Yale University: Steven Smith's "Socratic Citizenship: Plato's Crito"

Watch this lecture. As you watch, think about Crito's appeal to Socrates. Crito represents a Homeric, traditional type of citizen of his age. His appeal is a logical one viewed through the lens of the self, but Socrates is not swayed. He rejects the notion that a citizen must live out a public existence with displays of patriotism, nobility, and devotion to the state. Note that these actions are not the same as compliance with the law of the land.

In the last third of the lecture, notice how Smith makes the case that the juxtaposition of Socrates' exposed views in Crito and The Republic cannot be reconciled. Smith believes that Plato purposefully exposed his readers to Socrates' conflicting philosophies in an attempt to demonstrate that society must choose either one of the Socratic models, or neither - but not both. Pause as needed to take notes.

Last modified: Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 12:45 PM