Unformatted text preview: ough careful logical investigation of all arguments made. His
philosophical mission is derived from his encounter with the oracle of Delphi, who
asserts that he, Socrates, is the wisest man on earth (Apology, 21A). He begins a quest to
disprove her, in the process visiting with many wise men throughout Greece. Socrates
visits with politicians, poets, and craftsmen. Each class of people claimed to be wise in
their specialty, but asserted knowledge over other facets of life that were untrue.
(Apology, 22A-B). Throughout his encounters, he realizes that all these wise men do not
even know what they do not know, verifying the oracle prophesy and convincing Socrates
that he is the wisest because he admits what he does not know.
Socrates claims that younger critics will be harsher. More citizens of Athens will become
subversive and that Socrates will no longer be able to stifle their contempt for the ruling
masses. Socrates says to the judges who just condemned him to death “you are wrong if
you believe that by killing people you will prevent anyone from reproaching you for not
living in the right way” (Apology, 39D)....
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