People are often averse to the truth. Plato wrote “The Apology” in order illuminate the hostility towards real truth because he believed he had an obligation to reveal how easily thought could be manipulated. Plato documents Socrates’s final address to the jury before he is due for execution. Socrates had been accused of using such embellished language throughout his explanations that he had caused a severe confusion to the people and then an eventual embarrassment; thus, allowing the people to reject what Socrates had been trying to preach. This creates a dismissal of Socrates’ ideas throughout the people and generates an even greater divide of thought.
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.
Socrates expresses that, “[they] want the guardians of [their] city to think that it’s shameful to be easily provoked into hating one another,” so they, “mustn’t allow any stories about gods warring, fighting, or plotting against one another” (378b-c). This passage further illustrates that censored stories will only be used in the education of the guardian class to cultivate in them morality and perfection. Socrates does not care if the general populace exhibits these specific traits, only that the guardians do, thus making the oppressive tactic of censorship only necessary for a small portion of the populace. Later on, in Book III, Socrates further expresses that this censorship is only for the guardians in stating
Socrates spent the entirety of his life practicing philosophy. He questions everyone who claims to have wisdom and eventually comes to either aggravate those he made to look foolish or inspired those who kept an open mind. At one point Socrates claims that his life has been no less heroic than the heroes who fought at Troy. Considering how vital heroism is to Athenian culture, this claim can be unfavorable. Most Athenians when prompted about what is a hero, will picture Achilles, or one of Homer’s other heroes, not a man who “Corrupts the youth”, or “Is an Atheist”.
Famously Socrates was more adept at asking such questions than spoon-feeding us the answers. His “Socratic method” consisted of a process of questioning designed to expose ignorance and clear the way for knowledge. Socrates himself admits that he is ignorant, and yet he became the wisest of all men through this self-knowledge. Like an empty cup Socrates is open to receive the waters of knowledge wherever he may find them; yet through his cross examinations he finds only people who claim to be wise but really know nothing. Most of our cups are too filled with pride, conceit, and beliefs we cling to in order to give us a sense of identity and security.
The authors note that Learning specialist Grant Wiggins describes Meno as a "conventionally successful student … [whose currency is] thoughtless mastery” (84); the authors elaborate on this description to say that Meno is “incapable of original thought, totally dependent upon the ideas of others” (84). Alternatively, the prevailing scholarship holds Socrates to be “the wisest of men and the greatest of teachers” (84). Thus, Meno is historically left with to blame for the outcome of Plato’s “Meno”. The first reason as to why the authors deem Socrates a bad teacher is his lack of communication of his expectations. In the dialogue Socrates makes no clear objective for Meno to strive for.
Polemarchus believes in showing justice to friends but harming enemies. Thrasymacus argues that justice does not have any benefits and makes one weak meanwhile making the other strong. The subject of justice comes about when Socrates and Polemarchus father, Cephales, start talking about old age. As they converse, Socrates asks about Cephales success. This is when Cephales brings up his definition of justice which is being honest and following legal obligations.
In his opinion, justice is defined as helping your friends and harming your rivals. Socrates say’s this cannot be true because most of the people in this world make mistakes in judging who the real friends are and who the enemies are. Thrasymachus’s impression of justice is that the stronger person decides what justice is. Thrasymachus definition of justice raises two questions which needed clarification. First question is what exactly
Socrates sees himself as wiser than other men including the politicians, craftsmen, and poets because he did not go around thinking he knew what he did not know. As a result of this, his character reflected someone who saw himself as superior to others and instead of feeding that ego, he could have been a joined politics and have an influence on the Athenian democracy. If he had done this, people like Meletus and his later accusers would have taken his criticism in a positive way. Socrates has the right to criticize the democracy of Athens because, in his perspective, verdicts are passed in the court by jurors with respect to whoever seems good to him. The democracy of the people was biased because, even if a person was wrong in court, he would not receive the right punishment her deserved because of his relations with the jurors.
The less straight-forward approach wins the people’s hearts, as Antony reveals the flaws in Brutus’s justification without once calling him a traitor. Brutus seems to use the speech more to persuade himself, which weakens his effect on others, but since Brutus is likely denying his heart, which knows heit was made a dishonorable act, he cannot touch the emotions of the crowd, leaving a doorway for Antony to draw them in and kindle a fire of rage. Brutus’s weak appeal to only his honor only minorly won the Roman people, but honor alone was not enough against logic, friendliness, and emotion displayed by his