was guilty for anything. He was accused by Meletus for "corrupting the young”. However, there was no evidence of this. Socrates mentioned that there was no youth to testify that they were corrupted by him.
Socrates defends his actions by asking for the victims of the crime. However, there is not anyone bringing these charges to the court. His followers have not grown up and accused him of giving them unsound advice or wisdom. Socrates then asks, why they would think he would deliberately harm those who choose to follow them, for harming the citizens around would hurt him. I think this evidence would have led Pericles to welcome Socrates’ teachings to the youth.
In Plato’s dialogue Phaedo, he explains the soul and comes to the conclusion that the soul is immortal. Through describing the last hours of Socrates life before his execution, he lays out three arguments in support of the idea that while the body may cease to exist the soul cannot perish. In this paper, I will explicate Socrates three arguments for the immortality of the soul and their objections. Then I will argue on the presupposition of the Law of Conservation of Mass, that the universe, entailing the soul, must be cyclical. The Law of Conservation of Mass
Since the day of the judgment between Athens and Socrates in 399 year B.C. many historians, philosophers, and students wonder to know whether Socrates was Guilty. Philosopher was accused in corrupting the youth, not believing in the recognized gods and introducing new divinities and in the rejection of civic life in democratic society. It is very difficult to answer on this question, may be even impossible. In my opinion, there are three types of people: 1.
Comparing Socrates words in the Republic for the philosopher to rule to the words of the Apology where philosophy is viewed as something that is punishable by death, this is where the defense or importance of philosophy is realized. For if the philosophers were the ones to rule, nobody would question whether or not what they were doing was right or wrong because the philosopher-kings make the rules through wisdom and knowledge. Plato wants to paint a portrait of the philosopher as not only something the city should want to have, but also as someone who would be fit to rule above all others. This contrasts, again, to the points made by the jurors to Socrates in the Apology for they saw Socrates as someone who brings the city
Socrates was put on trial for his intentions that were good. Society thought them out to be bad, but all socrates was trying to do was to improve society as whole. To improve society socrates would question citizens of Athens and make them think about their reality. During Socrates trial they accused him of corrupting the youth. Socrates would never willingly corrupt the youth because he saw the youth as the future.
In Apology, Socrates faces possible execution as he stands trial in front of his fellow Athenian men. This jury of men must decide whether Socrates has acted impiously against the gods and if he has corrupted the youth of Athens. Socrates claims in his defense that he wants to live a private life, away from public affairs and teachings in Athens. He instead wants to focus on self-examination and learning truths from those in Athens through inquiry. Socrates argues that "a [man] who really fights for justice must lead a private, not a public, life if [he] is to survive for even a short time" (32a).
Socrates was a greek philosopher who found himself in trouble with his fellow citizens and court for standing his grounds on his new found beliefs from his studies about philosophical virtue, justice, and truth. In “Apology” written by Plato, Socrates defended himself in trial, not with the goal of escaping the death sentence, but with the goal of doing the right thing and standing for his beliefs. With this mindset, Socrates had no intention of kissing up to the Athenians to save his life. Many will argue that Socrates’ speech was not very effective because he did not fight for his life, he just accepted the death sentence that he was punished with. In his speech he said, “But now it’s time to leave, time for me to die and for you to live.”
The first concept that I noticed shared by Russell and Socrates was the concept that one had to remove themselves before serious philosophical contemplation could take place. In Russell 's case, he refers to the "Self" and the "Not-Self". With Socrates, as seen in the Apology, confronting his accuser about the corruption of youth, his accuser is silent because he had not given the matter any thought. Socrates awareness of his own ignorance frees him from what Russell would refer to as "Self". I mention this because it serves as a common theme even as both philosophers differ in their messages.
Here is another piece of evidence to support my point. “Because I’m well aware that wherever I go, the young people will listen to what I say, as they do here. If I antagonize them, they’ll drive me out by persuading their elders to do so.” (Lines 142-144) In this quote, Socrates is saying that even if he approaches the young ones with his ideas and philosophies, at a certain point they will come to a dislike of him and try anything at any cost to drive him away.
Making enemies and becoming the topic of conversation, the Athenians began to view Socrates as a threat to their beliefs and way of life and sought to end it. In order to end this, Socrates was accused of blasphemy (Mod1SlideC7). Socrates’s accusers took him to court and after Socrates did not play their game by asking to be sent into exile, and in the end, he was sentenced to death. After reading the textbook and Plato’s writing influenced by Socrates, I realized that in the period of his life Socrates was indeed truly a threat to the Athens society, because he looked for answers that no one else bothered to find which challenged their culture.
Socrates’s official new charge “asserts that Socrates does injustice by corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel” (24b, p. 73). By looking deeper into the dialogue of The Apology and Euthyphro, one can see how passionately Socrates strives to express to the Athenian people his innocence in teaching the youth and worshiping of the gods. Socrates maintains his innocence in teaching the youth for three reasons. Primarily, there is no proof or evidence from past examples in which Socrates has taught the youth because no one has come out and said so. Socrates brings up a valid point that his so-called ‘teachings’ haven’t changed over time and therefore if he is accused
“Plato Apology” relates the trial of Socrates (469-399) B.C.E known as the father of Western Philosophy. Socrates, a son of sculpture and the midwife had a queer with most Athenians due to his point of view on values and beliefs. Charged with impiety and corrupting the Youth, Socrates’ defends himself by persuading the jury of his innocence with tangible reasons which made his arguments effective.
The charges brought against the philosopher had nothing to do with true crime like we understand it today. He did not commit any physical or financial harm to anybody. Socrates insulted and angered many people more than any “legitimate” offense ever could. He said too many things that people around him did not like and could not forgive.