Plato, Apology 29d3–4: A Note on the Grammar of Obedience

Classical Quarterly 40 (02):546- (1990)
In 1979, A. D. Woozley proposed an interpretation of Apology 29c–d which was intended to alleviate the well-known tension between the Apology and Crito on the citizen's obligation to obey the law. According to his interpretation, the court's hypothetical offer – to release Socrates on the condition that he will be put to death if he does not give up philosophy – is not an order, but a warning as to what would happen should he accept their acquittal and yet continue to philosophize. Obviously, if this is the spirit of the words he puts into the court's mouth, Socrates would not be guilty of disobedience should he refuse the offer, or even if he should accept it and then disregard the warning. To support this interpretation, Woozley suggested a novel construal of the words in which Socrates makes his refusal – πεσομαι δ μγγον τ θε ἢ μν
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DOI 10.1017/S0009838800043147
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