Argument in the Apology Essay

This essay has a total of 904 words and 4 pages.

Argument in the Apology

The main argument in The Apology by famous ancient Greek philosopher Plato is whether,
notorious speaker and philosopher Socrates is corrupting the youth by preaching ungodly
theories and teaching them unlawful ideas that do harm to individuals and society. In his
words Socrates quoted the prosecution's accusation against him: "Socrates is guilty of
corrupting the minds of the young, and of believing in supernatural things of his own
invention instead of the gods recognized by the state." 1 Further Socrates consistently
introduces tediously compiled number of examples to provide valid and sound arguments to
prove that he is innocent of the charges brought up against him to the court.

The first approach that Socrates uses to prove his innocence's is he uses a practical
comparison between horses and all living and artifical things "Take the case of horses; do
you believe that those who improve them make up the whole of the mankind and that there is
only one person who has a bad effect on them? Or is the truth just the opposite that the
ability to improve them belongs to one person or to very few persons, who are
horse-trainers, whereas most people, if they have to do with horses and make use of them,
do them harm." 2

The premises in this quote are:
1. Horse trainers do improve horses.
2. Those who use the horses do not enhance them.
3. There are more horse owners than the horse trainers.
4. Therefore, the improvements come from a small group of specialist, while the corruption comes from most people.
5. What is true for horses is true for all living and artificial things.
The conclusion that can be made about these premises is that Socrates is not the one who
is corrupting the youth because he is a specialist in this field. In addition, the real
corruptors of the youth are the greater population of Athens because they are not
specialist on teaching wisdom. What important about this conclusion is that even though
Socrates uses horses as an example he manages to apply his example to all beings and prove
his case that he is innocent of the charges.

The second example that Socrates makes is that people that don't care about the youth are
the ones who are really corrupting them. "It is quite clear that by now, gentlemen, that
Meletus, as I said before, has never paid the slightest attention to this subjects.
However I invite you to tell us, Meletus, in what sense you make out that I corrupt the
minds of the young." 3 The premises of this quote are:

1. Meletus has no concern for the youth.
2. Meletus who shows no concern for the youth cannot charge another person of corrupting the youth
3. Since Meletus, charges Socrates with corruption of the youth, though he cannot charge him.
The conclusion from these premises is that Meletus is contradicting himself, and Socrates is innocent.
The last point that Socrates makes to prove that he is not guilty is he says that even if
he was corrupting the youth he was doing it unwillingly. "Either I have not a bad
influence, or it is unintentional; so in either case what you claim is false." 4 The
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