Socrates and Plato - Session 07 (25 January 2001)

So we shall read now the dialogue called ‘Apology’ it is basically a story but somewhat a difficult story therefore this has to be read together it is difficult because it has certain arguments in it and sometimes arguments are not easy to follow so we shall try to understand the dialogue by analysing the arguments you will see here the style of Socrates, the way in which he argues is wit and his irony. You know the meaning of irony? No, let us see what is the meaning of irony? An irony is a method of defeating somebody by praising him too much, method of defeating somebody by praising him too much. The purpose is to defeat but the method that you employ is to praise him and therefore to show him ridiculous. If a donkey is told, there is beautiful story in Sanskrit “apo rupam apo dhavnih’ what beauty and what voice; the donkey is white, whiteness is a sign of some kind of beauty so the donkey is told by his friend: “My Lord what beauty you have and then what voice”, this is an irony. There were two friends, a fox and a donkey. They both went to a farm where the donkey could graze as much as he wanted to graze. He rested and then the fox said: Now how to get the donkey beaten. That was his main purpose. So he knew that the donkey is a fool, so he said: Now listen, there is a moon light in the sky, you have eaten so well, beauty is natural to you and your voice must be wonderful. So the donkey was very inspired to experiment upon his voice so he began to sing in the farm and you can imagine the effect of the singing. There was so much of a loud noise that the farmer who was sleeping was awakened and began to wonder from where the voice was coming, he brought his stick and simply beat up the donkey.

Here the argument was what? What beauty you have, your voice must be even better, no? So this is an irony to prove your point by arguing against yourself. You prove your point by arguing against yourself. That is also an irony.

Now Socrates was very famous for what is called Socratic irony and the simple example of his irony was: Look my friend I am completely ignorant; arguing against himself and you seem to be very wise, why don’t you make me wise? And the opponent starts preaching because he is now given a position of a teacher and as the gentleman begins to teach he goes on saying that I am ignorant my dear friend, explain this to me this. Then he teaches further and says: But I am ignorant. Please teach me this until the teacher finds that all that he is speaking is nonsense and it is proved that what he is teaching is nonsense. So this is also an irony. Now you will see an example of it in the very first two lines of his irony.

Socrates is brought before the court; there is a group of people which is called gentlemen of the jury. You know in every court there is what is called a judge and then there is a jury. Now what is a jury? Jury consists of some nice people, common people who are impartial, who don't know much about a case but they are men of common sense who have natural justice in their heart and who can give an opinion on the matter as to what they feel after hearing both the parties. And they are supposed to advise the judge, the judge of course is a man of law. He knows the law very well but he takes the advice of common people. These common people are called men of jury. The people who sit on judgement, not because they know law but because they are men of goodwill and they have common sense and they give an opinion based upon common sense and they give their advice to the judge then the judge decides ultimately what is right or wrong. So nobody can say that the judge gave his opinion on his own, so these are called gentlemen of the jury. So now one can imagine that here is Socrates standing, here are gentlemen of jury, here is the judge and here are so many people, men of Athens all free citizens who wanted to come because in that court everybody was allowed to come, everybody was allowed to vote, anybody who wanted to come, any free citizen was allowed to come. So imagine you have Socrates standing here, a judge sitting here, gentlemen of jury sitting here and a crowd of people from Athens who had gathered to listen to Socrates.

Now Socrates is told that he is guilty. He is told by whom—by the gentlemen of the jury and told also by the prosecutors. There are three prosecutors,—Meletus, second one is Anytus and the third one is Lycon, these are the three prosecutors who have brought accusation against Socrates. If you see your papers towards the end of the dialogue page 23 there you’ll see no. 2. You’ll find Anytus and his colleagues namely Meletus, Anytus and Lycon these are the three people they are the prosecutors. They are the accusers who had accused Socrates of being guilty. Now the accusers have already finished their case, they have already argued this is where the dialogue starts.

Socrates stands up to argue his case after the accusers have already explained their point of view, after they have accused. So now Socrates starts by saying: My accusers have given such a tremendous argument they have brought out the facts so well, I am myself persuaded the only point is not a single sentence spoken is true. This is the irony they have argued so well I am myself almost carried away by them. The only point is that not a single sentence which they have spoken is true. Now let us read him.

I do not know what effect my accusers have had upon you, gentlemen, but for my own part I was almost carried away by them—their arguments were so convincing. On the other hand, scarcely a word of what they said was true. I was especially astonished at one of their many misrepresentations; I mean when they told you that you must be careful not to let me deceive you—the implication being that I am a skillful speaker. I thought that it was peculiarly brazen of them to tell you this without a blush, since they must know that they will soon be effectively confuted, when it becomes obvious that I have not the slightest skill as a speaker—unless, of course, by a skillful speaker they mean one who speaks the truth. If that is what they mean, I would agree that I am an orator, though not after their pattern.

My accusers, then, as I maintain, have said little or nothing that is true, but from me you shall hear the whole truth—not, I can assure you, gentlemen, in flowery language like theirs, decked out with fine words and phrases. No, what you will hear will be a straightforward speech in the first words that occur to me, confident as I am in the justice of my cause, and I do not want any of you to expect anything different. It would hardly be suitable, gentlemen, for a man of my age to address you in the artificial language of a schoolboy orator. One thing, however, I do most earnestly beg and entreat of you. If you hear me defending myself in the same language which it has been my habit to use, both in the open spaces of this city—where many of you have heard me—and elsewhere, do not be surprised, and do not interrupt. Let me remind you of my position. This is my first appearance in a court of law, at the age of seventy, and so I am a complete stranger to the language of this place. Now if I were really from another country, you would naturally excuse me if I spoke in the manner and dialect in which I had been brought up, and so in the present case I make this request of you, which I think is only reasonable, to disregard the manner of my speech—it may be better or it may be worse—and to consider and concentrate your attention upon this one question, whether my claims are fair or not. That is the first duty of the juryman, just as it is the pleader's duty to speak the truth. Your duty is to judge whether what I am saying is right or wrong. It is my duty to speak the truth. This is how he begins his argument now. The proper course for me, gentlemen of the jury, is to deal first with the earliest charges that have been falsely brought against me, and with my earliest accusers, and then with the later ones. That means there are two sets of accusers earlier and the present ones so he says first of all I shall deal with the accusers of the earlier times. Why does he bring the earlier accusations because it has made effect upon the men of the jury therefore he brings those accusations also into the picture.

I make this distinction because I have already been accused in your hearing by a great many people for a great many years, though without a word of truth, and I am more afraid of those people than I am of Anytus and his colleagues, although they are formidable enough. But the others are still more formidable. I mean the people who took hold of so many of you when you were children and tried to fill your minds with untrue accusations against me, saying, There is a wise man called Socrates who has theories about the heavens and has investigated everything below the earth, and can make the weaker argument defeat the stronger.

Now repeat. What is the accusation? The accusation is that Socrates is a wise man. That is the first accusation, Socrates is a wise man. Who has theories about the heavens and has investigated everything below the earth. To inquire about heaven and about the earth is a big fault. Anyway this is the accusation. Here is a wise man who has investigated heaven and earth and can make the weaker argument defeat the stronger, a weaker argument can defeat the stronger such is the capacity and skill of this man.

It is these people, gentlemen, the disseminators of these rumours, who are my dangerous accusers, because those who hear them suppose that anyone who inquiries into such matters must be an atheist. One who doesn’t believe in God.** **Besides, there are a great many of these accusers, and they have been accusing me now for a great many years. And what is more, they approached you at the most impressionable age, when some of you were children or adolescents, and they literally won their case by default, now this expression is very important to win a case by default if you go to a judge and make an accusation. Accusation is made but at that time when the person against whom the accusation is made is not present.

I go to the judge and make an accusation against one of you when you are not present so you are not there to defend so the judge will believe what he is told and will give judgment against you this is called the winning of the argument by default because you are not present at the time when accusation is made against you.

So he said I was not present when these people were telling you when you were children. I was not present at that time they simply told you look this Socrates be aware of him very dangerous man very bad man why? Because he inquires into heavens and into the earth and he makes the weaker argument with the stronger such is the skill of this man now you heard this argument when I was not present if you had children playing in the compound and suddenly somebody can say look beware of Socrates, he's a batman so he said I’m this is more dangerous.

Because there was no one to defend myself. And the most fantastic thing of all is that it is impossible for me to even know and tell you their names, unless one of them happens to be a playwright.

He said only one person I know from among those people who were arguing against me and that is one playwright. The name of the playwright is Aristophanes. If you look into page number 23 again number three on page number 23 a playwright is a comic poet called Aristophanes. He burst Socrates in his comedy The Clouds that is a title of his comedy called the Clouds. It was produced in 423 by representing him as a sophist of the worst type, a quick scientist and rhetorician with neither religion nor morals; this is how Socrates were portrayed in a drama for the sake of caricature. So he said I know only one of those people who spoke against me and there is only one playwright and others who were speaking against me. I don't even know their names.

All these people, who have tried to set you against me out of envy and love of slander Do you know the meaning of slender? The meaning of slender is a legal term slender means to speak ill of somebody a speech which is a criticism in order to make him disreputed. To speak ill of somebody so that speech which is ill of somebody is called slender so he said these are the people who were envious of him and who loved slender and some too merely passing on what they have been told by others all these are very difficult to deal with. It is impossible to bring them here for cross-examination; one simply has to conduct one's defence and argue one's case against an invisible opponent, because there is no one to answer. So I ask you to accept my statement that my critics fall into two classes, on the one hand my immediate accusers, Meletus, Anytus and Lycon and on the other those earlier ones whom I have mentioned, and you must suppose that I have first to defend myself against the latter. Latter means the earlier ones. After all, you heard them abusing me longer ago and much more violently than these more recent accusers.

very well done I must begin my defends gentlemen and I must try in the short time that I have to read your minds of a false impression which is the work of many years I should like this to be the result gentlemen assuming it to be for your advantage and my own and I should like to be successful in my defends but I think that it will be difficult, and I am quite aware of the nature of my task. However, let that turn out as God wills. I must obey the law and make my defence.

Let us go back to the beginning and consider what the charge is that has made me so unpopular, and has encouraged Meletus to draw up this indictment. Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit.

Affidavit is again a legal term. An affidavit is a statement of affirmation. Whenever you want to argue before the court, you have to state what you want to say, you have to give in writing. So this statement is your affirmation. What you want to say, so this statement is called an affidavit.) So he says I must read out that affidavit.

.. So to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: and this is nave reads out. Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example. It runs something like that. You have seen it for yourselves in the play by Aristophanes, where Socrates goes whirling round, proclaiming that he is walking on air.

Actually in the drama Socrates was shown to be hanging in a basket. Caricature is to make people laugh—just to show that Socrates thinks better when he is in the air, so how to show he is in the air so he is put in the basket in the upper region. This is to show that Socrates inquires into the heavens above and below the earth and he can think better only when he thinks in the air.

So you have seen for yourself the play by Aristophanes that Socrates goes whirling round in the basket. He goes:

..Whirling round, proclaiming that he is walking on air, and uttering a great deal of other nonsense about things of which I know nothing whatsoever. I mean no disrespect for such knowledge, if anyone really is versed in it—I do not want any more lawsuits brought against me by Meletus—but the fact is, gentlemen, that I take no interest in it. What is more, I call upon the greater part of you as witnesses to my statement, and I appeal to all of you who have ever listened to me talking—and there are a great many to whom this applies—to clear your neighbours’ minds on this point. Tell one another whether any one of you has ever heard me discuss such questions briefly or at length, and then you will realize that the other popular reports about me are equally unreliable.

The fact is that there is nothing in any of these charges, and if you have heard anyone say that I try to educate people and charge a fee, there is no truth in that either. I wish that there were, because I think that it is a fine thing if a man is qualified to teach, as in the case of Gorgias of Leontini and Prodicus of Ceos and Hippias of Elis. Each one of these is perfectly capable of going into any city and actually persuading the young men to leave the company of their fellow citizens, with any of whom they can associate for nothing, and attach themselves to him, and pay money for the privilege, and be grateful into the bargain.

There is another expert too from Paros who I discovered was here on a visit; I happened to meet a man who has paid more in Sophists' fees than all the rest put together

You can see here Socratic irony throughout he says in effect look I have been told that I teach people and take money from them. He says it is not true but I must congratulate those people who are able to teach I am not able to teach at all, there are so many people who can teach and they are so good that they go to a city and talk to some young people these young people are talking to their fellow citizens they come away from them go to this teacher and say please teach me it's a privilege for me if you teach me and I’ll pay you for it. so he said I have great admiration for these people who teach and who take a lot of money out of them. I have no such capacity. I can't teach and nobody would pay me either so if you accuse me that I have been taking money it's entirely wrong because I don't have the capacity at all. Now he gives another example he says I happen to meet a man who has paid more in Sophists' fees than all the rest put together.

—I mean Callias, the son of Hipponicus. So I asked him—he has two sons, you see—Callias, I said, if your sons had been colts or calves, we should have had no difficulty in finding and engaging a trainer to perfect their natural qualities, and this trainer would have been some sort of horse dealer or agriculturalist. But seeing that they are human beings, whom do you intend to get as their instructor? Who is the expert in perfecting the human and social qualities? I assume from the fact of your having sons that you must have considered the question. Is there such a person or not?

Certainly, said he. Who is he, and where does he come from? Said I. And what does he charge? Evenus of Paros, Socrates, said he, and his fee is 20 Guineas I felt that Evenus was to be congratulated if he really was a master of this art and taught it at such a moderate fee. I should certainly plume myself and give myself airs if I understood these things, but in fact, gentlemen, I do not.

The irony here is: If anybody claims that he can teach human beings that would be marvellous because nobody can teach any human being that was his belief. Socrates believed that to teach any human being is a tremendously difficult thing. But there are so many who are keen to teach young people and they believe they can teach. So if there was somebody like Elanus who charges twenty guineas, I must say it must be a very small fee because to teach somebody is a very difficult thing; and only twenty guineas is nothing.

Here perhaps one of you might interrupt me and say, but what is it that you do, Socrates? How is it that you have been misrepresented like this? Surely all this talk and gossip about you would never have arisen if you had confined yourself to ordinary activities, but only if your behaviour was abnormal. Tell us the explanation, if you do not want us to invent it for ourselves.

This seems to me to be a reasonable request, and I will try to explain to you what it is that has given me this false notoriety. So please give me your attention. Perhaps some of you will think that I am not being serious, but I assure you that I am going to tell you the whole truth.

Now he tries to explain why Socrates has come to be misrepresented.

I have gained this reputation, gentlemen, from nothing more or less than a kind of wisdom.

Now he claims I’m a wise man because I’m a wise man therefore I have been disreputed this is again an irony, because he wants to prove that he's actually another wise man but he starts by saying look I am a wise man and therefore I have been misrepresented now we explain the mystery of this claim. I read again.

I have gained this reputation, gentlemen, from nothing more or less than a kind of wisdom.

What kind of wisdom do I mean? Human wisdom, I suppose. It seems that I really am wise in this limited sense. Presumably the geniuses whom I mentioned just now are wise in a wisdom that is more than human. I do not know how else to account for it. I certainly have no knowledge of such wisdom, and anyone who says that I have is a liar and willful slanderer. Now, gentlemen, please do not interrupt me if I seem to make an extravagant claim, for what I am going to tell you is not my own opinion. I am going to refer you to an unimpeachable authority. Unimpeachable means that which cannot be challenged. I am going to refer you to an unimpeachable authority. I shall call as witness to my wisdom, such as it is, the god at Delphi…. Unimpeachable – unchallengeable. All right? Now we say I am going to give witness to my claim that I am wise. That witness is not an ordinary witness but god himself he says I shall call as witness to my wisdom the god at Delphi the god of Delphi is a sun god in Greek mythology is called Apollo. Now he tells the story. You know cherry farm, of course he was a friend of mine from boy ford and a good democrat, who played his part with the rest of you in the recent explosion and restoration.

This is a story of 404 BC. This was just a few years before this trail. This trail is taking place in which year? Socrates was born in 469 BC and he died in 399 BC, just after the trial. So this trial is taking place in 399 BC. So he says, he refers to an event which took place in 404 BC. What had happened at that time in Greek history, Athenian history? Fifty oligarchs had taken the possession of the government. I deliberately used this word so that you ask this question. …… What is oligarchy? oligarchy refers to who? Like monarchy. You know the word monarch……. Rule of one, mono is one. Monarchy means rule of one. Now olig is some, this is different from democracy, demos means people, rule of all people is called democracy, rule of one is called monarchy, and rule of some is called oligarchy.

Now Athens was famous for democracy and Sparta. I told you about Sparta yesterday. Sparta was famous for oligarchy. In 404 BC, Sparta defeated Athens. I spoke yesterday of a war between Sparta and Athens which lasted for how many years? 27 years. That war, the Peloponnesian War, lasted for 27 years and Sparta won the war. So Sparta believed in oligarchy, Athens believed in democracy. But since Sparta won, Sparta imposed oligarchy in Athens. So fifty people took over the government and they acted high–handed with so many people until Athens rose against them. They put them off and democracy was again restored, so Athens had now again become democratic and this entire trial is held under democracy, where so many people are present. The whole population of Athens was allowed to be present in this court because of democracy.

Now this friend Chaerephon had resisted the oligarchs and he had helped in the restoration of democracy.

Clear? If you read again page number 24, footnote number 12.

The “recent expulsion” etc. refers to the event of 404 when the oligarchs seizing power murdered a large number of political opponents under the leadership of Thrasybulus presently jailed and sitting in Attica visited oligarchs and restored democracy in the following year. So he refers to this friend of his who had also participated in the overflow of the oligarchs and the restoration of democracy.

You know Chaerephon, of course. He was a friend of mine from boyhood, and a good democrat who played his part with the rest of you in the recent expulsion and restoration. And you know what he was like, how enthusiastic he was over anything that he had once undertaken. Well, one day he actually went to Delphi and asked this question of the god—as I said before, gentlemen, please do not interrupt—he asked whether there was anyone wiser than myself. The priestess replied that there was no one. As Chaerephon is dead, the evidence for my statement will be supplied by his brother, who is here in court.

Please consider my object in telling you this. I want to explain to you how the attack upon my reputation first started. When I heard about the oracle's answer, I said to myself, what does God mean? Why does he not use plain language? I am only too conscious that I have no claim to wisdom, great or small. So what can he mean by asserting that I am the wisest man in the world? He cannot be telling a lie; that would not be right for him.

After puzzling about it for some time, I set myself at last with considerable reluctance to check the truth of it in the following way. I went to interview a man with a high reputation for wisdom, because I felt that here if anywhere I should succeed in disproving the oracle and pointing out to my divine authority, you said that I was the wisest of men, but here is a man who is wiser than I am.

He wanted to disprove the deliverance of the god. So he said I went to a man who was wiser than myself and I wanted to interview him so as to prove that he is wisest.

Well, I gave a thorough examination to this person—I need not mention his name, but it was one of our politicians that I was studying when I had this experience—and in conversation with him I formed the impression that although in many people's opinion, and especially in his own, he appeared to be wise, in fact he was not. Then when I began to try to show him that he only thought he was wise and was not really so, my efforts were resented both by him and by many of the other people present. However, I reflected as I walked away and I said, Well, I am certainly wiser than this man. It is only too likely that neither of us has any knowledge to boast of, but he thinks that he knows something which he does not know, whereas I am quite conscious of my ignorance. At any rate it seems that I am wiser than he is to this small extent, that I do not think that I know what I do not know.

After this I went on to interview a man with an even greater reputation for wisdom, and I formed the same impression again, and here too I incurred the resentment of the man himself and a number of others.

From that time on I interviewed one person after another. I realized with distress and alarm that I was making myself unpopular, but I felt compelled to put my religious duty first. Since I was trying to find out the meaning of the oracle, I was bound to interview everyone who had a reputation for knowledge. And by dog, gentlemen, for I must be frank with you, my honest impression was this. It seemed to me, as I pursued my investigation at the god's command that the people with the greatest reputations were almost entirely deficient, while others who were supposed to be their inferiors were much better qualified in practical intelligence.

I want you to think of my adventures as a sort of pilgrimage undertaken to establish the truth of the oracle once for all. After I had finished with the politicians I turned to the poets, dramatic, lyric, and all the rest, in the belief that here I should expose myself as comparative ignoramus. Ignoramus means one with ignorant. I used to pick up what I thought were some of their most perfect works and question them closely about the meaning of what they had written, in the hope of incidentally enlarging my own knowledge. Well, gentlemen, I hesitate to tell you the truth, but it must be told. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that any of the bystanders could have explained those poems better than their actual authors. So I soon made up my mind about the poets too. I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled them to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean. It seemed clear to me that the poets were in much the same case, and I also observed that the very fact that they were poets made them think that they had a perfect understanding of all other subjects, of which they were totally ignorant. So I left that line of inquiry too with the same sense of advantage that I had felt in the case of the politicians.

Last of all I turned to the skilled craftsmen. First he examined the politicians then he examined the poets in both the cases he found that he was wiser than all of them. Now he turns to the craftsman.

I knew quite well that I had practically no technical qualifications myself, and I was sure that I should find them full of impressive knowledge. I was not disappointed. They understood things which I did not, and to that extent they were wiser than I was. But, gentlemen, these professional experts seemed to share the same failing which I had noticed in the poets. I mean that on the strength of their technical proficiency they claimed a perfect understanding of every other subject, however important, and I felt that this error more than outweighed their positive wisdom. So I made myself spokesman for the oracle, and asked myself whether I would rather be as I was—neither wise with their wisdom nor stupid with their stupidity—or possess both qualities as they did. I replied through myself to the oracle that it was best for me to be as I was.

The effect of these investigations of mine, gentlemen, has been to arouse against me a great deal of hostility, and hostility of a particularly bitter and persistent kind, which has resulted in various malicious suggestions, including the description of me as a professor of wisdom. This is due to the fact that whenever I succeed in disproving another person's claim to wisdom in a given subject, the bystanders assume that I know everything about that subject myself. But the truth of the matter, gentlemen, is pretty certainly this, that real wisdom is the property of God, and this oracle is his way of telling us that human wisdom has little or no value. It seems to me that he is not referring literally to Socrates, but has merely taken my name as an example, as if he would say to us, the wisest of you men is he who has realized, like Socrates, that in respect of wisdom he is really worthless.

That is why I still go about seeking and searching in obedience to the divine command, if I think that anyone is wise, whether citizen or stranger, and when I think that any person is not wise, I try to help the cause of God by proving that he is not. This occupation has kept me too busy to do much either in politics or in my own affairs. In fact, my service to God has reduced me to extreme poverty.

There is another reason for my being unpopular.

So what is the first reason for his unpopularity? He investigated to find out one wise man in Athens. So he interviewed a large number of people and proved that none of them was wise. So all those people became angry with him because they believed that they were very wise people and here Socrates came and proved that they are unwise therefore Socrates became unpopular. Now he gives another reason.

There is another reason for my being unpopular. A number of young men with wealthy fathers and plenty of leisure have deliberately attached themselves to me because they enjoy hearing other people cross-questioned. These often take me as their model, and go on to try to question other persons. Whereupon, I suppose, they find an unlimited number of people who think that they know something, but really know little or nothing. Consequently their victims become annoyed, not with themselves but with me, and they complain that there is a pestilential busybody called Socrates who fills young people's heads with wrong ideas.

If you ask them what he does, and what he teaches that has this effect, they have no answer, not knowing what to say. But as they do not want to admit their confusion, they fall back on the stock charges against any philosopher, that he teaches his pupils about things in the heavens and below the earth, and to disbelieve in gods, and to make the weaker argument defeat the stronger. They would be very loath, I fancy, to admit the truth—which is that they are being convicted of pretending to knowledge when they are entirely ignorant. So, jealous, I suppose, for their own reputation, and also energetic and numerically strong, and provided with a plausible and carefully worked-out case against me, these people have been dinning into your ears for a long time past their violent denunciations of myself.

Now this is an argument which I would like you to understand. You know, pests. What is the pest? You build a crop and there is an insect which eats away the crop that is called a pest, right? Now Socrates according to these people is like a pest he eats away the crops. Here the young people, young people are very nice people but their heads are turned therefore their heads are eaten away by Socrates. So Socrates is now compared to a pest. So let us try to understand this argument. Socrates says, there are a number of young people in Athens whose parents are very wealthy and they have a lot of leisure, parents are very wealthy. They don't need to do much work so they have lot of leisure. Now these young people surround Socrates. Why? Because they enjoy Socrates' questioning some people, very amusing and Socrates disproves them so they even get a greater pleasure and as is it is the case with most young people they imitate, they imitate Socrates. So they also ask people questions just as Socrates does and those people when asked are proved to be wrong, so actually Socrates says they should congratulate themselves that they are shown to be wrong. But no, they feel that Socrates is at fault; we are proved wrong because Socrates has taught them how to question and they are successfully questioning us and proving us to be wrong therefore our reputation is gone. So who is at fault? Socrates. So this is another reason why Socrates had become unpopular.

If you ask them what he does, and what he teaches that has this effect, they have no answer, not knowing what to say. But as they do not want to admit their confusion, they fall back on the stock charges against any philosopher, that he teaches his pupils about things in the heavens and below the earth, and to disbelieve in gods, and to make the weaker argument defeat the stronger. They would be very loath, I fancy, to admit the truth—which is that they are being convicted of pretending to knowledge when they are entirely ignorant. So, jealous, I suppose, for their own reputation, and also energetic and numerically strong, and provided with a plausible and carefully worked-out case against me, these people have been dinning into your ears for a long time past their violent denunciations of myself.

There you have the causes which led to the attack upon me by Meletus and Anytus and Lycon, Meletus being aggrieved on behalf of the poets, Anytus on behalf of the professional men and politicians, and Lycon on behalf of the orators. So, as I said at the beginning, I should be surprised if I were able, in the short time that I have, to rid your minds of a misconception so deeply implanted.

There, gentlemen, you have the true facts, which I present to you without any concealment or suppression, great or small. I am fairly certain that this plain speaking of mine is the cause of my unpopularity, and this really goes to prove that my statements are true, and that I have described correctly the nature and the grounds of the calumny which has been brought against me. Whether you inquire into them now or later, you will find the facts as I have just described them.

So much for my defence against the charges brought by the first group of my accusers. I shall now try to defend myself against Meletus—high-principled and patriotic as he claims to be—and after that against the rest.

Let us first consider their deposition again, as though it represented a fresh prosecution. It runs something like this: Socrates is guilty of corrupting the minds of the young, and of believing in deities of his own invention instead of the gods recognized by the state such is the charge. Let us examine its points one by one.

Now we must contrast this charge with the earlier charge. You must bring once again before your mind the charge that was read out by Socrates earlier. You remember the affidavit which was read out by Socrates earlier. On page number 5. Can you read it out?

Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example.

This is the charge which he has been dealing with so far. Now comes the second charge.

Socrates is guilty of corrupting the minds of the young, and of believing in deities of his own invention instead of the gods recognised by the State.

There are two charges in this charge. One he is corrupting the minds of the young people and secondly that he believes in his own Gods and not in the Gods of the state. I think I will have to deal with this at length so we stop here today and next time when I come we will start with these two charges then we will deal with each one of them point by point. All right.