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Socrates' Apology Essay

  • Date Submitted: 05/19/2014 12:14 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46 
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02/25/12
Professor Gale Justin
Phil 26

In this essay, I will discuss Socrates’ defense of himself in the senate against the charges laid against him by Meletus, amongst others. I will begin by discussing specifically what he persuaded Meletus to agree to in contradiction his own argument against Socrates.   Following this, I will discuss the opposing viewpoints on whether Socrates’ cross-examination of Meletus fails to address the charges laid against him. Subsequently, I will discuss how Socrates’ argument against Meletus contributed to his own defense and whether or not Socrates’ method of defense was a good one or not.
Beginning his defense, Socrates first makes clear the numerous charges laid against him and from whom, the charges of impiety and corrupting the youth being among them. Socrates then cross-examines Meletus, deflecting the attention off of himself and onto Meletus’ own faults, accusing him of “dealing frivolously with serious matters.” (p 32) Socrates defends himself against the charge of impiety through this method of cross-examination by asking Meletus a series of questions, making it appear as if Meletus was contradicting himself in his own argument. Socrates asks Meletus “Does any man believe in spiritual activities who does not believe in spirits?” to which Meletus replies, “No one.” (p 34) Socrates follows this by asking “Do we not believe spirits to be either gods or the children of gods?” to which Meletus replies “Of course.” (p 34) Socrates then makes the conclusion that because he believes in spiritual activities and that spirits are either gods or the children of gods, therefore he believes in gods. By having Meletus undeniably agree to this point, Socrates undermines Meletus’ entire argument of Socrates impiety by stating that Meletus made this case against Socrates after having found no real wrongdoing in his actions because “There is no way you could persuade anyone of even small intelligence that it is possible for one to...

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