“Especially an Orator”

Roslyn Weiss

in Socrates Dissatisfied

Published in print March 1998 | ISBN: 9780195116847
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833832 | DOI:
 “Especially an Orator”

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The personified Laws enter the drama when Crito has failed to respond to Socrates' principles, concerns, and arguments—indeed, at the point at which Crito confesses that he does not understand. The Laws are consummate rhetoricians who champion the law that legitimates all judgments rendered by the city. The Laws' perspective on the duties of citizens to obey stands in opposition to Socrates' view: whereas the Laws regard a citizen as obligated to submit to whatever verdict the city issues (since it is to this that a citizen agrees), Socrates' limits the citizen's obligation to obey to correct verdicts (since it is to this alone that a citizen agrees). Socrates is patriotic, brave, and submissive to authority – but only up to the point at which the city demands injustice, whether as something to be committed or as something to be endured.

Keywords: citizen; Crito; Laws; Obedience; rhetoric; Socrates

Chapter.  7517 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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