PHI 1104 – Study Questions
1. Who are Socrates’ original accusers and who are his present accusers?
i. The people who spread rumours about Socrates. People are persuaded
into believing that Socrates is a “student of all things in the sky and below
the earth” and “makes the worse argument the stronger” (impious and a
ii. Seems as though he’s doubting the gods
iii. Prying into the realm of the gods; none of his business
iv. Makes untrue argument/weak case appear to be true
1. E.g. Lawyer
2. Using clever argumentation to make his case stronger
a. E.g. in court says he is not a brilliant orator; speaks
awkwardly, simply – merely speaks the truth
b. Claims to be humble, appearance of humility
i. Meletus (poets)
ii. Anytus (craftsmen and politicians)
iii. Lycon (orators)
iv. Angry because of public questioning by Socrates that reveals certain
individuals = stupid; humiliation
v. Saving reputation by calling Socrates a sophist
2. What are the charges that these accusers have brought against him?
a. Corrupting the young (sophistry) b. Not believing in the gods in which the city believes, but in new spiritual things
3. How does Socrates defend himself against these charges?
- Says he is the most pious, entire existence is pious since he’s doing a service to god
- Because of Oracle: searches for someone wise to prove Oracle wrong, but unsuccessful
- Recognizes that he knows nothing, not ignorant
- Service to god: help others realize that their human wisdom = worthless
- Making a point: if Soc = wisest and you think he’s stupid, what does that say about you?
- Although mission was due to Oracle, began by questioning what Oracle said
o Most would simply believe what the Oracle said
- Dedicated life to service -> neglected own well-being -> now in court because of it
- Euthy -> determined piety = service to the gods
o Soc gives answer Euthy fails to give