Is Ethics Incompatible With Politics

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Is ethics incompatible with politics?
A reflection on the Crito.
Francesca Iris Bellotti

In this paper I will be discussing one of Plato's major dialogues, the Crito, in order to show how it contrasts with the idea of incompatibility of ethics and politics. I will bring forward the thesis that from this dialogue we can evince a view according to which not only ethics and politics are compatible (even if they are often strongly divergent), but that politics is grounded in, and made possible by ethics.
I am aware of the fact that the question on the relationship between ethics and politics is an aporia/dilemma on which philosophers have always been discussing. I could say something about this.

Before getting to the dialogue, it is necessary
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We can define politics as the art or science of government, but also as the discipline that inquires what is right and wrong within a society: politics as a science makes explicit the practical social implication of moral principles. Ethics, from the greek word ethos, is the philosophical discipline that deals with the rightness and wrongness of human action; it can also be defined as the science of conduct, the discipline that individuates the final end of men (according to their “essence”) and the means through which such end should be pursued. Plato's ethics is eudaimonistic, which means that it is direct towards the attainment of man's highest good, in the possession of which happiness consists. The highest good in a platonic view is the full development of man's rationality. Virtue therefore coincides with knowledge: who knows what is right will do what is right, no one chooses evil as such; right is all that promotes…show more content…
In the light of such principles, we can now understand how it is right to observe even unfair laws: in refusing to escape, Socrates is not only obeying the peculiar sentence that condemned him, but he is obeying a higher law: the most precious and holiest thing to men is the polis itself, the political community as composed by other men (who then formulate laws); since it is never right to harm others, then it is never right to harm the polis: the philosopher will never be against the city, even when the city is against the
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