Socrates Apology Essay

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Short Paper II – Passage 1, Apology of Socrates, 20: C-D The Apology is a fictional interpretation of Socrates’ trial and defense against the charges of impiety, written by Plato. Therefore, although the main character in this dialogue is in fact Socrates, his voice is inevitably resounding from Plato’s perspective. Plato revered Socrates to the nth degree, and provided the audience with a distinguished, admirable, although slightly pompous version of Socrates. The purpose of this passage is used to establish the fact that Socrates was not and did not consider himself to be a sophist, and such a role was deemed to be almost insulting. Essentially, Socrates stated that he did not possess wisdom, like sophists believe they possess, but only human wisdom, which implies the fact that he knew that he knew nothing at all. First of all in this excerpt, Socrates addressed a counter-argument to his self-proclaimed innocence, in which his fellow civilians questioned his occupation. It was common knowledge that Socrates spent most of his time around the marketplace discussing a plethora of concepts and questioning people on whichever topic he desired. Thus, the public believed that he was nothing more than a traveling sophist, trying to obtain money in exchange for his knowledge; such activities were not deemed completely reputable or acceptable in common Athenian society and were characteristic of sophists. He continued to refute this assertion by making a slightly sarcastic, presumptuous joke at the public’s expense, “Listen then...some of you will think I am jesting, but be sure that all I say is true.” This quote can be perceived as a stab at the ‘inferior argument’ strategy, for which sophists are famous. In Aristophane’s Clouds, Socrates is portrayed as being able to teach such a method, in which the individual that masters it can make even the

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