Political Theory Paper #1

Political Theory Paper #1 - McCallum To Die or Not to Die...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
McCallum To Die or Not to Die? While Socrates is sitting in prison waiting for his execution, his friend Crito pays him a final visit. During this time, the two of them have an argument. Crito wants Socrates to run away continue practicing philosophy. Socrates disagrees, utters the quote we have been given under question #2, and goes on to sway Crito to adopt his views. Socrates’ argument is that in running away and ignoring his guilty verdict, he is attacking the very institution of government of Athens and defying its laws, which he believes is unjust. This is because Socrates perceives that it is too late to do so. To him, he has formed an unwritten covenant with the city and its civil institutions merely by residing within its walls. This is shown in the imagined dialogue of the city, which says, “Was that also part of the agreement between us, Socrates? Or did you agree to stand by whatever judgments the city rendered?. .. You see, we gave you birth, upbringing, and education, and have provided you, as well as every other citizen…we grant him permission to take his property and go wherever he pleases… But if any of you stays here, … then we say that he has agreed with us by his action to do whatever we command.” (“The Crito”, lines 50c- 51e). Therefore, to honor that agreement, Socrates must stay and accept the punishment he has been dealt. Socrates in “The Apology” would have a different take on the situation. He would also respect the institution of the government that placed him in jail in the first place, as he does not argue against the necessity of laws like the one protecting youth from corruption. However, while he thinks the law is fine, Socrates understands that people will wrongly enforce them in order to achieve their own ends. He doesn’t believe that “it’s lawful for a better man to be harmed by a worse,” (“The Apology”, line 30d), which is what is happening because he knows “that much hostility has risen against me” (“The Apology”, line 28a) and the only real way he
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
McCallum will be convicted is through the “slander and malice of many people… [for] It has certainly convicted many other good men as well, and I imagine it will do so again.” (“The Apology”, line 28b) This wrongful conviction is especially bad because it goes against the higher powers that put him on the Earth in the first place. Socrates believes that the gods put him in Athens to practice philosophy, and not practicing philosophy would be refusing a direct order. “Wherever someone has stationed himself because he thinks it best, or wherever he’s been stationed by his commander, there, it seems to me, he should remain, steadfast in danger, taking no account at all of death or anything else, in comparison to what’s shameful.” (The Apology, 28d) Denying the gods is definitely a crime, and Socrates acknowledges that not performing his duties in Athens “would have been scandalous, and someone might have rightly and justly brought me to court for
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/06/2012 for the course POLI_SCI 210 taught by Professor Somebody during the Winter '11 term at Northwestern.

Page1 / 6

Political Theory Paper #1 - McCallum To Die or Not to Die...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online