Socrates Would Like to Apologize

By W. Halsted '23

Art by S. Moore '21

“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only teach them how to think.” So posited Socrates, whose profound curiosity and masterful deduction carved the philosophical turkey that would come to feed billions of his intellectual progeny. Perhaps no text better highlights Socrates’s genius than the Apology, the transcription of the timeless thinker’s last philosophical defense before being murdered by an intolerant democracy. Although Plato recorded his beloved teacher’s parting words, recent archeological and linguistic discoveries have pushed scholars to reconsider the accuracy of his accepted translation. They have discovered profound mistakes in the academy’s traditional understanding and have worked tirelessly to fix the errors.

The corrected translation, perhaps more than its predecessor could have ever hoped to, breathes through time’s insurmountable divides; the passionate yet unyielding plea of a mind that refused to recant as certain death loomed near stands as an inspiring model of intellectual integrity. Now we are so privileged to ponder what history’s greatest mind truly said on the eve of his demise:

hey i’m really sorry i was just messing with you this philosophy is made up i mean seriously who would actually believe me the cave stuff is a joke please don’t be mad i’m really sorry i promise that i’ll stop just give me one more chance wait what’s in this cup no i don’t want to drink it please don’t make me dri—