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Reading Notes

Reading philosophical essays is more challenging in that you often have to scan once, read once, and review once before you can adequately explain the author's position. In order to be sure that you are receiving maximum benefit from your time spent studying, try to answer the guide questions posed below. If you cannot answer them, it is time to read or review to be sure you understand the main arguments presented. See more tips here.

Plato:Crito

Plato's Crito is an examination of the social contract and the strength of our commitment to stand up for what we believe in. Socrates' has a choice: escape from Athens with his wife and children or stay and face execution.  Crito argues that Socrates ought to escape for the the following reasons: 1) his friends will be thought cowards and cheapskates if they do not rescue him, 2) he is helping his enemies by allowing the execution, and 3) for sake of his children so they won't suffer the fate of orphans. 

 Socrates agrees to examine Crito's argument on the condition that they will only consider those items deemed worthy of consideration. At the beginning of the dialogue it seems clear that Socrates will not change his mind, but the dialogue revolves around the examination of the relationship between the individual and the state rather than the end result. 

  1. Resources
  2. Guide Questions
  3. Smartboard Notes

Here are some web sites that will enhance your understanding of this week's reading:

Plato's Crito:

Guide Questions:

The following questions are designed to fine tune your understanding of the reading. The subject matter and answers to these questions form the basis of what you will be required to know for exams.

Objectives for this week: To continue our adventure in learning about the roots of Western philosophy by grappling with the relationship between the individual and the state in Plato's Crito. After reading the Crito, reviewing the resources and attempting the guide questions below, you should be able to:

  1. explain Crito's argument concerning the need for Socrates to escape
  2. discuss Socrates' argument for nonviolence
  3. provide a cogent summary of the ways in which Socrates refutes Crito's analysis
  4. explain consistencies/inconsistencies between Socrates' position in the Apology and Crito
  5. describe the social contract and its relevance to contemporary society

Crito

Guide Questions:

The following questions are designed to fine tune your understanding of the reading. I will check to see if you've completed them; the subject matter and answers to these questions form the basis of what you will be required to know for exams.

43-48: Should we value the opinion of the majority? 48c-49e: argument for nonviolence 50-54e: confronting the law 
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Smartboard Notes from Week 4 Lectures:

crito notes

Crito part 2

 

 

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