About Socrates

Socrates and the Philosophy of Ethics

Socrates is the father of the philosophy of ethics. He tried to apply this principle along with the theory of prima facie obligations as he agreed to stay and face the death penalty. This article discusses his methods and how he used them in his decision to face the death penalty.

The Ideal Human According to Socrates

I agree with the claims and ideas of Socrates, as they illustrate a vision for an ideal human. In his unification of virtues, Socrates reveals that citizens ought to possess all the other virtues because a condition exists where one virtue needs another. This is an ethical approach that puts more emphasis on the character of an individual as opposed to the guidelines of the acts. Virtue ethics theory originates from Socrates is its founder (Corrigan 291). Virtue ethics focuses more on a person who carries out the action rather than the ethical rules and duties.

Through the use virtue ethics, Socrates saw it right to choose death rather than violating the laws of the state. However, this theory of ethics has its vices. For example, it is an incomplete theory of ethics and also fails to provide an efficient model on how to determine what is right in a particular situation (Corrigan 291).

The Prima Facie Duties

Socrates also used this theory to come up with the decision to face death. The Prima Facie Duties is an ethical theory that suggests that there are ‘prima facie duties’ that individuals use to determine what they ought to do. Socrates saw it a prima facie obligation to obey the law and face death. Socrates wanted to demonstrate non-injury a prima facie duty of non-injury to the jury.


In summary, Socrates maintained his ethical principles when he made a decision to face the death penalty. He applied the ethical theories of virtue ethics and the prima facie duties as indicated in this paper.

Work Cited

Corrigan, Richard H. Ethics: A University Guide. Gloucester: Progressive Frontiers Press, 2010. Print.

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