Plato's The Apology Essay

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Name Professor Module Date Plato’s The Apology: A Critical review of Socrates’ Stances The Gadfly Metaphor: In his defense, Socrates compares himself to a gadfly, and he states, “a great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life” (Smith and Knapp 17).


This metaphor occupies a pivotal place in philosophy study and practice (Ilea 6). Socrates stance is that the role of a philosopher in the society is parallel to that of a gadfly in stimulating a horse. As gadflies, philosophers have the responsibility of challenging the society to think clearly about things which may otherwise be taken for granted. Philosophers question the inconsistencies and fallacies that are acceptable to the rest of the society (8). Upham (71) supports this view of the Socratic gadfly, stating that philosophy involves uncovering assumptions, asking pertinent and unwelcome questions alongside mocking self seriousness. The analogy is immensely strong, as the gadfly is deemed irritating in a similar fashion by which philosophy in this approach may be quite unwelcome. The gadfly metaphor is of significant value in the academic and intellectual pursuit of philosophy since it spells out philosophers’ roles. This helps in defining practice of philosophy; without it, philosophy may be solely constrained to knowledge seeking and having no roles in society (72). ‘…the unexamined life is not worth living.’: In Socrates proposal for his sentence, he ponders the question of whether he should stop practicing philosophy and go into exile. ...
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