Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno and Phaedo

Retaliation and Disobedience: An Absolutist Stance to Justice and Civic Duty College

In Crito, Plato depicts a dialogue that takes place between Socrates and an old friend, Crito, who has come to convince Socrates to escape from jail. In response, Socrates labels an escape as an act of retaliation and disobedience, instead presenting his rationale for staying and complying with the state verdict. Specifically, Socrates presents his arguments not as two independent ideals, but as interconnected steps by which he describes his view of justice and the relationship between citizens and the law. In this paper, I will perform an analysis of Socrates’ arguments by first outlining them in detail and then weighing the merits of potential objections. In addition, I will evaluate the objections in an attempt to expose some of the shortfalls of Socrates’ arguments, as well as highlight the overarching difficulty in forming a rigid framework by which to navigate the ambiguous dilemmas represented in the dialogue of Crito.

In order to clearly understand Socrates’ arguments, one must first contextualize the conversation and note that his assertions are a response to Crito’s pleas for him to escape. It is interesting to note that Crito’s initial reasons seem to lack the depth one would expect of an old friend, for his initial...

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