Plato's Apology

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1. Progression of Socrates’ mission:
1.1. Socrates’ mission started when Chaerephon, Socrates’ Athenian friend, asked the oracle at Delphi if there was anybody wiser than Socrates, to which the oracle answered that there was none.


1.2. Socrates’ method was to approach every known wise man and interview him in order to find one wiser than him. In asking a series of questions, he is able to deduce the speaker’s wisdom (21c) 1.3. Socrates found that when he probed each wise man with questions, he always discovered a fault in his ideas, which showed him not wiser than Socrates (21d-e) 1.4. Socrates surmised what the Delphic oracle meant by him being wiser than the other ‘wise men.’ “I am wiser than that other fellow, because neither of us knows anything of great value; but he thinks he knows a thing when he doesn’t; whereas I neither know it in fact, nor think that I do,” thereby making him wiser in that single respect (21d). 2. Socrates’ defense: 2.1. Against the old accusations 2.1.1. Socrates was accused of receiving money for teaching. While he denied it, he said that there is nothing dishonourable about this (19e to 20a). 2.1.2. The accusation of being too inquisitive – a “busybody” (19c) – Socrates simply denied, and countered that his accusers were angry at him because he unmasked their lack of wisdom. 2.2. Against the new accusations (by Meletus) ...
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