Socrates Defense of Athenian Law and C.S. Lewis' critique of subjectivism

Socrates Defense of Athenian Law and C.S. Lewis
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Name Professor Module Date Philosophy: Socrates Defense of Athenian Law and C.S. Lewis' Critique of Subjectivism In both the ‘Apology’ and ‘Crito’, Plato represents Socrates as a staunch defender of law, particularly in the sense that respect for the legal order of one’s polity is a basic obligation of citizenship.


Why would Lewis insist that we interpret Plato’s Socrates in this way? Socrates was an Athenian who firmly believed that the system of the law under which the jury was acting was fair. The city of Athen’s tribunal sat to bestow justice in accordance with the city’s regulations. From the outset of his trial, Socrates declared that, “I must observe the law and make my defense” (Plato 35c). Owing to the fact that he openly admitted the purpose and nature of his lifetime activities, Socrates' case would appear to be based on a matter of interpretation instead of fact. Socrates stated that his teaching, contrary to corrupting the morals of the youth, had actually made Athens become a better state. He would assert in the faces of his accusers that, “My teaching is the bidding of the gods; and I believe that the city has actually benefitted from my service to the gods” (Plato 30a). Even after being pronounced guilty, Socrates made it clear that he respected the views of the legitimate city authorities and would obey their sentence. He said this even though he was aware that he had been unjustly accused. This shows just how much he believed that the Athenian legal system was the foundation of the Athenian city state and had to be valued. The Athenian legal system had a distinct method of trying accused persons. ...
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