In Plato’s works Apology and Crito there is an attempt by Socrates to defend himself in court and defend his choice to receive the death penalty when found guilty. Although he makes very valid and strong arguments throughout one can only wonder why such a wise person would choose death over life. The following essay will analyze three quotes from Apology and Crito, find the correlation between them, and reveal any flaws that may exsist inside these arguments made by Socrates.
In Plato’s Apology Socrates explains to the jury the reasons he should be found not guilty against his accused crimes. Although none of the accusations have any true merit Socrates is forced into the courtroom. During his defense Socrates states, “A man who really …show more content…
Socrates would rather be punished or die before he breaks the laws that were set forth by his state, and this he says later in the same passage, “I should run any risk on the side of law and justice rather than join you. (Cahn pg. 38 Apology b10-c2).” Socrates is eventually found guilty and is to fight no longer for his innocence, but against a penalty of death. As Socrates speaks to the jury he begins to speak more of the meanings of life opposed to the need for life. He claims, “it is the greatest good for a man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others, for the unexamined life is not worth living for men.. (Cahn pg. Apology39 38a1-4).” Although Socrates never explicitly states why he feels this way, but upon reading this statement and analyzing its context one can grasp a sense of this argument. Socrates is arguing that life is unlived if it is not questioned and our thoughts are not examined. He understands that his wisdom is far greater than that of the jury, and he feels that all other punishments would leave him unhappy and dissatisfied. He would rather suffer death than to go against the laws of the state, although he is being wrongly convicted. He feels he has lived a good life and a true life because he was able to examine himself and others true
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
Socrates, in his conviction from the Athenian jury, was both innocent and guilty as charged. In Plato’s Five Dialogues, accounts of events ranging from just prior to Socrates’ entry into the courthouse up until his mouthful of hemlock, both points are represented. Socrates’ in dealing with moral law was not guilty of the crimes he was accused of by Meletus. Socrates was only guilty as charged because his peers had concluded him as such. The laws didn’t find Socrates guilty; Socrates was guilty because his jurors enforced the laws. The law couldn’t enforce itself. Socrates was accused of corrupting Athens’ youth, not believing in the gods of the city and creating his own gods. In the Euthyphro, Socrates defends himself against the
Crito argues that Socrates should escape jail, and relies on the premises that he must consider the opinion of the public and that Socrates is betraying his children. Crito believes that Socrates is being foolish by remaining in jail and not escaping when given the opportunity. To support this argument, Crito presents two premises. The first of which claims that Socrates
Part of this ties into the fact that Socrates convinces not only his followers but to the jury that contrary to popular belief, he knows nothing. At the beginning of the Apology, he states that “I am wiser than this human being. For probably neither of us knows anything noble and good, but he supposes he knows something when he does not know, while I, just as I do not know, do not even suppose that I do. I am likely to be a little bit wiser than he in this very thing: that whatever I do not know, I do not even suppose I know”. (21d). His humility and modesty are outwardly distinguishably from this very speech alone. If one feels as if they do not have the abilities to rebel against the laws of the land by way of committing political atrocities, they are more than likely to a.) avoid rebellion and b.) respect the laws. Respecting the laws is the exact principle that Socrates stood by. Even if Socrates knew nothing as he claimed, what he did know was that obligation to the law was fundamental. Though he didn’t know anything, he knew that authority for the law was the foundation of a prosperous
Depicting the justification between the Athenian jury against the father of philosophy, the Apology exhibits Plato's recollection and interpretation of the notorious trial of Socrates. Accused of refusing to worship the gods recognized by the Athenian state, corrupting the youth, and informally addressing himself throughout the trial, Socrates presents himself as a villain or an enemy to the Athenian society and jury. Even though Socrates could have solicited pity towards the jury by strengthening his defense with emotional appeal, Socrates’ refusal to appease the jury in the Apology justly transcends the moral values of the Athenian jury and the modern human. Socrates’ emphasis on preserving the impartiality of the trial provides support for Socrates’ refusal to appease the jury. Given the opportunity to show pathos and ethos appeal --the importance of his family and friends-- Socrates restrains himself from instigating any bias into the trial, in order to keep the trial unprejudiced.
He admits his defeat by pronouncing that he expected to lose by more votes and explains why no lighter sentence will convince him to change his ways. He describes all of the ways he will continue to live in the manner they deemed guilty moments before. He asserts that he will not beg or present his family to turn him into an object of pity. Socrates’ pride wins out in the end (Plato 38). By encouraging the jury to avoid lighter punishments, he is assuring he will be sentenced to death. To ensure this, he offends the jury and state of Athens by proposing a meager fee instead of death, knowing it is not compensation enough for his crimes (Plato 39). Socrates actively seeks the death penalty by encouraging the jury to hand him a reward for all he has done for the city. He provokes them by patronizing the authority of their decision and intentionally provokes the men who have already found him guilty. He knows they will not consider him worthy of the reward he claims, because they do not believe he has done them a service. By eliminating any lighter sentences and offending the jury, Socrates all but guarantees his
Tensions between moral philosopher and the faithful citizen of the polis are highlighted in Plato’s Apology and Crito. In the Apology, Socrates is faced with a death sentence at the hands of the state, but ironically is unapologetic in his discourse while defending himself. The Crito, however, displays Socrates in a dialogue where he chooses to engage and characterize the laws as a means of arguing for his faithfulness to the decision of the polis. Indeed, he uses the laws as a rhetorical device, affirming his attachment to the city and his duty to receive his punishment through the words of a largely unchallenged force which he gives life to. One could argue that these two dialogues are purely adversative, and that within them there is no
I believe that the Socrates general reason for making all his claim in my opinion is because he was tired of people living the lazy life and not going beyond their ability to attain the best to their ability. Socrates was put on trial for many things; he did it through his endless and circular Socratic dialogues. He would abide by the law and did not even try to persuade the jury he was not guilty (Scott 38). Thus, abiding to the law is not an option, but an obligation for all of
Socrates believes that justice will reign supreme, and a innocent man that is sentenced to death by the state wrongfully will suffer for the sake of principle rather than be silenced. When this occurs, his message is more likely to be
The case laid out by Crito argues that should Socrates choose to remain in jail and allow the court to execute him that the consequences of his death would cause such harm to his loved ones that to do so would constitute an immoral act. The first portion of his argument
In “Crito”, we might’ve imagined that the dialogue would argue against obeying the laws. However, given Plato’s view on Athenian democracy he finds justification to support the laws regardless of the will of the people. In this paper I will assess Plato’s arguments for why Socrates should remain in prison and accept his death sentence. My main focus will be on Socrates primary argument, which is solely based on the premise that doing unjust actions harm’s one’s soul, and life is not living with a ruined soul. From that statement, I however, believe Socrates should escape Prison for he has not done anything to physically harm the people of Athens.
In the dialogue Crito, the Laws state that “One must obey the commands of one’s city and country, or persuade it as to the nature of justice” (51c1-2). In this paper, a third option in response to the state, i.e. punishment in reaction to unjust acts, will be advocated for. To this end, I will argue that Socrates could be justified in escaping because doing so could have punished the Laws of Athens, which would have helped the Laws maintain their virtue. This argument exists in two parts. First, I will use the three Laws speeches from the Crito in attempt to show that it is just for Socrates to punish the Laws. Next, I will use the same three speeches as well as the original verdict given in the Apology to try to show that escaping is in
In “The Apology,” Socrates represents himself in his own trial. He boldly questions the morality of the people of court. In this report, I will be analyzing portions of “The Apology” in order to reveal the intellectuality of this text within this time frame. I will only discuss bits of “The Apology“ on account that it is a lengthy piece. However, before discussing the speech it is important to set the scene. Socrates was born in 469 B.C.E. and lived to 399 B.C.E. (Nails, 2014).
The Apology written by Plato, takes us on a journey of Socrates’s trial. The City of Athens presented charges accusing Socrates of impiety and for corrupting the youth of Athens. Socrates defensive arguments take you on a trip, trying to show that the charges he’s being charged with are absurd. He goes on to defend himself by giving presumable facts as to why the prosecutors would want to condemn him setting up the argument to automatically show that these charges are unjust. Socrates then proceeds to address the charges brought against him addressed in the opening sentences. This paper will confront the two methods of defense in succession.
In the dialogue, Crito, Socrates justified his decision to accept his death penalty. His decision was praised as principled and just. However, such a view was one of the greatest myths in the history of philosophy. Contrary to the accepted ideas, I wish to show that Socrates’ argument was erroneous, the crucial error being his failure to distinguish between substantial and procedural justice. In fact, the whole of the Crito refers to some deeper problems of the philosophy of law and morality.
Socrates argues that he must remain in prison and accept his death sentence because he feels he has benefitted from the society he lives in. He feels he has benefitted from its security, having the ability to raise a family, and being employed. Making Socrates believe because of this he has obligations to comply with the laws of the society he chose to live in for so long. Socrates states an opinion of an expert is more important than the opinion of the majority, using someone in training as an example (Farrell, n.d.). This person doesn’t pay attention to the advice of the general public but pays attention to his trainer (Farrell, n.d.). If the person did listen to public opinion (take steroids, eat anything they want, or train 10 hours a day),