Subject Philosophy General Philosophy

Question

In Crito, Socrates gives three arguments for remaining in jail and allowing Athens to put him to death.
One of the arguments is based on what later became known as social contract theory.
Analyze Socrates’ use of social contract theory and compare and contrast it with the version of Hobbes's social contract.


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In this paper, Socrates’s arguments in Plato’s dialogue Crito will be thought together with Thomas Hobbes’s thoughts on social contract theory, several centuries later, in his book Leviathan. The excellent commentary by Brickhouse on Plato's Socratic dialogues is also consulted. The context of the argument is Socrates’s guilty sentence, in which, according to the Athenian democracy, he was found guilty of corrupting the youth of Athens. Plato records the event of Socrates’ trial in the Apology. In the Crito, Plato records a conversation between Socrates in prison awaiting his sentencing and being persuaded by his friend Crito to escape his death sentence (to drink a poison cup of hemlock). Plato’s dialogues that recount Socrates’ trial, sentencing, and death tell a universal story of the desires of the individual versus the demands of the state....

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