Analysis Of The Book ' The ' Of ' Socrates '

1223 Words Oct 15th, 2014 5 Pages
Robbie Higdon
Professor Swinehart
Intro to Phil. Questions
15 October 2014

“The fact that [Socrates’] trial came to court when it need not have done so, the handling of the trial itself, and now this absurd ending which will be thought to have got beyond our control through some cowardice and unmanliness on our part, since we did not save you, or you save yourself, when it was possible” (45e-46e). This quote from the text Crito, written by Plato, directly illustrates Crito’s claim of feeling ashamed on Socrates’ behalf and on behalf of his friends, if what happened was due to cowardice on their part. In order for us to be able to validate this argument as persuasive or not, we must first take a look at the definitions of courage and manliness.
Plato more clearly discusses these attributes of courage and manliness in one of his other works, Laches. In the Laches, Socrates engages two generals, Nicias and Laches, in conversation. Laches first defines a man of courage as one who does not run away from an enemy. So if Crito thought it was cowardly of Socrates to take his punishment instead of escaping that brings up a major contradiction in Laches definition. As we know, Socrates decides to stay and face his allegations in court, and eventually die, instead of attempting an escape. This makes him a man of courage according to Laches first definition. But, sure enough, Socrates proceeds to dispute Laches definition by saying that it does not cover all the examples of courage,…
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