Discuss the Socratic Method in the Apology

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Discuss the Socratic Method in the Apology. The Apology, one of the four books of “The Last Days of Socrates” written by Plato, Socrates student, follows Socrates trial before an Athenian Jury in 399BC. The text consists of three speeches that were given by Socrates during this trial. Socrates was on trial at the Peoples Court in the Agora in Athens because charges had been brought against him by fellow Athenians Meletus (a poet and principle accuser), Anytus (a politician and power behind the prosecution) and Lycon (an orator and third accuser). These charges are for “corrupting the minds of the young, and of believing in supernatural things of his own invention instead of gods recognised by the state.”1, However Socrates himself acknowledges a further set of charges against him, these are the “earliest charges”2 he refers to in the Apology, namely gossip in the Agora that has “tried to fill your minds with untrue accusations”3 against Socrates. These charges he holds as more dangerous because they stem from idle gossip and prejudice and are therefore unanswerable. Despite this, Socrates does his utmost to address all charges brought against him. In order to defend himself against these charges, Socrates calls on Meletus, his principal accuser, and interrogates him in the familiar form of the elenchus, or cross-examination. The first time the Socratic Method appears in the Apology is when Socrates tells the jury of his ‘divine mission’ when he systematically questions various levels of society such as Politicians, Poets and Craftsmen. During this explanation, he describes the Socratic method of questioning and refutation to show the jury that his critics were wrong in claiming that “Socrates is committing an injustice...he makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger and teaches others to follow his example”4. By doing this, he is hoping to show the jury that he

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