Socrates argues in the Crito that he shouldn't escape his death sentence because it isn't just. Crito is distressed by Socrates reasoning and wishes to convince him to escape since Crito and friends can provide the ransom the warden demands. If not for himself, Socrates should escape for the sake of his friends, sons, and those who benefit from his teaching. Socrates and Crito's argument proceeds from this point.
As an aside, I would like to note that, though I believe that a further objection could be made to Socrates conclusions in “The Philosopher's Defense”, due to space considerations, I didn't write the fourth section “Failure of the Philosopher's Defense”.
I.Explanation of the Philospher's Argument
Socrates' response to Crito's question “Why don't you escape if I'll provide you the means?” is that the primary criterion for moral action is justice, and escaping would be unjust, so he should not escape. Socrates reasons that if he were to escape, this would break the system of law enforcement since avoiding punishment when a city has deemed it necessary makes the law ineffectual if there is no consequence for breaking it. He would be a 'destroyer' of the law (Crito, 51a), an injustice he does not wish to commit.
II.Objection to the Philosopher's Argument
Socrates concern that breaking the law would make law ineffectual is a valid one, but Crito would argue a more global perspective on Socrates' escaping: what are the net effects of Socrates accepting his death sentence? It would be a misfortune for all his friends, any people that benefit from his teaching, and he would be leaving his sons prematurely (Crito, 44c). Though Crito doesn't develop this point further, it could be easily extended: no one “be...
... middle of paper ...
... Socrates reaches a conclusion that defies a common-sense understanding of justice. Nothing about his death sentence “seems” just, but after further consideration, we find that his escape would be as fruitless as his death, and that in some sense, Socrates owes his obedience to whatever orders Athens gives him since he has benefited from his citizenship.
Despite these convincing arguments, he does make a few points that don't hold water, such as that he would destroy the law if he were to escape – this is an exaggerated claim that invites refutation. Also, though his escape would be in general fruitless to himself and his comrades, further argument might contend that citizens of other cities would benefit from his teaching, and act as a civilizing force. However, due to space considerations of this essay, I didn't write a fourth section.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Socrates' Argument with Crito Socrates has presented a period of questions and answers through dialogue with Crito to examine if he going into exile will damage his reputation. Socrates questions and answers with Crito establishes that a person must decide whether the society he or she lives has a just reasoning behind it's own standards of right and wrong and that a person must have pride in the life that he or she leads. By confirming these two concepts through questions, Socrates attempted to prove to his companion Crito, that the choice that he has made is just: "I am the kind of man who listens only to the argument that on reflection seems best to me.... [tags: Papers]
538 words (1.5 pages)
- As Socrates awaits his upcoming execution; he is visited before dawn by a close old friend Crito. Crito has made arrangements to help Socrates escape from prison. Socrates is grateful to his old friend for his willing to help aide him in the escape. However, Socrates is quite willing to await his execution. Crito tries to change Socrates mind about escaping by presenting him with several arguments. The first is that if Socrates choices to stay, his death will reflect poorly on Crito. The people will think that Crito did nothing to save his friend.... [tags: Crito, Socrates Execution]
1130 words (3.2 pages)
- Recounting the Last Days of Socrates in Crito In the Last Days of Socrates the dialogue “Crito” recounts Socrates last days before his execution. Socrates had been accused of corrupting the youth and not worshipping the Gods of the state. During his trial he denied all accusations and attempted to defend himself by proving his innocence using reason . He was judged to be guilty and given a death sentence. His long time friend Crito proposes to Socrates a plan to escape from his death sentence in prison.... [tags: Crito Socrates Greek Philosophy Essays]
1378 words (3.9 pages)
- In both Plato’s Apology and Crito, Plato presents Socrates arguments clearly and precisely. Socrates is wise man with a different perspective on life, which presents us with a mass of contradictions. Socrates is an expressive man, yet he never recorded any works. He is ignorant, but wrongfully convicted who is willing to fight his unjust execution. Behind these dilemmas is an opposition not often explored. Socrates is the most patriotic of philosophers, who is dedicated to his state. Exploring this contradiction between Socrates the loyal citizen and Socrates the philosophical man will help position Plato's arguments.... [tags: philosophy, values, jury]
800 words (2.3 pages)
- The purpose of "Crito" seems intended to exhibit the character of Socrates in one light only, not as the philosopher, fulfilling a divine mission and trusting in the will of Heaven, but simply as the good citizen, who, having been unjustly condemned is willing to give up his life in obedience to the laws of the State. The main argument that seems to entail the discussion between Crito and Socrates is the opinion of the majority on Socrates’ fate. In the "Crito" Socrates states, "Why should we care so much for what the majority think?" (Plato 45) Socrates believes that we should not care what the majority thinks because those who are rea... [tags: essays research papers]
1381 words (3.9 pages)
- The Readings of The Apology of Socrates and Crito Throughout the readings of The Apology of Socrates and Crito I have found that Socrates was not a normal philosopher. It is the philosopher's intention to question everything, but Socrates' approach was different then most other philosophers. From one side of the road, Socrates can be seen as an insensitive, arrogant man. He did indeed undermine the laws so they fit his ideals, leave his family, and disregard the people's values. On the other side he can be seen as an ingenious man who questioned what many thought was the unquestionable.... [tags: Papers]
966 words (2.8 pages)
- Crito By Plato Plato's Crito takes place after Socrates is condemned to death and sitting in his jail cell. Crito is Socrates' good friend and has come to visit Socrates in the hopes of convincing his old friend to escape. But Socrates logically refutes Crito's argument. Crito begins his argument by bringing bad news to Socrates, relating to him that the ship from Delos is approaching and, with it, the hour of his mandated death. Socrates seems resigned to his fated death, but Crito attempts to persuade him to allow his friends to help him escape prison and flee Athens.... [tags: essays research papers]
883 words (2.5 pages)
- CRITO Crito, as reported by Plato, is an account by where Crito is attempting to influence Socrates that it is just to escape from prison to avoid certain death by execution. Socrates' argument directly relates to the laws of the state and the role of the individual within it. The "Crito" exhibits the character of Socrates as a good citizen, who being unjustly condemned is willing to give up his life in obedience to the laws of the State. This report will discuss the major elements in Socrates' argument, regarding the injury and injustice he would cause by escaping from prison prior to his execution.... [tags: essays research papers]
842 words (2.4 pages)
- Socrates has been accused of corrupting the youth by Meletus and has been sentenced to death. He has thoroughly justified his own decision to obey the opinions of the majority and serve out the sentence that his own city has deemed appropriate for his crimes. At the beginning of this piece, Socrates has presented a period of questions and answers through dialogue with Crito. Throughout the dialogue Socrates is explaining his reasoning for not evading the government. Crito does not understand the madness of Socrates, and would like nothing more than to help his dear friend escape to freedom.... [tags: essays research papers]
1577 words (4.5 pages)
- In Crito, Plato recounts the last days of Socrates, immediately before his execution was to take place in Athens. In the dialogue, Socrates’ pupil, Crito, proposes that Socrates escape from prison. Socrates considers this proposal, trying to decide whether escaping would be “just” and “morally justified.” Eventually, Socrates concludes that the act is considered “unjust” and “morally unjustified.” Socrates then decides to accept his fate and proceeded with his execution. Socrates was a man who was in pursuit of the truth (Durant).... [tags: essays research papers fc]
1117 words (3.2 pages)