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C O U R S E 
Reason and Persuasion Through Plato's Dialogues
John Holbo, National University of Singapore
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Socrates and The Apology
Notes taken on August 15, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
what is Socrate's like?
at the start of Euthyphro
Socrates and Euthyphro meet outside the Archon Basileus' court
Archon Basileus
official in charge of overseeing religious matters in Athens
holds hearings in cases of alleged, religious crime
which is why Socrates and Euthyphro are before him on this day
Euthyphro wants to charge his dad with murder
it isn't a clear case
so it is an odd thing for a son to be going out of his way to do
Socrates says he has been charged by a man named Miletus with corrupting the youth and "making new gods"
Euthyphro [Εὐθύφρων]
sometimes described as a priest but is more of a soothsayer or prophet
thinks Socrates will resolve the issue
instead Socrates loses his case, gets sentenced to death, and dies
The Apology
verbal defense
the two speeches Socrates gave at his own defense
1. determination of guilt and evidence
if guilty
2. prosecution asks for a punishment, defender asks for another punishment
the prosecutor asked for death, expecting Socrates to ask for exile and expecting the jury to go for that
instead, Socrates asked for free lunch for life at the cities expense
was an honor given to athletes
a jury of 500 Athenians
Socrates seems somewhat like a comedian
but on the other hand, he seems to be serious in the sense that he is questioning people for their own good
he was willing to give his life for doing what he believed in
he also had characteristics of a troll
one man's troll is another man's critical intellectual
should we read The Apology seriously, like stand-up comedy, or somewhere in between
Socrates is argues about what many people in a trial think about
this person must be guilty of something, thinking that innocent people don't end up in court
explains what he was up to everyday which has led to him corrupting the youth
the joke is
a parody of a person who has received some religious revelation
question: is there any man wiser than Socrates
Oracle says: no man is wiser than Socrates
so Socrates tries to prove the Oracle wrong but can't, as everyone else is like him, they don't know anything, but Socrates at least knows that he doesn't know
but he is becoming unpopular, exposing other people as not knowing what they are talking about, in service to the Oracle