24 October 2007
On the Crito
In Plato’s Crito, Crito attempts to persuade Socrates to flee from his death sentence. However, Crito fails because Socrates presents a counter argument which invalidates much of Crito’s original pleas. Despite this, a fallacy of justice may have been created. Even so, the Republic’s conception of justice seems to have little impact on Socrates’ existing ideas on justice.
The first argument presented is the fact that the majority will look down upon Crito and others for not preventing Socrates death; they will find it to be a “shameful thing both for you and for us” because it seems “that [Crito] let the opportunity slip because of some vice, such as cowardice” (46a). Another reason which he presents to Socrates is that Crito and the others are “justified in running the risk” of “further penalty” for helping him to flee from execution” (44e). While Socrates says that he fears for them, Crito goes on to elaborate that even the sum of money to help him escape is overall “not large” (45a). He expounds further that people are willing to support him wherever he might go (45c). Next, Crito goes on to mention Socrates two sons; Crito feels that by being executed when there is a possibility to escape, he is “betraying those sons” (45c), that “one ought to see their upbringing and education through to the end” (45d). Overall, Crito feels that Socrates would be “throwing away [his] life”, which would ultimately set him in his enemies own wishes instead of his own (45c).
Socrates starts his counter arguments by stating that he cannot just start rejecting the arguments that he had stated before just because of his current, unfortunate situation (46b). Because of this, he begins an examination of the arguments presented by Crito. Socrates states that the majority’s opinion is not what matters because it is not well informed, but rather it is the opinion of “the person who understands just and unjust...