Socrates' Crito

Topics: Plato, Socrates, Crito Pages: 6 (2666 words) Published: September 14, 2010
The whole of the dialogue takes place at Socrates’ prison cell, where he awaits his execution just days away. It started with Socrates waking up and finding his friend and loyal disciple Crito there. When Socrates asked how Crito got inside the prison at that early an hour, Crito told him that he simply knows the guard and has done the guard some favor. Crito then informed Socrates that the ship from Delos has already come in and tomorrow will be his execution. Socrates then told Crito about a dream he had, a woman on a white cloak saying that the ship will not be there till tomorrow thus his execution to be delayed for a day. Crito does not allow Socrates to elaborate the meaning of the dream rather; he told Socrates that he arrived that early hour to convince him to escape, that it would be very easy for him to break him out of prison, that a lot of friends already volunteered to help him financially, and that he will live a comfortable life even in hiding. Socrates rejected the offer although he much prefers to live, his reasons and principles do not allow him so. “ For I am Extremely Desirous to be persuaded by you, but not against my own better judgement.” (Crito: 48e) Crito gave Socrates 3 arguments on why he should come with him and flee. First is that Socrates' death will reflect badly on his friends--people will think they did nothing to try to save him even if they have the means to. “ That I should be thought to value money more than the life of a friend? For the many will not be persuaded that I wanted you to escape, and that you refused” (Crito: 44c) Crito then wondered if Socrates was concerned if by trying to save him, he and his friends would lose everything if not a great part of their assets. Socrates confirmed that it was one of many reasons why he does not wish to flee. With that Crito replied that their resources were more than enough, and by no means a burden to account for his escape. Socrates answered Crito’s 1st argument by asking him “why should he care about the opinion of many? Good men, and they are the only persons who are worth considering, will think of these things truly as they happened.” (Crito: 44c) Socrates then cited an example of a gymnast and his trainer, asking Crito of whom should the gymnast follow in his regimen, his trainer, good and knowledgeable, or the many, ignorant and unwise. It also proves true as to other things such as justice, fairness and goodness. Therefore he says that it is more important to listen to one man who is wise and good, other than the many which are unwise and evil. But then Crito then answered that although that might be true, the many still has the power to kill him, as his arrest was evidence. Socrates said that even though, that does not change the fact that it is still more honorable and better to have listened to the wise rather than the many that are unwise. I find there is something wrong about Socrates’ argument about the many. When Socrates said that the many can kill them, and actually, days after the dialogue the “many” will be killing him, he had placed another context to the “many” which he was talking about. I believe that he argued by using it in two context. One is the many who will think badly of his friends when Socrates dies, and the second is the many who had him thrown into jail and sentenced him to death, as even Socrates recognized that it was one of the powers of the many. Although the “many” as a subject in context one and two are the same, I believe that they should not be put into one argument, or Socrates would be enticed to leave out of prison with Crito. For Plato said to listen to the “some” that are wise and good, the ones who sees it as it truly are. If so, the some would see the instance in context one as plainly as it is, Crito offering Socrates to escape, and Socrates rejecting it, thus safeguarding the honor of Crito in the “some”’s eyes. But if we would put that condition in context 2, then...
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