He then tells Crito to speak if he has anything to say in reply to what has been said. Socrates. He has always insisted that the good life is one in which the individual's activities are governed by reason and not by the feelings of the moment. Removing #book# But you pretended that you preferred death to exile, and that you were not grieved at death. By setting forth an argument appealing to rational reflection rather than emotional response, the character of Socrates explains the ramifications and justifications of a prison escape for the two friends. In this case, a dialogue refers to an early form of drama, consisting of a staged conversation between two characters. To return evil for evil may be in harmony with the morality of the many, but as he has indicated before, public opinion when not supported by good reasons is never a safe guide to follow. Crito should be reminded that it is only the opinion of those who have a clear understanding of what is right and wrong that should influence his decision. A quite different view was held by those who believed that the proper function of punishment was to enable society to get even with the criminal by inflicting upon him an evil that was equivalent to the one he had caused others to suffer. By refusing to escape, you will be taking the easier but not the better and manlier part, and, therefore, people will be ashamed not only of you but also of your friends, who they will maintain were lacking in the necessary courage to save you from an untimely death. Socrates must admit that the opinion of the majority is something that cannot be ignored, for they are capable of inflicting great harm on anyone who has incurred their disapproval. Diogenes Laërtius treats Crito as a philosopher himself and attributes to him the composition of 17 dialogues; he also names three further sons Crito: Hermogenes, Epigenes and Ctesippus. Summary. He tells him that by remaining in prison and refusing to escape, he is playing into the hands of his enemies and giving aid to the ones who are disregarding the demands of justice. Still, Crito insists that he has not changed his mind, and Socrates decides to try a different approach to the question. If they did not believe alike on these points, any discussion of the question would be useless. Socrates accepted the former of these two views but rejected the latter. But there are other reasons, too, why Crito believes that Socrates should escape. He is the author or co-author of several books, including "Thinking Through Philosophy: An Introduction. and you acquiesced in our government of you; and this is the state in which you begat your children, which is a proof of your satisfaction. . Euthyphro (/ ˈ juː θ ɪ f r oʊ /; Ancient Greek: Εὐθύφρων, romanized: Euthyphrōn; c. 399–395 BC), by Plato, is a Socratic dialogue whose events occur in the weeks before the trial of Socrates (399 BC), between Socrates and Euthyphro. The arguments advanced by Crito have not convinced him that he should escape from prison, and he proceeds to set forth the reasons for rejecting them. When a person is seriously ill, is it proper to ask the opinion of the many or the one who is a qualified physician? It was written 2300 years ago but it still has relevance today. Their understanding was not sufficient to enable them to determine if Socrates was really a corrupter of the youth. Under these circumstances, would it be wrong for Socrates to escape from prison in violation of the law that had placed him there? What time of day is it when Crito arrives 4. It makes him deaf to the pleadings of Crito, who now finds that he has nothing more to say. Socrates (/ ˈ s ɒ k r ə t iː z /; Ancient Greek: Σωκρᾰ́της Sōkrátēs [sɔːkrátɛːs]; c. 470 – 399 BC) was a Greek philosopher from Athens who is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as being the first moral philosopher of the Western ethical tradition of thought. To support his position still further, Crito points out that by refusing to escape from prison, Socrates will be inflicting a great hardship on the members of his own family. The life of Socrates. Neither was it made in haste without sufficient time for consideration. To do otherwise would mean a repudiation of the system of law and order that makes living in a civilized society possible. Since Crito has nothing more to say, Socrates asks that he be allowed to follow the intimations of the will of God. Socrates had spent his entire life in Athens. Therefore, an escape from prison in violation of the law would be an evil act on his part and in no way would counteract the evil performed by the court. After Crito has admitted that this is true, the question is raised concerning whose opinion should be regarded seriously enough to be followed. The calm and quiet manner with which Socrates accepts his fate astonishes his visitor, but it is only one more illustration of the extent to which Socrates has achieved control of his feelings and emotions. Furthermore, if Socrates should feel hesitant about allowing Crito to spend so much in his behalf, there are many more of his friends who are ready and willing to supply whatever amount of money is needed for this purpose. He has had seventy years to think it over, and during this time he was free to leave the city and go to any of those places that he praised for their good government, but instead of doing this, he chose to remain in our city and to abide by its laws. The crux of the argument is made memorable by being put into the mouth of the Laws of Athens who Socrates imagines personified and coming to question him about the idea of escaping. Therefore, Socrates feels content to follow the path along which God has been leading him. Socrates states that if such is the will of God, he is willing to die. virtue and justice in relation to state who wrote crito? In the case of Socrates, there was ample evidence to indicate he had been condemned unjustly and that the law that demanded his execution was not a good one. "Phaedo" considers death and the immortality of the soul. The Crito is a piece in which Socrates discussed his obligation to accept his punishment of death, however unjust he and his supporters might think it to be. Even if he should escape that disgrace, he will be regarded as a parasite, or one who is seeking favors from the rich and the powerful. If Socrates should escape, his family and friends will run the risk of banishment and loss of property. Further, it is always wrong to break an agreement one has made. Crito is rich; the guards can be bribed; and if Socrates were to escape and flee to another city, his prosecutors wouldn't mind. In effect, he would have gone into exile, and that would probably be good enough for them. Socrates responds by saying, first of all, that how one acts should be decided by rational reflection, not by appeals to emotion. that depicts a conversation between Socrates and his rich friend Crito in a prison cell in Athens in the year 399 B.C.E. For instance, the Laws claim that citizens owe them the same sort of obedience and respect that children owe their parents. This is the study guide for professor westbrook class. He will be ashamed to continue his professions of devotion to goodness with conduct of this kind staring him in the face. and any corresponding bookmarks? Nevertheless, Crito still insists that the opinion of the many is not something to be neglected entirely, for the simple reason that the many possess the power to put people to death, and to save one's own life is more important than anything else he can do. His entire life bears witness to the fact that he has accepted the institutions of the society into which he was born, and it is an essential part of the system under which that society operates that its citizens shall respect and obey the decisions of its duly constituted courts. Crito has mentioned that, in the opinion of many persons, both Socrates and his friends will be severely criticized if he fails to make any attempt to escape from prison. 2.60). From this it follows that the question confronting Crito and Socrates is whether it is right and honorable for one who has been put in prison by the constituted authorities to escape or to allow others to aid him in so doing by the use of money or any other unlawful means. An old friend interrupts Socrates’ isolation––a necessary premise for a dialogue, the standard literary vehicle of Platonic philosophy, to begin. Socrates has been spared so far because Athens does not carry out executions while the annual mission it sends to Delos to commemorate Theseus' legendary victory over the minotaur is still away. Crito should not worry about how his, Socrates', or others' reputations may fare in the general esteem: they should only concern themselves with behaving well. Instead, he has chosen to spend his whole life living in Athens and enjoying the protection of its laws. It is simply not true that all laws should be obeyed under any and all conditions. He has listened carefully to Crito's arguments and will state his reasons for objecting to each of them. But, in this case, he will attempt to relate not simply what they might say but rather what they would have a right to say in the event that he escaped. They might say something like the following: "There is clear proof Socrates that we and the city were not displeasing to you. Written by Plato, this text is a testimony to the great philosopher, Socrates (469-399 BC). If, Crito says, instead of fulfilling your obligations to them, you go away and leave them to take their chances amid all the unfortunate circumstances that may arise, you cannot be held blameless if they should fall into evil ways. Its purpose is to arouse an unconditional reverence for the dignity of the moral law that demands and justifies the course that Socrates is taking. To Socrates, escape is certainly a viable option. . If this is true in regard to physical exercise and matters pertaining to health, is it not even more important to consult the opinion of those who have an adequate understanding about what is just and unjust, fair and foul, or good and evil? Crito explains that he has considerable means himself, all of which he would gladly use for any purpose that would aid in saving the life of Socrates. Plato’s Crito is a very important piece of writing. Crito lays out several reasons for why he should escape including that their enemies would think his friends were too cheap or timid to arrange for him to escape, that he would be giving his enemies what they want by dying and that he has a responsibility to his children to not leave them fatherless. Socrates does not agree with him and, accordingly, sets forth his reasons for holding that one is obliged to submit to the punishment imposed on him, even though the punishment may be an unjust one. Socrates was Plato's teacher. Plato wrote down from memory Socrates' "Dialogues". Crito By Plato Written 360 B.C.E Translated by Benjamin Jowett Persons of the Dialogue SOCRATES CRITO Scene The Prison of Socrates. Crito explains that he has been waiting in the prison for some little time but has remained silent because he did not want to disturb Socrates' sleep. If Socrates is hesitant about making his escape because he fears that such an action on his part would get his friends into trouble, Crito reminds him that he need have no such fear, for with a small amount of money that his friends would be happy to contribute, they could buy off the informers who would report to the authorities concerning his escape. In this instance, it proved to be correct. They also paint a picture of how things would appear if Socrates, the great moral philosopher who has spent his life talking so earnestly about virtue, to don a ridiculous disguise and run away to another city just to secure a few more years of life. Furthermore, subsidiary arguments are embedded in the main arguments outlined above. Socrates is convinced they are wrong in holding that opinion, and he proceeds at some length to set forth his reasons for rejecting the view that they have presented. What was Socrates doing when Crito … The other considerations that Crito has mentioned, such as money, the loss of a good reputation, and the duty of educating one's children, are only the doctrines of the multitude. He holds that it is not life but a good life that is to be valued above everything else. On the other hand, if he goes forth returning evil for evil, and injury for injury, breaking the covenants and agreements he has made, the citizens of the state, including his own friends, will despise him and look upon him as an enemy who has done his best to destroy them. All rights reserved. Analysis of Plato's Crito The life of Socrates provides one example of a someone who seeks a justification for his or her moral actions. Running through the whole dialog, though, one hears the same argument that Socrates gave to the jurors at his trial. To answer this question, Socrates suggests an analogous situation. These notes on the text were made later, sections beginning or breaking off where a new theme or topic is introduced or dropped. The dialogue covers subjects such as the meaning of piety and justice. Crito has stated that he would gladly give all the money he has if by so doing he could secure Socrates' freedom, and if that should prove to be not enough, he knows of several friends who would likewise contribute whatever was necessary to accomplish this purpose. It is true that they may injure one's body and may even be the cause of one's physical death but they have no power over his soul, which is what really matters. Sections in this guide are demarcated according to the Stephanus numbers (the page numbers from the 1578 complete works edited by … Socrates emphasized the point that the soul is made better by doing what is right and is made worse by doing what is wrong. Why then should he refuse to escape prison just because the law requires him to remain there? Socrates could not go back on his obligations to the city, and unless commanded to do that which in his judgment was morally wrong, he was duty-bound to obey its laws. During all of those years, he had been the recipient of the many benefits that the city bestowed and had often acknowledged his indebtedness to its system of government and social order. Commentary: Many comments have been posted about Crito. Crito is of the opinion that it would not be wrong for Socrates to escape because he has been imprisoned unjustly. 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