The Apology is one of the very few generally recognized philosophical classics. Its author, Plato, was a Greek philosopher who was born in 427 BCE and died in 347 BCE. "The Apology" presents Socrates's defense of himself while being tried for being a man "who speculated about the heaven above, and searched into the earth beneath, and made the worse appear the better cause". "The Apology" also presents Socrates's proposal for his punishment after he is found guilty and his reaction to the punishment actually handed down, which is death.

"The Apology" is the second of four works by Plato detailing Socrates's trial and execution; Euthyphro precedes "The Apology" and Crito and Phaedro follow it, in that order.