In Plato’s The Republic and The Apology, the topic of justice is examined from multiple angles in an attempt to discover what justice is, as well as why living a just life is desirable. Plato, writing through Socrates, identifies in The Republic what he thought justice was through the creation of an ideal city and an ideal soul. Both the ideal city and the ideal soul have three components which, when all are acting harmoniously, create what Socrates considers to be justice. Before he outlines this city and soul, he listens to the arguments of three men who hold popular ideas of the period. These men act to legitimize Socrates’ arguments because he finds logical errors in all of their opinions. In The Apology, a different, more down-to-Earth, Socrates is presented who, through his self-defense in court, reveals a different, even contradictory, view of the justice presented in The Republic. In this paper, the full argument of justice from The Republic will be examined, as well as the possible inconsistencies between The Republic and The Apology.
The portrayal of Socrates, through the book “the trial and death of Socrates” is one that has created a fairly controversial character in Western history. In many ways, Socrates changed the idea of common philosophy in ancient Greece; he transformed their view on philosophy from a study of why the way things are, into a consideration man. Specifically, he analyzed the virtue and health of the human soul. Along side commending Socrates for his strong beliefs, and having the courage to stand by those convictions, Socrates can be commended for many other desirable characteristics. Some of those can include being the first martyr to die for his philosophical beliefs and having the courage to challenge indoctrinated cultural norms is part of
Socrates was a former infantryman, having fought in three campaigns during the war with Sparta, so it is no surprise that he believed justice should not be invoked by the citizens’ pleading. He
The argument in This perspective of Socrates represented by Plato demonstrates the difference between a man accused of wrong doings and a man who is being condemned. When Socrates is informed of the final decision by the jury he again keeps his composure and states in his defense speech by emphasizing that he is alright with the way he presented himself instead of begging and pleading. Finally, Socrates tells the jury “that there is hope in death and that he will enter into it with no fear”(Yount). His final request is for the jurymen to make sure that his sons grow up in the right way and praises some of the jurors who voted for his innocence.
Socrates was brought into the courts under charges of impiety and corruption of minors. Socrates did not believe in the divinities of the city-state. The punishment decided upon was an execution, in the hope that Socrates would choose exile, a punishment that would have satisfied the jury.
Athens could also be seen as a place where they educated their citizens. Socrates understood that he would not be the man who he is today, without Athens. Like anything, a child would not willingly do harm on a parent, especially if they receive love and protection, and no harm in return. This parental versus child relationship is quite similar to the relationship Socrates had with Athens. The people of Athens could have assumed that Socrates would try to escape and that his death sentence would not follow through, but Socrates did not see this as an important factor. He believed that if he escaped, it would hinder the image of Athens because he would not be following their laws, which might influence the citizens to also break the laws of Athens. People with a lot of influence, have a lot of followers, for example, the people of Athens. If Socrates, supposedly the wisest man were to escape from prison and his death sentence, other people might think it is fine to disobey Athens as well. On the other hand, the citizens expected him to escape, but the fact that he stayed in prison to face his death sentence shows how seriously he took subjects like harming others and obeying the state to heart. Another objection to this argument could be, that Socrates was falsely accused and was harmed when he was truly innocent, he did not commit any of the crimes he was accused of, but Socrates still had the opportunity to a fair trial, he just did not use
In 399 B.C.E. Athens, Socrates, one of the greatest axial philosophers, was charged with impiety and corruption of the youth by Meletus, Lycon, and Anytus. Socrates was convicted of these accusations and executed. Socrates was one of many great thinkers in Athens, which was experiencing a Golden age as the most progressive and learned democracy in Greece. Strangely, Athens executed Socrates for his speech, which contrasted with Athenian democratic values. Moreover, Socrates was seen as annoying to authorities of the time, but never considered threatening enough to receive punishment to Athens before this. In order for Socrates to be executed, Athens needed to have undergone a deep shift that changed perceptions of Socrates from a gadfly to a danger to society. As a result of a crippling defeat by Sparta in the Peloponnesian Wars, Athens was paranoid of threats to its democracy, Athenian citizens were looking for a scapegoat for their recent troubles, and Socrates made enemies out of powerful politicians and thinkers due to his irritating Socratic method and uncustomary beliefs, therefore, he was easy to blame and execute.
Socrates was a great philosopher of the Greek world. He was quite an atypical and distinctive person. Being different from all the other philosophers of the land, Socrates was teaching his students ideas totally out of the ordinary from what the society believed was right. As a result, he displeased many people so much that they decided to get rid of him. Socrates was put to trial, accused of spoiling the youth of Athens, tried and sentenced to death. His personal defense is described in works two of his students: Xenophon and Plato. Both of them wrote papers called Apology, which is the Greek word for “defense”. In this essay I used Apology by Plato as the main resource, since it contents a more full account of the trial of Socrates and
As a defender of civic virtue, the significance of obligation and authority of one’s representative government epitomizes the magnitude of respect that Socrates had for Athenian Jurisprudence, irrespective of the fact that he was prosecuted against. In the accounts of the Apology and Crito, there exists a plethora of evidence that demonstrate Socrates’s adherence of institutionalized authority. His loyalty of the Athenian State derives from his notion that the obligation to surrender to the law manifests a just society. One may ask, “how is it possible for a persecuted man to continue to profess allegiance to a polity that sought his trial and execution”? Though many would not have the capacity to sustain such integrity, Socrates had his reasons in
In Plato’s works Apology and Crito there is an attempt by Socrates to defend himself in court and defend his choice to receive the death penalty when found guilty. Although he makes very valid and strong arguments throughout one can only wonder why such a wise person would choose death over life. The following essay will analyze three quotes from Apology and Crito, find the correlation between them, and reveal any flaws that may exsist inside these arguments made by Socrates.
Plato’s account of Socrates’ defense against charges of corrupting the youth and heresy, reveal the ancient teacher’s view of justice as fairness and support of rule of law. In the Apology, Socrates faces a moral dilemma: to either accept his punishment for crimes he did not commit or to accept the assistance of his friends and escape death by the hand of the state. His choice to accept death in order to maintain rule of law reveals his belief of justice. He beliefs his punishment to be just not because he committed the crimes but because his sentence came through a legal process to which he consented. By sparing his life, he would weaken the justice system of Athens which he values above his own existence. This difference between the two men’s beliefs regarding justice draws the sharpest contrast in their views of effective leadership and government.
In most circumstances ending the life of a criminal as their punishment usually reflects the magnitude of the crimes that they committed, crimes that often involve the deaths of others or equally heinous actions, yet one historical example stands out for not following this rule. In 399 BC, in Athens,
In Plato’s: The Apology Socrates was charged and put on trial for impiety, as well as accused of committing many other crimes. I will first explain the most important issues of why Socrates was sent to death. Then I will argue the position that Socrates is innocent, and should not
What’s Good? Socrates’s offering to the jury is to tell the truth, despite not admitting that it is simply his truth and thus not the entire truth, he is not able to convey to the jury the importance of not killing him. A bad citizen would try to undermine the jury
Socrates’ Trial Defense in Terms of His Values In his Apology, Plato recounted the trial that led to the execution of his friend and mentor, Socrates. The account revealed that values of Socrates’ accusers and his own fundamentally differed, and that they had been angered because he tried to prove that they had misplaced theirs. Those differences created conflict between the two parties that culminated in his trial. With the understanding that a jury condemned Socrates to death and his defense nevertheless pleased him because he gave it truthfully, it is most sensible to call it a good defense because he felt it was the best that he could do.