• Fooloso4
    4.8k
    But what do you think of the case Socrates' Law has made in Crito? Are you convinced or not?frank

    I am convinced of the importance of just law, but not that he is the slave (West translation) of the law. The Greek term is "doulos". I don't know why Horan translates it as servant, but possibly because a servant is able to leave (51d). This would be a kind of social contract, but there is no contract or agreement between master and slave. As the argument progresses this claim is dropped, in favor of the idea of an agreement.

    Leaving this aside, we can consider the rest of the claim in this passage, that he is the offspring or son of the law. While a son may have an obligation to obey a father who is just and good, what is his obligation to a father who is not? The speech of the law does not make this critical distinction.

    The distinction and blurring of the distinction between the law and the people who make, decide, and administer the law is also problematic.

    As quoted above, the law, so to speak, washes its hands of the matter by admitting that Socrates was treated unjustly, only not by the law but by men.
  • Amity
    4.5k
    I am convinced of the importance of just law, but not that he is the slave (West translation) of the law.Fooloso4

    I've still to read through all the posts and re-read Crito.
    However, this latest made me wonder as to the importance of the use of the word 'slave'.

    I don't know why Horan translates it as servant, but possibly because a servant is able to leave (51d).Fooloso4

    That's a very good question - and what difference does it make to our reading or understanding?
    As to the choices available to Socrates or anyone in life, how much freedom do we really have?
    When we can imagine, or research, any alternative life does it fit with who we are, or think we are? What would convince us that it would be better to leave - 'the grass is always greener' - (slave to emotion?). Or to stay - 'no matter where you go, there you are' - (mastery of self?).
    Master/Slave is a mental system, no?

    [Another thing, could this be related to the old dichotomy of female(emotion)/male(reason). With all the male characters, dancing and fighting, in Plato's dialogues, how much 'eros' is present?
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-friendship/#toc ]

    Laws of the state change from just to unjust and back again.
    When it comes to civil rights, the speed at which change occurs can be excruciatingly slow (to build and progress) or appallingly quick (to destroy and regress). How much control does the individual have? What is at stake for present and future generations? What is Plato's overall agenda re Philosophy?[*]

    ***

    I looked for the West translation you mentioned earlier (did you leave a link?)
    This morning, I found this free downloadable pdf:
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1023142

    Socrates of Athens: Euthyphro, Socrates' Defense, Crito and the Death Scene from Phaedo
    58 Pages
    Cathal Woods
    Virginia Wesleyan College; Virginia Wesleyan University
    Ryan Pack
    Virginia Wesleyan College

    A quick search through 'Crito' (starts p44/58), the word 'slave' is mentioned 3 times:
    At 50e, 52d and 53e.

    ***

    [*] Crito, then can be seen as the Emotional beaten by the Rational (Socrates). Nevertheless, here we have the art/creativity of the dialogue along with logical steps/argument process and... a barely mentioned spiritual element. The presence of Socrates' daimonion?

    Plato incorporates all. The struggles between the master and slave; state and the individual; art and logic. Drama and humour. Mind, body and soul. The whole and the interrelated parts. Tragedy and comedy.
    Doesn't the start of philosophy lie in the wondering...and communicating...I suppose 'eros'...?

    Plato’s views on love are a meditation on Socrates and the power his philosophical conversations have to mesmerize, obsess, and educate.SEP - Plato on Friendship and Eros
  • Paine
    1.6k

    The following picture drawn by Socrates captures some of the tension symbolized through gender roles:

    203B ‘The story is somewhat lengthy but I will tell you nevertheless,’ she replied. ‘When Aphrodite was born, the gods held a feast, and among them was Resource, the son of Cunning. Once they had dined, Poverty arrived, begging as she usually did at such festivities, and she hung about the doorways. Resource was drunk on nectar – indeed there was no wine in those days – so he went out into the garden of Zeus, was overcome with heaviness and fell asleep. Now Poverty, because she herself was devoid of resource, contriving to have a child by Resource, lies down 203C beside him, thus conceiving Love. That is why Love is also a follower and attendant of Aphrodite. Begotten at her birthday festivities, he is a lover by nature, drawn to beauty because Aphrodite is beautiful.

    ‘Now, since Love is the son of Resource and Poverty, he finds himself in the following circumstances. Firstly, he is always poor and far from being delicate and beautiful as so many people believe; rather he is hard, squalid, 203D barefoot and homeless, always sleeping on the ground without covers, lying in the open air in doorways or on the streets, possessed of his mother’s nature, dwelling ever alongside lack. Then again, because of his father, he has designs upon anything beautiful and good; he is courageous, energetic and intense, a formidable hunter, always devising some schemes. He desires understanding and is resourceful in obtaining it. He is a life-long lover of wisdom,[45] a clever enchanter, sorcerer, and sophist, by nature neither immortal 203E nor mortal. Rather, on the self-same day he thrives and is alive at one moment whenever he is well-resourced, but the next moment he is dying; yet he comes back to life again because of his father’s nature. Whatever resources he obtains are constantly slipping away, and so he is neither devoid of resources nor wealthy, and what is more he is midway between wisdom and ignorance.
    Symposium, 203b, translated by Horan

    This view puts Socrates turning down the wealth of Crito as a resource into a certain light. It does not fix the kind of poverty that has befallen Socrates.
  • Fooloso4
    4.8k
    However, this latest made me wonder as to the importance of the use of the word 'slave'.Amity

    What is at issue can be seen if we put it in the form of a question: are the laws for the benefit of man or is man for the benefit of the laws?

    (mastery of self?).Amity

    From the Phaedo:

    For all wars arise on account of the possession of wealth, and we are compelled to acquire wealth because of the body, as we are slaves in its service.
    (66c-d)

    The presence of Socrates' daimonion?Amity

    Or rather, its conspicuous absence. It plays a significant role in the charges brought against Socrates in the Apology, where he is accused of believing in:

    ... other novel divine forces.
    (24b-c)

    Here Socrates claims:

    I am, now and always, the sort of person who heeds nothing else but the reasoning that on reflection appears best to me.
    (46b)

    His daemon, however, does not provide any reasons when warning him against doing something.
  • Amity
    4.5k
    His daemon, however, does not provide any reasons when warning him against doing something.Fooloso4
    I don't think he refers to this divine force as a 'daemon'.
    It is his daemonion, a 'voice' he hears.
    A special, spiritual consciousness or 'being' to save him from anything that might harm his moral or intellectual values/beliefs.

    For most of the argumentation, Socrates takes his time, seeking agreement from Crito.
    Then, from 52e until the end, there is no breathing space.
    The personalised voice of the accusatory laws takes over. It is unrelenting, even referring to the laws of Hades. The next world will not receive Socrates graciously...

    This voice stems from Socrates. [Perhaps directed by his daemonion?]
    It seems to come from a higher self or self-consciousness.

    When I read it, it felt like a 'stream-of-consciousness'. Is it?
    If we read the dialogue aloud, might we better hear the increased pace of Socrates' thought processes.
    His inner voice and external voice letting rip? The sounds of frenzy:

    So take note, dear friend Crito. These are the words I seem to be hearing, just as the frenzied dancers seem to be hearing the pipes, and the very sound of these words is reverberating within me, and makes me incapable of hearing anything else. Mark my words then.Horan

    It seems his mind is overwhelmed by a mix of reason and a spiritual element; his daemonion warning him against escape.
    It left Crito with nothing to say.
    Socrates has the final word in the Dialogue but leaves us with more questions.

    Soc: 54E Well then, Crito, let it be, and let’s act accordingly, since this is the way god leads us.Horan

    The way god, or 'the god' leads us.
    Apollo? Or philosophy?
  • Amity
    4.5k
    This view puts Socrates turning down the wealth of Crito as a resource into a certain light. It does not fix the kind of poverty that has befallen Socrates.Paine

    I will need more time to read and reflect on that and this (or this and that):

    However, this latest made me wonder as to the importance of the use of the word 'slave'.
    — Amity

    What is at issue can be seen if we put it in the form of a question: are the laws for the benefit of man or is man for the benefit of the laws?
    Fooloso4

    I need to read Crito to fill in more than a few of my gaps in understanding.
    In other words, I'm perplexed, puzzled and pleased to participate in Plato's piece.
  • frank
    13.7k
    In 54 the Law refers to the weight of posterity as a reason to put justice above all else:


    Socrates, heed us, we who reared you, and do not reckon children or life or anything else to be more important than justice, so that when you arrive in Hades, you will be able to say all this in your own defence to those who rule there. For even here, if you do this, it will not prove better, more just, or more holy, either for you or any of those who belong to you, nor will it be better when you arrive there. Rather, as matters stand, if you depart this world you depart 54C unjustly treated by your fellow men, and not by us, the laws. But if you escape, having returned injustice for injustice and evil for evil in such a disgraceful manner, contravening your own agreements and contracts with ourselves, and inflicting harm upon those whom you should harm least – yourself, your friends, your homeland and us — Horan translation
  • Fooloso4
    4.8k
    I don't think he refers to this divine force as a 'daemon'.
    It is his daemonion, a 'voice' he hears.
    Amity

    You are right, he always refers to it as his daemonion. I have not paid much attention to this and do not feel qualified to say much about it. There is no consensus, however, as to who or what it is the voice of. Here is a brief discussion of his divine sign.
  • Fooloso4
    4.8k
    ... do not reckon children or life or anything else to be more important than justice — Horan translation

    Justice (dike) is more important than law (nomos). Law is in the service of justice, but they can be in conflict. Consider, for example, the rule of the Thirty Tyrants in Athens. There can be unjust laws and unjust administration of the law. The speech of the law glosses over this problem.

    those who rule there. — Horan translation

    Gods, not men, rule in Hades. As the law says in this passage, Socrates was treated unjustly by Athens. It does not claim that he was treated unlawfully. But justly or not, for Socrates to disobey the judgment of the city would be unjust. More important than any specific judgment by the city is the preservation of the law. Unjust laws cannot be changed and made just if law is discarded.

    According to the law, man in the service of justice rather than justice being in the service of man. But does the law overstate its case?
  • frank
    13.7k
    Justice (dike) is more important than law nomos). Law is in the service of justice, but they can be in conflict. Consider, for example, the rule of the Thirty Tyrants in Athens. There can be unjust laws and unjust administration of the law. The speech of the law glosses over this problem.Fooloso4

    Absolutely. But the speech Law has been giving (through Socrates) puts Law as the source of both Athens and Socrates himself. Since there can be no justice without an Athens or citizens, Law trumps justice in this case. The Law says that even if it is unjust, the citizens should still bow to it. It says the citizens had a chance to influence the law, and now they must submit to it for the sake of the city.

    It's hard not to see this as proto-social-contract theory. Society is the foundation of your existence, so you owe it obedience. And this is linked in some ways to the Stoic view that normativity is built into nature itself. The tree that grows toward the light thrives. The citizen who supports the Law (in a democracy) will thrive. It should be in your nature to support that which gives you life.

    But does the law overstate its case?Fooloso4

    I'm not really interested in sorting out who's right or wrong here. It's just opposing views orbiting the idea of normativity.
  • Fooloso4
    4.8k
    But the speech Law has been giving (through Socrates) puts Law as the source of both Athens and Socrates himself.frank

    I think the law has it backwards. There would be no human nomos, that is, not simply laws and statutes, but custom or convention or norms, without men. Prior to cities there were families and tribes. If whatever the head or chief ruled was law then the distinction between the rule of law and the rule of men collapses.

    Plato recognized the conflicting demands of the family and the city. This is why in the Republic the just city abolishes the family by hiding who one's biological parents and children are.

    The distinction between just and unjust laws raises the problem of the source or standard of justice. The speech of the law, however, does not make such a distinction.

    The ancient Greeks distinguished between nature (physis) and convention (nomos). If, along with the Stoics, we accept the claim that man is the rational animal, then to live according to nature is to live according to reason not according to conventions or norms.

    It's hard not to see this as proto-social-contract theory.frank

    If there was a contract then what was the obligation on the side of the law? For his whole adult life Socrates practiced what he is now forbidden to do. Did the city break the contract? When the Thirty briefly came to power was there a contract agreed to or did the new law simply impose its power?

    Society is the foundation of your existence, so you owe it obedience.frank

    Does this mean that we owe obedience even when there is a radical change to the laws of a society? Suppose a regime comes to power that abolishes private property and declares that we are all the property of the state without any human rights. Suppose further that it restricts emigration. What do we owe it?

    It should be in your nature to support that which gives you life.frank

    Unless we are by nature slaves to the state and not free, then there must be limits to the demands of the state. If there is to be a social contract then one side cannot hold all the power.
  • frank
    13.7k
    I think the law has it backwards. There would be no human nomos, that is, not simply laws and statutes, but custom or convention or norms, without men. Prior to cities there were families and tribes. If whatever the head or chief ruled was law then the distinction between the rule of law and the rule of men collapses.

    Plato recognized the conflicting demands of the family and the city. This is why in the Republic the just city abolishes the family by hiding who one's biological parents and children are.

    The distinction between just and unjust laws raises the problem of the source or standard of justice. The speech of the law, however, does not make such a distinction.

    The ancient Greeks distinguished between nature (physis) and convention (nomos). If, along with the Stoics, we accept the claim that man is the rational animal, then to live according to nature is to live according to reason not according to conventions or norms.
    Fooloso4

    We could definitely argue against the speech the Law has given, but it's clear within the context of this dialog that Socrates does accept what the law has said:

    So take note, dear friend Crito. These are the words I seem to be hearing, just as the frenzied dancers seem to be hearing the pipes, and the very sound of these words is reverberating within me, and makes me incapable of hearing anything else. Mark my words then. If you say anything contrary to the views I now hold, you will speak in vain. Nevertheless, if you think it will achieve anything, speak.

    Crito: No, Socrates, I have nothing to say.

    Soc: 54E Well then, Crito, let it be, and let’s act accordingly, since this is the way god leads us.
    — Horan translation

    If there was a contract then what was the obligation on the side of the law? For his whole adult life Socrates practiced what he is now forbidden to do. Did the city break the contract? When the Thirty briefly came to power was there a contract agreed to or did the new law simply impose its power?Fooloso4

    In modern times we tend to think of the social contract as between citizens. We don't personify the Law the way Socrates has. As the IEP explains in its essay on the social contract, the binding elements of the contract show up in Crito in that the citizen stayed when they could have left:

    In the early Platonic dialogue, Crito, Socrates makes a compelling argument as to why he must stay in prison and accept the death penalty, rather than escape and go into exile in another Greek city. He personifies the Laws of Athens, and, speaking in their voice, explains that he has acquired an overwhelming obligation to obey the Laws because they have made his entire way of life, and even the fact of his very existence, possible. They made it possible for his mother and father to marry, and therefore to have legitimate children, including himself. Having been born, the city of Athens, through its laws, then required that his father care for and educate him. Socrates’ life and the way in which that life has flourished in Athens are each dependent upon the Laws. Importantly, however, this relationship between citizens and the Laws of the city are not coerced. Citizens, once they have grown up, and have seen how the city conducts itself, can choose whether to leave, taking their property with them, or stay. Staying implies an agreement to abide by the Laws and accept the punishments that they mete out. And, having made an agreement that is itself just, Socrates asserts that he must keep to this agreement that he has made and obey the Laws, in this case, by staying and accepting the death penalty. Importantly, the contract described by Socrates is an implicit one: it is implied by his choice to stay in Athens, even though he is free to leave. — IEP

    Unless we are by nature slaves to the state and not free, then there must be limits to the demands of the state. If there is to be a social contract then one side cannot hold all the power.Fooloso4

    True.
  • Fooloso4
    4.8k
    We could definitely argue against the speech the Law has given, but it's clear within the context of this dialog that Socrates does accept what the law has saidfrank

    I think that it is clear that Socrates wants Crito to accept it. It is also clear that Socrates abides by the decision of the court. Before imagining what the law will say he was already convinced that to flee would be unjust and to return an injustice with an injustice is unjust. This is not the same as accepting the words he puts in the mouth of the law.

    At the risk of stating the obvious, it is Plato who imagines what Socrates imagines the law would say. Socrates fashioning this argument to convince Crito is not the same as Socrates being convinced by the argument. From the perspective of the reader the question is whether Plato is trying to convince
    us. If we can argue against the speech I think it likely that Plato's Socrates could have as well. What is at issue is not simply why Socrates did what he did, which admittedly is puzzling, but what philosophers who come after him have to think about and do. In this case it means, at least in part, to learn what Socrates did not, but Plato and Aristotle did, that is, how to speak to the city and the law.

    A couple of reasons to think that Socrates did not put the law above justice. In the Apology he says he would not stop engaging in philosophy even if the law prohibits it. He also refused to comply with the Thirty and arrest Leon of Salamis.

    These are the words I seem to be hearing, just as the frenzied dancers seem to be hearing the pipes, and the very sound of these words is reverberating within me, and makes me incapable of hearing anything else. — Horan translation

    I don't think Socrates, who devoted his life to the truth based on giving a reasoned account, would be persuaded by words that resembled frenzied dancers and pipes.

    ... he has acquired an overwhelming obligation to obey the Laws because they have made his entire way of life, and even the fact of his very existence, possible. — IEP

    His entire way of life is exactly what the law now demands he no longer practice.

    The law claims:

    ... you have agreed, by your actions if not by your words, to live as a citizen in accordance with us
    (52d)
    Fooloso4

    For much of his life, doing what he does and saying what he says was not prevented by the law. By its actions or lack of action the law agreed to allow him to engage in philosophy.Fooloso4

    The law has violated the terms of the agreement. But even so Socrates is unwilling to break the law.

    It is true that Socrates was free to leave, but Athens was for him not simply where he lived. Although by leaving when that option was open he would not have broken the law, it would have broken his bond to the city which was not simply a legal one.
  • frank
    13.7k

    Food for thought. Your take is a little unorthodox, but that's fine.

    Since my purpose was to focus on normativity, I'd say the take away is this:

    Crito says that the foundation of normativity is the well-being of human social groups. So there's an element of selfishness to it, but it's not what I want. It's what we need to survive.

    Do you give your life that your city might live? According to Lincoln, yes, you do.
  • Amity
    4.5k
    ↪Fooloso4
    Food for thought. Your take is a little unorthodox, but that's fine.
    frank

    Can you explain what you mean by a 'little unorthodox' in the way @Fooloso4 has tackled or read 'Crito'? It is only one of many ways to consider this piece.
    You will know of them no doubt. Various analytic approaches sometimes run the risk of ignoring the literary and dramatic features. There is a complex and memorable interplay of voices - those of Plato, Socrates, Crito, the Laws, moral principles, family, friends, the city, and other states. Norms.

    Developments of arguments and sub-arguments to disentangle and tease out.
    Conflicting attitudes of translators/readers regarding textual ambiguities, like the word 'slave', 'the many'.
    Just as Plato intended, even with a hint of irony and subtle humour.

    ***
    [ An aside: talking about 'unorthodox', your OP is not exactly 'orthodox', is it?
    As part of a dive into normativity, I'm going to read Crito. Would you have time to moderate it?frank

    Different from what is expected. It is more like a PM invitation.
    It doesn't meet the usual guidelines, but that's fine.
    The mods usually let such stand if it results in a productive discussion. And it has, thanks! ]

    ***
    Since my purpose was to focus on normativity, I'd say the take away is this:
    Crito says that the foundation of normativity is the well-being of human social groups. So there's an element of selfishness to it, but it's not what I want. It's what we need to survive.
    "frank

    Where in the dialogue does it say this?
    Is that all that it says?
    What does Plato want us to 'take away' from a reading?
    What is his goal?

    Questions for a general and a specific 'you':
    What happens to your mind when you are reading this carefully?
    Do you accept all that is said - or do you continually ask questions of it?
    Or is it simply a case of cherry-picking certain aspects for another project?

    I hope the discussion continues to produce more questions/ideas than set answers.
    I have plenty, still to sift through.
    Isn't that what reading 'Crito' is all about? Developing capacities of mental discernment?

    Perhaps you know that the name Crito comes from the Greek meaning "discern" or "judge". (This is noted in West's translation.)Fooloso4
  • Amity
    4.5k

    I hope to read and respond to these substantive and thought-provoking posts later, thanks.
    But for now, I think you have this spot on:

    I think that it is clear that Socrates wants Crito to accept it. It is also clear that Socrates abides by the decision of the court. Before imagining what the law will say he was already convinced that to flee would be unjust and to return an injustice with an injustice is unjust. This is not the same as accepting the words he puts in the mouth of the law.Fooloso4
    [emphasis added]
  • Paine
    1.6k

    The review of the Divine Sign book review is very interesting. It strikes me that the question of the daimonion is a looking glass for different approaches to Plato as a whole.

    One example of that in the review is:

    Thus when Thomas Brickhouse and Nicholas Smith refute Gregory Vlastos's reductionist reading of the divine sign -- the voice as a rational hunch -- they are helping to bring a suppressed side of Socrates back into the picture. Socrates' experience was genuinely religious -- which as Brickhouse and Smith also point out does not make it irrational. — Book review

    This expresses a problem I have with Vlastos' method in general, where analysis can make all matters into either/or conditions. Wrestling with either/or conditions in reference to the divine has also been a large component of the discussions in your OPs on Plato. In reading Crito, how to understand 'intuition' is a question when you observed:

    His daemon, however, does not provide any reasons when warning him against doing something.Fooloso4
  • Fooloso4
    4.8k
    Your take is a little unorthodoxfrank

    I don't know what might stand as an orthodox reading today but, to quote Marx:

    Whatever it is I'm against it
    (Groucho)

    I take responsibility for my interpretation but I don't think there is anything there that is original.
  • Fooloso4
    4.8k


    The first mention of law does not occur until 50a. It is also here that we find the first mention of the city.

    The first mention of justice occurs earlier:

    That’s right. And without going through them all, Crito, doesn’t the same issue arise in other cases too, and especially when it comes to justice and injustice, disgrace and nobility, good and bad, with which our deliberations are now concerned? Should we follow the opinion of the majority and fear it, or the opinion of one person, someone who is knowledgeable, and feel more shame and fear before him than before all the others put together? And if we do not follow him, shan’t we corrupt and maim that which we agreed is made better by justice, and ruined by injustice? Or is this nothing?
    (47c-d)
  • frank
    13.7k
    I don't know what might stand as an orthodox reading today but, to quote Marx:

    Whatever it is I'm against it
    (Groucho)
    Fooloso4

    :razz: I don't know how philosophers are seeing it today either. I think of the orthodox reading as having come from Cambridge in 1927 or something.

    What I like about your view is that it makes me think. My own view is like just analyzing the chessboard. Yours is more like actually playing the game. Very different approaches.
  • Fooloso4
    4.8k
    ... the divine ...Paine

    We tend to impose our own beliefs and ideas on what this term means. I think it helpful to consider something Homer, who in the Phaedo Socrates calls the “Divine Poet” (95a) says. In the Iliad Homer call salt divine (9.214)
  • Fooloso4
    4.8k
    What I like about your view is that it makes me think.frank

    Sometimes when someone tells me that I apologize. (A serious joke.)
  • frank
    13.7k
    Sometimes when someone tells me that I apologize. (A serious joke.)Fooloso4

    :up:
  • Amity
    4.5k
    The first mention of justice:

    That’s right. And without going through them all, Crito, doesn’t the same issue arise in other cases too, and especially when it comes to justice and injustice, disgrace and nobility, good and bad, with which our deliberations are now concerned? Should we follow the opinion of the majority and fear it, or the opinion of one person, someone who is knowledgeable, and feel more shame and fear before him than before all the others put together? And if we do not follow him, shan’t we corrupt and maim that which we agreed is made better by justice, and ruined by injustice? Or is this nothing?
    (47c-d)
    Fooloso4

    This simple and stark contrast between the 'majority' (the unknowing) and the 'one' (knowing) runs through the entire dialogue. And is open to question.
    The different contexts and circumstances:

    1. The expert should be valued more than the many.
    The Opinions of the Many v Experts Argument, from 46d-47c.
    Horan's translation: https://www.platonicfoundation.org/critias/

    Who is the expert in Socrates' story? He is. And how do/could the majority of citizen voters know him? How did the court system work?

    2. It leaves out groups who might not be deemed 'citizens'. The multitude of missing voices of the community. To understand better, some research is required into the complex social picture and structures of Ancient Athens.

    Three major distinctions:
    The first was that between free and slave. The second focused on a clear dividing line between adult male citizens, who were full members of the Athenian political community and its institutions, and various excluded “others” (slaves, metics, women).
    Finally, within the citizen community itself there was a marked division between plousioi, the wealthy who did not need to work, and penētes, who had to work for their living, irrespective of whether they were well-off or destitute.
    What do we really know about Athenian society - Cambridge Core

    Emphasis added: did the same civic rules apply to other Greek cities?
    This is relevant to Socrates' decision to live and remain in Athens. If he moved elsewhere would he be considered a 'metic'? We previously considered the use of the word 'slave' compared to 'servant' as applied to Socrates and his behaviour.

    From wiki:
    Metics: In Ancient Greece, a metic (Greek: metoikos) was a foreigner living in a Greek city-state (polis). The metic did not have the same citizen rights as a citizen who was born in the state he was living in.

    The term 'metic' was especially used in ancient Athens in the 4th and 5th centuries BC.

    A notable metic was Aristotle, who was born in Stageira but lived in Athens for a long time.

    Regardless of how many generations of the family had lived in the city, metics did not become citizens unless the city chose to bestow citizenship on them as a gift. This was rarely done. Citizenship at Athens brought eligibility for numerous state payments such as jury and assembly pay, which could be significant to working people. During emergencies the city could distribute rations to citizens. None of these rights were available to metics. They were not permitted to own real estate in Attica, whether farm or house, unless granted a special exemption.

    Metics shared the burdens of citizenship without any of its privileges. Like citizens, they had to perform military service and, if rich enough, were subject to special tax contributions.
    Metic - wiki

    We can consider how fair or just this system is...to exclude so many from citizenship.

    The idea of the 'social contract' appears central to the argument whereby citizens and state/city have a mutual understanding of what benefits entail.
    But even then questions can be asked: Loyalty to who, at what cost?

    His entire way of life is exactly what the law now demands he no longer practice.
    The law claims:
    ... you have agreed, by your actions if not by your words, to live as a citizen in accordance with us
    (52d)
    — Fooloso4

    For much of his life, doing what he does and saying what he says was not prevented by the law. By its actions or lack of action the law agreed to allow him to engage in philosophy.
    — Fooloso4

    The law has violated the terms of the agreement. But even so Socrates is unwilling to break the law.

    It is true that Socrates was free to leave, but Athens was for him not simply where he lived. Although by leaving when that option was open he would not have broken the law, it would have broken his bond to the city which was not simply a legal one.
    Fooloso4

    Exactly this.

    ***

    The Greek term νόμος, from which we get the term 'norm', means custom, law, and also song (νόμος).
    Fooloso4

    There is a spirit of custom and law that encompasses more than objective, generalised legal rules.
    We find it in the subjective personal story of Socrates. The philosopher of Athens with soul.

    There is more to be said. Later...
  • Fooloso4
    4.8k
    Who is the expert in Socrates' story? He is.Amity

    But he denies knowing anything noble and good (Apology 21d). We should be open to the possibility that no such expert exists. He does say that we should pay attention to some opinions but not others, but without knowledge on what basis can we determine which opinions are to be valued?
  • Amity
    4.5k
    We should be open to the possibility that no such expert exists.Fooloso4

    You are right. Even if we think we know our own 'story' better than anyone else, there is room for error.
    Opinions, even of self, should be gleaned from what 'knowledge' is available.
    Self-knowledge: we can have false beliefs about who or how we are.
    We put on a face to self and others. Often surprised by their reflections right back at us.

    When we point out that what someone says is sarcastic, they can respond by saying:
    "That's not who I am!". Then, our opinion as stated is not valued. It doesn't fit the self-image.
    Even if we try to explain that we didn't mean they are sarcastic, only what they said.
    The damage has been done!

    We can be rational, irrational or non-rational in choosing what we present or accept as evidence.
    But as a juror, in a court of law, with life or death decisions - the best available evidence matters.
    We rely on experts and witnesses - to do the best they can, in the circumstances.

    When it comes to opinions, remember to cut them with care. No tears!
    I returned to my 'Opinions' thread ( a year ago!) to re-read the exchanges:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/13340/how-to-cut-opinions-without-tears/p1
    'Knowing' people from previous posts, I put out a request to you and @Ciceronianus as 'experts':

    Plato on Eros and Friendship

    Plato’s views on love are a meditation on Socrates and the power his philosophical conversations have to mesmerize, obsess, and educate.

    1. Socrates and the Art of Love
    “The only thing I say I know,” Socrates tells us in the Symposium, “is the art of love (ta erôtika) (177d8–9). Taken literally, it is an incredible claim.

    Are we really to believe that the man who affirms when on trial for his life that he knows himself to be wise “in neither a great nor a small way” (Apology 21b4–5) knows the art of love? In fact, the claim is a nontrivial play on words facilitated by the fact that the noun erôs (“love”) and the verb erôtan (“to ask questions”) sound as if they are etymologically connected—a connection explicitly exploited in the Cratylus (398c5-e5).

    Socrates knows about the art of love in that—but just insofar as—he knows how to ask questions, how to converse elenctically.
    — SEP: Plato on Friendship and Eros

    What does that even mean?
    To converse elenctically...especially on a philosophy forum?

    I know who to ask, but will my friend @Fooloso4 respond?
    And others, like @Ciceronianus....
    Amity

    Expertise is relative, as is wisdom.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wisdom/#WisRat
  • Fooloso4
    4.8k
    Expertise is relative, as is wisdom.Amity

    One problem is that if we are not experts or wise how can we evaluate whether someone else is? Socrates uses the example of a trainer. If he is able to improve someone's strength, endurance, and speed then we have good reason to think the opinion of the trainer regarding such matters is worth heeding.

    What about Socrates? Was he guilty of corrupting the young? By the measure of the many who value the ancestral ways he was. His followers though will say that they have been made better. And yet, if they had been corrupted they might imagine they have been improved.
  • Amity
    4.5k

    Ah, so many 'elephants and blind men'.

    So many aspects of a concept, behaviour and perspectives:

    The Wisdom Researchers and the Elephant: An Integrative Model of Wise Behavior

    The article first specifies which real-life situations require wisdom and discusses characteristics of wise behavior. The core proposition of the model is that in challenging real-life situations, noncognitive wisdom components (an exploratory orientation, concern for others, and emotion regulation) moderate the effect of cognitive components (knowledge, metacognitive capacities, and self-reflection) on wise behavior. The model can explain the situation specificity of wisdom and the commonalities and differences between personal and general wisdom. Empirically, it accounts for the considerable variation in correlations among wisdom measures and between wisdom measures and other variables. The model has implications for the design of wisdom-fostering interventions and new wisdom measures.An Integrative Model of Wise Behaviour - Sage Journals
  • Paine
    1.6k

    I am no expert, but the situation makes me think of Kafka:

    You are the problem. No scholar to be found far and wide. — Reflections, #19

    The only thing I say I know,” Socrates tells us in the Symposium, “is the art of love (ta erôtika) (177d8–9). Taken literally, it is an incredible claim.Amity

    I think that the claim has something to do with the story Socrates recounts in the passage I quoted above saying "Love is the son of Resource and Poverty." It is a view that encompasses all those who make, whether they practice philosophy, poetry, or making material goods through skilled arts.

    The dialogue is filled with claims this person or that is wise and the honored one denying it is true. Philosophy must attract lovers in that environment.

    I read Socrates taking up music during his confinement as one way to keep alive when deprived of his preferred 'medium.'
  • Amity
    4.5k
    I am no expert, but...Paine

    Oh, but you are. There is no denying that...relatively speaking!
    I enjoy and learn from all your posts. I've still to give them the time they deserve.
    The most recent:

    You were an early and consistent responder in my very first 'Discussion' about willpower.
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/4796/willpower-is-it-an-energy-thing/p1

    5yrs ago. Now, I wonder at my audacity and remember my struggles to understand and reply.
    I return to it slightly red-faced and grateful to those, like you, who must have been shaking their heads but persevered. I never did have the willpower to finish reading The Republic and didn't follow through on all suggestions. Tsk, tsk!

    But I am more interested in the listening part of my own idea than ruling out other readings...Valentinus
    I get this now. And thank you for your clear articulation and patience.

    Well, this is why I brought up the topic of thumos in the previous discussion. The closest parallel I can find between how it was discussed back then and later on is related to the experience of getting really pissed off.Valentinus

    Unfortunately, I left it there. With you seemingly pissed off! Oh, dear...

    ***
    the situation makes me think of Kafka:
    You are the problem. No scholar to be found far and wide.
    — Reflections, #19
    Paine

    OK. No great knowledge of Kafka - so what does that mean?
    I couldn't think, or was too lazy to - so looked it up:

    Aphorism # 19

    You are the problem. No scholar to be found far and wide.
    Meaning: You must solve yourself, if no one else seems to have taken up the task. If there is no scholar of you 'far and wide', you must become that scholar. If you are Kafka, you have not stinted that 'must,' and should it come to proof, you will be able to stand before any judgment seat clear of conscience. All those close written pages were for what if not to solve the problem that you were to yourself?

    But, did you solve the problem of yourself? No, of course you did not. Thinking cannot solve the problems of thought. Thought only creates more thought. Thought cannot carry thought past itself. If you are Kafka, your voluminous writings are a good indicator of that. (But also of the positive qualities that thought returning to thought, over and over, do give rise to, namely: condensation of idea, excellence of conception, and brilliance of realization. In other words: poetry).
    Franz Kafka's Blue Period - Appreciating the Octavo Notebook Aphorisms By Alex Stein

    To be a scholar of yourself. To know yourself. To the best of your ability.
    Then, like Socrates, you can 'stand before any judgement seat clear of conscience'?

    But, even though his intentions seem pure, he didn't write the poetry of the Dialogues, did he?
    It was Plato. He returned to certain thoughts, over and over. The repetition interspersed with humour.

    I had to laugh at this:
    Crito: What you are saying is all very well, Socrates, but you still need to decide what we should do.

    Soc: Let’s consider this together, good man, and if you are able to contradict 48E what I am saying in any way, do so, and I shall heed you. Otherwise, at this stage, blessed man, please stop presenting the same argument to me over and over, that I need to get out of here without the permission of the Athenians, for it is very important to me that I do all this with your approval and not against your will. Now look at the principle of the inquiry, and whether it is stated adequately,49A and try to answer the questions you are asked, as you think best.

    Crito: Well, I’ll try.
    Horan translation

    There will be further repetitions of the arguments in one form or another. Plato is having fun!
    Crito is perhaps not Plato's Academy material but he, and his like, were important to Socrates.

    Is this when philosophy became full of experts? A more formal public and private arena.
    With this Academy would Socrates have survived any trial and votes by those who didn't know?

    ... a place for intellectual discussion as well as for exercise and religious activities. This addition to the gymnasia’s purpose was due to the changing currents in Athenian education, politics, and culture, as philosophers and sophists came from other cities to partake in the ferment and energy of Athens. Gymnasia became public places where philosophers could congregate for discussion and where sophists could offer samples of their wisdom to entice students to sign up for private instruction.Plato: The Academy - IEP

    ***
    I think that the claim has something to do with the story Socrates recounts in the passage I quoted above saying "Love is the son of Resource and Poverty." It is a view that encompasses all those who make, whether they practice philosophy, poetry, or making material goods through skilled arts.Paine

    I haven't given the quote from the Symposium enough attention. Way back, I think I asked someone if they would start a discussion on that particular favourite! Or was I trying to re-create or imagine the place and people? Perhaps @Fooloso4 or yourself?

    Rather, on the self-same day he thrives and is alive at one moment whenever he is well-resourced, but the next moment he is dying; yet he comes back to life again because of his father’s nature. Whatever resources he obtains are constantly slipping away, and so he is neither devoid of resources nor wealthy, and what is more he is midway between wisdom and ignorance.
    — Symposium, 203b, translated by Horan

    This view puts Socrates turning down the wealth of Crito as a resource into a certain light. It does not fix the kind of poverty that has befallen Socrates.
    Paine

    What would you say is the kind of poverty that felled Socrates?
    The ignorance of the voting majority? Devoid of knowledge or desire/love for wisdom?
    Socrates, then, sees the richness of the situation as being a way to learn and enlighten...

    Is being imprisoned more conducive to thought/insight than an Academy?

    Aphorism #13
    A cage went in search of a bird.
    Kafka - The Philosopher
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