Socrates, deontology, virtue ethics, virtue, ancient, metaethics
Plato's 'Crito' depicts Socrates in prison awaiting his execution and arguing that despite the injustice of his sentence, he is morally obligated to remain there so that it can be carried out. The early Socratic dialogues were concerned with the nature of the virtues which formed the foundation of Athenian morals. This "primacy of virtue" has developed into the modern theory of virtue ethics. In this thesis, I argue that in the 'Crito', Socrates sets aside his typical virtue ethics approach, and instead utilizes a deontological framework for his arguments. I apply the deontological theories of Immanuel Kant and W. D. Ross to the 'Crito' in an attempt to demonstrate that it has a distinctly duty-based focus that is consistent with the work of Kant and Ross. Finally, I raise the question of whether Ross' theory can be viewed as a bridge between virtue ethics and deontological ethics.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Graduate Studies
Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Sklar, Lisa, "Plato's Crito: A Deontological Reading" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4088.