Restoring the Radical Socrates

Roslyn Weiss

in Socrates Dissatisfied

Published in print March 1998 | ISBN: 9780195116847
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833832 | DOI:
 Restoring the Radical Socrates

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Once Socrates' views are dissociated from the views expressed by the Laws, his radicality is restored. The positions of both the Laws and of Socrates are radical, and they are radically opposed to one another: the Laws demand unconditional obedience; Socrates demands uncompromised justice. The only thing the Laws and Socrates share is their practical conclusion about what is to be done. Insofar as Socrates believes that in the absence of a moral expert, reasoned argument alone must be obeyed, he cannot subscribe to the Laws' insistence that citizens do “whatever we bid.” The Laws demand reverence, submission, and fawning as the proper conduct of citizen toward fatherland; Socrates, by contrast, serves his fatherland insofar as he “awakens, persuades, and reproaches” it (Ap. 30e7).

Keywords: Crito; justice; Obedience; Socrates

Chapter.  5529 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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