Essay on Socrates : A Good And Just Life

848 Words Nov 12th, 2016 4 Pages
Socrates makes clear in Plato’s Apology that he believes that he has lived a good and just life. Making that point, after all, is the grounds of Socrates’ ἀπολογία in opposition to the charges that Meletus and Anytus have levied against him. He preludes the body of his ἀπολογία by first warning against the ῥητορικός employed by his accusers and then claiming to be false all of the rumors surrounding his disbelief in the gods, which arose out of his propensity to ask abstract and obscure questions about the nature of people and the world (Ap. 18 B-19 A). He also makes clear that he does not take money in exchange for teaching, but describes a variety of others who do (Ap. 19 E-20 D).
Socrates then, however, begins his ἀπολογία in earnest by describing Chaerephon’s encounter with the oracle at Delphi, where Chaerephon was informed that Socrates was the wisest of all men. Seeking the truth on the matter, Socrates tested the oracle’s response by going to Athenians who seemed wise, and comparing his wisdom to theirs. This resulted in the realization that he was wiser than they were, because he was aware of his ignorance while they were not aware of theirs (Ap. 21 A-22 E). Socrates claimed that the oracle’s words and his ensuing testing of them placed him in contempt from his peers (Ap. 23 A-B), and blames his trial on this rather than any actual wrongdoing on his part. Furthermore, Socrates continues to defend his character against accusations such as teaching children against…

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