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Plato's Crito.odt

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McMaster University
Stefan Rodde

Philosophy Lecture ...6? Essay-> topics will be posted this evening. :D ! Civil Disobedience and the Law We looked at Mills and Rawls to talk about liberty and justice. Starting today we're going to look at particular issues. The first is Civil Disobedience and the Law. Why do people disobey the law? For many people, the law commands resepct. It has an authority simply in being the law. We may disagree with it, feel there is osmething wqrong with it, or try to break it, but it is generally not something people tkae lightly. -immediate personal gain many people break the law -> belief that the law is wrong, in search for justice. – because they think that hte law is unjust – -because they think that an unjust has been misapplied. – If we decide the only way to change the law is to disobey it, then we may feel we have to. – This is what we often think about when we discuss civil disobedience – because they think that a just law has been misapplied – sometimes people disobey legal officials because they feel that the law has been misapplied. In Birmingham, Alabama, the city officials refused to allow Martin Luther King on public grounds on the basis that he would cause a public disturbance. Plato: the Crito doing a Socratic dialogue. Plato takes a very extreme position on this issue. It is never permissable to break the law, even when the law is unjust or misapplied. Socrates -> who we only know through Plato- frequently claimed that he doesn't posses any special knowledge. “I know one thing, that I know nothing.” Socrates would go up to well-respected individuals and ask them questions. Like, “What is justice?” he would publicly humiliate them in one way by engaging in dialogues. He made a lot of enemies, and in 399BCE was tried for impiety and corrupting the youth ofAthens, and was executed. The Crito is supposed to be what occurs in prison two nights before he is to be executed. Crito is an old friend of Socrates. They've been friends since their youth. Crito tries to break Socrates out of prison. Why Socrates Should Escape If Socrates doesn't escape: - Crito will lose a valuable friend – Crito's reput
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