In Week One, you were introduced to one of the most famous works in philosophy: Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.” In another work by Plato, titled Apology, Socrates is on trial. The word apology in this context means defense. Socrates is presenting a defense of himself. In this reading, you will see how Socrates uses critical thinking to defend himself against the charges brought against him and the outcome of his trial. In fact, Socrates is generally recognized as being the founder of critical thinking. The Socratic method of questioning involves examining ideas in order to purify them and understand more about them. As you read the Apology, pay attention to the way that Socrates responds to his accusers and the methods he uses to present the argument that he is in fact innocent.

The essay must be 400 words in length, excluding title and reference pages, and formatted according to APA style. If you would like to refer to APA samples and tutorials, review the APA Checklist within the Ashford Writing Center ( located in the Learning Resources tab in the left navigation bar. The only required resource for this assignment is the Apology. This should be the piece that you primarily use to complete this assignment. Secondary sources are welcome but not necessary, and they may not be used in place of the Apology.

After you have read the Apology, write a 400-word essay in which you:

  1. Identify both sets of charges that were brought against Socrates.
  2. Explain how Socrates responds to these charges, and identify the premises he uses to support his claims of innocence.
  3. Explain what Socrates claims is his role in Athenian society and how he knows that this is his role.
  4. Present your own view of Socrates’ guilt or innocence.
    • Would you have voted to convict him or to set him free?
    • Support your claims with your premises/reasons.

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