Socrates's Apology: An Analysis

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It would seem that the reasoning that Socrates uses about halfway into the Apology (just after he has finished speaking with Meletus) for why it would be illogical to fear death should also work inversely. That is to say that the very same reasoning would also seem to suggest that it would be illogical to look forward to death. Therefore, when Socrates suggests, towards the end of the dialogue, that he is actually looking forward to dying, one might be tempted to conclude that he is contradicting his own logic. However, on closer examination of the wording and the context of these two discussions of death, one can see that he has, in fact, not contradicted himself, after all. In order to establish the validity of this claim, it will be helpful…show more content…
Right after Socrates has stated his predictions to the people who sentenced him to death and after he told his friends/judges the first reason why death is a good thing, he tells his friends the second reason why death is a good thing saying, “Let us reflect in another way, and we shall see that there is another reason to hope that death is a good, for it is one of two things: either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, is a change and migration of the soul from this place to another.” (par.45). What Socrates is saying in this quote is that, death might be a good thing if death is one of two things, never ending sleep or the soul travels from one place to another. After Socrates explained to his judges what death is like as an endless sleep, he states how this kind of death is a good thing by saying, “Now if death is like this, I say that to die is as gain, for eternity is then only a single night.” (par.45). Right after Socrates said how the first way death is a good thing, he states his second reason how it is a good thing by saying, “But if death is a journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the death reside, what good, my friends and judges, can be greatest than this?” What needs to be analyze by both quotes are the first parts, “Now if death is like this,” and “But if death is a journey to another place,” because what both of these two parts of quotes have in common is the word ‘if’. With the word if, Socrates is saying that he does not actually know that these things will happen after death, but it might happen. Going back, right after Socrates asked what reprehensible form of ignorance is, he explains why he does not fear death by saying, “I know but little of what happens after death, I do not suppose that I know.” All together what Socrates is saying, he does no actually know if death is a good thing, but if

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