Socrates and Legal Obligation by R.E. Allen

By R.E. Allen

Socrates and criminal legal responsibility used to be first released in 1981. Minnesota Archive variants makes use of electronic know-how to make long-unavailable books once more available, and are released unaltered from the unique college of Minnesota Press editions.

Charged with "impiety" and sentenced to demise less than the legislations of Athens, Socrates didn't try and disprove the fees or to flee loss of life, yet really held to another form of rhetoric, aiming no longer at persuasion yet at fact. In Socrates and criminal legal responsibility , R.E. Allen contends that Plato's works on Socrates' reputation of death—the Apology and the Crito — will be thought of jointly and as such represent a profound remedy of legislations and of legal responsibility to legislations. Allen's examine of Socrates' idea on those very important concerns is observed by way of his personal translations of the Apology and the Crito .

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Precautions were taken to ensure the impartiality of the tribunal. The dicasts were sworn to render judgment according to their true opinion, and the oath still retained, as at early common law, the force of a religious obligation (see Apology 35c). The dicasts were chosen by lot, and assigned to their respective courts immediately before trial in order to prevent tampering. The very size of their number, the fact that they were quite literally a popular court, itself had historical antecedents grounded in the quest for impartiality.

The opposite of what is acceptable to the gods is impious, and impiety overturns and destroys all things" (14b). , five years after ruinous defeat in war and the rise of a murderous oligarchy, the Thirty Tyrants, Athens must have felt the hand of God already heavy upon her. Still, impiety lay usually for a well-defined class of wrongs: for profanation of the Eleusinian Mysteries, for mutilation of sacred objects, for blasphemy or sacrilege affecting the religion of the City. Socrates was guilty of none of these.

The charge that he introduced new or strange divinities rested solely on his peculiar Sign. There is not enough in all this to explain how he came to attract an indictment for impiety, let alone a finding of guilt. In short, the charges of irreligion against Socrates probably had a procedural rather than a substantive effect: they served to bring his conduct within the reach of a writ of impiety. The heart of the charge against him—and this is confirmed by the controversy over the verdict afterward—was corrupting the youth.

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