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After following the eloquent but false accusers, Socrates starts by saying that he

wishes not to be judged as a clever speaker or for his inability to use the
parlance of the courts; instead he wishes to be judged on whether what he says
is just or not, regardless of how he delivers the argument. He then claims that he
must respond to the accusations of those from long ago, who have continuously
accused him of corrupting arguments and not believing in the gods these are
the more formidable opponents because they have influenced from a young age
those who will decide Socrates fate, but they cannot be brought to the court
room for examination by Socrates.

Socrates then states the older accusation as the following: Socrates is an

offender and a meddler, in studying things below the earth and in the sky, and
making the weaker argument into the stronger and instructing other people in
these same things (45). Socrates claims not to teach for a fee (though he says
Evenus of Paros does claim to teach the appropriate goodness Of a human
being and that of a citizen (47)); however, he argues that he has obtained his
reputation as a result of his wisdom, which was confirmed by the Oracle of
Delphi to Socrates friend and friend of Athens, Chaerephon. Yet Socrates does
not accept the Oracles pronouncement at face value, since Socrates is not sure
that he is wise but must accept the Oracle as telling the truth, since it is
impossible for it to lie. So he sought to disprove the oracle by finding supposedly
wise men, but it turns out they were only thought to be wise each time, he
tried to show them that they werent actually wise. In turn, this led to
resentment, as Socrates traveled around discovering that he was wiser on small
things than others (but never as wise in everything). His experience led him to
believe that those of the highest reputation for wisdom turned out to be the least
wise. Similar to the politicians, the poets could not defend their positions, instead
producing fine works which they could not explain. Finally, Socrates turns to the
handicraftsmen who, in many things, knew much more than him; however, they
believed this knowledge made them wiser in other subjects, in which they were

This quest yields the answer that while the god is wise, human wisdom means
little the wisest is he who knows he has little wisdom (53). As a result of
questioning others, Socrates has developed a following of sons of the wealthy
who copy Socrates in questioning supposedly wise men. Instead of accepting
that young men had proven they had little knowledge, they instead charge that
Socrates has corrupted the youth and made the weaker argument into the
stronger one.

Having presenting a factual refutation to the older accusations against him,

Socrates then turns to the Meletus accusation that Socrates is a corrupter of

young men and does not accept the gods the city accepts, but other novel
superhuman beings (55).

Beginning with the first point, Socrates objects that Meletus has never previously
cared about the young and that he cannot name who makes young men better.
Meletus responds by saying its the laws, and in particular, the judges who know
the laws. But Socrates gradually forces Meletus to expand his definition until all
of Athens besides Socrates makes young men better. Yet Socrates suggests that
young men are like horses, which is to say that very few are capable of training
them, while the ordinary man corrupts them. Moreover, while a bad citizen does
harm to those near him and one wishes to be harmed, then Socrates would not
intentionally corrupt the youth around him, as that would do harm to him; either
he corrupts unintentionally or does not corrupt; the court is meant for intentional
action, as unintentional harm could be solved by education; thus, Socrates must
be shown to be intentionally doing harm.

Socrates then turns to the content of the charge of corruption Meletus clarifies
that it is based on Socrates absolute rejection of the gods. Socrates counters
that, as it is impossible to believe in human things without believing in human
beings, so to it is impossible to believe in super human matter without
superhuman beings (which the charge suggests).

Moreover, it could be charged that Socrates is merely showing he is guilty by

practicing the same activity which landing him having to defend himself.
Socrates responds that just because ones life is at stake does not mean that an
action is less good or bad (this seems like Kant), dishonor is still to be avoided.
Like a soldier stationed at post, Socrates cannot stop examining others merely
because of the threat of death. Fearing death presupposes knowledge of death
(would have to assume that death is the biggest bad), and thus would prove
Socrates a charlatan. Instead, Socrates says he will not stop practicing
philosophy, as demanded by the gods, even if he were to be acquitted on the
condition that he stops. As the gadfly appointed by the gods, Socrates does a
service to the city of Athens which cannot be replaced; it is a moral evil to
unjustly condemn a man, especially one who is attempting to better the city.

Socrates then argues that he has intentionally stayed out of politics because he
would have been killed long ago for opposing the popular assembly; thus, if one
wants to fight for what is just, he must do it personally and not publicly. This is
because, in a public position, one can be forced to act contrary to justice as a
member of the court, Socrates was almost arrested for not carrying out a
decision which seemed popular. Moreover, Socrates claims that, since he has
never intended to teach anyone or taken a fee for teaching anyone, he cannot be

held responsible for the views of those he has spoken with. But nevertheless, it is
held that Socrates has corrupted the youth, and in looking around there are
indeed many of those whom he had supposedly corrupted in their families;
however, not a single one is there to accuse Socrates of corruption. Lastly,
Socrates does not beg for an acquittal, since he believes that the judge must
decide justly, without regard to any personal factors (his kids and family, for
example). Socrates finishes by saying that, as one who does believe in god, he
submits himself to whatever judgment is decided for him.

Section 2:

While Socrates is found guilty, it is with a small margin. His accusers set his
penalty at death, but he suggests he should have the deserved penalty:
whatever one deserves for spending his entire life outside of the typically
accepted virtues and instead promoting the good life privately. He asks for being
served food in the Prytaneum.

However, he is convinced that he has not done any wrong, so he will not set on a
bad punishment. He will not chose prison, since that would make him enslaved
to the officers; he will not chose a fine with imprisonment until he pays, since he
is poor and thus that means a life sentence. He also cannot accept exile because
no matter where he will go, young men will listen to him and he will be driven
out. And he cannot merely not discuss bc life without examination is not worth
living (87). So he concludes by offering to pay a fine in accordance with what he
can afford (one silver Mina), but Plato and his other students instead offer 30

Section 3:

After being sentenced to death, Socrates warns that those who have voted to kill
him will be dishonored for it, for he is not guilty of having poor arguments, but
rather of not groveling to the judges. Instead suggests that he has done the far
more difficult thing, of trying to escape wickedness and not death. For death
cannot shown to be bad; instead it could be an emptiness or a land with homer
and the greats.