Crito - Ramy Shweiky_> Change"Laws of Athens Professor...

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Ramy Shweiky_______________________________>>>>>> Change “Laws of Athens” Professor Chamberlain MMW2, Section #C06 20 February. 2007 Mystery Philosopher: Questioning the Authorship of the Crito Plato’s Crito is a highly controversial work that has sparked the interest of many classical scholars around the world. Scholarly debate over the work focuses around the introduction of the “Laws of Athens” and the theory set forth by Socrates in his speech on the proper relations between an individual and State. Using the external voice of the “Laws of Athens”, Socrates bases his argument against escaping his death sentence on the fact that such an act would be unjust to the city of Athens and its legal system (Crito Intro). Controversy surrounds such a theory because it cannot be found in any other of Plato’s works on Socrates. In fact, in Plato’s other works, such as the Apology, Socrates is quite disrespectful towards the government during his defense, automatically dismissing the charges against him as false, spending much of his efforts attacking Meletus instead of trying to persuade his the jury. Along with this inconsistency, other typical “Socratic” elements, routinely associated with Plato’s depiction of Socrates are absent from the Crito. Socrates’ elenchus for instance, as used in many of Plato’s Socratic works is absent as Socrates does not use this technique in cross-examining Crito. Such discrepancies between the theories explaining Socrates’ actions in the Crito and Plato’s other works on Socrates have raised the question of the authorship of the Crito, and if the work was even written by Plato. In fact, scholars have recently proposed that Plato’s nephew Speusippus wrote the work (Crito Intro). In this essay I will argue that because of the blatant differences in Socratic theory and logical inference between the Crito and Plato’s other works, most notably
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the Apology, that Plato did not in fact write the Crito. It is important to pose this question of authorship to better understand both the history and the philosophy of the work. The Crito has both historical and philosophical elements, as it tries to give us a picture of Socrates’ life and personality soon before his death, as well as rationally investigate the truths of important principles such as the nature of justice, and the relationship between the individual and State. It is important to keep in mind the author of so called “Socratic” works such as the Crito , as each author may have wanted to portray Socrates in a certain way. Understanding the author of the Crito will help readers shed light on the way Athenians viewed Socrates as well as his philosophy. Socrates’ “social contract” theory, introduced with the external voice of the “Laws of
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Crito - Ramy Shweiky_> Change"Laws of Athens Professor...

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