How does Socrates defends his position of the following quote?
"I wish now to explain to you, my judges, why it seems to me that a man who has really spent his life in philosophy has reason to be of good cheer when he is about to die."
Socrates is dead. He doesn't defend positions anymore.
Did you read the rest of what he says in the dialogue? That's your answer. So, read it.
He kills himself with poison sumac.
He was not afraid of death .
socrates knows that there is nothing to fear.
either he will die and there will be nothing at all (hence nothing to fear) or he will die and find an eternity (which is a good thing).
the philosopher, who lives philosophically as Socrates did, knows also that one cannot be caused any mood or feeling, but chooses to give it to himself. socrates lived a good life with his people and the search for truth at the forefront of all his ends. what is to be sad about?
He knows that he will be remembered long after he is dead. That the point of living here on earth was to make an impact on another's life, and he had done that.
p.s. I find it funny that in those days, a criminal was allowed to choose their own form of punishment, and Socrates chose to pay a fine. 30 pcs. of silver. That is too funny...also, more people elected to put him to death than elected he was guilty to begin with because of his suggestion of a fine!!!
having spent his life in philosophy he should be internally at peace hence in good cheer
Socrates is basically expressing the fact he has a clear conscience - the "defence" is signified by his reference to a life spent in "philosophy" - in other words, he's thought about everything very carefully and though his peers do not like nor agree with his conclusions, he nonetheless, is not in any way swayed by their poor judgment; Socrates was sure of what he knew and also, that his death was merely a physical end - he knew his philosophy would live on far into the future.
They say that Philosphes make dieing their profession. Death is what Philosophes aspire for, for, this world is notonly unfriendly, but also meaningless.
In Indian Philsophy, Getting liberation from the birth death rebirth cycle is liberation, or Moksha.
Socrates knew that he was righteous, and he knew that he had lived his life, and also he knew that he shall be better off whne he finally dies. So had no reason to be afraid of either the judges or death.