Table of Contents Analysis and Themes Though brief, the Crito is a confusing and somewhat muddled dialogue. Obviously, it is the opinion of the one person who possesses the necessary relevant information that should be followed. The most important thing is "to live rightly" "living well" An analysis of critos argument with socrates "living justly" are the same.
Crito, along with other friends of Socrates, believes he would be amply justified in breaking this law, and a number of arguments are presented in support of that belief. Crito had urged Socrates to return evil for evil, which was a principle accepted by the many, presumably on the assumption that only in this way could the demands of justice be met.
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.
They both believe that to commit a wrong is under all conditions a bad thing for the person who commits it. In the Crito, particular attention is given to the reasons advanced by Socrates for refusing to escape from prison as a means of saving his own life.
What Socrates believed in this respect was identical with what the Christians of later centuries taught when they said "Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
Hence, if Socrates cares about the reputation of his friend in the future, he will act in accordance with the request that that friend is now making of him. Yet, said Crito, the sun is still upon the hilltops, and many a one has taken the draught late, and after the announcement has been made to him, he has eaten and drunk, and indulged in sensual delights; do not hasten then, there is still time.
There was, however, a difference of opinion concerning the purpose of the punishment. But you pretended that you preferred death to exile, and that you were not grieved at death.
One point that has frequently been overlooked is the distinction between what is moral and what is legal. Socrates answers first that one should not worry about public opinion, but only listen to wise and expert advice. Socrates has had seventy years for reflection, and in all this time he has not left the city in search of a different place to live.
What is this strange outcry? Rather than simply break the Laws and escape, Socrates should try to persuade the Laws to let him go. Socrates is not at liberty to reject the decisions of the court because he believes they have gone beyond their jurisdiction or that they have made a wrong decision in his case.
Then holding the cup to his lips, quite readily and cheerfully he drank off the poison. They do, however, believe in the democratic principle that in the administration of the laws all persons should be treated alike. This does not answer whether it is just or unjust for Socrates to escape from the prison, so Socrates asks what the Laws would say about his leaving.
He does not agree with Crito that these facts are sufficient to make it right for him to escape prison by violating the law that has been prescribed. The Laws say that a citizen stands in relation to the city as the child does to the parent, as the slave does to his master.
If Socrates were to break from prison now, having so consistently validated the social contract, he would be making himself an outlaw who would not be welcome in any other civilized state for the rest of his life.
Therefore, Socrates feels content to follow the path along which God has been leading him. Then, too, he is betraying the members of his own family, especially the children, who are entitled to the nurture, guidance, and education that he could provide by staying alive and doing what is within his power for their welfare.
He is visited before dawn by his old friend Crito, who has made arrangements to smuggle Socrates out of prison to the safety of exile. If they do abide by it, they must admit that it would be wrong for Socrates to heed the advice of Crito by trying to escape from prison.
Socrates is not disturbed by this fact, for he believes that death is not necessarily an evil thing. If Socrates stays in prison, he will be siding with his unjust accusers, and if he escapes he will be acting against the just Laws.
Apollodorus, who had been weeping all the time, broke out in a loud cry which made cowards of us all. When a person is seriously ill, is it proper to ask the opinion of the many or the one who is a qualified physician?
He cannot do this without going back on the principles for which he has stood throughout his entire life. It is never Right to do Wrong.
Ought I to break the Laws? Crito explains that he admires the peaceful manner in which Socrates has heretofore lived and the level of calm that Socrates displays in the face of death. Socrates seems quite willing to await his imminent execution, and so Crito presents as many arguments as he can to persuade Socrates to escape.
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.
If Socrates should escape, his family and friends will run the risk of banishment and loss of property. However, it is highly debatable how far one can truly separate the laws of a state from the people who apply them.
By giving the Laws their own voice, Plato hopes to distinguish them as a separate entity, making them something human toward which Socrates might be able to act unjustly.A Critique of the Crito and an Argument for Philosophical Anarchism by Forrest Cameranesi In this essay I will present a summary and critique of Plato’s dialogue Crito, focusing especially on Socrates’ arguments in favor of his obligatory obedience to the Athenian state’s death sentence.
The dialogue called the "Crito" contains an image of Socrates trying to adopt what could be called THE MORAL POINT OF VIEW (as opposed to the point of view of one's religion or society).
Setting and Prologue (43aa) After conviction, Socrates was sent to the jail where he was to be executed. Analysis of Crito The question is raised within the dialogue between Socrates and Crito concerning civil disobedience. Crito has the desire, the means, and many compelling reasons with which he tries to convince the condemned to acquiesce in the plan to avoid his imminent death.
Argument Analysis for Plato's Crito Contact: Dr. Jan Garrett. Last revised date: September 21, A sketch of the logic of The Crito as reproduced in chapter 1 of Manuel Velasquez, Philosophy, 8th edition.
I say "sketch," because it could be worked out in even greater detail. Point out to students that, in some sense, three characters contribute to the argument in Crito: Socrates, Crito, and the personification of the Law, whom Socrates introduces as an imaginary character. Have the students consider the effect of this personification of The Law upon the argument.
In response to Crito's arguments Socrates considers first, why the opinion of the majority is not the most important opinion, second, what the consequences of escaping would be for the city of Athens, and third whether escaping is an unjust action such that it would harm Socrates' soul.Download