On Apology

Notes on Plato's Apology
by Zakri Kneebone
Intro to Philosophy, Fall '10, MW 3:15pm

Socrates is speaking at his trial and facing his accusers who he claims have accused him on false pretenses. There is very little grounds to ascertain whether indeed his claim is true because nothing is directly quoted of the plaintiffs. (Linder 2002 states that there is no known record of the plaintiffs' arguments.) However he makes valid arguments to nullify the charges against him.
Socrates stands accused of heresy, that is to say, speaking against the gods of Athens. He claims that his accusers are corrupt and malicious. He says his philosophy was a duty to the gods as he was told there was no one wiser than he by the Oracle. He decided therefore he must seek out and find someone who was wiser than he and it was on this quest that he insulted people of wealth and renown and it is for this he was being persecuted.
Socrates was also accused of teaching his heretical ways to others. He answered this charge by saying that he took no money and thus he could not be considered a teacher. The people who did follow him were doing so of their own volition. They would harass those whom he chastised. In fact, though his followers forged two brutal and attritious coup d'etats that are considered anti-democratic. However, Socrates pointed to his resistance of the Thirty Tyrants at the trial as evidence in his favor. (Linder, 2002)
Here I will diagram Socrates' argument. The legend is as follows: Corruption of the accusers (1), Duty to the Oracle (2), He did not teach (3), Resistance to wrong-doing (4) and finally, Conclusion of innocence (5). Points 2, 3 and 4 converge to tout his virtue, while point 1 attacks the virtue of the plaintiffs.


The Trial of Socrates by Douglas O. Linder, J.D., Professor of Law, UMKC School of Law, 2002. Self-published on as part of his Famous Trials series, retrieved on September 26, 2010 from



Nationalism is a sense of belonging to a physical nation state. It is in this spirit that patriotism is born. Nationalism has had some dangerous consequences because it is commonly used as propaganda during war time. However it is also used to bring communities together to help each other like when there is a pressing natural disaster. However it is also a sense of Nationalism in exceptionalism, which can prevent people from helping people who don't conform to ones view of national identity. Nationalism seems to be an outdated concept as the nations are trending to economic codependancy though on the territory side they are trending to fragmentation. It seems inevitable for personal success in business to break through such invisible barriers as national borders in order to create a world better than the sum of its parts.



Zakri Kneebone Sep 18, 2010 1:56 AM

The current world system is one of Westernization. This term refers to the fact that the most powerful "first-world states" are concentrated in North America and Western Europe, politically known as the West. The general traits of these states are industrialized and democratic. The West assists other states to develop economically and has preference to help states with preference to states which have adopted western values. Some states believe this is a continuation of imperialism. (Mugabe, 2008; Morales, 2009)

Imperialism was a policy by Western countries beginning in the Renaissance and continuing through the Industrial Revolution which was a sustained effort at forceful colonization and requisition of natural and human resouces. (Rourke, p.42) This was followed by the gradual formation of human rights pioneered by Britain and the US through the 19th and 20th centuries. It was this budding ideal of equality and balance of power which met head on with imperialism in the two world wars.

In the interest of equality and the prevention of future world wars that the League of Nations and later the UN were created. However the competition between capitalism and democracy with socialism, communism and fascism which became the Cold War. This ultimately lead to invasion of Eastern Asia by the US and Western Europe in the second half of the 20th century which the book calls containment doctrine. (Rourke, p. 46)

The last 20 years has been marked by US-led NATO invasions into the Middle East to prevent atrocities such as to guard Isreal from Islamic jihadism and to prevent nuclear proliferation. (Rourke, pg. 49)

Independant references:

(Amanpour Interviews Mugabe, CNN, 2008) Retrieved from YouTube 8/18/2010 from

(Evo Morales, Copenhagen Conference, 2009) Reproduced and translated by Democracy Now!, 2009; Retrieved from YouTube 8/18/2010.


My Role In World Politics Comes From My Origin

I feel my role in world politics is one of tolerence, peaceful resistance, compassion and financial support through charity. I grew up in Madison and I was born a Nichiren Shoshu buddhist. When I was young my mother encouraged me to explore exogenous cultures and I myself grew up in a bi-racial family.
Madison is the quintessential American melting pot. (Antonio Puglieli, 2009) People from every part of the globe wind up there and stay because of the tolerance of the ruling political body there. While I was a youth, the neighboorhood I lived in changed from being a white neighboorhood with blacks to a mostly black neighboorhood.
When I was growing up, most of my friends were of a different race and religeon. From this background I feel I have a responsibility to promote religeous and racial tolerance. What then is my vehicle? Common sense dictates I should use my strengths to obtain my ends. I am in the MCS (Management Computer Systems) program because I have always had a fascination with computers and thus, in and of itself a comprehension of computer programming has been the result of my childhood obsession.
Like many programmers I have become involved the open source community. By becoming involved in the open source community I have met many international programmers. And the goal of the open source initiative is to make free software by and for the world. (Open Source Initiative, 2010) My vehicle therefore is to write free, open source software to unite with international programmers and then use the donations to my projects to raise money for conforming Non-governmental charitable organizations.