Socrates Vs Crito

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In the dialogue Crito, the Laws state that “One must obey the commands of one’s city and country, or persuade it as to the nature of justice” (51c1-2). In this paper, a third option in response to the state, i.e. punishment in reaction to unjust acts, will be advocated for. To this end, I will argue that Socrates could be justified in escaping because doing so could have punished the Laws of Athens, which would have helped the Laws maintain their virtue. This argument exists in two parts. First, I will use the three Laws speeches from the Crito in attempt to show that it is just for Socrates to punish the Laws. Next, I will use the same three speeches as well as the original verdict given in the Apology to try to show that escaping is in …show more content…

Therefore, based on his strong love for the Laws, Socrates should pay great heed to the virtue of the Laws. The unjust conviction of Socrates can be considered an unjust act by the Laws. Such unjust actions are inconsistent with the preservation or care of virtue. General agreement seems to state that people should be punished in response to unjust acts as an attempt to maintain their virtue. For example, this appears to be the entire reason for Socrates’ punishment from Athens in the first place. Socrates performed actions the city deemed unjust and was punished in response. The punishment was an attempt to guide Socrates and other citizens toward virtue. Thus, if a person performs an unjust act, they should be punished. The punishment serves as an attempt to care for their virtue. Therefore, it would be justified for the Laws to be punished in response to their unjust act. In the first speech by the Laws, they ask Socrates, “Do you think you have this right to retaliation against your country and its laws?” (51a2-3). Due to Socrates’ care for the virtue of the Laws, he assumes the aforementioned right to retaliation against them, provided they commit an act that detracts from their virtue. If one cares about the Laws and their virtue, it is right for that person to punish the Laws as an attempt to care for their well-being. It follows then, that Socrates is not only justified in punishing the Laws, but also that

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