What in Plato's Crito is Benefited by Justice and Harmed by Injustice

Dougal Blyth
  • Apeiron, January 1996, De Gruyter
  • DOI: 10.1515/apeiron.1996.29.4.1

What is it about?

It is remarkable that in the Crito there is no mention of the human soul. Rather, Socrates uses the term 'what is benefited by justice and harmed by injustice'. Moreover, within Socrates' philosophical rhetoric, justice becomes obedience to law, the sine qua non of the preservation of the citizen's participation in the common good; the latter thus replaces the rational soul as what is benefited by justice and harmed or ruined by injustice. In this way, just as law provides a political image of the natural moral authority of reason, and law-abidingness of the philosophical life, so also the social, cultural and economic self constituted by participation in the common good forms a civic image of the rational soul, as what, in each case in their respective senses of the terms, is benefited by justice and harmed by injustice.

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