The main argument in The Apology by famous ancient Greek philosopher Plato is whether, notorious speaker and philosopher Socrates is corrupting the youth by preaching ungodly theories and teaching them unlawful ideas that do harm to individuals and society. In his words Socrates quoted the prosecution’s accusation against him: “Socrates is guilty of corrupting the minds of the young, and of believing in supernatural things of his own invention instead of the gods recognized by the state.” 1 Further Socrates consistently introduces tediously compiled number of examples to provide valid and sound arguments to prove that he is innocent of the charges brought up against him to the court.
The first approach that Socrates uses to prove his innocence’s is he uses a practical comparison between horses and all living and artifical things “Take the case of horses; do you believe that those who improve them make up the whole of the mankind and that there is only one person who has a bad effect on them? Or is the truth just the opposite that the ability to improve them belongs to one person or to very few persons, who are horse-trainers, whereas most people, if they have to do with horses and make use of them, do them harm.” 2
The premises in this quote are:
1. Horse trainers do improve horses.
2. Those who use the horses do not enhance them.
3. There are more horse owners than the horse trainers.
4. Therefore, the improvements come from a small group of specialist, while the corruption comes from most people.
5. What is true for horses is true for all living and artificial things.
The conclusion that can be made about these premises is that Socrates is not the one who is corrupting the youth because he is a specialist in this field. In addition, the real corruptors of the youth are the greater population of Athens because they are not specialist on teaching wisdom. What important about this conclusion is that even though Socrates uses horses as an example he manages to apply his example to all beings and prove his case that he is innocent of the charges.
The second example that Socrates makes is that people that don’t care about the youth are the ones who are really corrupting them. “It is quite clear that by now, gentlemen, that Meletus, as I said before, has never paid the slightest attention to this subjects. However I invite you to tell us, Meletus, in what sense you make out that I corrupt the minds of the young.” 3 The premises of this quote are:
1. Meletus has no concern for the youth.
2. Meletus who shows no concern for the youth cannot charge another person of corrupting the youth