"Symposium" is a philosophical dialogue written by Plato around 385–370 BC. The dialogue is set at a dinner party, where a group of Athenians, including the philosopher Socrates, gather to discuss the nature of love, or eros. Each guest takes turns delivering a speech on the subject, with their own unique perspective and interpretation. The speeches range from comedic to serious, and cover a variety of topics, including the nature of beauty, the relationship between love and the divine, and the different forms that love can take. Ultimately, the dialogue ends with a speech from the philosopher Diotima, who offers a more nuanced understanding of love as a process of seeking wisdom and transcendence. The Symposium is widely considered one of Plato's most influential and enduring works, and has been studied and debated by philosophers, scholars, and students for centuries.
"Apology" is a philosophical dialogue written by Plato in which Socrates, a philosopher, defends himself against charges of impiety and corrupting the youth of Athens. The dialogue takes place in 399 BCE, after Socrates was accused by Meletus, Anytus, and Lycon, and subsequently brought to trial.
Socrates begins his defense by explaining that his reputation as a philosopher was due to his pursuit of wisdom through questioning and examining himself and others. He denies the charges of impiety and argues that his actions were not harmful to society but rather aimed to improve it.
Socrates acknowledges that he has made enemies due to his probing questioning and his refusal to accept conventional wisdom, but he argues that his actions were not intended to harm anyone. He also refuses to beg for mercy or to compromise his beliefs in order to avoid punishment.
In the end, Socrates is found guilty and sentenced to death by drinking hemlock. Despite his imminent death, he remains calm and philosophical, accepting his fate with grace and dignity.
The "Apology" is considered one of Plato's most significant works, as it presents Socrates' philosophy of living a life of inquiry, integrity, and self-examination, even in the face of adversity. It also raises questions about the nature of truth, justice, and the role of the individual in society.