Socrates Stop Philosophizing

1307 Words6 Pages
Socrates’s Reasoning for Refusing to Cease Philosophizing In Plato’s Apology of Socrates, Socrates defies the legislative authority of Athens by refusing to stop philosophizing, which he justifies in the name of reason. Socrates’s argument in favor of philosophizing is based on what he believes is human nature or the gods’ will, which is demonstrated when he states, “I will obey the gods rather than you; and as long as I breathe and am able to, I will certainly not stop philosophizing…” (Plato’s Apology of Socrates, 81). Socrates goes on to claim that his actions are just because he is seeking virtue and ultimately, happiness, and “how [the] soul will be the best possible” (Plato’s Apology of Socrates, 81). He argues that it is human nature to philosophize and this is how humans reach their ultimate fulfillment and happiness, and anything that interferes with that pursuit of happiness is by definition unjust. When Athens orders Socrates to stop philosophizing, they are interfering with his pursuit of happiness and thus, the law is unjust and can be disobeyed. St. Thomas Aquinas would seemingly agree with Socrates’s conclusion that this particular law ordering Socrates to cease philosophizing was unjust and that Socrates was justified in his disobedience. In Aquinas’s Summa Theologica, he points out the characteristics of an unjust…show more content…
In regards to the Athens’ unjust punishment, Socrates stands by his belief that “that it is never correct to do injustice, or to do injustice in return, or for someone to whom evil is done to defend himself by doing evil in return”, and he believes that to disobey Athens’ legitimate authority and their punishment would be to commit evil (Plato’s Crito,

More about Socrates Stop Philosophizing

Get Access