Socrates Argument In The Crito Essay

1118 words - 4 pages

Introduction
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 “benefits” from Socrates' death, at least from my perspective. Athens will lose an important ideologue and teacher! The only “benefit” that might be put forward in defense of the death sentence is that Socrates would not be able to continue shaming the orators of Athens. The subtext of Socrates' trial in the Apology showed a man begging the crowd for some legitimate reason that could justify his being on trial in the first place, since none of his named accusers' claims appeared to be true from his dialogues with them (Apology, 33d). His pleas are met with silence, a jury of five hundred men shifting uncomfortably in their seats with the knowledge they were sentencing a man to death for being annoying. This is indeed the “real” reason that he was convicted - because he was annoying, especially to the ruling orators who were routinely shamed by him (Apology, 29e). So, perhaps his death does convey a benefit to someone – those who would have been shamed by him for being less than virtuous - but this is not a benefit worth defending. Socrates would no doubt agree with this, since he refused to discontinue exhorting people to be virtuous in his own trial, despite knowing it probably meant a conviction.
In addition to...

Find Another Essay On Socrates Argument in the Crito

Socrates in the Apology Essay

1022 words - 4 pages the body. The first argument being that everything comes from its opposite, an example of this would be something hot would come from something cold and vice versa. Socrates used the example of life and death, by using this example it's implying that when we do die we don't stay dead we come back to life at a later time. His second argument in this dialogue was believed that everything we learned was recollected. By the questioning of any subject

The Function of the Quest or Journey Motif in the Apology and the Crito

1274 words - 6 pages The quest, in the classical era to the modern notions of the word has meant a coming of age or to notions of learning where at the beginning there was nothing known. The quest in its very nature is a search to find an answer, an artifact of power and wealth or perhaps even for peace; in the platonic dialogues they play a crucial role in the Apology of Socrates and the Crito. The Apology in the trial and death of Socrates is an example of a quest

The Concept of Legitimaiton in Oedipus the King by Sophocles and Crito by Plato

994 words - 4 pages him to his fate and did not do anything to save him. Also, Crito used Socrates’s responsibilities as a father towards his sons as an argument to persuade him, because as a father he should be willing to preserve to the end in their education and nurture. In addition, he explained that Socrates accusers, unjustly sentenced him and by staying in the jail Socrates would be helping his opponents in harming him unjustly and would thus be acting unjustly

Argument in the Apology

874 words - 3 pages The main argument in The Apology by famous ancient Greek philosopher Plato is whether, notorious speaker and philosopher Socrates is corrupting the youth by preaching ungodly theories and teaching them unlawful ideas that do harm to individuals and society. In his words Socrates quoted the prosecution’s accusation against him: “Socrates is guilty of corrupting the minds of the young, and of believing in supernatural things of his own invention

Justice in The Republic by Socrates

645 words - 3 pages In The Republic, Socrates tries to find the answer to a debatable question. What is justice? Throughout Book 1, he is given a couple of definitions that were at first incoherent to him and so he decided to clear them up by questioning Cephalus’s and his son Polemarchus’s definitions of “justice” . In Book 1, Socrates is about to leave from a religious festival when a group of men stopped him and convinced him to stay for the late night

Women in the Apology of Socrates

1404 words - 6 pages Women in the Apology of Socrates The most striking thing about women in the Apology of Socrates is their absence from where we might expect them. Only two specific women are mentioned: 1) the Pythia, the priestess of Apollo, who answers Chaerephon's question that no one is wiser than Socrates (21a); and 2) Thetis, the mother of Achilles (who himself is not mentioned by name but only referred to as the "son of Thetis"), who warns him

Erroneus Assumptions in The Trial and Death of Socrates

2336 words - 9 pages Erroneus Assumptions in The Trial and Death of Socrates In Plato's Crito, Socrates explains to his old friend Crito his reasons for refusing an offer to help him escape execution. One of the tools Socrates uses to convince Crito of the righteousness of his decision is a hypothetical argument concerning the state and laws of Athens. Central to this argument is the congeniality that Socrates had always found in Athens, reflected by the fact

Socrates: One of the Most Important Figures in Western Philosophy

1581 words - 6 pages fighting skills and later on beats his father up during an argument. “Whatever Aristophanes’ motive could have been, the effect was the same. Socrates was ridiculed and exposed before the audience as a dangerous fool, and the persistence and magnitude of this effect can be appreciated by considering once more what the Plantonic Socrates says about Aristophanes in the Apology.” (Navia 50-51). Some contributions that Socrates made were traveling

The Role of Women and Marriage in Socrates' The Republic

1114 words - 4 pages In his constant quest to find the true meaning of justice and the creation of the ideal city Socrates finds that while many of the element of the city have been properly set forth he forgot to take into account the place women will have in the city and the idea of child-rearing. After some careful discussion about the nature of women and how it would relate to their particular role in the city Socrates and Adeimantus come to the agreement that

A Hoax in Court: The Trial of Socrates

1726 words - 7 pages are not the gods of the city, but if they have not done harm to the youth, then they are not evil gods and are safe to believe in. The jury should have taken special notice to this argument because it has great significance for Socrates’ defense. If one person were to step forward to claim that Socrates was corrupting their personal life with words that distorted their religious thoughts and with gods that were wicked and unearthly, then Meletus

Morality and Laws in The Trial and Death of Socrates

1231 words - 5 pages Morality and Laws in The Trial and Death of Socrates Upon reading Plato, The Trial and Death of Socrates, Socrates strongly held views on the relationship between morality and laws become apparent to the reader. Equally, Socrates makes clear why laws should be followed and why disobedience to the law is rarely justified. Finally, he makes clear his views regarding civil disobedience. Socrates’ view on morality is that anyone can do wrong

Similar Essays

The Presentation Of Socrates' Arguements In Plato’s Apology And Crito

967 words - 4 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

Recounting The Last Days Of Socrates In Crito

1386 words - 6 pages as well. He accepts that the verdict must be carried out, even if it was not reached correctly because by accepting the laws of Athens he has obligated himself to accept the verdict even if it is unjust. Crito argued in favor of escape. He is concerned with the reputations of both Socrates and his associates. Crito also feel life in itself is of absolute value. He uses these points in favor of his argument: Escape was easy to manage and would

Plato’s Crito: The Last Days Of Socrates

1480 words - 6 pages , his death will reflect poorly on Crito. The people will think that Crito did nothing to save his friend. If Socrates is worried about the risk or the financial cost to Crito; it’s an expense that he is willing to pay, and that he made arrangements for Socrates to live a life of exile in a pleasant manner. The next argument that Crito pleads to Socrates is that, if he stays, he would be helping his enemies in their injustices, and in turn would

The Readings Of The Apology Of Socrates And Crito

1527 words - 6 pages heroism, the beauty of it is that either way people saw it, Socrates wouldn't care. Socrates lived in a political system. In order for someone to survive in a political system, it is helpful to obey the laws of the system, or city. Did Socrates follow these laws? According to the facts, no. He was indeed put to death because he broke them. But when looking at Crito, I wonder if he even intended or noticed the laws he broke to deserve him death