Obligation to Obey the Law: A Study of the Death of Socrates

24 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2010

Date Written: November 15, 2010


Do we have an obligation to obey any law, no matter how unjust or evil, provided only that it is in fact a valid rule of the legal system in which we happen to be physically located? Reassessment of the relation between law and ethics justifies a new look at the classic statement of legal obligation: the death of Socrates found in the dialogues of Plato. Three possible bases for an ethical obligation to obey the law are examined.

Keywords: Socrates, estoppel, law and ethics, ethical obligation to obey law

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

D'Amato, Anthony, Obligation to Obey the Law: A Study of the Death of Socrates (November 15, 2010). Southern California Law Review, Vol. 49, 1976, Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 10-82, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1710870

Anthony D'Amato (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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