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Einband: Soft cover
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Inhaltsangabe: The Apology is Plato's version of the speech given by Socrates as he defended himself in 399 BC against the charges of "corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel" (24b). "Apology" here has its earlier meaning (now usually expressed by the word "apologia") of speaking in defense of a cause or of one's beliefs or actions . The general term apology, in context to literature, defends a world from attack (opposite of satire-which attacks the world). Xenophon, who wrote his own Apology of Socrates, indicates that a number of writers had published accounts of Socrates' defense. According to one prominent scholar, "Writing designed to clear Socrates' name was doubtless a particular feature of the decade or so following 399 BC". Many scholars guess that Plato's Apology was one of the first, if not the very first, dialogues Plato wrote, though there is little if any evidence. Plato's Apology is commonly regarded as the most reliable source of information about the historical Socrates. Except for two brief exchanges with Meletus (at 24d-25d and 26b-27d), where the monologue becomes a dialogue, the text is written in the first person from Socrates' point of view, as though it were Socrates' actual speech at the trial. During the course of the speech, Socrates twice mentions Plato as being present (at 34a and 38b). There is, however, no real way of knowing how closely Socrates' words in the Apology match those of Socrates at the actual trial, even if it was Plato's intention to be accurate in this respect. One contemporary criticism of Plato's Apology is perhaps implied by the opening paragraphs of Xenophon's Apology, assuming that the former antedated the latter; Xenophon remarks that previous writers had failed to make clear the reason for Socrates' boastful talk in the face of the death penalty. Xenophon's account disagrees in some other respects with the details of Plato's Apology, but he nowhere explicitly claims it to be inaccurate. The Apology begins with Socrates saying he does not know if the men of Athens (his jury) have been persuaded by his accusers. This first sentence is crucial to the theme of the entire speech. Indeed, in the Apology Socrates will suggest that philosophy begins with a sincere admission of ignorance; he later clarifies this, dramatically stating that whatever wisdom he has, comes from his knowledge that he knows nothing (23b, 29b). Socrates imitates, parodies, and even corrects the Orators by asking the jury to judge him not by his oratorical skills, but by the truth (cf. Lysias XIX 1,2,3, Isaeus X 1, Isocrates XV 79, Aeschines II 24). Socrates says he will not use ornate words and phrases that are carefully arranged, but will speak using the expressions that come into his head. He says he will use the same way of speaking that he is heard using at the agora and the money tables. In spite of his disclaimers, Socrates proves to be a master orator who is not only eloquent and persuasive, but even wise. This is how he corrects the Orators, showing what they should have been doing all along, speaking the truth persuasively with wisdom. Although it is clear that Socrates was offered the opportunity to appease the listeners with even a minimal concession to avoid the penalty, he consciously does not do so, and his speech does not allow for acquittal. Accordingly, Socrates is condemned to death.
Inhaltsangabe: The Apology is Plato's version of the speech given by Socrates as he defended himself in 399 BC.
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