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What might we learn from reading Plato's Apology? Socrates, the foremost teacher in Western culture, is on trial for his life, and he defends the way he has lived by describing how he has conducted himself; this means describing how he has taught and what he has taught and why he teaches as he does. The charge against Socrates is that he does not believe in the traditional deities of Athens and instead has introduced new deities (an apparent reference to his inner voice, his daimonion).This impiety on his part has led him to corrupt Athenian youths influenced by his teaching, making them irreverent toward their elders and the gods their elders accept and worship. Here we have a great moment in Western thought and action, and in Western education, and in Western law: it deserves a great response.

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