The trial and defense of socrates

Even so, after allowing for these limitations, we must recognize that Plato's understanding of Socrates and the manner of his defense is probably as close to the actual facts as it is humanly possible for one to attain. The summons required Socrates to appear before the legal magistrate, or King Archon, in a colonnaded building in central Athens called the Royal Stoa to answer charges of impiety and corrupting the youth.

The defence of Socrates[ edit ] Socrates begins his legal defence by telling the jury that their minds were poisoned by his enemies, when they the jury were young and impressionable. Neither his wife Xanthippe nor any of his three sons made a personal appearance.

Socrates had no difficulty in replying to rumors of this type. In Athens, criminal proceedings could be initiated by any citizen. He made several references to his personal spirit, or daimonionalthough he explicitly claimed that it never urged him on, but only warned him against various prospective actions.

Xenophon indicates that the impiety charge stemmed primarily from the contention of Socrates that he received divine communications a "voice" or a "sign" directing him to avoid politics and concentrate on his philosophic mission.

Socrates recognizes several of them in the audience before him. There are a number of passages in the Apology that seem to indicate that the greatest good for a human being is having philosophical conversation 36b-d, 37ea, 40ec.

Socrates tells the judges that Meletus has contradicted himself, and then asks if Meletus has designed a test of intelligence for identifying logical contradictions.

Plato's Socrates provocatively tells his jury that he is a hero. While the Philebus is a late dialogue, Socrates is the main speaker.

In either case, he is guilty of no crime and ought not be punished. Socrates insists that he makes no claim of being eloquent in his speech. Both have been developed by scholars in response to what Gregory Vlastos called the problem of the Socratic elenchus.

Trial of Socrates

The favor he asks of the judges to watch over his sons after he has gone and they have grown to manhood is in keeping with his devotion to what he believes is right. For all the jurors knew, the deity could have been hostile to Athenian interests.

Socrates must have known that his proposed "punishment" would infuriate the jury. The only kind of eloquence for which he has any use is that which sets forth the truth in language so plain that they can all understand.

Socrates replies to this suggestion by saying that it would be disobedience to a divine command for him to hold his tongue. The jury consisted of male citizens over the age of thirty, chosen by lot.

He notes that the vote of judgement against him was close; thirty votes more in his favour would have acquitted him.

This, however, is not what will happen. The dialog begins with Socrates making a short speech in which he offers an apology for the colloquial style in which he will be making his defense. The accusers of Socrates proposed the punishment of death. He is portrayed "stalking the streets" of Athens barefoot, "rolling his eyes" at remarks he found unintelligent, and "gazing up" at the clouds.

We find a number of such themes prevalent in Presocratic philosophy and the teachings of the Sophists, including those about natural science, mathematics, social science, ethics, political philosophy, and the art of words.

The story came about in the following manner. In claiming that he is not a rhetorician, Socrates wants to make it clear that he does not employ speech for the purpose of swaying the feelings of his audience.

Any prayer that he would address to the deity was never a plea for bodily comfort or material welfare but a petition for the humility and courage to live righteously under whatever circumstances might exist.

However, we should bear in mind that Plato had been both a pupil and an ardent admirer of Socrates, and for this reason his version of the trial may have been somewhat biased in favor of the one whom he regarded as a truly great hero.

Bust of Aristophanes Other plays of the time offer additional clues as to the reputation of Socrates in Athens.

Trial of Socrates

When a tyrant puts someone to death, for instance, he does this because he thinks it is beneficial in some way. Given the nature of these sources, the task of recounting what Socrates thought is not an easy one.

The trial of Socrates ( BC) was held to determine the philosopher’s guilt of two charges: asebeia (impiety) against the pantheon of Athens, and corruption of the youth of the city-state; the accusers cited two impious acts by Socrates: “failing to acknowledge the gods that the city acknowledges” and “introducing new deities”.

The death sentence of Socrates was the legal. The Apology At the trial for his life in BC, Socrates defense is recounted in Plato's Apology. Here Socrates appeared, despite his lengthy defense, not to acquit himself from all accusations, but rather to deliberately ensure that he would be found guilty and thus condemned to death.

Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo

The Trial of Socrates: An Analysis and Construction of Socrates Defense Understanding the decisions made by the jurymen in Socrates trial will always be a mystery, but one can perceive why some would have voted the way that they did.

The Apology is in one sense a historical account of Socrates' defense of himself at the time of his trial.

It is generally believed to be the most reliable record of the event that has been preserved. Plato’s “Defense of Socrates” follows the trial of Socrates for charges of corruption of the youth.

His accuser, Meletus, claims he is doing so by teaching the youth of Athens of a separate spirituality from that which was widely accepted.

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The Apology At the trial for his life in BC, Socrates defense is recounted in Plato's Apology. Here Socrates appeared, despite his lengthy defense, not to acquit himself from all accusations, but rather to deliberately ensure that he would be found guilty and thus condemned to death.

Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo The trial and defense of socrates
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The Trial of Socrates: An Account