The Nature Of Death In Plato's Apology

1486 Words6 Pages
Socrates was put on trial in an open Athenian court. He was found guilty and put to death by a 501 member jury. The events of this trial are preserved for us in Plato's Apology. Was Socrates guilty? Despite Socrates' obfuscation of the charges put against him (particularly the alleged distinction between "old charges" and "new charges"), the only charges relevant to his guilt in the trial were the so-called "new charges" put forward by Meletus: 1."corrupting the young" and 2."not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other new spiritual beings" (Apology 24b-24c). In Euthyphro, while discussing the matter immediately prior to the trial, Socrates connects the two charges, and says the indictment against him claims he corrupts the youth by…show more content…
To begin, he tells them that he is not afraid of death. He says that emotions follow from knowledge, and since he has no knowledge of what death is, he has no feelings or emotions about death. Socrates only has emotions if they are first authorized by reason, so it is illogical for him to be afraid of death when he knows nothing about it. "To fear death, gentleman, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know" (Apology, 32). Socrates asserts that there is "good hope that death is a blessing" (Apology, 41). And he has two viewpoints on what death could be. He believes that death is either an eternal, dreamless sleep where the dead do not perceive anything, or death is when the soul gets relocated to another place. To Socrates, the second possibility is the greater blessing because he will have the opportunity to go to a world where he can meet his predecessors and continue to examine and question people - to practice philosophy eternally. "I could spend my time testing and examining people there, as I do here, as to who among them is wise, and who thinks he is, but is not" (Apology,

More about The Nature Of Death In Plato's Apology

Open Document