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Book Review: Apology of Socrates

, 11:18 - Permalink

The Apology of Socrates is a work of Plato which was written shortly after the death of the great philosopher Socrates. This work is the first one written by Plato who was a close student of Socrates.

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  • Title: Apology of Socrates
  • Author: Plato
  • Pages: 44

This book is in the category for the beginner’s book list for starting philosophy or specifically Platonism. In length it is very small, only 44 pages. This means that it will be read fast and if the reader wishes he can re-read easily. However, even if it is a beginner’s book to Platonism, what is different in this book compared to the other books of Plato is that it lacks the dialogues because Socrates makes the questions and answers himself because he is in a trial defending himself on the court. But even with this kind of dialogue in indirect speech, Plato achieves to transfer the reader to the standard style of the platonic dialogues.

The Apology of Socrates is the defense of Socrates against the accusations and charges of being unfair and corrupting the young and also not believing in the gods in whom the city believes (24b). The judgement of the court was death for Socrates. What is impressive about this dialogue is the integrity and bravery of Socrates who does not wish to avoid the penalty of death! He mentions several times that he has no fear of death and that he will obey the law and do what the city decides. Socrates supports that the death can be a good thing since it might lead to a higher plane of existence. This fact proves the inner freedom of Socrates and that he was a man of no passions. In the text there are teachings about life, death, ethics, virtues, laws, gods, good, evil, honesty as in every part of the book Socrates speaks with clear honesty, using logic in order to reveal the truth with his words.

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