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
Socrates presented justice as a way for a better life through the steps that can take someone there. He mentioned the steps as wisdom, courage, and moderation. He stated that these things will lead to justice, however he did not define what justice is. Socrates might have never known himself and wasn’t serious about defining the word. They stat that “after having considered moderation, courage, and prudence, this is what’s left over in the city, justice” (Bloom 111; 433c).
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
In Book 1 of the republic, by Plato, we are introduced to two central figures in the argument of justice, Socrates and Thrasymachus. 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.
In Book IV of Plato’s Republic, Socrates and his peers come to the conclusion that a city is going to need people who have an understanding of what justice should be. Socrates at the end of Book IV can make the difference between individual, political, and social justice. He knows that individual and political justice is so much in common because they both weigh in heavy on truth, honor, and appetitive soul. That appetitive soul is an element that helps the secure the just community with love and support.
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.
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. Socrates argues in the Crito that he should not escape or disobey the law because it is unethical.
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)
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: An Atypical Hero of Greece” In Plato’s The Apology, Socrates defended himself while on trial against the old and new accusers in part by relating himself to other ancient Greek heroes. His most daring comparison is to the greatest hero of the ancient Greek civilization: Achilles. The purpose of Socrates’ defense speech was to attempt to persuade the jury that the social order of Greek society needed to transfer from an honor culture to a civilization that prioritized justice overall. By comparing and contrasting attributes of himself to Achilles, Socrates attempted to justify his claim that he was a hero like Achilles because they were both willing to sacrifice their lives for what they believed was right for the common good of others.
Socrates in his dialogue was pushing further with the idea that it is worse to do injustice than to suffer injustice, a clime which was objected by Polus. For Polus says that many people who do injustice are happy, but Socrates insists otherwise. Socrates focuses on Eudaimonia, which means happiness, as the main objective to reach. Thus the people who do injustice like kings and tyrants are unhappy. Socrates then asks Polus which is more shameful doing injustice or suffering it, and Polus replies that doing injustice is more shameful.
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.
To fight for justice, one must be careful with how he does it. Socrates may have lived a long life, but he went about his fight for injustice incredibly wrong. There must have been a way for him to appear before the senate or the town lawfully and pitch his ideas politically. Instead, he took the approach of going around town telling the Athenians that they were unwise and causing a disturbance. Socrates chose the illegal path in his fight for justice.
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 the Apology, Socrates stated, “my present request seems a just one, for you to pay no attention to my manner of speech-
In “Apoligy” Socrates refused to admit his accusation, but in “Crito” he chose to accept the death instead of escaping. His value towards justice can be reflected by much of his word that “justice” is not limited to individuals but at a higher level; it is like a shared value inside all human being. When Crito said his worry of “shameful reputation” of spending money for friend”, Socrates asked him why he needed to consider other people’s opinions. “The best people, who are more deserving of our attention, will believe that the matter was handled in just the way it is.” (44c)