Legal Fictions (Plato, Xenophon and Henry David Thoreau) - Essay Example

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According to Plato’s “Apology” Socrates questioned the politics, poets and artisans in his quest to prove the truth of the Oracle. He found that all made the common error of considering their knowledge of their professions with wisdom; just because they had some…
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Legal Fictions (Plato, Xenophon and Henry David Thoreau)
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Download file to see previous pages describes Socrates tone as almost ‘arrogant’ and Plato also observes that the philosopher speaks from a ‘high standing’ and uses a ‘lofty manner’ in his address. Secondly both agree that Socrates used the Oracle in his defense. Socrates claimed that the Oracle had declared him the ‘wisest’ and ‘most prudent’ of all people. Furthermore both describe Socrates claim that a divine voice guides him in his mission.
Ans.3. Socrates refers to his mission to find the wisest man as a ‘labor of Hercules’ in his speech of defense. He implies that he has wandered far and wide and made a Herculean effort to find a man wiser than himself. (Plato) About to die at the hands of his corrupt worldly judges, Socrates longs for true justice in the after life. He mentions three judges of Hades (the underworld) - Minos, Rhadamanthus and Aeacus.(Plato)
Ans.4. According to Thoreau the only place in a slave state in which a free man can abide with honor is prison. Three groups that can find him there are the Mexican prisoner, the fugitive slave and the Indian come to plead his case. No man of honor can live without protesting the injustice done to these three groups by the government, and by law the state imprisons all dissenters. Thus the only abode of the true supporters of these oppressed groups is prison.
Ans.5. "Now what are they? Men at all? Or small moveable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power?” This quote is taken from the essay ‘Civil Disobedience’. Here Thoreau mocks the mentality of the soldiers who follow the law so strictly that they are ready to die and kill for it even when they know that a particular law or order is morally unjust.
“As they live and rule only by their servility, and appealing to the worse, and not the better, nature of man, the people who read them are in the condition of the dog that returns to his vomit”. This quote is taken from the essay ‘Slavery in Massachusetts. Thoreau is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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