Socrates, Obedience, and the Law: Plato's Crito

J. Dybikowskia1

a1 University of British Columbia

The Crito does not set out to provide a complete theory of what subjects owe their governments in obedience. It is particularly concerned with what Socrates should do. On the way, however, it reveals general commitments which bear implications for judging other situations with which the dialogue is not directly concerned.

The first section of this essay outlines Crito's reasons for urging escape as well as Socrates' general strategy for disarming Crito's case. It particularly draws attention to the rhetorical devices Socrates cleverly exploits to alter Crito's perspective in judging his proposed plan. The second section examines the dialogue's arguments which purport to show why Socrates must refuse Crito's offer. Its object is to distinguish, and exhibit the logical implications of, positions which in the dialogue form part of a continuous story.