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
Bothered by Socrates’ logic, Thrasymachus presents a revised version of his previous argument. Thrasymachus says that injustice is stronger than justice and that it most definitely results in a happier life. The example he uses (of a powerful dictator who is made happy through injustice is a reference to his earlier example that justice is used to the advantage of the stronger). Thrasymachus has not greatly changed the principle of his argument, just using alternate examples.
In Apology, Socrates faces possible execution as he stands trial in front of his fellow Athenian men. This jury of men must decide whether Socrates has acted impiously against the gods and if he has corrupted the youth of Athens. Socrates claims in his defense that he wants to live a private life, away from public affairs and teachings in Athens. He instead wants to focus on self-examination and learning truths from those in Athens through inquiry. Socrates argues that "a [man] who really fights for justice must lead a private, not a public, life if [he] is to survive for even a short time" (32a). He claims that this is how he has been able to live a long life in Athens and that he never meant any harm to the state. Socrates believes that for
In this paper I will argue that Socrates’s argument at 50a-b of the Crito would be not harming his fellow citizens by breaking the laws. Based on the readings from Plato’s The Five Dialogues, I will go over the reasoning of Socrates’ view on the good life. I will then discuss the three arguments Crito has for Socrates regarding his evasion of the death sentence including the selfish, the practicality, and the moral arguments. I will deliberate an objection to the argument and reply to the objections made in the paper and conclude with final thoughts.
Even though Socrates claims to be innocent of the charges brought against him, he is ultimately sentenced to death. After he hears the jury's decision, Socrates is sent to jail to await his execution. Crito arrives before Socrates is scheduled for execution and offers him a chance to escape. Crito believes the jury's decision was unjust. In Crito's eyes, Socrates is innocent and therefore has the right to escape. However, even though Crito believes Socrates has the right to escape, Socrates disagrees with him. He reminds Crito “no human being should do injustice in return, whatever he suffers from others”(Crito, 49c). Socrates argues even if the jury's decision was unjust, it is never permissible for him to do injustice in return and therefore he will not try to escape. In essence, even though Socrates is offered the opportunity to
He is given the opportunity to choose an escape, and live his life never being able to return back to Athens. He completely opposes the idea and decides to live out the consequences of his trial, ultimately dying. Socrates made it his mission to live a virtuous life, which he did, right to his death. To life a virtuous life it would have gone against his own belief if he did escape his conviction, making this aspect very important in his philosophy. “To do so is right, and one must not give way or retreat or leave one’s post, but both in war and in courts and everywhere else, one must obey the commands of one’s city and country, or persuade as the nature of justice. It is impious to bring violence to bear against your mother or father; it is much more so to use it against your country.” What we say in reply, Crito, that the laws speak the truth, or not?” (TDS pg 51,52). By breaking the law, Socrates would be disobeying the laws as a citizen, like a child disobeying his parent. By escaping he would have been doing an impious act that would affect his standing with the gods. Therefore, Socrates was willing to die if it meant that his actions would still be
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?”.
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
This claim by Socrates that it is better to suffer injustice than to commit injustice is pretty easy to comprehend once all the parts are analyzed. At first, this idea seems crazy that it is actually beneficial to suffer injustice and wrong-doing. He begins his arguments with describing doing an act of injustice like killing, justly. Socrates compares killing
In the Republic, Plato confers with other philosophers about the true definition of justice. Cephalus, Polemarchus, and Thrasymachus relay their theories on justice to Plato, when he inquires as to what justice is. Cephalus believes only speaking the truth and paying one’s debts is the correct definition of justice (The Republic, Book I). However, Plato refutes this with an example of a friend who has lost his wits and would be caused harm by repayment of a debt. This leads to Polemarchus’ view on justice, doing harm to one’s enemies and helping one’s friends. Plato contests this view on justice because he believes doing harm to anyone would be an injustice. This theory leads to their conclusion the just man is one who is useful. Thrasymachus refers to justice in an egoistical manner, saying “justice is in the interest of the stronger” (The Republic, Book I). He believes injustice is virtuous and wise and justice is vice and ignorance, but Socrates disagrees with this statement as believes the opposing view. As a result of continual rebuttals against their arguments,
I think that there is a fallacy of irrelevance. In the book, Socrates sets out to defend the idea that it is always in one’s best interest to be just and to act justly and he suggests that the just person as one who has a balanced soul will lead one to act justly or why mental health amounts to justice. I feel that justice includes actions in relation to others, it includes considerations of other people’s good, and includes strong motivations not to act unjustly. I believe that Socrates’ defense of justice does not include constraining reasons to think that a person with a balanced soul will refrain from acts that are commonly thought to be unjust like theft, murder, and adultery. Thus, Plato presents Socrates defending mental health rather than
According to Socrates perspective, the democracy of Athens was corrupt and even though they courts were made in such a way that everyone was judged fairly, it wasn’t such because there were no rules or principles set forth. When a person was brought to court in the Athenian court and the person spoke against the jurors or offended them, he or she could be prosecuted based on that. In summary, judgment was passed based on emotion rather than on justice.
Plato’s Apology tells the account of the trial of the philosopher Socrates. It is Plato’s account of what Socrates said against the charges they were being brought to him and his pursuit of his own innocence throughout the trial. The charges that are being brought up against him are that he is damaging the youth by corrupting them, accusation of his belief in the gods and teaching about gods that were not accepted by the State, they believe he is trying to change religion, while also accusing him that he will not prove to the court that he did not perform in these action. From the beginning, he asks not to be interrupted while he speaks and as he speaks his accusers seem to be taken back by his words. At the end Socrates changes in a sense
In Plato’s The Apology, Socrates has been declared guilty of corrupting the Athenian youth and in Crito, he is now awaiting his execution. Crito urges him to escape and presents him with different arguments as to why staying to be executed would be a disservice to various people. Socrates believes that escaping would mean breaking the social contract he was born into. Socrates declares that a person shouldn’t repay injustice with more injustice since no one should ever act unjustly. However, what must one do when the society that one has a contract with is also the reason injustices are committed against them? I will argue that while
People without moral always had a hard time to make others trust them. Sometimes, their lack of morality makes them suffer during their entire life. Moreover, people without moral do not care about others. They are more likely to be selfish and participate any type of corruption. They do not have time to enjoy their life because of they always on self-defend for things they do wrong. In Plato’s dialogue Gorgias, Socrates takes this position to an extreme. He argues that it is much better to suffer wrong than to do it; that a good man who has his eyes gouged out and is tortured to death is more fortunate than a corrupt person who has used wealth and power