Summary of Apology

Apology’ (389 BCC), Socrates argues that if he is wise it’s because he, unlike others, knows that he is not wise and he knows that people can not know when they think they know. In the beginning of the dialogue Socrates sets up the question on why he is in trouble with the court(for corrupting the youth) and where did his reputation come from. He explains to the court that the oracle pronounced him as being the most wise and that no one else as wiser than him.

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Being confused on why the Gods would say this, Socrates explains the stories to the court on how he ventured out to search for wiser man to prove the oracle wrong but along the way he realizes that the politicians, poets, and artisans that he questioned did not fully understand about true beauty and good. Not only did they fail to understand true beauty and good, they actually believed they were wise enough to understand these things with full meaning.

For example the Laotians had contradicting statements when it came to Socrates questions. Another example was when Socrates talked to the poets he quickly realized they really thought they knew what they didn’t know but when it was time to explain they sounded foolish with cliche explanations. Lastly, he talked to the strong, handy artisans. He realized that even though they can make beautiful things they overstep there boundaries on why they think it’s beautiful and can not fully explain what makes it beautiful.

As he was proving these higher powers wrong he attracted a lot of attention from crowds and the youth. By doing this the youth started to copy his ways of questioning and began to disrespect there elders and other sorts of higher power. Socrates concludes his argument by saying none of his actions were intentional and it he never intentionally taught the youth the ways of trickery and questioning but they were the ones to take it upon them self to reenact his ways and to disrespect and question their elders and positions of higher power.

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