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Argument and agreement in Plato's Crito

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It is argued that the Crito hinges on the relation between words and deeds. Socrates sets out a standard of agreement reached through persuasive argument or words. In this case the argument is deliberative: a general shared principle (do not do wrong) is juxtaposed to a particular minor premise (this act of escape is wrong) to reach a conclusion (do not escape). Crito baulks at the perception of the minor premise. At this juncture the Laws of Athens are introduced, who set out a standard of agreement established instead by deeds. Both standards apply to Socrates, constituting the drama of the dialogue.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kings College, Cambridge, CB2 1ST, UK.

Publication date: March 1, 1998


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