Socrates Response To Plato's Apology

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In Plato’s Apology, the immediate scene is set around the great philosopher Socrates as he defends himself in court against a range of accusations and assertions that are made by critics of the past as well as those present in the same courtroom as him. Although Socrates does defend himself against the “official” accusations that he was charged with, his main effort is directed at explaining why his accusers don’t like him and why he acts the way he does. Socrates’ main defense before the court arises from the story of “The Delphic Oracle”. When questioned by one of Socrates’ friends, the god at Delphi proclaimed through his Oracle that Socrates was the wisest man alive. Initially, Socrates had doubts about this claim since he didn’t think…show more content…
As the analogy of the gadfly illustrated, Socrates was fully aware that his fellow Athenians disliked his method of questioning them. Despite their disdain, Socrates knew that his mission was necessary because he realized that the possession of expertise can ultimately become a detriment if it’s not coupled with humility and an awareness of one’s ultimate ignorance. Socrates never claimed to be wise, yet the Oracle at Delphi spoke on behalf of the gods when she proclaimed that he was the wisest man of all. It is because Socrates never made any claim to being wise that he was, by way of paradoxes, the wisest. Thus, the inherent danger of self-identifying as an “expert” is that you are essentially proclaiming to the world that you have learned everything that there is to know about something. It can also be drawn from the text that another possible danger of self-identifying as an expert is that one day you could have Socrates (or one of his students) knocking on your door armed with a list of questions that are all aimed at making you feel like an idiot. The possession of expertise could actually stand to hinder one’s successful moral self-development because expertise leaves little to no room for improvement. An expert can be likened to a container that is full and Socrates can be likened to a container that is empty. The expert cannot learn anything new because his container is full whereas Socrates, aware of his own ignorance (emptiness), is able to learn throughout his entire

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