An oracle was reported to have said, "No one is wiser than Socrates." And in fact it was Socrates’ life’s work to interpret these words, which demanded and defined the practice of philosophy. Each of these original essays attends carefully to the specifics of the Apology, looking to its dramatic details, its philosophic teaching, and its complexity as a work of writing to bring into focus the "Socrates" of the Apology.
Overall, the contributors, distinguished scholars of ancient philosophy, share a belief in the unity of the letter and the spirit of Platonic philosophy: the conviction that the Platonic text cannot be reached except through reading and cannot be read except through thinking. In this way, the readings in this volume mirror Socrates’ own hermeneutical practice of uniting the demands of the mind and the demands of the text—the Socratic "examination." The result, true to the Socratic injunction that the unexamined life is not worth living, continues that practice of examination, here offering a reexamination of Socrates in the Apology.