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Socrates' Trials

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First Accusation

For the first offence of corrupting the youth with his teachings, Socrates' line of questioning is mostly oriented at discrediting Meletus making an attempt at refuting the first accusation by proving that it is his accuser who is guilty of Ð''professing to be seriously concerned about things he has never cared about at all' instead of proving his own innocence to the jury and the assembly. During the first part of his whole argumentation process, he arduously questions his accuser and has him gradually state in front of the assembly that the jurors, the Assembly and pretty much every Athenian citizen except Socrates wants the good of the young and are benefiting them. To which, Socrates prosaically compares: Ð''Do you think that the same holds of horses? Do people in general improve them, whereas one particular person corrupts them or makes them worse? Or isn't it wholly the opposite: one particular personÐ'--or the very few who are horse trainersÐ'--is able to improve them, whereas the majority of people, if they have to do with horses and make use of them, make them worse?' Socrates is therefore comparing the Athenian youth to horses that need to be taken care of; an argument that is totally inefficient at proving his innocence, but indeed successful at seeding confusion in the assembly and in his accuser. Socrates pushes even further during paragraphs Ð''25d' to Ð''26a', hypothetically stating that he might've corrupted the young unintentionally: Ð''But if I'm corrupting them unintentionally, the law doesn't require that I be brought to court for such mistakesÐ'--that is, unintentional onesÐ'--but that I be taken aside for private instruction and admonishment.' These last sentences borrowed from the Ð''Apology-paragraphs 25d to 26a' are reinforcing the idea that Socrates



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