Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 28
Publication Date: 399 BC, this translation by Benjamin Jowett, 1891
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The Apology is Plato’s version of the speech given by Socrates as he defended himself in 399 BC against the charges of ‘corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel’. “The Apology” here has its earlier meaning (now usually expressed by the word “apologia”) of speaking in defense of a cause or of one’s beliefs or actions. The Apology begins with Socrates saying he does not know if the men of Athens (his jury) have been persuaded by his accusers. This first sentence is crucial to the theme of the entire speech. Indeed, in The Apology Socrates will suggest that philosophy begins with a sincere admission of ignorance; he later clarifies this, dramatically stating that whatever wisdom he has, comes from his knowledge that he knows nothing.