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Socrates' two concepts of the polis

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As an introduction to this paper, I refer to a controversy among scholars. Socrates said in the Apology (29d) that he would continue philosophizing even if the state forbade him, while he declared in the Crito (50a-53a) that every citizen should do whatever the state commands him to do. To solve this inconsistency, Vlastos is opposed to taking Socrates' remark in the Crito literally, regarding it as ‘inflated rhetoric’. According to Woozley, Socrates' remark in the Crito has a ‘permitted exception’, and philosophizing is the exception. Young insists that Socrates does not believe in his own remark uttered in the Crito, and said it only to persuade Crito who had, Young believes, no ability to understand Socrates’ real view. These interpretations seem to be attempts to adjust Socrates' remark in the Crito to that in the Apology. On the other hand, Euben considers the inconsistency to be a real one, reflecting ‘a tension’ between philosophy and politics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kitakyushu University.

Publication date: 1991-04-01

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