Dr. Hermann Genz
Final Examination for CS 201-4
Choose between one of the two questions on the philosophical works (40%).
How much allegiance do we owe to the state? How can individuals contribute to
create a just state? Compare the approaches by Plato’s Crito and Plato’s Republic.
How does Sophocles’ Antigone fit into this picture?
Plato, Crito (50b)
‘Suppose that while we were preparing to run away from here (or however one should describe it) the Laws
and communal interest of Athens were to come and confront us with this question: ‘Now, Socrates, what
are you proposing to do? Can you deny that by this act which you are contemplating you intend, so far as
you have the power, to destroy us, the Laws, and the whole state as well? Do you imagine that a city can
continue to exist and not be turned upside down, if the legal judgements which are pronounced in it have no
force but are nullified by a private person?’.
Plato, The Republic (434c-d)
‘Interference by the three classes with each other’s jobs, and interchange of jobs between them, therefore,
does the greatest harm to our state, and we are entirely justified in calling it the worst of evils.’ ….
‘So that is what injustice is. And conversely, when each of our three classes (businessmen, Auxiliaries, and
Guardians) does its own job and minds its own business, that, by contrast, is justice and makes our state
Sophocles, Antigone (lines 499-505)
Antigone: ‘Of course I did. It wasn’t Zeus, not in the least, who made this proclamation – not to me. Nor
did that justice, dwelling with the gods beneath the earth, ordain such laws for men. Nor did I think your
edict had such force that you, a mere mortal, could override the gods, the great unwritten, unshakable