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Crito Philosophy 21 Fall, 2004 G. J. Mattey. Escape? Socrates will be executed in two or three days unless Crito and his other friends arrange his escape.

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Presentation on theme: "Crito Philosophy 21 Fall, 2004 G. J. Mattey. Escape? Socrates will be executed in two or three days unless Crito and his other friends arrange his escape."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crito Philosophy 21 Fall, 2004 G. J. Mattey

2 Escape? Socrates will be executed in two or three days unless Crito and his other friends arrange his escape and exile from Athens Money is no object, and he can take refuge in Thessaly Crito says he would be thought shameful by the majority if he did not help Socrates when he had the means He is willing to run the risk of reprisal

3 Who is to Judge? Crito claims that the opinion of the majority is important, as they can do great harm Socrates disagrees –We should pay more attention to the opinions of reasonable people –The majority can do no great harm because they can do no great good, since they cannot make a person foolish or wise, but only “inflict things haphazardly”

4 Justice? Crito says it would not be just for Socrates not to save himself as his enemies wish –He is betraying his sons, whom he could educate –Someone who is not committed to his children’s well- being should not have them –Socrates is choosing the easiest path, not the path that the courageous man, concerned with virtue, would choose –He is also making his friends look bad for not allowing them to save him

5 Expertise One should value the opinion of one who has knowledge over that of the many The professional athlete should most value the opinion of the doctor or trainer If he does not, he will suffer harm This holds for all other matters, especially those regarding justice, shame, and good Life is not worth living for us if we are corrupted by unjust actions

6 The Good Life Still, the majority can put one to death But the most important thing is not life itself, but the good life, which is also the beautiful and just life So the issue of escape turns on whether it is a just act, not what the majority would think about it

7 Two Wrongs The issue is not the consequences of escaping or not, but of its justice To do wrong willingly is always harmful and shameful to the wrongdoer So, one must never answer a wrong act with a wrong act There is no common ground between those who disagree on this point

8 Contract If two people make a just agreement, they should fulfill it Leaving Athens would be an abrogation of an agreement that would harm the other party The laws of the city would be undermined if the verdicts of its courts have no force

9 The Laws Law must be followed, whether it is justly or unjustly applied Socrates has been the beneficiary of the laws –He was born, raised, and educated in the city So it would be unjust to turn against its laws It is more impious to bring violence against the city than to do so against one’s parents

10 The Choices The laws of Athens allow a citizen to leave freely with is property To stay is to make a tacit agreement to obey the laws of the city The laws are not oppressive: it is open to Socrates to argue for better ones Socrates above all has made a strong agreement with the city

11 Consequences If Socrates escapes, bad things will happen –His friends will be in danger of many harms –He will be received as an enemy of law If he finds an outlaw state, his life will not be worth living –His conviction will be vindicated –He will be disgraced On the other hand, no harm will come to his children, as his friends will look after them

12 The Decision Crito must agree with Socrates’s argument on behalf of the laws of Athens He recognizes that facing death is the best choice Socrates concludes that he is led to this decision by the god


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