Apology, Crito, and Phaedo of Socrates

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Introduction

Phaedo is one of the most important dialogues of the middle period written by Plato. The Phaedo shows the death of Socrates. The Phaedo is considered the seventh dialogue alongside others like the apology and Crito. The apology of Socrates is one of the Plato’s speech. The speech is delivered by Socrates. Socrates tries to defend himself against the charges that face him. Socrates corrupted a young boy and made him stop believing in gods, but believe in diamonia. In this case, apology is considered to mean defending oneself because of ones belief or actions. The author of the apology in the Phaedo tries to defend himself for not corrupting the young boy. The author has given his speech in different accounts. The first account shows how Socrates remembers the oracle in Delphi and also examines Meletus. The second account and the author account shows his verdict and the sentencing respectively. This paper analyzes how Socrates defends him in the case by showing the difference between right and wrong.


Discussion

In the apology of Phaedo, the philosopher tries to defend himself against the charges he faces. The author has been charged with corrupting a young boy by making him believe in diamonia. The argument is presented into two parts. That is part one and part two. Part one explains the oracle in Delphi. Socrates has used various means to prove that he is good. First, Socrates explains the cause of his prejudice. He argues that the main cause of his prejudice is corruption. He argues that the judges were corrupted by his enemies when they were young. In addition, Socrates claims that his reputation is influenced by his enemies. He claims that the enemies envy him and are malicious and this has forced them to accuse him of corrupting the young boy. This is evidenced by the following quotation I know not, O Athenians how far you have been influenced by my accusers not to listen to me (p8). The judges decisions have been influenced by his enemies. The philosopher argues that the accusers are not telling the truth and this force him to prove that he is innocent (Plato, Cary &Brooks, 2006).


Socrates agrees that he corrupted the young boy, but he tries to defend himself by showing how corruption is not good. He claims that corruption is not good. He further defends himself by saying that the false accusation are as a result of obeying the oracle at Delphi. Socrates decision o visit the oracle in Delphi was as a result of the information provided by Chaerephon. Chaerephon went to the oracle to determine if there was any one wiser than Socrates. After returning from Delphi, Chaerephon told Socrates that there was no any one wiser, but Socrates did not accept his argument. Socrates knew that he had no wisdom. This is evidenced by the following quotation For the account I shall give is not mine¦for I shall adduce to you the god at Delphi as a witness of wisdom. In addition, the philosopher uses politicians to interrogate politicians, poets and craftsmen to show that he is telling the truth. He argues that poets not able to understand their work. Also, the prophets and seers do not understand what they say. Through out the trial, Socrates decides to be himself so as to prove that he is speaking the truth unlike the accusers. Most of the accusers including Melitus do not speak the truth and they have influenced also the judges (Plato, Cary &Brooks, 2006).


In order to prove that is innocent, Socrates uses his accuser, Meletus. He argues that Meletus doe not care about the things he says he cares and asks him to say that Socrates is a atheist and he does.  Socrates claims that when conversing with Meletus no one would corrupt another person as it had negative impact on the person. Corruption is important in Socrates argument because of various reasons. First, it Socrates is charged for corrupting a young boy teaching atheism. Second, Socrates conviction is as a result of Aristophanes. Aristophanes corrupted the minds of the people when they were young and hence, the reason Socrates corrupted the young boys mind. Hence, he is telling the truth that he is innocent (Plato, Cary &Brooks, 2006).


Socrates tries to clear his name by handling the second charge filed against him. The accusers claim that Socrates is an atheist. In order to prove that he is not an atheist and only his accusers accuse him, he uses Meletus. He examines Meletus to find a contradiction. He asks Meletus to say Socrates is an atheist who believes in spiritual needs and demigod. Meletus does not decline and Socrates manages to prove that there is a contradiction. In this case, Socrates proves before the court that he is intelligent and he is able to differentiate what is true and what is not true. Socrates claims that the formal change will not destroy him, but the gossips and false accusations. Socrates does not fear to die, but he is concerned in proving that he is acting rightly or wrongly. He claims that people who fear death are voiding blessings because death is a blessing, but many people fear it because it is evil. In addition, Socrates states before the court that a lawful person whether he is a man or divine should be obeyed. If the two conflict then the divine power should come first. This is evinced by his comments “Gentlemen, I am your grateful and devoted servant, but I owe a greater obedience to God than to you; and as long as I draw breath and have my faculties I shall never stop practicing philosophy”.


Socrates obeys God and believes that he will not stop questioning other people in the society even if they do not convict him. Socrates argues that the Oracle is aimed at separating him from the Athenians and enable the Athenians understand the truth and what is morally good. He further defends himself by stating that nothing good has happened to the Athenians, but his concern for the citizens. Socrates claims that wealth is as a result of goodness (Plato, Cary &Brooks, 2006).


Moreover, Socrates tries to remind the court of his task and informs the court of the daimon. Socrates claims that the daimon is a supernatural experience. He claims that he has never been a teacher and he should not be blamed when people become bad. He claims that they can not blame him for corrupting the young boy because they do not have enough evidence or come out as witnesses. In addition, he argues that most of the relatives of the accusers defend him. Socrates reassures the judges that he will not do anything to influence them, but he will rely on the truth to win the case. Lastly, judges prove that Socrates is guilty after the court voted by a small margin that he was guilt. Though the court declares Socrates to be guilty, he continues to defend himself. He argues that the votes were close and he needed 30 more votes to win the case and prove that he is innocent. He also claims that Meletus, the accuser was lucky because he was not fined for not having one fifth of the votes (Plato, Cary &Brooks, 2006).


Conclusion

The philosopher tries to defend himself for corrupting the young boy and forcing him to believe in the diamonia. The author uses various means to prove that he is innocent. For instance, he uses Aristophanes work, Melitus and also the oracle to prove that he is saying the truth unlike his accuser. He also states the cause of his prejudice.


Reference

Plato,Cary,H.,&Brooks,E.(2006).Apology, Crito, and Phaedo of Socrates.Echo Library

 

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