Plato’s Crito

I​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‌‌‍​magine that you are an Athenian philosopher and friend of Socrates. You, like Socrates, want Athens to be a just and stable society. You are keenly aware of both the benefits of and damage done by various types of government in Greece (e.g., direct democracy, monarchy, oligarchy, tyranny). You are particularly concerned with the question of how much freedom citizens should have, with respect to maintaining order and Athenian values. As a philosopher, you aspire to be open to others’ ideas, provided they are logical. Following Socrates’ trial, you heard that Crito has bribed a guard and will try to persuade Socrates to escape. You snuck behind Crito as he entered the jail, and in the shadows, listened with rapt attention to Crito’s and Socrates’ arguments. As you ​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‌‌‍​listened, you carefully evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of each argument and position. As they concluded their dialogue, and the red fingers of dawn crept into the jail cell, you were discovered by the warden and thrown out. You returned home with a heavy heart, but also carrying the knowledge that the best way to honor Socrates is to separate your tumultuous emotions from reason. Later, you considered Crito’s and Socrates’ positions carefully, and concluded that one must be correct. You then wrote down your own philosophical argument clarifying your own position. Your analysis and argument will be represented in a well-organized argumentative essay that answers this question: Would it have been just for Socrates to break the laws and escape with Crito? Wh​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‌‍‌‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‌‌‍​y or why not?

Sample Solution