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What examples of the Socratic Method can be found in Socrates' Apology?

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arbiem | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 28, 2011 at 8:32 AM via web

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What examples of the Socratic Method can be found in Socrates' Apology?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 28, 2011 at 11:05 PM (Answer #1)

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Socrates uses his trial not to prove his own innocence, but to expose philosophical truths to the citizens of Athens, as well as bringing to light the true motives of his accusers. While the Apology is more of a speech than a dialogue, there are multiple examples of the Socratic method. First, he describes how he went about understanding a declaration of the oracle at Delphi, which was that he was wiser than all men. Socrates tells how he questioned various Athenians, from the wealthiest and most powerful to the humble craftsman.  From this he arrived at the truth, which was that he was wiser than others because he was willing to admit what he did not understand. In addition, the philosopher was afforded the right to examine his accusers, and when he questions Meletus, one of the three men who brought him to trial, he uses his method of incisive questioning to show that the allegations were rooted in his accusers' desire for revenge against Socrates rather than the conviction that he was actually guilty of a crime.

 

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