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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  11,185 ratings  ·  272 reviews
The Apology of Socrates is Plato's version of the speech given by Socrates as he unsuccessfully defended himself in 399BCE against the charges of "corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel" (24b). "Apology" here has its earlier meaning (now usually expressed by the word "apologia") of speaking in...more
Paperback, 127 pages
Published March 1st 1997 by Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers (first published -390)
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The Republic by PlatoThus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich NietzscheCritique of Pure Reason by Immanuel KantMeditations by Marcus AureliusBeing and Time by Martin Heidegger
Best Philosophy Book
7th out of 559 books — 651 voters
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Great Books: No Novels Need Apply
11th out of 191 books — 64 voters

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Riku Sayuj

Double Jeopardy

“Be sure that if you kill the sort of man I say I am, you will not harm me more than yourselves.”


“On the other hand, if I say that it is the greatest good for a man to discuss virtue every day, testing themselves and others — for the unexamined life is not worth living for men, you will believe me even less.”

Socrates, of The Apology is an eloquent figure who is an unrivaled guide to the good life – the thoughtful life, and he is as relevant today as he was in ancient Athens....more
Celebrity Death Match Special: Plato versus Isaac Asimov, part 4 (continued from here)

[A spaceship en route from Trantor to Earth. SOCRATES and R. DANEEL OLIVAW]

SOCRATES: Hadn't we already said goodbye?

OLIVAW: Forgive me, Socrates. I had forgotten that you were going back to a death sentence.

SOCRATES: It is easy to forget such details.

OLIVAW: I am truly sorry, Socrates. Indeed, I am surprised that my First Law module permitted me to do it. But you are just so... so...

SOCRATES: Irritating?

Mike W
This is one of the best works of philosophy or literature ever written. It is Plato's version of Socrates's defense at his trial. The word "apology" here means defense. Socrates is on trial for his life for blasphemy and for corrupting the youth of Athens. He very easily leads his primary accuser, Meletus, into contradictions. And he tries to explain to the jury and to the spectators how it is that he gained a reputation as a wise man among some, and a villain among others. One of Socrates's adm...more
Not even your Socratic arguing could save you. Such a pity that we still haven't changed, not in all of these thousands of years. Even though he knew he was doomed, he still did not submit and whimper like a coward, begging for mercy. When you are outside the grasp of power, no matter how well you try to persuade those to look into the right direction, if they, for their own gains are against it, you're screwed.

I don't know if I could do the same, be presented with life (even thought I'd be nea...more
Jan 04, 2009 Christopher rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
It's been a while since I read this. In fact, I wonder if I really ever did read it. Nonetheless, what struck me in this reading were parallels to the New Testament. Both Jesus and Socrates probed by asking questions, both ruffled the establish, both exposed dearly held pretentiousness, both were condemned by their countrymen.

Even certain phrases in Apology are reflected in the NT (though it could be an accident of translation): "to die is gain", "I shall obey God rather than you", "[do not] tak...more
Perhaps the most famous of the Socratic dialogues, the Apology (in the sense of apologia or defense before a tribunal) presents Socrates (469-399 BCE) as he defends himself against charges that he corrupted the youth of Athens and did not honor the proper gods. It is probably not a spoiler to say that Socrates was convicted and condemned to death. Subsequently, many of Socrates' pupils wrote their versions of the events and of the words spoken, though most have been lost. The Apology is a...more
This is a very good story and philosophy.

Never truly understood it when I first read it.

As I read it again, I understood what socrates wanted to convey and I understood on how good of writer plato was.

The apology should always be starting point for philosophy.
Vikas Lather
I'm not sure whether or not I will be able to read a book after I die(I don't believe in concept of heaven) but this is the kind of book I would like to have while I'm alive; a book about what is pure?
Timothy Matias
Sep 07, 2011 Timothy Matias rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: philosophy enthusiasts, polical scientists
Plato's Apology is an in-depth account of Socrate's trial, in which he gave his defense to the charges against him-- that he had led the youth astray, that he was an atheist (he did not believe in any of the Greek gods), and that he was corrupting the youth with secret knowledge of the heavens, and of dark magic. Socrates defends against these arguments with his "dialectic method" (also known in his honor as the "Socratic method"), making his very best arguments to show that the charges levied a...more
There are a lot of issues raised by this short work, and it's hard to write a summary of it.

One theme is the notion of questioning our beliefs, whatever they may pertain to: civil society, democracy, government, patriotism, family, religion, ethics, even death.

Socrates, through his questioning, often seems to burst the bubble of long-held beliefs in the people he talks with. He seems to be inviting us to ask of ourselves: "Am I really sure about that? On what grounds?" He also would approve of u...more
an extraordinary experience, of how Socrates - being different from the prevalent and epidemic ideas which is entitled to almost everyone - He sees in the oracle that he's the wisest of all men, but because he is truly wise he refuses to believe it. but since it is told by a god, he begins a journey to seek a wiser person than himself so he can prove that he is not the wisest, as he starts to talk to those who claim wisdom, he begins to debate with them one by one, exposing their foolishness, wh...more
Those who haven't read this, or who may have forgotten their reading of Plato, may still be very familiar with the famous quote "The unexamined life is not worth living." Well, context renders it more poignant when you realize that Socrates said this in court, immediately after being convicted of a capital crime, when he was expected to plead for his life. He also elaborated, saying in effect that if his judges had to decide between exiling him to a place where he could no longer practice his ph...more
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
This is the third time I'm writing this review. First one was my fault, second effing GR's. Eff you! Eff you! But I'm a quite persistent and try as you might, you won't get rid of my review as easily, effing GR! It's just made me more determined to get on with it.


The jury finds Socrates guilty.

Me thinks the reason for that was not "corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that a...more
To do justice to the power and the historical importance of Socrates's infamously ineffective speech in the defense of his own life is impossible. This relatively brief piece of rhetoric, beautifully rendered by Plato and translated by G.M.A. Grube, is one of the most inspiring, aesthetically splendid, and darkly ironic works of genius produced in the entire course of world literature and philosophy. It's difficult for me, as it seems to be for everybody, to address the genius of Socrates direct...more
I always feel bad rating these great works of literature so low. My ratings are totally subjective, just how much I enjoyed the book, and not intended to reflect objective merit.

"Apology" provides the foundation for reason and systematic investigation. It's historical influence may be second to only the Bible. All in all, a pretty impressive feat for such a short work. It's been so influential, though, that the arguments and methods it lays down have been expanded and improved upon over the pas...more
It's fascinating from a literary, philosophical, and historical context. It's also disheartening, though, because of all the striking parallels between the persecution of Socrates and the anti-intellectual movement that's only thriving under a decaying fourth estate that is, more and more, resembling less of a foundation of democracy than an echo chamber for pedants, sycophants, and gadflys.
I decided to read this because a) it was free, and b) I was interested in dipping my toes into philosophical thought. Incidentally, Plato's Apology is a fantastic starting point for any like-minded individuals keen to explore those perpetual 'why' questions.

To begin with, it isn't actually Plato's apology at all. In fact, very little apologising is actually done. Apology, or Apología, is actually Greek for 'defense speech'. It comes from Apó (from) and lógos (logic, intelligent reasoning). The a...more
Robert Palmer
As a trial lawyer, Plato's Apology intrigued me, for it is an account of the trial of Socrates. I was struck not only by the procedural difference between an ancient Athenian trial and a modern American trial, but also by the similarities. The cross-examination of Meletus, the chief accuser, was intriguing, but I could not resist silently interposing objections that would only be valid today.

As a Christian, I also found striking similarities between statements made by Socrates and the writings o...more
A. Hotzler
I forgot how funny and playful Plato's writing is when he's "starring" Socrates as the speaker. Socrates employs beautiful rhetoric in his defense (particularly in making Meletus look stupid), but there are also some influential ideas taken from this. Socrates' conception that "death is gain" by one of two possibilities: either a) death will be eternal unconsciousness; uninterrupted sleep (which sounds nice); or b) he will have the opportunity to meet those "wise men" of the past (Hesiod, Homer,...more
One of the most important aspects about this short work is that it provides one of the best definitions of education one is likely to encounter. Socrates says, "Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is,--for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows; I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him." To put it another way, the definition of educated pe...more
M.G. Bianco
The Apology is Socrates' defense testimony at his trial, and include his defense of himself, his defense against the penalty opposed after finding him guilty, and his response to be sentenced to death.

This speech is filled with most of what we know about Socrates, including his comment that "the unexamined life is not worth living." St. John's College recently hosted an accepted students day, which my son attended. The accepted students were asked to read The Apology in advance of arrival so th...more
Jennifer Best
Just begun today. I was afraid to get into these Great Works, but am pleasantly surprised. My 9 year old daughter and I have been talking about it and she gets it, too. Really wonderful thinker. Arrogant? Yes. Logical? Yes. Entertaining? Surprisingly, yes.

Hint: Don't expect to speed read. Read with pause as if speaking. MUCH more easier going, and more enjoyable and undertsandable.
"If you think that by killing men you can prevent someone from censuring your
evil lives, you are mistaken; that is not a way of escape which is
either possible or honourable; the easiest and the noblest way is not
to be disabling others, but to be improving yourselves." -socrate
good book
he said pretty good things & I enjoyed reading the book.
Definitely one of the best philosophical books I have read so far.

Favourite quote :
'I thought to myself: I am wiser than this man; neither of us probably knows anything that is really good, but he thinks he has knowledge, when he has not, while I, having no knowledge, do not think I have.'
Plato and Socrates all wrapped up in one book, this makes me feel cultured....

It's really short, clever and thought provoking, so you should probably read it....

That's all the wisdom I can conjure up for this review
I apologize to all my followers for not being more active on Goodreads! This damn reading block still hasn't left me.

So, I did really enjoy this reading and I was enjoying the offhand insults Socrates was throwing at his audience and I would've given it a higher rating was it not for the sexist comments.

I do think it proves that people haven't really changed at all in the many, many years since then. I read Apology for a class assignment and our professor asked us if we thought any such man (o...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Plato's version of Socrates speech in 399BC where he defends himself against allegations of, "corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel"
David Alexander
My fourth or fifth reading. This dialogue is part of my personal canon of the greats. I am struck again by Socrates' courage and the centrality of the moral life and knowing yourself.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Pellicci
May 24, 2010 Paul Pellicci rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone over 14 yrs old
Recommended to Paul by: nobody
To speak your mind in a free society and to be condemned by your neighbors is a familiar theme. Socrates' jurors were not his equals!
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  • Metaphysics
  • Clouds
  • An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  • Fragments
  • Conversations of Socrates
  • Hippolytus
  • Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
  • On Old Age, On Friendship & On Divination
  • Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
  • Discourse on Method
  • The Discourses
  • Philoctetes
  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • The Libation Bearers
Plato is a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.

Plato is one of the most important Western philosophers,...more
More about Plato...
The Republic The Trial and Death of Socrates The Symposium Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo Complete Works

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“I thought to myself: I am wiser than this man; neither of us probably knows anything that is really good, but he thinks he has knowledge, when he has not, while I, having no knowledge, do not think I have.” 72 likes
“For to fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise without really being wise, for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For no one knows whether death may not be the greatest good that can happen to man.” 45 likes
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