Socrates ' Views On Socrates 's Philosophy Essay

Socrates ' Views On Socrates 's Philosophy Essay

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Socrates uses rhetoric to defend himself and his philosophy in the Apology written by his student, Plato. He responds to three charges including the slanders told about Socrates according to the Clouds, and two charges brought against him in the trail. Socrates’ novel way of thinking, living and practicing of philosophy challenges the prejudiced jury and the law that Athen built upon. The way Socrates defends himself and his philosophy shows his thinking of law, virtue and the meaning of life. I argue that Socrates doesn 't defend himself well for the three charges.
In the first predicament accuses Socrates for practicing natural philosophy, Socrates fails to prove his innocence. Athenians were fond of watching plays, one of which, the Clouds, conveys the figure of Socrates as a busybody who “does injustice and is meddlesome, by investigating the things under the search and the heavenly things, and by making the weaker speech the stronger, and by teaching others these same things” (Apology 19c). In response to this rumor, Socrates doesn’t deny that he pursued such studies when he was younger. As presented in the Clouds, Socrates says, “What Zeus! Don’t babble. Zeus doesn’t exist” (Clouds 367-369). Socrates then tells the story of the Delphic oracle to the jury. He questions politicians, poets and artisans in order to verify Oracle’s divination that no one is wiser than Socrates. Socrates founds that, the high-ranking Athenians all claim that they know “the greatest things”, whereas they don’t. Socrates thus is convinced that he is the wisest because he is aware of his ignorance, becoming a firm supporter of the Oracle. The first accuser indicts Socrates for studying a natural philosophy and being careless when teaching and Socra...


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...can integrate thinking and theory into daily life. He is the role model of practicing philosophical thinking in mind and action. Those who are attracted by Socrates are moved by his theory and way of living, such as Plato. In fact, Socrates never stops examining both himself and others inters of civic excellence and meaning of life.
Socrates’ defense of himself and the conduct of philosophy is a failure because of the divergence between Socrate’s philosophic life and the city’s political life. Socrates’ speech of trying to educate the jury to appreciate the philosophy of justice, truth and reason is preserved by Plato, reminding people to examine the way of life and not to be afraid of things unknown, as Socrates says, “But now it is time to go away, I to die and you to live. Which of us does to a better thing is unclear to every one except to the god” (Apology 42a).

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