The Crito ( ancient Greek Κρίτων Krítōn ) is a work of the Greek philosopher Plato written in dialogue form . The content is a fictional, literary conversation. Plato's teacher Socrates discusses with his friend and student Crito , after whom the dialogue is named.
Socrates was sentenced to death for asebie (godlessness) and seduction of the youth. He is now in jail awaiting execution. Crito visits him to make him flee. However, Socrates rejects the proposal. He explains his decision in detail. It is based on the philosophical principles to which he is committed: conventional views are irrelevant, only reason is decisive, the guiding principle must be justice under all circumstances. One must not repay injustice with injustice and generally not do anything bad; Obligations are to be observed. These principles are more important than saving life. A citizen must also not evade an unjust court judgment, since otherwise he would deny the validity of the law and thus the basis of orderly coexistence in the state, which would be an injustice. It would be a violation of the citizen's duty of loyalty to the state community. Crito cannot reply to Socrates' arguments.
In ancient studies, but also in modern philosophical debates, the unconditional obedience to the law , which is the subject of the Crito , is controversially discussed. The philosophical discourse is about the conflict of conscience that arises when a valid legal norm forces behavior that, from the point of view of a person concerned, represents an obviously grave injustice. In research on the history of philosophy, the question of whether the crito is to be understood as a plea for unconditional obedience is answered differently; "Authoritarian" interpretation models compete with "liberal" ones. Opinions differ about the validity of the argumentation in the dialogue.
Place, time and participants
The conversation, the literary representation of which is possibly based on a historical event, takes place in 399 BC. In the prison of Athens . Socrates has been in custody there since he was sentenced to death around four weeks ago. The execution is expected on the next day or the day after. The location of the prison cannot be determined with certainty. It was probably located near the Heliaia court , according to excavation results, probably about 100 meters southwest of this building, just outside the area of the agora .
Plato paints a picture of his revered teacher Socrates that seems realistic. Since it is a literary work, however, it must always be noted that the views and arguments that Plato puts into the mouth of his dialogue figure do not have to be identical with those of the historical Socrates.
The philosopher's only interlocutor, his friend and contemporary Crito, was a historical figure. He was a wealthy Athenian who, like Socrates, came from the Demos Alopeke . When Socrates was charged, Crito offered in vain to vouch for the payment of a fine if a fine was imposed. After the death sentence, he agreed to pledge to the court that Socrates would not flee. In doing so, he wanted to save his friend from going to prison, but this proposal was also rejected. Both at the trial and at the execution, Crito was among those present.
Plato allows Crito to appear in other dialogues - in Euthydemos and Phaedo . It is noticeable that Crito, as a conventionally thinking Athenian, is alien to the philosophy of Socrates, whom he personally values very much, despite sincere efforts to the last.
Criton's proposal and arguments
Crito went to prison very early, long before daybreak and before regular visiting hours began. He entered with special permission from the prison guard; he sat silently next to the sleeping philosopher. In the meantime dawn has set in, Socrates has woken up and is amazed to see his friend so early. Crito explains that he did not want to wake him prematurely. He expresses his amazement at the ease with which Socrates takes on his fate. He points out that at his age - he is seventy years old - it would be inappropriate to be indignant about death, which is already approaching.
The reason for the early arrival of the visitor is the imminent execution of the prisoner. Crito expects them for the following day, Socrates for the day after that. Time is of the essence for Crito, who tries to persuade his friend to flee the next night. He has already drawn up an escape plan and wants to accomplish the project by bribing the prison guards. He assumes that his assets will be sufficient; If this is not the case, however, many more friends are willing to ensure that the required amount is made available. Thanks to this broad willingness to help, Crito assures us that it is not necessary for an individual to go into financial ruin. In Thessaly Crito has friends who value Socrates and who are happy to welcome him and ensure his safety.
Crito fears losing a friend as he will never find one again. He tries to convince Socrates with several arguments. He considers it the duty of friends to sacrifice their possessions in such a situation; therefore Socrates could accept the offer without hesitation. In the case of execution, Crito fears defamation; he thinks that the philosopher's friends will then be accused of having failed to save him out of greed and cowardice. Crito does not want to expose himself to such accusations. He also finds it unjust that when Socrates dies, he should do the will of his enemies. Crito also argues that a father is responsible for his young children. Anyone who fathered children like Socrates must take care of their upbringing and must not abandon them and leave them to the fate of orphans.
The theoretical presuppositions of Socrates' argument
After Crito has presented, explained and justified his proposal, Socrates goes into it in detail. He wants to discuss openly and asks Crito to express objections if necessary. Crito, however, does not argue against the following statements, because his friend's argument seems conclusive to him. He just listens and agrees with the individual trains of thought or says that he has not understood something.
First of all, Socrates recalls the principle that only objective, rational weighing can determine a decision. If subjective fears or needs oppose what has been found to be correct, they must not be allowed to influence, otherwise one is not in harmony with one's own principles. The fact that some opinions are widespread is also irrelevant, because what is important is not the number, but only the competence of the representatives of a view. Just as an athlete only follows the advice of sports teachers and doctors and not that of a multitude of inexperienced people, as he would otherwise damage his body, only an informed judgment is relevant in questions of right and wrong, good and bad behavior. The opinions of the ignorant crowd do not count.
Anyone who has treated their body incorrectly out of incompetence and thus shattered their health no longer appears to be worth living. But there is also another type of breakdown. It concerns that in man - “whatever it may be” - to which justice and injustice refer. With this description Socrates means the immortal soul . He is convinced that it is harmed by wrongdoing. After such a breakdown, life is no longer worth living for the philosopher. Since the soul is far more noble and important than the body, its damage is far worse than physical impairment and worse than death. Life in itself is not worth striving for, only a good life. Living well means living virtuously , i.e. always being just. Crito agrees. Thus, the question of whether an escape from prison is appropriate for an unjustly convicted person is only to be examined and clarified under the aspect of justice.
Socrates does not take Criton's considerations on the financial aspect, possible damage to his reputation, and the upbringing of the children seriously. Such points of view are irrelevant to him. He compares such motives with the impulses of irrational people who recklessly condemn someone to death and would later like to undo their act if that were possible.
Socrates reminds his friend of their shared beliefs, which they agreed on a long time ago and which they have always admitted to since then. It would be absurd to simply drop these elaborate principles at an advanced age, as if they were just childish ideas. The starting point is the conviction that under all circumstances it is fundamentally wrong to do something wrong without exception. Socrates understands injustice to mean anything that harms someone. He also considers the harm to be absolutely inadmissible if it involves retaliation for an injustice that one has suffered, for example insulting an offender. Another principle is that a commitment to something fair that one has made must be kept. Crito reiterates his previous commitment to these principles.
Applying the theory to the current case
As Socrates then explains, the question now to be examined is whether he would harm someone by fleeing or whether he would disregard a just obligation. To this end, he presents what, in his opinion, the laws would say if they could speak and justify their claim to validity. He lets the personified laws take the floor and take the position of the state, like a speaker who would have to defend legality.
The laws claim that the state community cannot exist without respect for its rules. You would ask a Socrates acting in the direction of Crito whether he wanted to ruin the state by granting himself and thus every citizen the right to disregard legally binding judgments at his own discretion.
To this, Crito - or Socrates, if he agreed to Crito - could reply that he did not oppose the entire legal system, but only an unjust judgment. But then the question to be addressed to him is what he is to blame for his hometown, whose legal system he is undermining with his behavior. If Socrates behaved in this way, he would have to be reminded of the basis of his existence: he would then have to counter the fact that the existence of the state order was the prerequisite for his father being able to marry his mother. It was thanks to this order that he was born and that he was well brought up within it. Like every Athenian, he owed the laws everything good that a legal order could provide for citizens. Therefore, the fatherland with its laws is, as it were, a father for him and even more than a father has a right to his respect and loyalty. Anyone who disapproves of the conditions and laws in Athens can emigrate with all of their property. But if you stay, you will implicitly conclude an agreement with the state through which you will commit yourself to abide by the law. If he thinks something is wrong in the judiciary, it is up to him to argue the injustice; if he is unable to do so, he has to respect the applicable law. This is especially true for Socrates, because he had lived all his life in Athens and preferred this place to any other, even to the states that he used to praise. By starting a family in his hometown, he also demonstrated his approval of the Athenian living conditions. In addition, he had rejected exile as a possible alternative to execution and expressly preferred death to it. If he had wanted, he could have opted for exile during the trial and then left Athens legally. A subsequent attempt to unilaterally reverse a free and binding decision is shameful.
Furthermore, the laws state against Criton's opinion that, if Socrates accepted the offer, by escaping would expose his helpers to the danger of having to flee as well or forfeiting their property. In addition, as a fugitive lawbreaker in a well-established state, the well-intentioned would be suspect because he would be suspected of disregarding the laws there too. So he would have to make do with an area like Thessaly, where there was disorder and licentiousness. There he might arouse amusement with the story of his pathetic escape. As a philosopher who has been unfaithful to his principles, he would be so discredited that he would have to give up his previous purpose in life, the philosophical dialogue. Then his meaning in life would only be eating. If he did not want to abandon them, he would have to take his children with him to Thessaly, where they would be homeless. If, on the other hand, he left her in Athens, her friends would certainly ensure her good upbringing, but his survival would then be of no use to them.
In conclusion, the laws put forward an urgent warning: If Socrates dies now, he will part from life as someone who has been wronged by people - not by the laws. But if he flees, he in turn becomes a wrongdoer against himself, against his friends, his fatherland and the laws. Then evil awaits him as a wrongdoer in Hades , the realm of the dead.
After Socrates has finished imaginary plea of law, he confesses it to be self-taken as an intoxicated by the sound of flute music cult dancers, a Korybant . Nevertheless, he calls on Crito to express any counter-arguments. But Crito has no objection, and Socrates ends the conversation by pointing out the divine guidance to which he wants to confide.
Philosophical balance sheet
A central aspect of the Crito is the emphasis on reason, which is supposed to provide the only criterion for all ethical decisions. In this dialogue, Socrates assumes more confidently than in other works of Plato the objective correctness of the knowledge that reason gives the expert. So he takes a relatively optimistic position epistemologically here .
There are considerable differences of opinion in research about the ethical and political-philosophical consequences of the argumentation of the personified laws. Difficult problems that arise in this context are not clarified in the dialogue, because the subject is only the question of how Socrates should behave; This is not about a comprehensive clarification of possible conflicts in the area of tension between legal regulations and personal ethical norms.
The contract theory
What is striking is the inexorable consistency with which the personified laws in the Crito defend the law-abidingness. It contrasts with the sharp criticism that Plato otherwise exerts on the Athenian state and its institutions. Especially one used to justify the demand loyalty contract theory a concept according to which the duty of loyalty of citizens is based on an agreement between them and the State. Contract theory found support in the understanding of citizenship at the time. The Athenian citizenship was not automatically acquired at birth or on reaching the age of majority, but rather the descendants of city citizens had to apply and undergo an "examination" (dokimasía) in order to receive citizenship . The content of the "test" is not known, perhaps it was limited to establishing the parentage. This process of acquiring citizenship is mentioned in the dialogue. From the act of will with which the decision was made, a contract-like relationship between the citizen and the state could be derived.
Convince or obey
One of the controversial issues is the interpretation of the “persuade-or-obey doctrine” represented by the law. This is based on the principle that the citizen who considers a judgment or a regulation to be unjust must nevertheless obey if he fails to convince the competent authority of the injustice and thus bring about a change in a legal way. According to the ethical understanding of the law, those who choose neither of these two alternatives are left with emigration. However, this has the problematic consequence that the entry into force of a single unjust law will force all decent citizens to go into exile for reasons of conscience.
Although Socrates rejected exile in principle, an ethically justifiable solution was found for him personally, as the court judgment meant that he was not obliged to commit but only to suffer an injustice, which, according to Plato's understanding of ethics, is less bad and, if necessary, acceptable. The question of how to behave when the state demands active participation in an injustice and emigration is not possible is not discussed in the Crito. From the overall context of Plato's ethics, however, it follows that in this case the avoidance of injustice undoubtedly has priority for him.
The fundamental problem of the alternative “convince or obey” is related to the controversial question of how “authoritarian” or “liberal” one should imagine the constitutional thinking of the Platonic Socrates. It is particularly controversial to what extent the Socrates portrayed by Plato identifies with the individual arguments that he allows the laws to be put forward, and their far-reaching consequences. The problem of the “authoritarian” interpretation, according to which he insists on absolute compliance with the law, comes to the fore where this position comes into conflict with his commandment to never commit an injustice under any circumstances. Such a conflict arises as soon as a citizen is forced to act illegally by a legal norm and he is unable to use arguments to bring about a change.
To remedy this problem, some researchers advocate a “liberal” interpretation of the position that Socrates puts into the mouth of the personified laws. According to this understanding, the demand made there for compliance with the law is not absolutely unconditional, but has certain requirements which, if they were to be eliminated, would become invalid. Other interpretations assume that Socrates allows the laws to be argued in an "authoritarian" manner, but that he himself thinks much more "liberally".
"Authoritarian" and "liberal" models of interpretation
Sandrine Berges suggests a “liberal” interpretation of the law. It is based on the idea that the agreement between the state community and the individual contains a mutual obligation. Legislation creates - as the laws emphasize in dialogue - the citizen his livelihood and an environment conducive to his prosperity and he loyally abides by the law. In the sense of Socrates, flourishing means character building, that is, acquiring virtue as a prerequisite for a good life. The analogy to the relationship between parent and child is to be understood in this sense: the parents raise the child to be a good person and can expect his or her obedience in return, the laws promote the virtue of the citizens and must therefore be respected. In both cases, the higher authority must fulfill its obligation in order to be entitled to obedience. This is the case with the relationship between Socrates and the Athenian laws, despite the misjudgment of the court. Otherwise there would be no obligation to abide by the law.
According to Richard Kraut's understanding, the laws only require a serious attempt to convince the competent authority. If this attempt fails, civil disobedience is permissible. On the other hand, a number of critics object that this cannot be inferred from Plato's text, but that unconditional obedience to the law is required if the attempt to convince them fails. The dilemma thus exists in full severity.
While the “liberal” interpretation of the opinion of the personified laws has met with strong reservations, a completely different approach, which leads from an “authoritarian” starting point to a “liberal” result, has met with much approval in recent research. The advocates of this approach assume that the position of the laws is to be understood in the "authoritarian" sense, but does not or only partially corresponds to Socrates' own position. According to this, Plato's Socrates considers the result of the argumentation which he puts into the mouth of the laws to be correct with regard to his own case, but his order of values differs from theirs. The general demands of the law and their “authoritarian” justifications do not have to correspond to his and Plato's own point of view. According to the weaker variant of this hypothesis, Socrates is impressed by the reasoning behind the laws, but that does not mean that he identifies with all of their considerations and affirms their consequences. According to the stronger variant, he only approves the laws with regard to the result - the refusal to flee - but fundamentally rejects the way in which they came to the result; his approval of the ethical understanding of the law is not meant seriously, but ironic.
Proponents of this interpretation point out that at the end of the dialogue, Socrates compares the effect that the pleading of the laws has on him with the ecstatic rapture that is generated in ritual dances. This is an irrational aspect that contrasts with the philosophical demand for the unconditional rule of reason. In Plato's works, Socrates appears as a philosopher who always acts sensibly and arouses admiration with his extraordinary self-control, but at the same time as a person exposed to very strong affects. It is essential that reason always remains in control and that it is skeptical of claims to knowledge that are raised on an irrational basis. Therefore, the comparison with the enthusiastic dancers is seen as an indication that there is a difference between the radical, suggestive demands of the law and the philosophically reflected position of Socrates. Accordingly, Socrates' description of his emotion is to be understood ironically, as in the apology , his defense speech in court, where he ironically claims at the beginning that the persuasiveness of his accusers almost led him to forget himself.
Roslyn Weiss in particular represents the strong variant of the interpretation that distinguishes Socrates' point of view from that of the law. She points out that the Crito represented in the dialogue is indeed an old friend of Socrates and should therefore know the Socratic ethics well, but - as his reflections and reactions show - as an obviously unphilosophical person, he is unable to internalize its foundations. According to Weiss' hypothesis, this is the reason why Socrates lets the laws appear and gives them the task of making the friend understand within the framework of his understanding horizon - that is, "authoritarian" - that an escape would be wrong. Weiss sees an indication of this in the fact that Socrates only introduced the laws after Crito had told him that he could not follow the philosophical argumentation. As a further clue, Weiss cites that Socrates describes the arguments in favor of compliance with the law as something that a speaker would put forward. This expresses a distancing, since the Platonic Socrates generally rejects rhetoric as a dishonest, manipulative way of convincing.
Even Thomas Alexander Szlezák stressed that the reason for the attitude of Socrates, which gives this his unphilosophical friend, not philosophically sophisticated but emotionally is because they inevitably oriented to Crito level of reflection. The relevant point of view for Socrates himself is not to be found here, but in the dialogue Phaedo . It is noticeable that Socrates avoids the word "soul" - a central concept of his thinking - in Crito and uses a metaphysically neutral description, apparently because - as is clear in the Phaedo - Crito does not accept the philosophical assumption of an immortal soul.
David Bostock disagrees. He believes that the “authoritarian” concept, an ethical imperative of absolute compliance with the law, corresponds to the view that Plato wanted to bring to the reader in Crito . It was only in later works that the philosopher recognized the problem of this position and modified his point of view. A number of other voices in recent research hold on to the traditional interpretation, according to which the position of the laws is to be identified with that of the Platonic Socrates.
Crito and Apology - observance of the law and ethical autonomy
A problem that is often discussed in the research literature is the relationship of the Crito to the Apology , the defense speech designed by Plato as a literary work and which Socrates is said to have given in court. In the Apology , Socrates declares that he would not obey a hypothetical court judgment that compelled him to renounce public philosophizing under threat of the death penalty, because such a failure to serve the public would be an injustice for him. Here some researchers have seen a contradiction to Socrates' stance in the Crito and suggested various explanations for the apparent or actual inconsistency . One of the explanations is that there is no real inconsistency, since the two cases - the real one in the Crito and the hypothetical one in the Apology - are fundamentally different and must be judged according to different principles. According to a further proposed solution, the consideration in the apology is of a purely theoretical nature, since a prohibition of philosophy would have no legal basis and no situation is conceivable in which the court could actually have imposed such a punishment on Socrates, unless the accused himself had suggested it. However, the objection is that it is a thought experiment that loses its meaning if one assumes that the hypothetical case could never occur. Mario Montuori and Giovanni Reale advocate a different solution: They believe that the Crito was written long after the Apology and that the differences were related to the great time lag between the two works. Reale thinks that in the Apology - a youth work - Plato lets the historical Socrates have his say, in Crito he himself is behind the mask of Socrates. James Stephens accepts an irresolvable contradiction.
Time of origin and historical background
The authenticity of the crito is considered certain; in more recent research, only Holger Thesleff has questioned Plato's authorship. Sometimes the dialogue has moved into the vicinity of Plato's middle creative period or has even been added to it, but it is usually regarded as an early work. Some Italian researchers advocate late dating , they assign the crito a place not far from the late nomoi . Its writing probably coincides with that of the content-related apology , the date of which is, however, controversial. In any case, the Crito was written after the death of Socrates, who died in the spring of 399 BC. Was executed.
It is probably a historical fact that friends of the philosopher drew up an escape plan and that he rejected this plan, because his contemporary Xenophon , a student of Socrates, also reports on it. However, it is not known to what extent the theoretical concept put forward in the Crito to justify the decision against the plan corresponds to the position of historical Socrates. Some historians of philosophy suspect that the Socrates figure depicted in Crito is relatively close to the historical Socrates. William KC Guthrie considers contract theory to be part of the philosophy of historical Socrates.
Ancient and Middle Ages
In the tetralogical order of the works of Plato, which apparently in the 1st century BC Was introduced, the Crito belongs to the first tetralogy. The historian of philosophy Diogenes Laertios counted it among the "ethical" writings and gave as an alternative title "About what has to be done". In doing so, he referred to a now-lost script by the Middle Platonist Thrasyllos .
Cicero took up Plato's idea that the citizen owes the state to active gratitude.
Crito met with negative repercussions in circles hostile to Plato . The scholar Athenaios , who took material from an anti-Platonic source, accused Plato of attacking Crito. In doing so, he was evidently referring to the fact that Crito makes an unfavorable impression in the dialogue, since he takes an ill-considered position, which he then does not know how to defend. Another anti-Platonic author, the Epicurean Idomeneus of Lampsakus, claimed that the suggestion for escape did not come from Crito, but from the Socratic Aeschines of Sphettus . Plato kept silent about the real author because his relationship with him was bad and in the dialogue he assigned Crito the role of Aeschines.
No ancient text has survived. The oldest surviving medieval Crito manuscript was made in the year 895 in the Byzantine Empire . The Crito was unknown to the Latin- speaking scholars of the West in the Middle Ages; in the Islamic world, however, there was an Arabic translation.
Early modern age
In the West, the Crito was rediscovered in the age of Renaissance humanism . The first Latin translation was made by the Italian humanist and statesman Leonardo Bruni in the first decade of the 15th century. Since he later found it unsatisfactory, he created a revised version, which he completed in 1427 at the latest. He provided both versions with introductions. He particularly liked the state-philosophical argumentation of the personified laws, which he used for his own writing De militia . For his own behavior in the service of his fatherland - the Republic of Florence - he referred to the example of Socrates depicted in Crito . Another Latin translation comes from Rinuccio da Castiglione; it is a revision of Bruni's first version. The third humanist translator of the dialogue was Marsilio Ficino . He published his Latin Crito in Florence in 1484 in the complete edition of his Plato translations.
The philosopher David Hume (1711–1776) mentioned contract theory in the Crito as the only ancient example known to him of the idea of an implicit promise of loyalty made by citizens to the government. Hume was a sharp opponent of modern contract theories. He thought that Plato's Socrates founded the social contract in the manner of the Whigs and drew from it the consequence of a passive obedience in the manner of the Tories .
The influential Plato translator Friedrich Schleiermacher wrote an introduction to his Crito translation, published in 1805 , in which he expressed the opinion that this dialogue was probably “not a work actually formed by Plato”, but a “conversation that really happened”. Plato only made minor changes to the course of the conversation communicated to him. Although "the idea as a whole is nicely and clearly executed", there is a lack of elaboration in detail that does not fit a literary fiction.
The literary quality is usually judged favorably. For Paul Shorey and William KC Guthrie, dialogue is a masterpiece. Thomas Alexander Szlezák shares this view : “Language, argumentation and character representation are masterfully coordinated with one another.” Kurt Hildebrandt emphasizes the “atmosphere of great serenity”. Franz von Kutschera judged that it was a very well-written dialogue that impressed both with the atmosphere of the conversation and with Socrates' attitude and "the conception of a philosophical life as an exclusive and consistent orientation towards reasons of reason". Luis Noussan-Lettry praises the “combination of speculative depth and poetic creative power in this work of art by Plato”. Michael Erler finds the Crito literarily attractive.
Ernst Milobenski thinks that the Crito is indispensable for the picture of Socrates, since it brings to consciousness the main feature of this picture, the proof of the doctrine through the deed, in particular clarity.
The influential philologist Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff found no philosophical content in the Crito . The dialogue only teaches "about the duty of the citizen, but also not abstract, but Socratic, Athenian". Socrates is portrayed as an "embarrassingly obedient and dutiful citizen"; Plato wanted to justify him with this “among the good citizens who did not care about philosophy”. In more recent specialist literature, too, the view is held that Plato was not concerned with explaining and justifying universal principles philosophically, but that he only wanted to make the personal decision of Socrates understandable to his readers. Olof Gigon sees the dialogue as an undemanding but amiable little work of philosophically modest weight. Regardless of such judgments, however , the crito is taken seriously in research on the history of philosophy and legal philosophy as an opinion on fundamental questions and is lively and controversially discussed. Reginald E. Allen regards dialogue as one of the great masterpieces of legal philosophy; However, this can only be recognized with a correct understanding of the often misunderstood work. Luis Noussan-Lettry argues in an in-depth investigation against the assumption that it is a biographical, not a philosophical work.
Only the intensive research discussions brought to light the intricacy of the apparently simple text. Hellmut Flashar states that the Crito is not as simple as it looks. It is complicated and multi-layered and has considerable difficulties.
In modern ethical and state-philosophical debates, the question of how far legal compliance has to go and how unconditional legal obedience is to be assessed plays an important role. It is discussed particularly in relation to civil disobedience and the problem of the need of conscience. Above all, authors in the Anglo-Saxon region refer to the thought processes in the Crito, either with or without approval . However, in this discourse the ancient dialogue is viewed in the light of modern questions. Therein lies the danger of transferring today's political ideas to Plato's time.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the “authoritarian” interpretation of the position of the personified laws and the entire dialogue was the prevailing approach and was hardly problematized. It was taken for granted that Plato regarded absolute submission to the applicable laws as a sacred civic duty and did not consider any exceptions. It was not until the second half of the 20th century that an intense, ongoing debate about alternative “liberal” explanatory models began.
The quality of the arguments put forward by the personified laws is assessed very differently in the research literature. Many proponents of an "authoritarian" interpretation come to an unfavorable or even damning judgment about the statements in this part of the work. Those of them who equate the standpoint of the laws with Plato and his Socrates therefore also judge the philosophical content of the entire dialogue negatively. They consider the demand for unconditional submission to the rule of law to be ill-founded and ethically unacceptable. It is criticized that the argumentation is exaggerated and appeals to emotions; the comparison between parents and the state, according to which one owes the state even more loyalty than the parents, cannot even be used as an argument. The contrary opinion is that the text has been carefully drafted and that if you understand the lines of thought correctly, they are conclusive.
Romano Guardini emphasizes that in the Crito "the original philosophical experience of validity" penetrates, according to which this - in this case as an ethical norm - consists "of itself, independent of all empirical conditions" and can be recognized as such.
Karl Popper considers the Crito to be an essentially correct representation of the way of thinking of the historical Socrates. Perhaps the dialogue was even written at his request. Together with the apology , it forms the last will of the philosopher. As a staunch democrat, Socrates refused to flee in order to prove his loyalty to the democratic state and its laws. He did not want to go into exile, otherwise he would have been considered an opponent of democracy and he would have harmed the form of government to which he had professed.
Peter Sloterdijk thinks that the Crito is one of the "initiatic texts of philosophy par excellence" with which Plato created "a new way of life in the search for truth". Crito is the defender of this world against the powerful death instinct of his master. He plays a "half ridiculous, half poignant role". For Socrates life is nothing but a teaching, which is why he consequently "turned his last breath into an argument and his last hour into a piece of evidence".
Editions and translations
Critical editions, some with translation
- William SM Nicoll (Ed.): Criton . In: Elizabeth A. Duke et al. (Ed.): Platonis opera , Volume 1, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1995, ISBN 0-19-814569-1 , pp. 65-84 (authoritative critical edition).
- Gunther Eigler (Ed.): Plato: Works in Eight Volumes , Volume 2, 5th Edition, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2005, ISBN 3-534-19095-5 , pp. 71-107 (reprint of the critical edition by Maurice Croiset, 9th edition, Paris 1966, with the German translation by Friedrich Schleiermacher, 2nd, improved edition, Berlin 1818).
Modern translations, some with uncritical editions
- Otto Apelt (translator): Plato's Apology of Socrates and Crito . In: Otto Apelt (Ed.): Platon: Complete Dialogues , Vol. 1, Meiner, Hamburg 2004, ISBN 3-7873-1156-4 (translation with introduction and explanations; reprint of the 2nd, reviewed edition, Leipzig 1922).
- Wolfgang Bernard (translator): Plato: Crito. Translation and commentary (= Plato: Works , edited by Ernst Heitsch et al., Vol. I 3). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2016, ISBN 978-3-525-30436-5
- Winfried Czapiewski (translator): Plato on the death of Socrates. Four writings of Plato on the person and death of Socrates: Euthyphron, Apology, Crito, Phaedo. Laufen, Oberhausen 2018, ISBN 978-3-87468-378-4 .
- Manfred Fuhrmann (translator): Plato: Apology of Sokrates, Crito . Reclam, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-15-000895-6 (with afterword).
- Kurt Hildebrandt (translator): Plato: Apologie, Kriton . Reclam, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-15-000-895-6 .
- Rudolf Rufener (translator): Plato: Die Werke des Aufstiegs (= anniversary edition of all works , vol. 2). Artemis, Zurich / Munich 1974, ISBN 3-7608-3640-2 , pp. 249-268 (with introduction by Olof Gigon pp. 75-87).
- Friedrich Schleiermacher (translator): Crito . In: Erich Loewenthal (Ed.): Platon: Complete Works in Three Volumes , Vol. 1, unchanged reprint of the 8th, revised edition, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2004, ISBN 3-534-17918-8 , pp. 37–54 .
Latin translations (15th century)
- Ernesto Berti, Antonella Carosini (eds.): Il Critone latino di Leonardo Bruni e di Rinuccio Aretino . Olschki, Florenz 1983, ISBN 88-222-3127-9 (critical edition).
- Michael Erler : Platon (= outline of the history of philosophy . The philosophy of antiquity , edited by Hellmut Flashar , volume 2/2). Schwabe, Basel 2007, ISBN 978-3-7965-2237-6 , pp. 116-120, 589-591.
- Wolfgang Bernard: Plato: Crito. Translation and commentary (= Plato: Works , edited by Ernst Heitsch et al., Vol. I 3). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2016, ISBN 978-3-525-30436-5
- Chris Emlyn-Jones (Ed.): Plato: Crito. Edited with Introduction, Commentary and Vocabulary . Bristol Classical Press, London 1999, ISBN 1-85399-469-3 (the Greek text is a reprint of the edition by James Adam [2nd edition 1891] without a critical apparatus).
- Necip Fikri Alican: Rethinking Plato. A Cartesian Quest for the Real Plato. Rodopi, Amsterdam / New York 2012, ISBN 978-90-420-3537-9 , pp. 330–388.
- Sandrine Berges: Plato on Virtue and the Law . Continuum, London / New York 2009, pp. 30–51.
- Hellmut Flashar: Reflections on the Platonic Crito . In: Hans-Christian Günther , Antonios Rengakos (Hrsg.): Contributions to ancient philosophy. Festschrift for Wolfgang Kullmann . Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-515-06619-5 , pp. 51-58.
- Rachana Kamtekar (Ed.): Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito. Critical essays . Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham 2005, ISBN 0-7425-3324-7 , pp. 163-259 (four articles).
- Michael C. Stokes: Dialectic in Action. An Examination of Plato's Crito . The Classical Press of Wales, Swansea 2005, ISBN 0-9543845-9-8 .
- Peter Unruh: Socrates and the duty of legal obedience. An analysis of Plato's "Crito". Nomos, Baden-Baden 2000, ISBN 3-7890-6854-3 .
- Roslyn Weiss: Socrates Dissatisfied. An Analysis of Plato's Crito . Oxford University Press, New York / Oxford 1998, ISBN 0-19-511684-4 .
- Crito , Greek text based on the edition by John Burnet (1900)
- Crito , Greek text with German translation after Ludwig von Georgii (1859), revised
- Kriton , German translation by Friedrich Schleiermacher (1805)
- Crito , German translation after Friedrich Schleiermacher, edited
- Kriton , translation by Friedrich Schleiermacher as an audio book
- Necip Fikri Alican: Rethinking Plato , Amsterdam 2012, p. 333. Cf. Luc Brisson : Platon: Apologie de Socrate, Criton , 2nd edition, Paris 1997, p. 176, note 1.
- See on this problem Necip Fikri Alican: Rethinking Plato , Amsterdam 2012, pp. 337–339.
- Plato, Apology 38b.
- Plato, Phaedo 115d.
- On the historical crito see Debra Nails: The People of Plato. A Prosopography of Plato and Other Socratics , Indianapolis 2002, pp. 114-116; Michael Erler: Platon , Basel 2007, p. 117; Luc Brisson: Criton d'Alopékè . In: Richard Goulet (ed.): Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques , Vol. 2, Paris 1994, pp. 522-526; John K. Davies: Athenian Property Families, 600-300 BC , Oxford 1971, pp. 336f.
- the figure of Crito in Plato's works, see Martin J. Plax: Crito in Plato's Euthydemus: The Lover of Family and of Money . In: Polis. The Journal of the Society for the Study of Greek Political Thought 17, 2000, pp. 35-59; Michael C. Stokes: Dialectic in Action , Swansea 2005, pp. 23-35; Peter Unruh: Socrates and the obligation to legal obedience , Baden-Baden 2000, pp. 59–63.
- This is often perceived as bribery, but it may have been a legal discretion of the guard; see Michael C. Stokes: Dialectic in Action , Swansea 2005, pp. 24f.
- Plato, Crito 43a – b.
- Plato, Crito 43c-45c.
- Plato, Crito 44b-46a.
- Plato, Crito 48d-49a.
- Plato, Crito 46b-47d.
- Plato, Kriton 47d-48c.
- Plato, Kriton 48c-d.
- Plato, Crito 49a – e. See Gregory Vlastos : Socrates. Ironist and moral philosopher , Cambridge 1991, pp. 212f.
- Plato, Crito 49e – 50a.
- Plato, Crito 50a – c.
- Cf. Plato, Apology 37c – 38a.
- Plato, Crito 50c-53a.
- Plato, Crito 53a-54b.
- Plato, Kriton 54b-d.
- Plato, Crito 54d.
- Michael Erler: Platon , Basel 2007, p. 118.
- Peter Unruh: Socrates and the duty to legal obedience , Baden-Baden 2000, p. 139f.
- Plato, Crito 51d.
- See Richard Kraut: Dokimasia, Satisfaction, and Agreement . In: Rachana Kamtekar (Ed.): Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito , Lanham 2005, pp. 175–209, here: 177–181.
- Richard Kraut: Dokimasia, Satisfaction, and Agreement . In: Rachana Kamtekar (ed.): Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito , Lanham 2005, pp. 175–209, here: 186.
- Klaus Döring : Review by Richard Kraut: Socrates and the State . In: Gnomon 58, 1986, pp. 206-212, here: 206f .; Michael Erler: Platon , Basel 2007, p. 119; Reginald E. Allen: Socrates and Legal Obligation , Minneapolis 1980, pp. 105-113; Robert J. McLaughlin: Socrates on Political Disobedience . In: Phronesis 21, 1976, pp. 185-197; Peter Unruh: Socrates and the duty to legal obedience , Baden-Baden 2000, pp. 179–194.
- Sandrine Berges: Plato on Virtue and the Law , London 2009, pp. 30-48.
- Richard Kraut: Socrates and the State , Princeton 1984, pp. 5f., 54-90, 108-110.
- For example, Klaus Döring: Review by Richard Kraut: Socrates and the State . In: Gnomon 58, 1986, pp. 206-212, here: 206-209 and Terry Penner: Two notes on the Crito: the impotence of the many, and 'persuade or obey' . In: The Classical Quarterly 47, 1997, pp. 153-166, here: 155-166. See the critical statement by Clifford Orwin: Liberalizing the Crito: Richard Kraut on Socrates and the State . In: Charles L. Griswold (ed.): Platonic Writings, Platonic Readings , New York 1988, pp. 171-176 (then pp. 177-182 answer from Kraut) and Anthony D. Woozley: Law and Obedience: The Arguments of Plato's Crito , London 1979, pp. 56-61; Charles H. Kahn: Problems in the Argument of Plato's Crito . In: Apeiron 22, 1989, pp. 29–43, here: p. 40 note 14.
- David Gallop: Socrates, Injustice, and the Law: A Response to Plato's Crito . In: Ancient Philosophy 18, 1998, pp. 251-265, here: 252-257, 263; Verity Harte: Conflicting Values in Plato's Crito . In: Rachana Kamtekar (ed.): Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito , Lanham 2005, pp. 229-259; Gary Young: Socrates and Obedience . In: Phronesis 19, 1974, pp. 1-29; Mitchell Miller, "The Arguments I Seem To Hear": Argument and Irony in the Crito . In: Phronesis 41, 1996, pp. 121-137; Kenneth Quandt: Socratic Consolation: Rhetoric and Philosophy in Plato's Crito . In: Philosophy and Rhetoric 15, 1982, pp. 238-256; Russell Bentley: Responding to Crito: Socrates and Political Obligation . In: History of Political Thought 17, 1996, pp. 1-20. See Leo Strauss : Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy , Chicago 1983, pp. 60–66; Roslyn Weiss: Socrates Dissatisfied , New York / Oxford 1998, pp. 39-160; Necip Fikri Alican: Rethinking Plato , Amsterdam 2012, pp. 383-385; Hunter Brown: The Structure of Plato's Crito . In: Apeiron 25, 1992, pp. 67-82, here: 76-80. Michael C. Stokes is skeptical: Dialectic in Action , Swansea 2005, pp. 17, 197; at most he considers a very weak variant of the distinction between the position of Socrates and that of the law to be acceptable.
- Verity Harte: Conflicting Values in Plato's Crito . In: Rachana Kamtekar (ed.): Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito , Lanham 2005, pp. 229-259, here: 230f .; Christopher Bruell: On the Socratic Education , Lanham 1999, p. 212f .; Necip Fikri Alican: Rethinking Plato , Amsterdam 2012, p. 360; Roslyn Weiss: Socrates Dissatisfied , New York / Oxford 1998, pp. 134-140. See, however, the criticism by Michael C. Stokes: Dialectic in Action , Swansea 2005, pp. 187–194.
- Roslyn Weiss: Socrates Dissatisfied , New York / Oxford 1998, pp. 39–56.
- Roslyn Weiss: Socrates Dissatisfied , New York / Oxford 1998, pp. 84–95, 146–160. Elinor JM West also advocate such an interpretation: Socrates in the Crito: Patriot or Friend? In: John Anton, Anthony Preus (eds.): Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy , Vol. 3, Albany 1989, pp. 71-83, James A. Colaiaco: Socrates against Athens , New York 2001, pp. 199-210 and Melissa Lane: Argument and Agreement in Plato's Crito . In: History of Political Thought 19, 1998, pp. 313-330. See, however, the criticism by Tania L. Gergel: Rhetoric and Reason: Structures of Argument in Plato's Crito . In: Ancient Philosophy 20, 2000, pp. 289-310 and Gabriel Danzig: Crito and the Socratic Controversy . In: Polis. The Journal of the Society for the Study of Greek Political Thought 23, 2006, pp. 21-45, here: 42f.
- Thomas Alexander Szlezák: Plato and the writing of philosophy , Berlin 1985, pp. 239–241. Compare Dougal Blyth: What in Plato's Crito is Benefited by Justice and Harmed by Injustice? In: Eugenio Benitez (Ed.): Dialogues with Plato , Edmonton 1996, pp. 1-19.
- Leo Strauss: Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy , Chicago 1983, p. 58.
- Thomas Alexander Szlezák: Plato and the writing of philosophy , Berlin 1985, p. 239.
- David Bostock: The Interpretation of Plato's Crito . In: Rachana Kamtekar (ed.): Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito , Lanham 2005, pp. 210-228.
- For example, Luc Brisson: Plato: Apologie de Socrate, Criton , 2nd edition, Paris 1997, pp. 194–196; Dougal Blyth: Plato's Crito and the Common Good . In: Ancient Philosophy 15, 1995, pp. 45-68; Rex Martin: Socrates on Disobedience to Law . In: The Review of Metaphysics 24, 1970/71, pp. 21-38; Gerasimos X. Santas : Socrates , London 1979, pp. 14-29; Ernst Heitsch : Plato and the beginnings of his dialectical philosophizing , Göttingen 2004, p. 187f .; Ronald Polansky: The Unity of Plato's Crito . In: Scholia 6, 1997, pp. 49-67; Peter Unruh: Socrates and the obligation to legal obedience, Baden-Baden 2000, pp. 96-103.
- Plato, Apology 29c – 30c.
- See the overview in Thomas C. Brickhouse, Nicholas D. Smith: Socrates and Obedience to the Law . In: Rachana Kamtekar (ed.): Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito , Lanham 2005, pp. 163-174, here: pp. 163f. and note 2-4. See Gary Young: Socrates and Obedience . In: Phronesis 19, 1974, pp. 1-29, here: 1-4; Mike Dyson: The Structure of the Laws' Speech in Plato's Crito . In: The Classical Quarterly 28, 1978, pp. 427-436, here: 435f.
- Gerasimos X. Santas: Socrates , London 1979, pp. 43-54.
- Thomas C. Brickhouse, Nicholas D. Smith: Socrates and Obedience to the Law . In: Rachana Kamtekar (Ed.): Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito , Lanham 2005, pp. 163-174, here: 165-169 (first published in 1984). See, however, the contrary opinion of Richard Kraut: Socrates and the State , Princeton 1984, pp. 13-17 and, for further remarks in the essay by Brickhouse and Smith, the counterargumentation by Darrel D. Colson: On Appealing to Athenian Law to Justify Socrates' Disobedience . In: Apeiron 19, 1985, pp. 133-151.
- Necip Fikri Alican: Rethinking Plato , Amsterdam 2012, p. 377.
- Mario Montuori: Per una nuova interpretazione del “Critone” di Platone , 2nd edition, Milano 1998, pp. 19–24; Giovanni Reale (Ed.): Platone: Critone , Milano 2000, pp. 14, 54-59.
- Giovanni Reale (Ed.): Platone: Critone , Milano 2000, p. 14.
- James Stephens: Socrates on the Rule of Law . In: History of Philosophy Quarterly 2, 1985, pp. 3-10.
- Holger Thesleff: Platonic Patterns , Las Vegas 2009, pp. 355-357. Cf. Michael Erler: Platon , Basel 2007, p. 116f.
- Eugen Dönt : Pindar and Plato. On the interpretation of the crito . In: Wiener Studien 83 (= New Series 4), 1970, pp. 52–65, here: 60; Olof Gigon: Introduction . In: Plato: Die Werke des Aufstiegs (= anniversary edition of all works , vol. 2), Zurich / Munich 1974, pp. 75–87, here: 86.
- Giovanni Reale (Ed.): Platone: Critone , Milano 2000, pp. 54-59; Mario Montuori: Per una nuova interpretazione del “Critone” di Platone , 2nd edition, Milano 1998, pp. 5-86. See, however, the defense of early dating in Michael C. Stokes: Dialectic in Action , Swansea 2005, p. 212, note 20.
- Michael Erler: Platon , Basel 2007, p. 116. Cf. Gerard R. Ledger: Re-counting Plato. A Computer Analysis of Plato's Style , Oxford 1989, pp. 222-224.
- Xenophon, Apology of Socrates 23.
- Michael Erler: Platon , Basel 2007, p. 118.
- Klaus Döring: Review by Richard Kraut: Socrates and the State . In: Gnomon 58, 1986, pp. 206-212, here: 211; Reginald E. Allen: Socrates and Legal Obligation , Minneapolis 1980, p. 66; Anthony D. Woozley: Law and Obedience: The Arguments of Plato's Crito , London 1979, pp. 1-3, 5.
- William KC Guthrie: A History of Greek Philosophy , Vol. 3, Cambridge 1969, p. 143.
- Diogenes Laertios 3: 57f.
- Cicero, De re publica 1.8.
- Athenaios 11,505d.
- Diogenes Laertios 2.60 and 3.36. See Heinrich Dörrie , Matthias Baltes : Der Platonismus in der Antike , Vol. 2, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1990, p. 12f., 237, Alice Swift Riginos: Platonica , Leiden 1976, p. 96f. and Michael Erler: Idomeneus . In: The Hellenistic Philosophy (= outline of the history of philosophy. The philosophy of antiquity , edited by Hellmut Flashar, Volume 4/1), Basel 1994, pp. 244–246, here: 246. Cf. Michael Erler: Platon , Basel 2007, p. 120; there Erler considers the possibility that this claim does not come from the Epicurean Idomeneus, but from a historian of the same name.
- Oxford, Bodleian Library , Clarke 39 (= "Codex B" of the Plato textual tradition).
- Raymond Klibansky : The Continuity of the Platonic Tradition during the Middle Ages , Part 1, London 1939, p. 14.
- On Bruni's Latin Crito, see James Hankins: Plato in the Italian Renaissance , 3rd edition, Leiden 1994, pp. 51–53, 66f., 73f., 379–387, 505 and Ernesto Berti, Antonella Carosini (ed.): Il Critone latino di Leonardo Bruni e di Rinuccio Aretino , Florence 1983, pp. 15-38, 91-110, 151-163.
- James Hankins: Plato in the Italian Renaissance , 3rd edition, Leiden 1994, pp. 86-88, 379.
- David Hume: Of the Original Contract . In: Thomas Hill Green , Thomas Hodge Grose (eds.): David Hume: The Philosophical Works , Vol. 3, Aalen 1964 (reprint of the London 1882 edition), pp. 443-460, here: 460.
- Friedrich Schleiermacher: Des Socrates defense. Introduction . In: Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher: About the philosophy of Plato , ed. by Peter M. Steiner, Hamburg 1996, pp. 153–156.
- Paul Shorey: What Plato said , Chicago 1933, p. 84; William KC Guthrie: A History of Greek Philosophy , Vol. 4, Cambridge 1975, pp. 94, 97.
- Thomas Alexander Szlezák: Introduction . In: Rudolf Rufener (translator): Plato: Apologie, Kriton, Phaidon , Düsseldorf 2004, pp. 169–214, here: 210.
- Kurt Hildebrandt: Plato: Apologie, Kriton , Stuttgart 1984, p. 12.
- Franz von Kutschera: Plato's Philosophy , Vol. 1, Paderborn 2002, p. 91.
- Luis Noussan-Lettry: Speculative Thinking in Plato's early writings , Freiburg / Munich 1974, p 218th
- Michael Erler: Platon , Basel 2007, p. 119.
- Ernst Milobenski: On the interpretation of the Platonic dialogue Crito . In: Gymnasium 75, 1968, pp. 371–390, here: 390.
- Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff: Platon. Supplements and text criticism , 4th edition, Dublin / Zurich 1969 (1st edition Berlin 1919), p. 56.
- Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff: Platon. His life and works , 5th edition, Berlin 1959 (1st edition Berlin 1919), p. 138.
- Gabriel Danzig: Crito and the Socratic Controversy . In: Polis. The Journal of the Society for the Study of Greek Political Thought 23, 2006, pp. 21-45.
- Olof Gigon: Introduction . In: Plato: Die Werke des Aufstiegs (= anniversary edition of all works , vol. 2), Zurich / Munich 1974, pp. 75–87, here: 75.
- Reginald E. Allen: Socrates and Legal Obligation , Minneapolis 1980, SX Peter Unruh also expresses himself in this sense: Socrates and the obligation to legal obedience , Baden-Baden 2000, pp. 195f.
- Luis Noussan-Lettry: Speculative thinking in Plato's early writings , Freiburg / Munich 1974, p. 123ff.
- Hellmut Flashar: Reflections on the Platonic Crito . In: Hans-Christian Günther, Antonios Rengakos (ed.): Contributions to ancient philosophy , Stuttgart 1997, pp. 51–58, here: 51, 58. In this sense, Giovanni Reale (ed.) Also expresses himself: Platone: Critone , Milano 2000, p. 13.
- For the connection between this Crito reception and modern problems see Elinor JM West: Socrates in the Crito: Patriot or Friend? In: John Anton, Anthony Preus (eds.): Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy , Vol. 3, Albany 1989, pp. 71–83, here: 71; Rex Martin: Socrates on Disobedience to Law . In: The Review of Metaphysics 24, 1970/71, pp. 21-38, here: 21, 38; Ann Congleton: Two Kinds of Lawlessness . In: Political Theory 2, 1974, pp. 432-446, here: 433f.
- Michael Erler: Platon , Basel 2007, p. 119; Hellmut Flashar: Reflections on the Platonic Crito . In: Hans-Christian Günther, Antonios Rengakos (ed.): Contributions to ancient philosophy , Stuttgart 1997, pp. 51–58, here: 53f.
- Necip Fikri Alican: Rethinking Plato , Amsterdam 2012, pp. 373-375.
- Richard Kraut: Socrates and the State , Princeton 1984, pp. 6f .; James Boyd White: Plato's Crito: The Authority of Law and Philosophy . In: Robert B. Louden, Paul Schollmeier (eds.): The Greeks and Us , Chicago / London 1996, pp. 97–133, here: 97–99 (and pp. 134–138 the statement by Charles M. Gray) ; Donald F. Dreisbach: Agreement and Obligation in the Crito . In: The New Scholasticism 52, 1978, pp. 168-186; Sandrine Berges: Plato on Virtue and the Law , London 2009, pp. 30-51; Anthony D. Woozley: Law and Obedience: The Arguments of Plato's Crito , London 1979, pp. 6-140; Roslyn Weiss: Socrates Dissatisfied , New York / Oxford 1998, pp. 96-133; Charles H. Kahn: Problems in the Argument of Plato's Crito . In: Apeiron 22, 1989, pp. 29-43, here: 34-40; Peter Unruh: Socrates and the duty to legal obedience , Baden-Baden 2000, pp. 126–131, 148–152.
- Romano Guardini: Der Tod des Sokrates , 5th edition, Mainz / Paderborn 1987, p. 129.
- Karl Popper: The open society and their enemies , Vol. 1, 7th edition, Tübingen 1992, pp. 230f., 392.
- Peter Sloterdijk: Weltfremdheit , Frankfurt am Main 1993, pp. 172, 201-206.