Who are the participants in the dialogue?

Who are the participants in the dialogue?

Apology Class notes

• In general, why do you suppose that people believe things that are false (or simply unknown)? Conspiracy theories/ flat earth, etc.
• Who are the participants in the dialogue?
• Why would Socrates be more concerned with earlier accusers? 18b
• What is Socrates accused of doing?
• Why does Socrates seem to make the weaker argument the stronger?
• What is his mission?
• “The Olympian victor makes you feel happy, I make you happy”
• “The unexamined life is not worth living”
• How can you become more like a gadfly in your own life? What do you wish to call into question that others might just assume or take for granted?

17 a-b denies being an “accomplished speaker” – unless that title goes to one who “speaks the truth”

Speech not using embroidered and stylized phrases like theirs

17d first appearance in law court

Judge whether telling the truth, not manner of speech

***Why is Socrates more concerned with earlier accusers?

18b these earlier ones, however, are more so [formidable] gentlemen. They got hold of most of you from childhood, persuaded you and accused me quite falsely, saying that there is a man called Socrates, a wise man, a student of all things in the sky and below the earth, who makes the worse argument the stronger.

Does not believe in the gods

Charges 19b- “Socrates is guilty of wrongdoing in that he busies himself studying things in the sky and below the earth; he makes the worse argument the stronger, and he teaches these same to others.”

1.) Atheist
2.) Makes worse argument the stronger
3.) Teacher- does not charge a fee

18d- “Things said by the majority”

20d- What has caused my reputation is none other than that certain kind of wisdom. What kind of wisdom? Human wisdom, perhaps.

What does he mean by human wisdom?

21a- the Pythian (priestess) at Delphi claimed Socrates was wisest in all of Athens

Went to those with good reputation – discovered they did not know what they claimed to know

21d- “I am wiser than this man; It is likely that neither of us knows anything worthwhile but he thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas when I do not know, neither do I think I know; so I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know what I do not know.”

22a- In my investigation in service of the god I found that those who had the highest reputation were nearly the most deficient, while those who were thought to be inferior were more knowledgeable.

Politicians-> Poets -> craftsman

22d- [Craftsman] They knew many fine things I did not know, and to that extent were wiser than I  Each of them, because of his success at his craft, thought himself very wise in other important pursuits, and this error of theirs overshadowed the wisdom they had, so I asked myself on behalf of the oracle whether I should prefer to be as I am  yes

23b- Human wisdom worthless

23b- does not engage in public affairs – lives in great poverty because of service to the gods

I should be surprised if I could rid you of so much slander in so short a time.

24b- Charges of Meletus

Corrupting the youth

Who improves the youth Meletus? All of the jury – audience – councilors- i.e. majority

26 –Either I do not corrupt the young or I do it unwillingly –either way you are a liar—need of instruction not punishment

26c- Responds to charge of being an atheist
26d- Meletus claims that Socrates and atheist- that “the sun is a stone and moon earth”

Socrates accused of not believing in the gods but believing in the gods.

27c- Does anyone believe in spiritual activities who does not believe in spirits? None


prejudice – 28a- I am very unpopular with many people. This will be my undoing, if I am undone, not Meletus or Anytus but the slanders and envy of many people.

28b Life or death should be of no account only whether acting like a good or bad man

29a- Must not fear death- “To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know.
No one knows whether death is a blessing

I do not fear what I do not know over what I know to be bad.

30a- In response to accusation that he makes the weaker argument the stronger Meletus “attaches little importance to the most important things and greater importance to inferior things

30a-b For I go around doing nothing but persuading both young and old among you not to care for your body or your wealth in preference to or as strongly as for the best possible state of your soul, as I say to you: Wealth does not bring about excellence, but excellence makes wealth and everything else good for men, both individually and collectively.”

30c- be sure that if you kill the sort of man that I say I am, you will not harm me more than yourselves neither Meletus nor Anytus can harm me in any way, he could not harm me, for I do not think it is permitted that a better man be harmed by a worse, certainly he might kill me, or perhaps banish or disenfranchise me, which he and maybe others think to be a great harm but I do not think so.

What to make of the claim that the better man cannot be harmed by the worse?

33d- Hurting yourself –mistreating gods gift to you by condemning me.

33e- I was attached to this city by the god- though it seems a ridiculous thing to say as upon a great and noble horse which was somewhat sluggish because of its size and needed to be stirred up by a kind of gadfly.

Only concerned for your virtue—never received a fee – poverty testifies

31d Why he ives advice privately while not venturing into public affairs daimon

33d- If I have corrupted why are the kinsmen of those who were allegedly corrupted here not testifying against me.

c-d begged and implored jurymen with tears- will not
refuses to bring forward children

Do not judge according to what seems best but judge according to the law.

36a not surprised by verdict, but rather how close- only thirty votes would have acquitted

36d-e suggests he be fed like an Olympian victor

The Olympian victor makes you think you are happy; I make you happy.

***How might this concerned be brought to bear upon contemporary culture? Sports, Music, Pop Culture, etc.

38a- The unexamined life is not worth living for men

perhaps pay 30 minas

Sentenced to death

39a- It is not difficult to avoid death, gentlemen; it is much more difficult to avoid wickedness, for it runs faster than death.

Death may be a blessing

41d You must be of good hope as regards death, gentlemen of the jury, and keep this one truth in mind, that a good man cannot be harmed either in life or in death, and his affairs are not neglected by the gods.

***Underlying question: What kind of an age could philosophy properly be practiced in?


1.) Religious
A.) Atheism
B.) Introduction of new theology

2.) Moral Charges
A.) Sophism
B.) Corrupting the youth

Against Corruption Charge:

1.) shares desire to make the youth as good as possible
2.) those who have knowledge of laws improve the youth
3.) All Athenian improve youth except Socrates
4.) Majority improve, minoritycorrupt..but is this true? Is this true with horses?
5.) Socrates reasons: with horses, it is the opposite
2nd move: makes distinction between willingly and unwillingly corrupting
Responds to atheism charge: contradictory

MLK and Socrates Questions

Euthyphro Class Notes 2

Epicureans and Stoics lessons

Aristotle Happiness discussion


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Who are the participants in the dialogue


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