Soc 1 - As I will try to show this information little...

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As I will try to show, this information, little though it may be, is of great value in assessing the character of the work, and even enables us to draw some conclusions about the historical Socrates.6 Progress can be made if we can identify accurately the rhetorical goals of the work. If it aims merely at defending the Socratic way of life or the life of philosophy, we are no closer to resolving the question of the historical character of the work. It is perfectly conceivable that Socrates himself would have used his courtroom speech to defend his way of life, or even to defend the life of philosophy in general. Only if the apologetic aims of the Apology are incompatible with a Socratic origin will we have confirmation of the fiction theory. I will try to show that the rhetorical aims of the work can be identified with the help of remarks made by Xenophon in his Apology. It turns out that Plato was primarily addressing the question of how Socrates behaved in court and defending him against post-trial charges of arrogance, foolishness, and failure, issues that the historical Socrates never had to grapple with. Even if, however, the Apology does not provide anything like a window on Socrates actual speech, or on his thoughts about the philosophical life, this does not mean that we can learn from it nothing at all about the historical Socrates. At the very least, we can learn something about his behavior in court,
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This note was uploaded on 02/26/2012 for the course MBA IT DOM1 taught by Professor Kviswanathan during the Spring '12 term at Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai.

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Soc 1 - As I will try to show this information little...

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