Chapter

“Whatever We Bid”

Roslyn Weiss

in Socrates Dissatisfied

Published in print March 1998 | ISBN: 9780195116847
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833832 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195116844.003.0006
 “Whatever We Bid”

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The Laws admit finally that Socrates is innocent. For them, however, Socrates' escape would nevertheless be unjust since justice requires the unqualified submission of the citizen to the city and its laws: the citizen is the city's child and slave; in addition, the citizen has agreed to do “whatever we bid.” The tone of the Laws' speech is sarcastic, bitter, and mocking. Their paramount concern is with their own survival: their demand for absolute obedience derives from this overriding concern. For Socrates, law derives validity only from its fostering of justice; mere survival, whether of the individual or of the Laws, cannot supersede the claims of justice.

Keywords: Crito; justice; Laws; Socrates; survival

Chapter.  26293 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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