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Legal Philosopher: Socrates

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stephanie mcduff

on 1 October 2013

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Transcript of Legal Philosopher: Socrates

Socrates: The Philosopher

Legal Concepts
Strengths and Weaknesses
Clear and concise with his beliefs
Socrates Jeopardy
A law that allows the use of random spot checks to catch possibly impaired drivers
Positive Law

Natural Law
Did not follow laws or government orders when they were clearly against reason
Did not follow Athenian Law for the sole reason that it was not based on his ideas of perfect goverance
Socrates was a firm believer that injustice should not be done: he was concerned that people should be treated according to the law and not according to the wishes of leaders or just people in general
Socrates concludes that punishment for the crime is the cure for evil, and justice leads to that punishment
"Doing injustice harms yourself internally." - Socrates
Agrees that morals should be the heart of the law, rather than the government creating and enforcing laws that are man made
Living a just life is important despite suffering or loss
Disagrees with the law because he does not understand how the government can tell people how to run their lives
Civil Disobedience
The refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest.
Socrates would have supported civil disobedience because he believes in the moral rights that humans have against the government.
A law that permits euthanasia
A proposal by the government to legalize theft
A proposed law that would permit the government to take DNA samples from all newborns in order to maintain a database that could be used to match DNA from a crime scene
Socrates would have supported this law because it contributes to the good of society. Although this could be considered an invasion of one's privacy, Socrates would argue that in order to rule out the possibility of impaired driving and to keep the rest of society safe it would be a necessary measure to be taken. He believed that justice is the cure for evil and a punishment is the way justice is served. This theory would be applied to this law.
Socrates would have been opposed to this law because it does not accomplish any good, happiness, or natural need. These three points are all key ideas that Socrates believed in. This is a morally wrong act and Socrates would have potentially created a civil disobedience movement against this law.
Socrates would be opposed to this law because it is goes against many of his theories of good and justice. Socrates agreeing to this law would be contradicting his theory or the moral good of society.
Socrates would have multiple views about this law. He would agree with this law because he would think that it is good that criminals can be caught and put in prison. He would disagree with this law because it goes against his naturalist views about the government. He would argue that the government should not have this much power over people to force them to provide DNA for a database. This would result in Socrates being opposed to this law.
A proposed new law that permits members of certain ethnic groups to be arrested and interrogated without legal representation for a period of time in order to combat terrorism
Socrates would be absolutely opposed to this law. Being a naturalist, he would disagree with the amount of power the government is given in the purposed law and the freedom they receive to ask whatever they please to these ethnic groups over no stated time frame.
“The law presumably says that it is finest to keep as quiet as possible in misfortunes and not be irritated, since the good and bad in such things aren't plain, nor does taking it hard get one anywhere, not are any of the human things worthy of great seriousness... One must accept the fall of the dice and settle one's affairs accordingly-- in whatever way argument declares would be best. One must not behave like children who have stumbled and who hold on to the hurt place and spend their time in crying out; rather one must always habituate the soul to turn as quickly as possible to curing and setting aright what has fallen and is sick, doing away with lament by medicine.” - Socrates
469 B.C. -399 B.C.
Lived in Athens during democratic era in Ancient Greece
He supported his wife Xanthippe and two sons by stone cutting, but felt his true occupation was philosophy
Known for creating Socratic Irony and Socratic Method, and pedagogy
One of the most influential moral philosopher in Western world
Socrates compared his existence to that of a midwife; he helped to deliver knowledge to pregnant minds

Although he influenced many famous philosophers, he did not consider himself a teacher nor did he write any of his theories down
Main virtues were: courage, temperance, justice, and piety
No particular belief in politics and was not opposed to democracy
Disliked the Athenian form
Philosophical Views and Theories
Believed that truth, beauty, and justice have objective content, and that we are born with a natural understanding of their existence
Thought that living a moral life brought eternal happiness
Justice was achieved through punishment
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