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
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
Thrasymachus claims that justice is the advantage of the stronger. Socrates then asks if his understanding, that what is beneficial to the stronger is just and must be beneficial to the weaker people, to which Thrasymachus replies that no, this is not so. He explains that justice is that which obtains the advantage of the stronger. He uses the example of ruling a city, where a government would change the rules and laws to best suit them, and as the rules are followed by those who act justly, the just would be acting in the favour of the stronger.
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
The version of Socrates presented in both The Apology, Crito, and The Republic could very well be two different versions of Socrates as presented by Plato. However, both versions of Socrates have one thing in common: they both value the importance of philosophy and they both defend philosophy as something that is important to humanity.
“May it be for the best. If it so please the gods, so be it.” (Cooper 44). Socrates states that if it pleases the gods then thats whats supposed to happen. Socrates has his morals that he grew up with and so does everyone else. On his way to his death some might say he should escape since his trial is unjust. Some might argue, like Socrates, that it isn't right for him to escape and go against his word. His friend Crito is trying to argue the reasons why Socrates is in the right for escaping, while Socrates is arguing the opposite, why his morals will not allow him to do so.
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
Socrates was a greek philosopher who found himself in trouble with his fellow citizens and court for standing his grounds on his new found beliefs from his studies about philosophical virtue, justice, and truth. In “Apology” written by Plato, Socrates defended himself in trial, not with the goal of escaping the death sentence, but with the goal of doing the right thing and standing for his beliefs. With this mindset, Socrates had no intention of kissing up to the Athenians to save his life. Many will argue that Socrates’ speech was not very effective because he did not fight for his life, he just accepted the death sentence that he was punished with. In his speech he said, “But now it’s time to leave, time for me to die and for you to live.”
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
Considering how the Piraeus, Athens’ port area, contains individuals hailing from various locations, it would that such a place would be where Socrates encounters different definitions of justice. In Book One of Plato’s The Republic, Socrates challenges Cephalus’ belief that justice is simply being honest and paying back the dues that one owes to the gods and to his fellow men. By providing examples of where it would be unjust to repay one’s debts, Socrates refutes Cephalus’ definition of justice. In these scenarios, paying back those debts would pose a risk of harm to innocent people, which would be unjust since justice does not involve harming others.
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.
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