Socrates Conception Of Virtue In Crito, Apology, And

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In Plato’s three works Crito, Apology, and Euthyphro, Socrates’ conception of virtue and pursuit of knowledge about virtue, leads him to question and in some cases reject the ideas of others. Examples that show this are: Socrates discussion with Crito, his questioning of Meletus in the Apology, his speech to the jury before and after his conviction, and in his discussion with Euthyphro about what is pious. The teachings of these three works seem to go hand and hand with one another, with the teaching of the Crito being a culmination of the teachings of Euthyphro and Apology. If one were to read Apology and Euthyphro without reading the Crito, one may not understand the teachings of the formers since the Crito gives practice to the teachings …show more content…
In the Crito, Socrates asks Crito “is life worth living for us with that part of us corrupted that unjust action harms and just action benefits…or do we think that part of us…is inferior to the body?” Crito’s answer is no to both presented questions. Socrates then asks if the soul is more valuable than the body, which Crito answers yes. In this line, Socrates is stating that the health of one’s soul is paramount to one’s body and doing unjust action harms the soul. Socrates is arguing that just actions benefit the soul and are virtuous while unjust actions harm the soul and are not virtuous. These series of questions culminate into Socrates’ conception of virtue leading him to reject Crito’s pleas for him to escapes because if he does he will be disobeying the laws of the state. By disobeying the law of the state he would be committing an injustice and doing what is wrong therefore harming his soul. If he harmed his soul, then he would not be living the virtuous or examined life which he states in the Apology “is not worth living”; so even if he disagrees with the state he must still obey its laws since that is, in his perception of virtue, just and right. This dialogue gives more understanding as to why Socrates questions the views and actions of others and gives practice to Plato’s teachings from Euthyphro and …show more content…
This means that those who have the knowledge to understand what is right and wrong also understand justice. Socrates asks Meletus who has knowledge of the laws to which he answers, “these jurymen, Socrates”, Socrates then asks what about the Councilors and the assembly to which Meletus answers yes again. Socrates asks one final question asking if all Athenians improve the youth but he alone corrupts them to which Meletus answers yes. By answering yes Meleteus is asserting that all Athenian citizens except Socrates understand what is right and wrong. This would mean that the Athenian way of life is the life of virtue and therefore the life worth living; Socrates by questioning this way of life is going against what Meletus and his supporters perceive to be virtue. Socrates find this absurd and tells Meletus, “I do not believe you…and I do not think anyone else will” because how could one possibly believe that all Athenians except Socrates have the proper understanding of virtue. Socrates in stating this is asserting that if the jurymen believe in Meletus’ claim then they will be giving justice based on who they favor and not in accordance with the law. By doing this, they would be disobeying the laws of the state which Socrates says is impious in the Crito and therefore, would not be leading lives of virtue according to his perception of virtue. Following his

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