In Plato’s The Apology, Socrates is shown defending himself before the Athenian

by | Oct 8, 2021 | Other | 0 comments

In Plato’s The Apology, Socrates is shown defending himself before the Athenian court. I am curious as to what impression his words make upon you. Why was he seen by so many Athenians as a dangerous subversive? Why do you think some people rallied to his ideas? What does he tell us about his young followers in these passages? Finally, what do you see as his principal message here? (Surely it’s not just that, because he realizes he knows so little, he is therefore wiser than others; that in itself is no great claim to philosophical wisdom. Or is it?)
Yet this man became, at the end of the fourth century BCE, a major influence upon many young Athenians who had come to view their society, and Athenian democracy itself, as intellectually bankrupt and morally compromised. In 399, Socrates was charged by the Athenian government with corrupting the young and encouraging disbelief in the gods. For this, he was put on trial – a dramatic, highly public affair – and executed. Among his distraught followers was Plato, the most brilliant of Socrates’s students and the man whose writings tell us most of what we know about Socrates himself.

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