In class: Reason, according to Socrates

socrates-100x1331At the beginning of Crito, Socrates is in prison awaiting execution, having been found guilty of impiety and corrupting the youth of Athens.

His good friend Crito arrives, having worked out an escape opportunity for Socrates. Crito rushes through a few reasons why Socrates should escape immediately. Socrates then suggests that the issue is more complicated and requires careful consideration.

“For I am and always have been one of those natures who must be guided by reason, whatever the reason may be which upon reflection appears to me to be the best” (Crito, 46b).

And a little later, in deciding whether life is worth living under any circumstances, Socrates says: “Not living, but living well, is to be regarded as most important.” (48b)

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