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Philosophy T1 L5 Apology - Socreates' Defence.doc

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Richard Brown

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Sophists - Rhetoric (someone who has a way with words, therefore able to make compelling speeches) - Sophistry (master of tricky reasoning) Protagoras (490-420 BCE) Can the virtues be taught? Are the sophists really experts in the virtures? - Socrates, the action figure (Socrates will say nothing in court except the truth, as he did in the marketplace) - Always seeking to engage others in his philosophical conversations The Charges - Worshipping false gods (not the gods of Athens, or none at all) - Corrupting the youth - Some implicit and unspoken charges against him, constitute the real genuine reason for his appearance in front of the court, these will be the most difficult charges for him to refute - Difficult to counter these charges at all, these are nothing but prejudice that are directed against Socrates and passed along by gossip The people now believe things about Socrates, however are a complete mistake/misunderstanding Socrates offers a case in point: Aristophanes (445-380 BCE): fallen deep into debt due to his sons gambling, enrols himself in Socrates thinking shop so that he can learn how to confute and to confound his creditors with logic - On his first day he finds Socrates questioning son and sky while hanging in a basket, he quits after his first class and sends his wayward son instead - Son is a quick study of Socrates teaching and methods, son graduates and beats his own father severely and justifies he is morally obligated to do so - Socrates argues everyone has a false opinion of him saying he drove him to do it 1. Socrates is a “Presocratic” 2. Interested in arche 3. An atheist 4. A sophist (makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger) 5. Teaches the Young (to do what he does, corrupting them) Socrates never imparted knowledge or gave information (never tried to educate and never charged anyone a fee) What do these experts actually teach their willing and well paying students? The sophists must teach them to perfect their virtues, how to become virtuous, they are the so called “experts” of virtue Socrates doesn’t teach virtue for a living, what has he been doing? “Socrates is the wisest of men” – The Oracle of Delphi (450 BCE) Socrates knows that he does not know whereas the others think they know when they don’t Therefore, Socrates is wise ^ Poetic Inspiration Socrates became poor because he did work for the Oracle with no pay Discovered no one had divine wisdom abou
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