Socrates obeyed what he considered to be an unjust verdict because he believed that it was his obligation, as a citizen of Athens, to persuade or obey its Laws, no matter how dire the consequences. He held that upright life is the only life worth living. To him, justice was a matter of knowledge and hence, a truth aspect. Meanwhile, he honored and acknowledged his duty to obey the Laws of the state. From Socrates' perspective, Laws are absolute.
When all the functions of society are performed by the rightful class, the resulting outcome will be justice. Each class has a duty to perform the responsibilities they are naturally best fit for and should refrain from executing another’s job. The state will be unjust if meddling occurs as it directly goes against the true definition of justice according to Plato. When the auxiliaries try to perform the role of the rulers or the workers attempt to be a guardian, the state is damaged and the exchanging of roles in the society will lead to the ultimate destruction of the state. The fourth virtue of a just city is justice because when each component of the state performs its main purpose, justice can be
Socrates compares the relationship between a citizen and a city to that of a child and a parent. Athens has nurtured Socrates in body and mind, given him an ideal environment to raise his own children in, to give him a platform to exhort people to be virtuous (Crito, 51a). As any child benefits from the protections and provisions of a parent, he must also obey the parent when it requires something of him. So, Socrates considers it his civic duty to obey Athens wishes since he has benefited from his citizenship. Socrates reaches a conclusion that defies a common-sense understanding of
Socrates was born in fairly turbulent times. Athens had been form in the wake of the Persian invasion and was in the process of becoming an empire of itself. When the Athenians executed their remaining leadership for failing to retrieve the bodies of their comrades in a using a trial against Athenian law. two mistakes were committed. First, was weakening of their military, which they would pay for later, and the second was the disregard of their own laws. Imagine the impression this would make to an individual like Socrates. I believe the root of his
When it comes to justice, Polemarchus believes that justice is “…helping friends and harming enemies.”. Socrates questions this point of view because according to Polemarchus’ view point, only the people who are close to him and in his circle of friends would be worthy of any kind of Justice. Polemarchus is wrong in this viewpoint because if only the people that you know who are of your similar social status and you interact with on a day to day basis are considered friends, what of those that you do not know? Or what of those who are not of your social status, that you do not interact with? Socrates questions this by asking, “Do you mean by friends those who seem to be good to an individual, or those who are, even if they don't seem to be, and similar with enemies?”.
It is challenging to lead a private life while truly fighting for justice. A man can fight for justice through examining the greatest issues in human nature that Socrates found essential to the private life. However, this knowledge can have the biggest effect when brought into the public life such as through teachings. These two things can then combine to reflect how the state should be changed. Socrates sometimes crossed this line himself, even if unknowingly. Through becoming a teacher of the young men who followed him in Athens, Socrates effectively began to enter the public life. He was able to influence others through sharing his conclusions of justice, self-examination, and piety, and by asking relentless questions. Socrates effectively showed that an individual can live a private and a public life, even if Socrates was not directly involved in the policy-making in Athens. An individual can combine these two aspects of life in a productive way allowing her/him to live a full existence. These individuals can become teachers, politicians, and activists who use their focus on justice and piety in their private lives to advocate and create laws that promote true justice for the rest of the
Socrates started his life as an average Athen citizen. His parents worked, making an honest living. But as Socrates grew up, he began to realize that his mind questioned things and wondered how come no one else questioned the same things or at least think about the answers to the questions that were not answered. So, as his mind kept wandering, he began to acknowledge the questions that were not answered and sought for those answers. He ended up believing and teaching things to other people, whether it went against the way the Athen government or not, he still continued his work. Making enemies and becoming the topic of conversation, the Athenians began to view Socrates as a threat to their beliefs and way of life and sought to end it. In order to end this, Socrates was accused of blasphemy (Mod1SlideC7). Socrates’s accusers took him to court and after Socrates did not play their game by asking to be sent into exile, and in the end, he was sentenced to death. After reading the textbook and Plato’s writing influenced by Socrates, I realized that in the period of his life Socrates was indeed truly a threat to the Athens society, because he looked for answers that no one else bothered to find which challenged their culture.
Socrates believes that justice benefits the just, but also benefits the city (other people) too. He is faced with a seemingly simple choice, escape Athens or remain in prison and be sentenced to death. Socrates’ central argument against escaping his circumstances is twofold. First, Socrates argues that “one must never do wrong.” (49b) In other words, one should never do an injustice. And likewise, “one should never do wrong in return, nor do any man harm, no matter what he may have done to you.”(49d) It is from this argument that Socrates outlines why he must not escape, for it would be to wrong the city that made him. No matter what the city may have done to him, he must never act against it in retaliation. Socrates bases this view of justice on the worth of living a good life. “And is life worth living for us with that part of us corrupted by unjust actions” (47e) If we corrupt our soul with injustice, our life would not be worth living, therefore one must never commit an injustice. “When one has come to an agreement that is just with someone, one should fulfill it.”(49e) It is this agreement with the Laws that Socrates would be violating, if he were to
In Book 1 of the republic, by Plato, we are introduced to two central figures in the argument of justice, Socrates and Thrasymachus.
What is justice? This is the crucial question that Plato attempts to answer in his dialogue, The Republic. He conjures up an allegory that justice can be found in a person, and a person can represent a city. Thus, his entire dialogue focuses on this ‘just’ city and the mechanics of how the city would operate. His dialogue covers a myriad of topics about justice in addition to the human soul, politics, goodness and truth. In his discussion over how the citizens should be educated and how to control their knowledge, the question of the ethical and realistic expectations of the city. However, the problem, or downfall, of Plato’s city is its foundation. A foundation of lies. Plato’s web of lies, falsehoods and manipulation make the entire city
Plato’s Crito takes place in the jail cell of Socrates, who is wrongfully committed for a crime and is subjected to death. Socrates friends, including Crito, formulate a plan to bribe the guard overlooking Socrates and help him escape in order to give him a peaceful life in exile. Yet, Socrates objects to all of these actions and chooses to face death for many valid reasons. Socrates does not take a stance about whether escaping looks good or bad, instead he lets other people decide whether it is good or bad, for it reflects on them and not on Socrates. Socrates views escaping his unjust punishment as wrongful due to his gratitude, consistency, and loyalty to the laws and order of the government.
Plato's Republic is centered on one simple question: is it always better to be just than unjust? This is something that Socrates addresses both in terms of political communities and the individual person. Plato argues that being just is advantageous to the individual independent of any societal benefits that the individual may incur in virtue of being just. I feel as if Plato’s argument is problematic. There are not enough compelling reasons to make this argument. I believe that
Socrates’ philosophy had been based on morality; which is the desire to do good and reject evil. Telling the courts what they wanted to hear was immoral and against Socrates’ philosophy and morality. Doing so would result in a weak soul that is full of ignorance. Socrates had developed an understanding that came from within. This gave him
the Republic, Socrates argues that justice ought to be valued both for its own sake and for the sake of its consequences (358a1–3). His interlocutors Glaucon and Adeimantus have reported a number of arguments to the effect that the value of justice lies purely in the rewards and reputation that are the usual consequence of being seen to be just, and have asked Socrates to say what justice is and to show that justice is always intrinsically better than is acting contrary to justice when doing so would win you more non-moral goods. Glaucon presents these arguments as renewing Thrasymachus’ Book 1 position that justice is “another’s good” (358b–c, cf. 343c), which Thrasymachus had associated with the claim that the rulers in any constitution frame
Socrates argues that a just soul and a just man will live well, and an unjust one badly. This argument consists of the following: