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Law Philosophy & Theory: Socrates

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Linus Chan

on 29 February 2012

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Transcript of Law Philosophy & Theory: Socrates

Legal Philsopher Socrates Profile Philosophy of Law Strengths Weaknesses Justice & Grudge Informer More Quotes/Writing Natural Law Socrates was a man of reason
Core ideal:
Everyone should do good and avoid wrong
Philosophies of law and justice is based on this ideal
Naturally, Socrates followed in his beliefs
Socrates reasoned that life would be better if everyone only did good
Therefore, "just" actions are good acts that do not interfere/harm with others
Reasoned this philosophy - Natural Law Sample Writing #1 “Listen then,” said I, “and learn if there is anything in what I say. For what we laid down in the beginning as a universal requirement when we were founding our city, this I think, or some form of this, is justice. And what we did lay down, and often said, you recall, was that each one man must perform one social service in the state for which his nature is best adapted.” “Yes, we said that.” - Socrates
Republic, Book 4, Line 443a “And again that to do one's own business and not to be a busybody is justice..." Views of Natural
& Positive Law Socrates followed Athenian law when they can be reasoned, ie. in harmony with Natural Law
Socrates did not follow laws or government orders when they were clearly against reason Virtuous, honourable way to live life
Simple, no contradictions / not overly complex
Foundations of many modern laws Arginusae Trial 10 Generals were being tried for abandoning their duties and failing to save survivors
Socrates acted as the "Prytany", to make sure procedures were followed Background Problem The tyrannical government ordered all the generals to be tried at once
Unfair for generals, tradition laws guaranteed fair trials by law
Socrates refused to follow order Natural Law > Positive Law Naive, causes his own death
Innocent people, such as himself, will be harmed Did not escape because it would be "wrong" according to his legal philosophy
Procedures and trial was technically fair "One who is injured ought not to return the injury, for on no account can it be right to do an injustice; and it is not right to return an injury, or to do evil to any man, however much we have suffered from him." -Socrates "It is just to do good to our friends when they are good and harm to our enemies when they are evil." "Doing injustice harms yourself internally." -Socrates Justice for Socrates means punishing those who committed "injust" actions "And if he, or any one about whom he cares, does wrong, he ought of his own accord to go where he will immediately be punished; he will run to the judge, as he would to the physician, in order that the disease of injustice may not be rendered chronic and become the incurable cancer of the soul." Socrates & Punishment: More about restitution and rehabilitation Grudge Informer Case According to "do right/avoid wrong", Socrates would have punished the Grudge Informers
However, punishment would be similar some sort of rehab./restitution work Citations Socrates Lived from 470 BC - 399 BC
Philosopher in Athens during a democratic era in Ancient Greece
Mentored disciples, developed the Socratic Method
Socrates can't read or write, his life is described by his students Plato and Xenophon
Trial of Socrates Accused of impiety & corrupting the minds of the youth
A jury of 501 Athenians found him guilty as charged and sentenced him to death
Refused to escape from jail
Drank poison hemlock undefined. (undefined). Socrates Quotes. In Brainy Quote. Retrieved Friday 24, 2012, from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/socrates163900.html. Julius Sensat. (September 16, 2001). Julius Sensat / Philosophy 241 / Notes / Installment 4: The Crito . In uwm.edu. Retrieved Friday 24, 2012, from https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/sensat/www/courses/241/notes04.html. Plato. (undefined). The Republic. (Translated by Benjamin Jowett). Ancient Greece. (Original Work Published in 360 BC). Mare Nostrum. (March 29, 2000). Socrates: the Search of Justice. In Rich East High School. Retrieved Friday 25, 2012, from http://www.richeast.org/htwm/Greeks/Socrates/Index.html. Plato. (undefined). Five Great Dialogues (232). (Translated by Benjamin Jowett). Ancient Greece. (Original Work Published in 380 BC). Plato. (undefined). Gorgias. (Translated by Benjamin Jowett). Ancient Greece. (Original Work Published in 380 BC). Various. (February 19, 2012). Socrates. In Wikipedia. Retrieved Friday 25, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates.
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