What is the main point of Socrates' conversation with Crito in Plato's Crito?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Plato's Crito, Socrates has been sentenced to death and is awaiting his execution. Crito, a rich friend of his, informs Socrates that the jailer has been bribed and Socrates can flee Athens and live peacefully in exile. It should be noted that this was not uncommon -- in fact, Socrates probably could have proposed a penalty of exile at his trial and avoided the death sentence; bribing a jailer and going into exile would not have been unusual in the circumstances.

Socrates and Crito have an argument about whether Socrates should take the opportunity to escape or accept the death penalty. Crito argues that Socrates owes it to his family and friends to go into exile. Socrates argues that because he owes so much to the laws of Athens, it would be wrong for him to break them. Moreover, death should not be regarded as a misfortune to be avoided.


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