Socrates Refusal to arrest Leon of Salamis

1. In the Apology, Socrates describes his refusal to arrest Leon of Salamis and declares that he would not obey a court order that restrained him from practising philosophy. Are these consistent with his claim in the Crito that he is under a moral obligation to obey the laws of Athens? Explain and defend your answer.

2. In the Laches Socrates argues that the proposals of Laches and Nicias confront the Problem of the Vanishing Virtues, that is, he contends that on their accounts there is no courage in supposedly courageous actions. Is he correct? Is there a reply to this problem? Defend your answer.

3. In the Gorgias, Socrates argues that tyrants etc. do not in fact do what they want, and hence lack power. What does his claim mean? What is his argument for it? Is he correct?

4. Socrates claims to know only that he knows nothing. But in several dialogues he espouses and defends moral principles in his own name, not just for the sake of the argument. On what grounds does he do so? Why doesn’t this amount to knowledge, whether Socrates wants to admit it or not?

5. Does the reasoning Socrates uses in the Crito to defend the principle that we should never do wrong, even in response to wrong done to us, commit him to rejecting self-defence as a legitimate moral justification for violence? Defend your answer.

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