Plato Five Dialogues

PHIL 190
Quiz #2: “Apology” (Take-home)

  1. At the beginning of his defense in the “Apology”, Socrates requests that the jurors “not be surprised or create a disturbance”. Why does he make this request of his jurors?


  1. Socrates divides his accusers into two groups, his “first accusers” and his “later ac- cusers”, and he states that he will defend himself against the charges of the “first ac- cusers” first, and then he will take up the charges put forward by the “later accusers”. Socrates also says that one of these groups of accusers is more “dangerous”. (i) Which group of accusers is the more “dangerous” group? (ii) What is one thing that this group says about Socrates? (iii) Why is this group more “dangerous” in Socrates’s eyes?
  2. At the beginning of his defense against his “first accusers”, Socrates says: 
I think it right that all those of you who have heard me conversing, and many of you have, should tell each other if anyone of you has ever heard me discussing such subjects to any extent at all.1 
To which “subjects” is Socrates referring?
  3. The core of Socrates’s defense against his “first accusers” begins on Stephanus page 21, “You know Chaerephon . . . ”, and ends at 24b2. In these pages, Socrates tells a certain story about the oracle at Delphi. Why does Socrates tell this story? In other words: What prompts him to mount his self-defense by telling this story?
  4. Socratessaysthatthegod(Apollo)communicatedacertain“riddle”throughtheoracle at Delphi. State the riddle in your own words (i.e., do not just cite the text).
  5. In order to grasp the meaning of the riddle, Socrates systematically investigated cer- tain politicians, poets, and craftsmen. He ceased investigating individuals after grasp- ing the meaning of the riddle. True • False
  6. Meletus is one Socrates’s “later accusers”. We first hear of Meletus in the “Euthy- phro”. Plato’s formulation of Meletus’s charge against Socrates is the same in the “Euthyphro” and the “Apology”. True • False
  7. After Socrates completes his defense against Meletus and the other “later accusers”, he imagines that someone might say to him: 
Are you not ashamed, Socrates, to have followed the kind of occupa- tion that has lead to your now being in danger of death?2 
Socrates responds that he does not fear death. Why is Socrates not afraid to die?
  8. Socrates argues that if the jury finds him guilty and sentences him to death, then the jury harms only the jury and the people of Athens (and not Socrates). He supports this argument by claiming that he is a “gift” that was given to Athens by the god (Apollo). Explain what kind of “god’s gift” Socrates represents.
  9. Towards the end of the dialogue, Socrates makes the following argument: 
. . . it is the greatest good for a man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others, for the unexamined life is not worth living for men . . . 3 
Why do you think that Socrates accepts this argument? The answer to this question is not in the text. I am asking you to imagine one or two reasons for thinking that Socrates’s argument is a good one.


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