Charges Against Socrates

1587 Words7 Pages
Alma Askins Rowe Professor Nathan Poage Philosophy 1301 January 25, 2013 The Charges against Socrates Socrates is described as having neglected his own affairs, instead he was spending his time discussing virtue, justice, and piety wherever his fellow citizens congregated, seeking wisdom about right conduct so that he might guide the moral and intellectual improvement of Athens (Perel). Using a method now known as the Socratic dialogue, or dialectic, he drew forth knowledge from his students by pursuing a series of questions and examining the implications of their answers. Socrates had charges brought against him by a man named Meletus, who was a young man that Socrates did not know very well. These charges that were brought against him caused the indictment of Socrates. One of the charges in the affidavit written by Meletus against Socrates is that he is an evil doer "corrupting the youth" (Grube). Another charge brought against Socrates is that he is making up new Gods and disregarding the old Gods the Athenians believe in (Grube). Socrates starts his defense by addressing the jury and telling them that his accusers had a prepared speech, while Socrates' speech will be completely improvised (Perel). Socrates continued to further disassociate himself from the opponents by telling the jury to forgive him for his conversational tone in his speech, for that is how he best speaks (Perel). Socrates asked the jury to focus on the substance of his defense, not how his defense is delivered. He states to the jury that he is not a sophist, they were known for charging fees for their work and Socrates did not charge a fee for his words (Perel). Socrates decides to cross-examine Meletus, he turns the tables on his accuser and accuses Meletus of "dealing frivolously with serious matters (Perel). Socrates says that the youth he supposedly corrupts follows him around on
Open Document