A Critique Of Socrates — страница 2
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mens rea, or ‘guilty mind’, would be compulsory to prove on a guilty charge. But Socrates states that, at least for him, voluntarily corrupting any human being would simply be impossible, “…I am not even cognizant that if I ever do something wretched to any of my associates, I will risk getting back something bad from him?”4 Although his ‘guilty mind’ was never proved, Socrates does realize that he will be found guilty of this charge, although he does say that justly this would never have been a criminal charge, but could have been dealt with privately, “…and if I corrupt involuntarily, the law is not that you bring me in here for such page 3 involuntary wrongs, but that you take me aside in private to teach and admonish me…where the law is to bring in those in need of punishment, not learning.”5 There is one other point that might be raised in questioning the legitimacy of the trial, and that is the fact that it was carried out in only one day. Socrates says after his verdict has been read that if his trial could have carried on for a longer period of time, as it might have in other cities such as Sparta, then he might have been able to convince the jury of his innocence. Alas, Socrates quickly became the victim of the wealthy elites in Athenian society, who did not want their hold on the power and minds of the rest of society who be tampered with. If justice is to be questioned in the charge of Socrates, then I do think that Socrates should have been found innocent, since no real crimes were committed. As for a question of the Athenian laws, and the structure of the Athenian justice system, one could say that Socrates might have dabbled in a bit of treason in a way, since those who he was publicly making a mockery out of were those who were in positions of authority. But overall, it cannot be denied that Socrates suffered a great injustice by being found guilty, by being put on trial in the first place. The true substance of the trial was never a criminal matter nor a strain on democracy, but a challenge to an oppressive and oligarcical ruling class, and Socrates became an symbol of true wisdom and knowledge, a symbol that needed to be disposed of for the elites to remain the power-holders in society. List of Works Cited Plato. “The Apology of Socrates.” West, Thomas G. and West, Grace Starry, eds. Plato and Aristophanes: Four Texts on Socrates. Itacha, NY: Cornell University Press, 1984. 1Plato, “The Apology of Socrates,” Thomas G. West and Grace Starry West, eds., Plato and Aristophanes: Four Texts on Socrates. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1984), s.19c, p.66. 2Ibid, s.29a/32d, p.80/p.85. 3Ibid, s.28b, p.79. 4Ibid, s.25e, p.75. 5Ibid, s.26a, p.75.