Analysis Of Socratic Depiction In Socrates's 'Apology To The Jury'

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In his work Socrates’ Apology to the Jury, Xenophon produces an account of the Socratic deliberation –and indeed the logic that seemed to inform that deliberation- over his trial. Specifically, Xenophon, provides his readers with an ambivalent justification of Socrates’ chosen rhetoric during his trial, namely his “boastful manner of speaking” or megalegoria (Patch, footnote 2). Indeed, instead of choosing to deliver a speech that would gain him the jury’s sympathy and the city’s acquittal, Socrates proceeds to deliver a speech that is characterized mainly by its ironic arrogance. Xenophon goes so far as to provide his readers with a kind of statement of purpose that frames Socrates’ megalegoric speech; Socrates had, in the words of Xenophon,…show more content…
This is, nonetheless, done in a very subtle and intricately convoluted/questionable manner. Note, for example, how Socrates proceeds to address the question by asserting his belief in the daimonion. We witness here, therefore, a line of continuity being drawn between the aforementioned incident in which Socrates tries to convince Hermogenes that he is simply adhering to divine advice. Firstly, it is unclear to us whether this daimonion is a mouthpiece for existing gods or a novel god; in any case, however, the in any case the answer is idiosyncratic and…show more content…
On the one hand, if there are others who interpret and mediate divine messages -then rationally- the question of Socrates’ impiety becomes absurd because he does nothing different by account of this logic. On the other hand, however, Socrates simultaneously calls into question the premise that informs rust in the divine; specifically, the “...dubious premise that no one could trust to anything expect a god to be able to trust that his predictions [are accurate]” (Pangle 118). Indeed, consider how Socrates affirmation that he is “more truthful and more pious” (13.3); he posits as evidence of this the fact that he has benefited those who seek his counsel by never having spoken falsely (13.9). If everyone can trust that Socrates’ are predictions are accurate and thereby repetitiously seek and trust in his counsel, then the aforementioned premise can easily/equally be attributed to Socrates, and his daimonion. Hence, whilst Socrates affirmation is informed by the very same premise that informs the Athenians’ trust in the conventional divine, an acceptance of that affirmation as proof of Socrates’ piety requires a critical questioning of both that very premise, and of Socrates’ actual belief in it. In conclusion, Xenophon’s Apology successfully vindicates the Socrates’ defense of his piety in so far as it shows that Socrates holds a belief in that is no different than the one

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