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Re: Theos-World Socrates and Plato

May 28, 2006 09:10 PM
by Cass Silva

I have read the Apology.  Plato transcribes the details of Socrates' trial. It is the apology of Socrates written by Plato, It is not an apology but an argument that Socrates produces in his own defence.
Socrates is convicted of the charges by only the slimmest of margins and gives a second speech. In Athenian jurisprudential practice, the accusers asked for a certain penalty if the accused is convicted, and the accused argues for a different, usually more lenient penalty. For instance, if the accusers ask for the death penalty, it was customary for the accused to ask for banishment. The lesser punishment tended to be chosen in just about every case. Socrates' second speech is an argument for a different penalty rather than death, but Socrates argues that he is doing a great service to the state of Athens, so that the appropriate penalty would be to pay him a stipend for the rest of his life to support him in his criticism of individual citizens of Athens. This goes over like a lead balloon, and the senate sentences him to death. In his final speech, Socrates tells the Athenians that they will be shamed in the future for their action and explains why he doesn't fear death:


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