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The Apology An overview of Socrates' Apology from Plato's "The Trial and Death of Socrates"

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 2900
Stephen Newman

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Lecture 2
Population of Athens: 300,000
o 1/3 of the population were slaves and metics
Played role in business
o Metic
Resident alien
Mostly merchants
o Slaves, metics and women had no political rights
20,000 male citizens composed democracy
Because of role of slaves/metics/women, “citizens”
could focus on politics
o Women
Ran house
o Slaves/metics
Run commercial aspect of society
The Apology
o Athenian jury
Selected by lot
Superintended jobs of elected officials
Heard civil and criminal cases
o One-sided
No record of what prosecutors said
Other than interpretation from Socrates response
o Socrates charged on piety, found guilty, sentenced to death
Socrates accepts verdict rather than subject himself to mercy
of the jury
o Learn about the kind of person that Socrates is
Person in the face of death
o Learn what Socrates thinks about the role of a philosopher
o Not about the defense of Socrates
About the defense of philosophic lifestyle
Life spent in the pursuit of wisdom
Ask questions
o Check/challenge and test answers
o To see if coherent picture emerges
o Character of Socrates contrasted with accusers and jurymen
Attitude toward philosophy
o Learn about the dangers of philosophy
Dangerous to city
Leads citizens to question status quo
o Socrates wants to unsettle people’s settled convictions
o Socrates Character
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