RequirementsStudents will write a short reflection paper of at least 1350 words each (12pt, double space, 1” margin, conformed to Turabian (https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/turabian/citation-guide.html) or to the style guide native to the student’s major field of study) reflecting on one of the texts we have discussed in the class. Students should avoid generic paper topics (i.e. “Plato’s Politics”) and strive to write a paper that explores the issue with significant narrowness, creativity and depth (i.e. “Responsibility and Plato’s Use of the Myth of Gyges”). Rather than attempt to reflect on an entire reading, students should pick one narrow theme within the text. These papers should take an exegetical approach – seeking ideas that emerge from the text, rather than plucking out ideas that seem to fit expectations and assumptions – to the readings, utilizing quotations and explanation to demonstrate both an engagement of the text and a thoughtful opinion on the thesis. External research is acceptable but not required. The best papers have a thesis that is abundantly clear, a progression of thought that is obvious and forecasted in the introduction, and a strong conclusion that gathers together the observations and arguments of the paper. Significant grading deductions will be incurred for spelling/grammar errors, improper documentation, etc.Thesis:My thesis: Thesis: I am going to argue that virtue can be taught based on Socrates and Meno discussion. I have keep thinking about this idea while thinking about our fist paper. Yet, I am still afraid it might be too narrow. I am going to attach a reading the easy must be written based on the reading: read from P.G 58-71Assignment Reflection:Once your paper is complete and ready to submit, answer the following 3 questions and include your answers at the end of your paper:Overall, how do you feel about your reflection paper?What study habits and writing strategies helped you to be successful?What barriers or difficulties did you run into while writing this paper?
Requirements Students will write a short reflection paper of at least 1350 words each (12pt, double space, 1” margin, conformed to Turabian (https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/turabian/citation-guid
Five Dialogues This page intentionally left blank PLATO Five Dialogues Second Edition Euthyphro Apology Crito Meno Phaedo Translated by G. M. A. GRUBE Revised by JOHN M. COOPER Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. Indianapolis/Cambridge Copyrig ht © 2002 b y Hackett Publis hing Compa ny, I nc. A ll rig hts reser ved P rinte d in the United S ta tes of Am erica 12 11 10 09 5 6 7 8 F or fu rthe r informa tion, please address: Hack ett Pu blishing Compa ny, I nc. P.O. Box 44937 Indianapolis, IN 46244-0937 www.h ackettpu blishing.com Cover desi gn b y Li ste nbe rger & Assoc ia tes L ibra ry of Con gress Cat aloging-in-Publicatio n Dat a Plato. [Di alogues. En glis h. Sel ectio ns] Five Di alogues / Pl ato ; tra nsla te d b y G .M.A. Grube.—2nd e d. / r evised b y John M. Coop er. p. c m. I n clu des bibliogr aphical refer en ces. Conte nts: Euthy phro—Apology—Crito—Men o—Phaedo. ISBN 0-87220-633-5 (pbk.)—ISBN 0-87220-634-3 (cloth) 1. Philosophy, A ncie nt. I. Gru be, G .M.A. (G eorge Maximilia n A ntho ny) II. Title. B358.G7813 2002 184—dc21 2002022754 ISBN-13: 978-0-87220-634-2 (cloth) ISBN-13: 978-0-87220-633-5 ( pbk.) e-ISBN: 978-1-60384-226-6 (Adobe e-book) CONTENTS Preface to the Second Edition vii Introduction ix Euthyphro1 Apology21 Crito45 Meno58 Phaedo93 Suggestionsfor Further Reading155 v This page intentionally left blank PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION The translations ofPlato’sEuthyphro,Apology,Crito,Meno, andPhaedo presented here are takenfrom Hackett Publishing Company’s epoch- making Plato,Complete Works(third printing,2001), prepared under my editorship. In the revisedform in which George Grube’s distin- guished translations appear here, they present Plato’s wonderfully vivid and moving—as well as challenging—portrayal ofSocrates, and ofthe philosophic life, in clear, contemporary, down-to-earth English that nonetheless preserves and accurately conveys the nuances ofPlato’s and Socrates’ philosophical ideas. For this new edition I have added a number ofnewfootnotes explaining various places and events in Athens, features ofGreek mythology, and the like, to which Socrates and his interlocutors make reference. At a number ofplaces I have introduced further revisions in the translations. John M. Cooper vii This page intentionally left blank INTRODUCTION At the time ofhis trial and execution in 399b.c., Socrates was seventy years ofage. He had lived through the Periclean age when Athens was at the pinnacle ofher imperial power and her cultural ascendancy, then through twenty-ﬁve years ofwar with Sparta and the ﬁnal defeat ofAthens in404, the oligarchic revolution thatfollowed, and, ﬁnally, the restoration ofdemocracy. For most ofthis time he was a well-known character, expounding his philosophy oflife in the streets ofAthens to anyone who cared to listen. His “mission,” which he explains in the Apology,was to expose the ignorance ofthose who thought themselves wise and to try to convince hisfellow citizens that every man is responsi- blefor his own moral attitudes. The early dialogues ofPlato, ofwhich Euthyphrois a good example, show him seeking to deﬁne ethical terms and asking awkward questions. There is no reason to suppose that these questions were restricted to the lifeofthe individual. Indeed, ifhe questioned the basic principles ofdemocracy and adopted towards it anything like the attitude Plato attributes to him, it is no wonder that the restored democracy should consider him to have a bad inﬂuence on the young. With the development ofdemocracy and in the intellectualferment ofthe ﬁfth century, a need wasfeltfor higher education. To satisfy it, there arose a number oftraveling teachers who were called the Sophists. All ofthem taught rhetoric, the art ofpublic speaking, which was a powerful weapon, since all the important decisions were made by the assemblies ofadult male citizens or in the courts with very large juries. It is not surprising that Socrates was often confused with these Sophists in the public mind,f or both ofthem were apt to question established and inherited values. But their differences were vital: the Sophists professed to put men on the road to success, whereas Socrates disclaimed that he taught anything; his conversations aimed at discovering the truth, at acquiring that knowledge and understanding oflife and its values that he thought were the very basis ofthe good life and of philosophy, to him a moral as well as an intellectual pursuit. Hence his celebrated paradox that virtue is knowledge and that when men do wrong, it is only because they do notknowany better. We are often told that in this theory Socrates ignored the will, but that is in part a misconception. The aim is not to choose the right but to become the sort ofperson whocannotchoose the wrong and who no longer has ix x INTRODUCTION any choice in the matter. This is what he sometimes expresses as becoming like a god,for the gods, as he puts it inEuthyphro(10d), love the pious (and so, the right) because it is right; they cannot do otherwise and no longer have any choice at all, and they cannot be the cause ofevil. The translations in this volume give thefull Platonic account ofthe drama ofSocrates’ trial and death and provide vivid presentations of Socrates’ discussions with hisfriends and younger contemporaries on the nature ofpiety, the justice ofobedience to state authority, the relation between philosophical knowledge and human virtue, and the wonders, as well as the demands, ofthe life devoted to philosophy. The references to the coming trial and its charges inEuthyphroare a kind ofintroduction to this drama. TheApologyis Plato’s version ofSocrates’ speech to the jury in his own defense. InCritowe ﬁnd Socrates refusing to save his life by escaping into exile.Menoshows Socrates debating in his characteristic way with Meno on the nature and teachability of human virtue (goodness), and also examining Meno’s slave-boy on a question ofgeometry, in order to prove the preexistence ofour souls and our ability to learn (“recollect”) truths by rigorously examining our own opinions.Phaedogives an account ofhis discussion with hisfriends in prison on the last day ofhis life, mostly on the question ofthe immortality ofthe soul. The inﬂuence ofSocrates on his contemporaries can hardly be exaggerated, especially on Plato but not on Plato alone,for a number ofauthors wrote on Socrates in the earlyfourth centuryb.c.And his inﬂuence on later philosophers, largely through Plato, was also very great. This impact, on his contemporaries at least, was due not only to his theories but in large measure to his character and personality, that serenely self-conﬁdent personality that emerges so vividlyfrom Plato’s writings, and in particularf rom his account ofSocrates’ trial, imprison- ment, and execution. NOTE: With few exceptions, this translation follows Burnet’s Oxford text. G. M. A. Grube EUTHYPHRO Euthyphro is surprised to meet Socrates near the king-archon’s court, for Socrates is not the kind of man to have business with courts of justice. Socrates explains that he is under indictment by one Meletus for corrupting the young and for not believing in the gods in whom the city believes. After a brief discussion of this, Socrates inquires about Euthyphro’s business at court and is told that he is prosecuting his own father for the murder of a laborer who is himself a murderer. His family and friends believe his course of action to be impious, but Euthyphro explains that in this they are mistaken and reveal their ignorance of the nature of piety. This naturally leads Socrates to ask, What is piety? And the rest of the dialogue is devoted to a search for a deﬁnition of piety, illustrating the Socratic search for universal deﬁnitions of ethical terms, to which a number of early Platonic dialogues are devoted. As usual, no deﬁnition is found that satisﬁes Socrates. The Greek termhosionmeans, in the ﬁrst instance, the knowledge of the proper ritual in prayer and sacriﬁce and of course its performance (as Euthyphro himself deﬁnes it in 14b). But obviously Euthyphro uses it in the much wider sense of pious conduct generally (e.g., his own), and in that sense the word is practically equivalent to righteousness (the justice of theRepublic), the transition being by way of conduct pleasing to the gods. Besides being an excellent example of the early, so-called Socratic dialogues,Euthyphrocontains several passages with important philosophical implications. These include those in which Socrates speaks of the one Form, presented by all the actions that we call pious (5d), as well as the one in which we are told that the gods love what is pious because it is pious; it is not pious because the gods love it (10d). Another passage clariﬁes the difference between genus and species (11e–12d). G.M.A.G. 1 2PLATO Euthyphro: 1What’s new, Socrates, to make you leave your usual 2 haunts in the Lyceum and spend your time here by the king-archon’s court? 2Surely you are not prosecuting anyone before the king-archon as I am? Socrates:The Athenians do not call this a prosecution but an indictment, Euthyphro. Euthyphro:What is this you say? Someone must have indicted you, b for you are not going to tell me that you have indicted someone else. Socrates:No indeed. Euthyphro:But someone else has indicted you? Socrates:Quite so. Euthyphro:Who is he? Socrates:I do not really know him myself, Euthyphro. He is appar- ently young and unknown. They call him Meletus, I believe. He belongs to the Pitthean deme, 3ifyou know anyonefrom that deme called Meletus, with long hair, not much ofa beard, and a rather aquiline nose. Euthyphro:I don’t know him, Socrates. What charge does he bring against you? 1. We know nothing about Euthyphro except what we can gatherfrom this dialogue. He is obviously a professional priest who considers himselfan expert on ritual and on piety generally and, it seems, is generally so considered. One Euthyphro is mentioned in Plato’sCratylus(396d) who is given toenthousi- asmos,inspiration or possession, but we cannot be sure that it is the same person. 2. The Lyceum was an outdoor gymnasium, just outside the walls ofAthens, where teenage young men engaged in exercises and athletic competitions. Socrates and other intellectuals carried on discussions with them there and exhibited their skills. See the beginnings ofPlato’sEuthydemusandLysis,and the last paragraph ofSymposium. The king-archon, one ofthe nine principal magistrates ofAthens, had the responsibility to oversee religious rituals and puriﬁcations, and as such had oversight oflegal cases involving alleged offenses against the Olympian gods, whose worship was a civicfunction—it was regarded as a serious offense to offend them. 3. A deme was, in effect, one ofthe constituent villages ofAttica, the territory whose center was the city ofAthens (though Athens itselfwas divided into demes, too). Athenian citizens had ﬁrst ofall to be enrolled and recognized as citizens in their demes. EUTHYPHRO3 Socrates:What charge? A not ignoble one I think,for it is no small c thingfor a young man to have knowledge ofsuch an important subject. He says he knows how our young men are corrupted and who corrupts them. He is likely to be wise, and when he sees my ignorance corrupting his contemporaries, he proceeds to accuse me to the city as to their mother. I think he is the only one ofour public men to start out the d right way,for it is right to care ﬁrst that the young should be as good as possible, just as a goodfarmer is likely to take care ofthe young plants ﬁrst, and ofthe others later. So, too, Meletus ﬁrst gets rid ofus who corrupt the young shoots, as he says, and then afterwards he will 3 obviously take care ofthe older ones and become a source ofgreat blessingsfor the city, as seems likely to happen to one who started out this way. Euthyphro:I could wish this were true, Socrates, but Ifear the opposite may happen. He seems to me to start out by harming the very heart ofthe city by attempting to wrong you. Tell me, what does he say you do to corrupt the young? Socrates:Strange things, to hear him tell it,for he says that I am b a maker ofgods, and on the ground that I create new gods while not believing in the old gods, he has indicted mefor their sake, as he puts it. Euthyphro:I understand, Socrates. This is because you say that the divine sign keeps coming to you. 4So he has written this indictment against you as one who makes innovations in religious matters, and he comes to court to slander you, knowing that such things are easily misrepresented to the crowd. The same is true in my case. Whenever c I speak ofdivine matters in the assembly 5andforetell thefuture, they laugh me down as ifI were crazy; and yet I haveforetold nothing that did not happen. Nevertheless, they envy all ofus who do this. One need not worry about them, but meet them head-on. Socrates:My dear Euthyphro, to be laughed at does not matter perhaps,for the Athenians do not mind anyone they think clever, as 4. In Plato, Socrates always speaks ofhis divine sign or voice as intervening to prevent himfrom doing or saying something (e.g.,Apology31d), but never positively. The popular view was that it enabled him toforetell thefuture, and Euthyphro here represents that view. Note, however, that Socrates dissociates himselffrom “you prophets” (3e). 5. The assembly was the ﬁnal decision-making body ofthe Athenian democracy. All adult males could attend and vote. 4PLATO long as he does not teach his own wisdom, but ifthey think that he makes others to be like himselfthey get angry, whether through envy, d as you say, orfor some other reason. Euthyphro:I have certainly no desire to test theirfeelings towards me in this matter. Socrates:Perhaps you seem to make yourselfbut rarely available, and not be willing to teach your own wisdom, but I’m afraid that my likingfor people makes them think that I pour out to anybody anything I have to say, not only without charging afee but even glad to reward anyone who is willing to listen. Ifthen they were intending to laugh at me, as you say they laugh at you, there would be nothing unpleasant e in their spending their time in court laughing and jesting, but ifthey are going to be serious, the outcome is not clear except to you prophets. Euthyphro:Perhaps it will come to nothing, Socrates, and you will ﬁght your case as you think best, as I think I will mine. Socrates:What is your case, Euthyphro? Are you the defendant or the prosecutor? Euthyphro:The prosecutor. Socrates:Whom do you prosecute? Euthyphro:One whom I am thought crazy to prosecute. 4 Socrates:Are you pursuing someone who will easily escape you? Euthyphro:Farfrom it,for he is quite old. Socrates:Who is it? Euthyphro:Myfather. Socrates:My dear sir! Your ownfather? Euthyphro:Certainly. Socrates:What is the charge? What is the case about? Euthyphro:Murder, Socrates. Socrates:Good heavens! Certainly, Euthyphro, most men would not know how they could do this and be right. It is not the part of b anyone to do this, but ofone who isfar advanced in wisdom. Euthyphro:Yes, by Zeus, Socrates, that is so. Socrates:Is then the man yourfather killed one ofyour relatives? Or is that obvious,for you would not prosecute yourfatherfor the murder ofa stranger. EUTHYPHRO5 Euthyphro:It is ridiculous, Socrates,for you to think that it makes any difference whether the victim is a stranger or a relative. One should only watch whether the killer acted justly or not; ifhe acted justly, let him go, but ifnot, one should prosecute, if, that is to say, the killer c shares your hearth and table. The pollution is the same ifyou knowingly keep company with such a man and do not cleanse yourselfand him by bringing him to justice. The victim was a dependent ofmine, and when we werefarming in Naxos he was a servant ofours. 6He killed one ofour household slaves in drunken anger, so myfather bound him hand andfoot and threw him in a ditch, then sent a man here to inquirefrom the priest what should be done. During that time he gave d no thought or care to the bound man, as being a killer, and it was no matter ifhe died, which he did. Hunger and cold and his bonds caused his death before the messenger came backfrom the seer. Both my father and my other relatives are angry that I am prosecuting myfather for murder on behalfofa murderer when he hadn’t even killed him, they say, and even ifhe had, the dead man does not deserve a thought, since he was a killer. For, they say, it is impiousfor a son to prosecute e hisfatherfor murder. But their ideas ofthe divine attitude to piety and impiety are wrong, Socrates. Socrates:Whereas, by Zeus, Euthyphro, you think that your knowl- edge ofthe divine, and ofpiety and impiety, is so accurate that, when those things happened as you say, you have nofear ofhaving acted impiously in bringing yourfather to trial? Euthyphro:I should be ofno use, Socrates, and Euthyphro would not be superior to the majority ofmen, ifI did not have accurate 5 knowledge ofall such things. Socrates:It is indeed most important, my admirable Euthyphro, that I should become your pupil, and as regards this indictment, chal- lenge Meletus about these very things and say to him: that in the past too I considered knowledge about the divine to be most important, and that now that he says that I am guilty ofimprovising and innovating about the gods I have become your pupil. I would say to him: “If, Meletus, you agree that Euthyphro is wise in these matters, consider b me, too, to have the right beliefs and do not bring me to trial. Ifyou 6. Naxos is a large island in the Aegean Sea southeast ofAthens, where Athens had appropriated land and settled many ofits citizens under its imperial rule in the mid–ﬁfth century B.C. 6 PLATO do not think so, then prosecute that teacher ofmine, not me,for corrupting the older men, me and his ownfather, by teaching me and by exhorting and punishing him.” Ifhe is not convinced, and does not discharge me or indict you instead ofme, I shall repeat the same challenge in court. Euthyphro:Yes, by Zeus, Socrates, and, ifhe should try to indict me, I think I would ﬁnd his weak spots and the talk in court would be c about him rather than about me. Socrates:It is because I realize this that I am eager to become your pupil, my dearfriend. I know that other people as well as this Meletus do not even seem to notice you, whereas he sees me so sharply and clearly that he indicts mefor ungodliness. So tell me now, by Zeus, what you just now maintained you clearly knew: what kind ofthing do you say that godliness and ungodliness are, both as regards murder and d other things; or is the pious not the same and alike in every action, and the impious the opposite ofall that is pious and like itself, and everything that is to be impious presents us with oneform 7or appearance insofar as it is impious? Euthyphro:Most certainly, Socrates. Socrates:Tell me then, what is the pious, and what the impious, do you say? Euthyphro:I say that the pious is to do what I am doing now, to prosecute the wrongdoer, be it about murder or temple robbery or anything else, whether the wrongdoer is yourfather or your mother or e anyone else; not to prosecute is impious. And observe, Socrates, that I can cite powerful evidence that the law is so. I have already said to others that such actions are right, not tofavor the ungodly, whoever they are. These people themselves believe that Zeus is the best and most just ofthe gods, yet they agree that he bound hisfather because 6 7. This is the kind ofpassage that makes it easierfor us tofollow the transition from Socrates’ universal deﬁnitions to the Platonic theory ofseparately existent eternal universal Forms. The wordseidosandidea,the technical termsfor the Platonic Forms, commonly mean physical stature or bodily appearance. As we apply a common epithet, in this case pious, to different actions or things, these must have a common characteristic, present a common appearance orform, to justify the use ofthe same term, but in the early dialogues, as here, it seems to be thought ofas immanent in the particulars and without separate existence. The same is true of6d where the word “form” is also used. EUTHYPHRO7 he unjustly swallowed his sons, and that he in turn castrated hisfather for similar reasons. But they are angry with me because I am prosecuting myfatherfor his wrongdoing. They contradict themselves in what they say about the gods and about me. Socrates:Indeed, Euthyphro, this is the reason why I am a defen- dant in the case, because I ﬁnd it hard to accept things like that being said about the gods, and it is likely to be the reason why I shall be told I do wrong. Now, however, ifyou, who havefull knowledge ofsuch things, share their opinions, then we must agree with them, too, it b would seem. For what are we to say, we who agree that we ourselves have no knowledge ofthem? Tell me, by the god offriendship, do you really believe these things are true? Euthyphro:Yes, Socrates, and so are even more surprising things, ofwhich the majority has no knowledge. Socrates:And do you believe that there really is war among the gods, and terrible enmities and battles, and other such things as are told by the poets, and other sacred stories such as are embroidered by good writers and by representations ofwhich the robe ofthe goddess c is adorned when it is carried up to the Acropolis? 8Are we to say these things are true, Euthyphro? Euthyphro:Not only these, Socrates, but, as I was saying just now, I will, ifyou wish, relate many other things about the gods which I know will amaze you. Socrates:I should not be surprised, but you will tell me these at leisure some other time. For now, try to tell me more clearly what I was asking just now,for, myfriend, you did not teach me adequately d when I asked you what the pious was, but you told me that what you are doing now, in prosecuting yourfatherfor murder, is pious. Euthyphro:And I told the truth, Socrates. Socrates:Perhaps. You agree, however, that there are many other pious actions. Euthyphro:There are. 8. The Acropolis is the huge rocky outcropping in the center ofAthens that served as the citadelfor Attica, and also the center ofits religious life. Major temples to the gods were there, including the Parthenon, the temple ofAthena, the city’s protectress. Everyfour years in an elaboratefestival in her honor maidens brought up the ceremonial robe referred to here, in which to clothe her statue. 8 PLATO Socrates:Bear in mind then that I did not bid you tell me one or two ofthe many pious actions but thatform itselfthat makes all pious actions pious,for you agreed that all impious actions are impious and all pious actions pious through oneform, or don’t you remember? e Euthyphro:I do. Socrates:Tell me then what thisform itselfis, so that I may look upon it and, using it as a model, say that any action ofyours or another’s that is ofthat kind is pious, and ifit is not that it is not. Euthyphro:Ifthat is how you want it, Socrates, that is how I will tell you. Socrates:That is what I want. Euthyphro:Well then, what is dear to the gods is pious, what is 7 not is impious. Socrates:Splendid, Euthyphro! You have now answered in the way I wanted. Whether your answer is true I do not know yet, but you will obviously show me that what you say is true. Euthyphro:Certainly. Socrates:Come then, let us examine what we mean. An action or a man dear to the gods is pious, but an action or a man hated by the gods is impious. They are not the same, but quite opposite, the pious and the impious. Is that not so? Euthyphro:It is indeed. Socrates:And that seems to be a good statement? Euthyphro:I think so, Socrates. b Socrates:We have also stated that the gods are in a state ofdiscord, that they are at odds with each other, Euthyphro, and that they are at enmity with each other. Has that, too, been said? Euthyphro:It has. Socrates:What are the subjects ofdifference that cause hatred and anger? Let us look at it this way. Ifyou and I were to differ about numbers as to which is the greater, would this difference make us enemies and angry with each other, or would we proceed to count and soon resolve our difference about this? c Euthyphro:We would certainly do so. Socrates:Again, ifwe differed about the larger and the smaller, we would turn to measurement and soon cease to differ. Euthyphro:That is so. EUTHYPHRO9 Socrates:And about the heavier and the lighter, we would resort to weighing and be reconciled. Euthyphro:Ofcourse. Socrates:What subject ofdifference would make us angry and hostile to each other ifwe were unable to come to a decision? Perhaps you do not have an answer ready, but examine as I tell you whether d these subjects are the just and the unjust, the beautiful and the ugly, the good and the bad. Are these not the subjects ofdifference about which, when we are unable to come to a satisfactory decision, you and I and other men become hostile to each other whenever we do? Euthyphro:That is the difference, Socrates, about those subjects. Socrates:What about the gods, Euthyphro? Ifindeed they have differences, will it not be about these same subjects? Euthyphro:It certainly must be so. Socrates:Then according to your argument, my good Euthyphro, e different gods consider different things to be just, beautiful, ugly, good, and bad,for they would not be at odds with one another unless they differed about these subjects, would they? Euthyphro:You are right. Socrates:And they like what each ofthem considers beautiful, good, and just, and hate the opposites ofthese? Euthyphro:Certainly. Socrates:But you say that the same things are considered just by some gods and unjust by others, and as they dispute about these things 8 they are at odds and at war with each other. Is that not so? Euthyphro:It is. Socrates:The same things then are loved by the gods and hated by the gods, and would be both god-loved and god-hated. Euthyphro:It seems likely. Socrates:And the same things would be both pious and impious, according to this argument? Euthyphro:I’m afraid so. Socrates:So you did not answer my question, you surprising man. I did not ask you what same thing is both pious and impious, and it appears that what is loved by the gods is also hated by them. So it is b in no way surprising ifyour present action, namely punishing your 10 PLATO father, may be pleasing to Zeus but displeasing to Cronus and Uranus, 9 pleasing to Hephaestus but displeasing to Hera, and so with any other gods who differfrom each other on this subject. Euthyphro:I think, Socrates, that on this subject no gods would differfrom one another, that whoever has killed anyone unjustly should pay the penalty. Socrates:Well now, Euthyphro, have you ever heard any man c maintaining that one who has killed or done anything else unjustly should not pay the penalty? Euthyphro:They never cease to dispute on this subject, both else- where and in the courts,for when they have committed many wrongs they do and say anything to avoid the penalty. Socrates:Do they agree they have done wrong, Euthyphro, and in spite ofso agreeing do they nevertheless say they should not be pun- ished? Euthyphro:No, they do not agree on that point. Socrates:So they do not say or do just anything. For they do not venture to say this, or dispute that they must not pay the penalty ifthey have done wrong, but I think they deny doing wrong. Is that not so? d Euthyphro:That is true. Socrates:Then they do not dispute that the wrongdoer must be punished, but they may disagree as to who the wrongdoer is, what he did, and when. Euthyphro:You are right. Socrates:Do not the gods have the same experience, ifindeed they are at odds with each other about the just and the unjust, as your argument maintains? Some assert that they wrong one another, while others deny it, but no one among gods or men ventures to say that the e wrongdoer must not be punished. Euthyphro:Yes, that is true, Socrates, as to the main point. Socrates:And those who disagree, whether men or gods, dispute about each action, ifindeed the gods disagree. Some say it is done justly, others unjustly. Is that not so? 9. Zeus’father, whom hefought and defeated (see 6a), was Cronus; Cronus, in turn, had castrated his ownfather Uranus. The story ofHephaestus and his mother Hera, mentioned next, similarly involves a son punishing his parent. EUTHYPHRO11 Euthyphro:Yes, indeed. Socrates:Come now, my dear Euthyphro, tell me, too, that I may 9 become wiser, what proofyou have that all the gods consider that man to have been killed unjustly who became a murderer while in your service, was bound by the master ofhis victim, and died in his bonds before the one who bound himfound outfrom the seers what was to be done with him, and that it is rightfor a son to denounce and to prosecute hisfather on behalfofsuch a man. Come, try to show me a clear sign that all the gods deﬁnitely believe this action to be right. b Ifyou can give me adequate proofofthis, I shall never cease to extol your wisdom. Euthyphro:This is perhaps no light task, Socrates, though I could show you very clearly. Socrates:I understand that you think me more dull-witted than the jury, as you will obviously show them that these actions were unjust and that all the gods hate such actions. Euthyphro:I will show it to them clearly, Socrates, ifonly they will listen to me. Socrates:They will listen ifthey think you show them well. But c this thought came to me as you were speaking, and I am examining it, saying to myself:“IfEuthyphro shows me conclusively that all the gods consider such a death unjust, to what greater extent have I learned from him the nature ofpiety and impiety? This action would then, it seems, be hated by the gods, but the pious and the impious were not thereby now deﬁned,for what is hated by the gods has also been shown to be loved by them.” So I will not insist on this point; let us assume, ifyou wish, that all the gods consider this unjust and that they all hate d it. However, is this the correction we are making in our discussion, that what all the gods hate is impious, and what they all love is pious, and that what some gods love and others hate is neither or both? Is that how you now wish us to deﬁne piety and impiety? Euthyphro:What prevents usfrom doing so, Socrates? Socrates:For my part nothing, Euthyphro, but you look whether on your part this proposal will enable you to teach me most easily what you promised. Euthyphro:I would certainly say that the pious is what all the gods e love, and the opposite, what all the gods hate, is the impious. Socrates:Then let us again examine whether that is a sound state- ment, or do we let it pass, and ifone ofus, or someone else, merely 12PLATO says that something is so, do we accept that it is so? Or should we examine what the speaker means? Euthyphro:We must examine it, but I certainly think that this is now a ﬁne statement. Socrates:We shall soon know better whether it is. Consider this: 10 Is the pious being loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is being loved by the gods? Euthyphro:I don’t know what you mean, Socrates. Socrates:I shall try to explain more clearly: we speak ofsomething carried and something carrying, ofsomething led and something lead- ing, ofsomething seen and something seeing, and you understand that these things are all differentfrom one another and how they differ? Euthyphro:I think I do. Socrates:So there is also something loved and—a different thing— something loving. Euthyphro:Ofcourse. Socrates:Tell me then whether the thing carried is a carried thing b because it is being carried, orfor some other reason? Euthyphro:No, that is the reason. Socrates:And the thing led is so because it is being led, and the thing seen because it is being seen? Euthyphro:Certainly. Socrates:It is not being seen because it is a thing seen but on the contrary it is a thing seen because it is being seen; nor is it because it is something led that it is being led but because it is being led that it is something led; nor is something being carried because it is something carried, but it is something carried because it is being carried. Is what I want to say clear, Euthyphro? I want to say this, namely, that if c anything is being changed or is being affected in any way, it is not being changed because it is something changed, but rather it is some- thing changed because it is being changed; nor is it being affected because it is something affected, but it is something affected because it is being affected. 10 Or do you not agree? 10. Here Socrates gives the general principle under which, he says, the speciﬁc cases already examined—those ofleading, carrying, and seeing—allfall. It is by being changed by something that changesit(e.g., by carrying it somewhere) that anything is a changed thing—not vice versa: it is not by something’s being a changed thing that somethingelsethen changes it so that it comes to be EUTHYPHRO13 Euthyphro:I do. Socrates:Is something loved either something changed or some- thing affected by something? Euthyphro:Certainly. Socrates:So it is in the same case as the things just mentioned; it is not being loved by those who love it because it is something loved, but it is something loved because it is being loved by them? Euthyphro:Necessarily. Socrates:What then do we say about the pious, Euthyphro? Surely d that it is being loved by all the gods, according to what you say? Euthyphro:Yes. Socrates:Is it being loved because it is pious, orfor some other reason? Euthyphro:For no other reason. Socrates:It is being loved then because it is pious, but it is not pious because it is being loved? Euthyphro:Apparently. Socrates:And yet it is something loved and god-loved because it is being loved by the gods? Euthyphro:Ofcourse. Socrates:Then the god-loved is not the same as the pious, Euthy- phro, nor the pious the same as the god-loved, as you say it is, but one differsfrom the other. Euthyphro:How so, Socrates? e Socrates:Because we agree that the pious is being lovedfor this reason, that it is pious, but it is not pious because it is being loved. Is that not so? Euthyphro:Yes. Socrates:And that the god-loved, on the other hand, is so because it is being loved by the gods, by the veryfact ofbeing loved, but it is not being loved because it is god-loved. Euthyphro:True. being changed (e.g., by carrying it somewhere). Likewisefor “affections” such as being seen by someone: it is by being “affected” by something that “affects” it that anything is an “affected” thing, not vice versa. It is not by being an “affected” thing (e.g., a thing seen) that something else then “affects” it. 14PLATO Socrates:But ifthe god-loved and the pious were the same, my dear Euthyphro, then ifthe pious was being loved because it was pious, the god-loved would also be being loved because it was god-loved; and 11 ifthe god-loved was god-loved because it was being loved by the gods, then the pious would also be pious because it was being loved by the gods. But now you see that they are in opposite cases as being altogether differentfrom each other: the one is such as to be loved because it is being loved, the other is being loved because it is such as to be loved. I’m afraid, Euthyphro, that when you were asked what piety is, you did not wish to make its nature clear to me, but you told me an affect or a quality ofit, that the pious has the quality ofbeing loved by all the gods, but you have not yet told me what the pious is. Now, ifyou will, b do not hide thingsfrom me but tell me againfrom the beginning what piety is, whether being loved by the gods or having some other quality— we shall not quarrel about that—but be keen to tell me what the pious and the impious are. Euthyphro:But Socrates, I have no way oftelling you what I have in mind,for whatever proposition we putforward goes around and refuses to stay put where we establish it. Socrates:Your statements, Euthyphro, seem to belong to my ances- tor, Daedalus. 11 IfI were stating them and putting themforward, you c would perhaps be makingfun ofme and say that because ofmy kinship with him my conclusions in discussion run away and will not stay where one puts them. As these propositions are yours, however, we need some other jest,for they will not stay putfor you, as you say yourself. Euthyphro:I think the same jest will dofor our discussion, Socrates, for I am not the one who makes them go around and not remain in the same place; it is you who are the Daedalus;for asfar as I am d concerned they would remain as they were. Socrates:It looks as ifI was cleverer than Daedalus in using my skill, myfriend, insofar as he could only cause to move the things he made himself, but I can make other people’s things move as well as my own. And the smartest part ofmy skill is that I am clever without wanting to be,for I would rather have your statements to me remain unmoved than possess the wealth ofTantalus as well as the cleverness of e Daedalus. But enough ofthis. Since I think you are making unnecessary 11. Socrates may have been a stonemason, as hisfather was. In Greek mythology Daedalus’ statues (made ofwood) could move themselves. EUTHYPHRO15 difﬁculties, I am as eager as you are to ﬁnd a way to teach me about piety, and do not give up before you do. See whether you think all that is pious is ofnecessity just. Euthyphro:I think so. Socrates:And is then all that is just pious? Or is all that is pious just, but not all that is just pious, but some ofit is and some is not? 12 Euthyphro:Idonotfollow what you are saying, Socrates. Socrates:Yet you are younger than I by as much as you are wiser. As I say, you are making difﬁculties because ofyour wealth ofwisdom. Pull yourselftogether, my dear sir, what I am saying is not difﬁcult to grasp. I am saying the opposite ofwhat the poet said who wrote: You do not wish to name Zeus, who had done it, and who made all things grow, for where there is fear there is also shame. 12 b I disagree with the poet. Shall I tell you why? Euthyphro:Please do. Socrates:I do not think that “where there isfear there is also shame,”for I think that many people whofear disease and poverty and many other such thingsfeelfear, but are not ashamed ofthe things theyfear. Do you not think so? Euthyphro:I do indeed. Socrates:But where there is shame there is alsofear. For is there anyone who, infeeling shame and embarrassment at anything, does c not also at the same timefear and dread a reputationfor wickedness? Euthyphro:He is certainly afraid. Socrates:It is then not right to say “where there isfear there is also shame,” but that where there is shame there is alsofear,forfear covers a larger area than shame. Shame is a part offear just as odd is a part ofnumber, with the result that it is not true that where there is number there is also oddness, but that where there is oddness there is also number. Do youfollow me now? Euthyphro:Surely. Socrates:This is the kind ofthing I was asking before, whether where there is piety there is also justice, but where there is justice there d is not always piety,for the pious is a part ofjustice. Shall we say that, or do you think otherwise? 12. Author unknown. 16 PLATO Euthyphro:No, but like that,for what you say appears to be right. Socrates:See what comes next: ifthe pious is a part ofthe just, we must, it seems, ﬁnd out what part ofthe just it is. Now ifyou asked me something ofwhat we mentioned just now, such as what part of number is the even, and what number that is, I would say it is the number that is divisible into two equal, not unequal, parts. Or do you not think so? Euthyphro:I do. Socrates:Try in this way to tell me what part ofthe just the pious e is, in order to tell Meletus not to wrong us any more and not to indict mefor ungodliness, since I have learnedfrom you sufﬁciently what is godly and pious and what is not. Euthyphro:I think, Socrates, that the godly and pious is the part ofthe just that is concerned with the care ofthe gods, while that concerned with the care ofmen is the remaining part ofjustice. Socrates:You seem to me to put that very well, but I still need a bit ofinformation. I do not know yet what you mean by care,for you 13 do not mean the care ofthe gods in the same sense as the care ofother things, as,for example, we say, don’t we, that not everyone knows how to carefor horses, but the horse breeder does. Euthyphro:Yes, I do mean it that way. Socrates:So horse breeding is the care ofhorses. Euthyphro:Yes. Socrates:Nor does everyone know how to carefor dogs, but the hunter does. Euthyphro:That is so. Socrates:So hunting is the care ofdogs. Euthyphro:Yes. b Socrates:And cattle raising is the care ofcattle. Euthyphro:Quite so. Socrates:While piety and godliness is the care ofthe gods, Euthy- phro. Is that what you mean? Euthyphro:It is. Socrates:Now care in each case has the same effect; it aims at the good and the beneﬁt ofthe object caredfor, as you can see that horses caredfor by horse breeders are beneﬁted and become better. Or do you not think so? EUTHYPHRO17 Euthyphro:I do. Socrates:So dogs are beneﬁted by dog breeding, cattle by cattle raising, and so with all the others. Or do you think that care aims to c harm the object ofits care? Euthyphro:By Zeus, no. Socrates:It aims to beneﬁt the object ofits care? Euthyphro:Ofcourse. Socrates:Is piety then, which is the care ofthe gods, also to beneﬁt the gods and make them better? Would you agree that when you do something pious you make some one ofthe gods better? Euthyphro:By Zeus, no. Socrates:Nor do I think that this is what you mean—farfrom it— but that is why I asked you what you meant by the care ofgods, because I did not believe you meant this kind ofcare. d Euthyphro:Quite right, Socrates, that is not the kind ofcare I mean. Socrates:Very well, but what kind ofcare ofthe gods would piety be? Euthyphro:The kind ofcare, Socrates, that slaves take oftheir masters. Socrates:I understand. It is likely to be a kind ofservice ofthe gods. Euthyphro:Quite so. Socrates:Could you tell me to the achievement ofwhat goal service to doctors tends? Is it not, do you think, to achieving health? Euthyphro:I think so. Socrates:What about service to shipbuilders? To what achievement e is it directed? Euthyphro:Clearly, Socrates, to the building ofa ship. Socrates:And service to housebuilders to the building ofa house? Euthyphro:Yes. Socrates:Tell me then, my good sir, to the achievement ofwhat aim does service to the gods tend? You obviously know since you say that you, ofall men, have the best knowledge ofthe divine. Euthyphro:And I am telling the truth, Socrates. Socrates:Tell me then, by Zeus, what is that excellent aim that the gods achieve, using us as their servants? Euthyphro:Many ﬁne things, Socrates. 18 PLATO Socrates:So do generals, myfriend. Nevertheless you could easily 14 tell me their main concern, which is to achieve victory in war, is it not? Euthyphro:Ofcourse. Socrates:Thefarmers, too, I think, achieve many ﬁne things, but the main point oftheir efforts is to producefoodfrom the earth. Euthyphro:Quite so. Socrates:Well then, how would you sum up the many ﬁne things that the gods achieve? Euthyphro:I told you a short while ago, Socrates, that it is a considerable task to acquire any precise knowledge ofthese things, but, b to put it simply, I say that ifa man knows how to say and do what is pleasing to the gods at prayer and sacriﬁce, those are pious actions such as preserve both private houses and public affairs ofstate. The opposite of these pleasing actions are impious and overturn and destroy everything. Socrates:You could tell me infarfewer words, ifyou were willing, the sum ofwhat I asked, Euthyphro, but you are not keen to teach me, c that is clear. You were on the point ofdoing so, but you turned away. Ifyou had given that answer, I should now have acquiredfrom you sufﬁcient knowledge ofthe nature ofpiety. As it is, the lover ofinquiry mustfollow his beloved wherever it may lead him. Once more then, what do you say that piety and the pious are? Are they a knowledge of how to sacriﬁce and pray? Euthyphro:They are. Socrates:To sacriﬁce is to make a gift to the gods, whereas to pray is to begfrom the gods? Euthyphro:Deﬁnitely, Socrates. Socrates:It wouldfollowfrom this statement that piety would be d a knowledge ofhow to give to, and begfrom, the gods. Euthyphro:You understood what I said very well, Socrates. Socrates:That is because I am so desirous ofyour wisdom, and I concentrate my mind on it, so that no word ofyours mayfall to the ground. But tell me, what is this service to the gods? You say it is to begfrom them and to give to them? Euthyphro:I do. Socrates:And to beg correctly would be to askfrom them things that we need? Euthyphro:What else? EUTHYPHRO19 Socrates:And to give correctly is to give them what they needfrom e us,for it would not be skillful to bring gifts to anyone that are in no way needed. Euthyphro:True, Socrates. Socrates:Piety would then be a sort oftrading skill between gods and men? Euthyphro:Trading yes, ifyou prefer to call it that. Socrates:I prefer nothing, unless it is true. But tell me, what beneﬁt do the gods derivefrom the gifts they receivefrom us? What they give us is obvious to all. There isfor us no good that we do not receivefrom 15 them, but how are they beneﬁted by what they receivefrom us? Or do we have such an advantage over them in the trade that we receive all our blessingsfrom them and they receive nothingfrom us? Euthyphro:Do you suppose, Socrates, that the gods are beneﬁted by what they receivefrom us? Socrates:What could those giftsfrom us to the gods be, Euthyphro? Euthyphro:What else, do you think, than honor, reverence, and what I mentioned just now, to please them? Socrates:The pious is then, Euthyphro, pleasing to the gods, but b not beneﬁcial or dear to them? Euthyphro:I think it is ofall things most dear to them. Socrates:So the pious is once again what is dear to the gods. Euthyphro:Most certainly. Socrates:When you say this, will you be surprised ifyour arguments seem to move about instead ofstaying put? And will you accuse me of being Daedalus who makes them move, though you are yourselfmuch more skillful than Daedalus and make them go around in a circle? Or do you not realize that our argument has moved around and come again to the same place? You surely remember that earlier the pious c and the god-loved were shown not to be the same but differentfrom each other. Or do you not remember? Euthyphro:I do. Socrates:Do you then not realize now that you are saying that what is dear to the gods is the pious? Is this not the same as the god- loved? Or is it not? Euthyphro:It certainly is. 20 PLATO Socrates:Either we were wrong when we agreed before, or, ifwe were right then, we are wrong now. Euthyphro:That seems to be so. Socrates:So we must investigate againfrom the beginning what piety is, as I shall not willingly give up before I learn this. Do not think me unworthy, but concentrate your attention and tell the truth. For d you know it, ifany man does, and I must not let you go, like Proteus, 13 before you tell me. Ifyou had no clear knowledge ofpiety and impiety you would never have ventured to prosecute your oldfatherfor murder on behalfofa servant. Forfear ofthe gods you would have been afraid to take the risk lest you should not be acting rightly, and would have been ashamed before men, but now I know well that you believe you have clear knowledge ofpiety and impiety. So tell me, my good e Euthyphro, and do not hide what you think it is. Euthyphro:Some other time, Socrates,for I am in a hurry now, and it is timefor me to go. Socrates:What a thing to do, myfriend! By going you have cast me downfrom a great hope I had, that I would learnfrom you the nature ofthe pious and the impious and so escape Meletus’ indictment by showing him that I had acquired wisdom in divine mattersfrom 16 Euthyphro, and my ignorance would no longer cause me to be careless and inventive about such things, and that I would be betterfor the rest ofmy life. 13. In Greek mythology Proteus was a sort ofold man ofthe sea, who could keep on changing hisform and so escape being questioned. See Homer,Odyssey iv.382ff. APOLOGY TheApology 1professes to be a record of the actual speech that Socrates delivered in his own defense at the trial. This claim makes the question of its historicity more acute than in the dialogues in which the conversations themselves are mostly ﬁctional and the question of historicity is concerned only with how far the theories that Socrates is represented as expressing were those of the historical Socrates. Here, however, we are dealing with a speech that Socrates made as a matter of history. How far is Plato’s account accurate? We should always remember that the ancients did not expect historical accuracy in the way we do. On the other hand, Plato makes it clear that he was present at the trial (34a, 38b). Moreover, if, as is generally believed, theApologywas written not long after the event, many Athenians would remember the actual speech, and it would be a poor way to vindicate the Master, which is the obvious intent, to put a completely different speech into his mouth. Some liberties could no doubt be allowed, but the main arguments and the general tone of the defense must surely be faithful to the original. The beauty of language and style is certainly Plato’s, but the serene spiritual and moral beauty of character belongs to Socrates. It is a powerful combination. Athenian juries were very large, in this case 501, and they combined the duties of jury and judge as we know them by both convicting and sentencing. Obviously, it would have been virtually impossible for so large a body to discuss various penalties and decide on one. The problem was resolved rather neatly, however, by having the prosecutor, after conviction, assess the penalty he thought appropriate, followed by a counter-assessment by the defendant. The jury would then decide between the two. This procedure generally made for moderation on both sides. Thus theApologyis in three parts. The ﬁrst and major part is the main speech (17a–35d), followed by the counter-assessment (35e–38b), 1. The wordapologyis a transliteration, not a translation, ofthe Greekapologia, which means defense. There is certainly nothing apologetic about the speech. 21 22PLATO and ﬁnally, last words to the jury (38c–42a), both to those who voted for the death sentence and those who voted for acquittal. G.M.A.G. I do not know, men ofAthens, 2how my accusers affected you; asfor 17 me, I was almost carried away in spite ofmyself, so persuasively did they speak. And yet, hardly anything ofwhat they said is true. Ofthe many lies they told, one in particular surprised me, namely that you should be careful not to be deceived by an accomplished speaker like me. That they were not ashamed to be immediately proved wrong by b thefacts, when I show myselfnot to be an accomplished speaker at all, that I thought was most shameless on their part—unless indeed they call an accomplished speaker the man who speaks the truth. If they mean that, I would agree that I am an orator, but not after their manner,for indeed, as I say, practically nothing they said was true. From me you will hear the whole truth, though not, by Zeus, gentlemen, expressed in embroidered and stylized phrases like theirs, but things c spoken at random and expressed in the ﬁrst words that come to mind, for I put my trust in the justice ofwhat I say, and let none ofyou expect anything else. It would not be ﬁtting at my age, as it might befor a young man, to toy with words when I appear before you. One thing I do ask and beg ofyou, gentlemen: ifyou hear me making my defense in the same kind oflanguage as I am accustomed to use in the marketplace by the bankers’ tables, 3where many ofyou have heard me, and elsewhere, do not be surprised or create a distur- d 2. Jurors were selected by lotfrom all the male citizens thirty years ofage or older who offered themselves on the given dayfor service. They thusfunctioned as representatives ofthe Athenian people and the Athenian democracy. In cases like Socrates’, they judged on behalfofthe whole citizen body whether or not their interests had been undermined by the accused’s behavior. Hence Socrates can address them as ifhe were addressing the people ofAthens at large, and in particular the partisans ofthe democracy against its oligarchic opponents (see,for example,21a, 32d). Socrates addresses the jury as “men ofAthens” rather than employing the usual mode ofaddress, “gentlemen ofthe jury” (as Meletus does at26d). At40a he explains that only those who voted to acquit him deserved that honor. 3. The bankers or money-changers had their counters in the marketplace. It seems that this was afavorite placefor gossip. APOLOGY23 bance on that account. The position is this: This is my ﬁrst appearance in a lawcourt, at the age ofseventy; I am therefore simply a stranger to the manner ofspeaking here. Just as ifI were really a stranger, you would certainly excuse me ifI spoke in that dialect and manner in which I had been brought up, so too my present request seems a just 18 one,for you to pay no attention to my manner ofspeech—be it better or worse—but to concentrate your attention on whether what I say is just or not,for the excellence ofa judge lies in this, as that ofa speaker lies in telling the truth. It is rightfor me, gentlemen, to defend myselfﬁrst against the ﬁrst lying accusations made against me and my ﬁrst accusers, and then against the later accusations and the later accusers. There have been many who have accused me to youfor many years now, and none of b their accusations are true. These Ifear much more than Ifear Anytus and hisfriends, though they too areformidable. These earlier ones, however, are more so, gentlemen; they got hold ofmost ofyoufrom childhood, persuaded you and accused me quitefalsely, saying that there is a man called Socrates, a wise man, a student ofall things in the sky and below the earth, who makes the worse argument the stronger. Those who spread that rumor, gentlemen, are my dangerous c accusers,for their hearers believe that those who study these things do not even believe in the gods. Moreover, these accusers are numerous, and have been at it a long time; also, they spoke to you at an age when you would most readily believe them, some ofyou being children and adolescents, and they won their case by default, as there was no defense. What is most absurd in all this is that one cannot even know or mention their names unless one ofthem is a writer ofcomedies. 4Those d who maliciously and slanderously persuaded you—who also, when persuaded themselves then persuaded others—all those are most difﬁ- cult to deal with: one cannot bring one ofthem into court or refute him; one must simply ﬁght with shadows, as it were, in making one’s defense, and cross-examine when no one answers. I want you to realize too that my accusers are oftwo kinds: those who have accused me recently, and the old ones I mention; and to think that I must ﬁrst defend myselfagainst the latter,for you have also heard their accusations e ﬁrst, and to a much greater extent than the more recent. 4. This is Aristophanes. Socrates refers below (19c) to the character Socrates in hisClouds(225 ff.), ﬁrst produced in423 B.C. 24PLATO Very well then, men ofAthens. I must surely defend myselfand attempt to uprootfrom your minds in so short a time the slander that 19 has resided there so long. I wish this may happen, ifit is in any way betterfor you and me, and that my defense may be successful, but I think this is very difﬁcult and I amfully aware ofhow difﬁcult it is. Even so, let the matter proceed as the god may wish, but I must obey the law and make my defense. Let us then take up the casefrom its beginning. What is the accusa- tionfrom which arose the slander in which Meletus trusted when he b wrote out the charge against me? What did they say when they slandered me? I must, as ifthey were my actual prosecutors, read the afﬁdavit they would have sworn. It goes something like this: Socrates is guilty ofwrongdoing in that he busies himselfstudying things in the sky and below the earth; he makes the worse into the stronger argument, and he teaches these same things to others. You have seen this yourselfin c the comedy ofAristophanes, a Socrates swinging about there, saying he was walking on air and talking a lot ofother nonsense about things ofwhich I know nothing at all. I do not speak in contempt ofsuch knowledge, ifsomeone is wise in these things—lest Meletus bring more cases against me—but, gentlemen, I have no part in it, and on this point I call upon the majority ofyou as witnesses. I think it right that all those ofyou who have heard me conversing, and many ofyou have, d should tell each other ifany one ofyou has ever heard me discussing such subjects to any extent at all. From this you will learn that the other things said about me by the majority are ofthe same kind. Not one ofthem is true. And ifyou have heardfrom anyone that I undertake to teach people and charge afeefor it, that is not true either. Yet I think it a ﬁne thing to be able to teach people as Gorgias of e Leontini does, and Prodicus ofCeos, and Hippias ofElis. 5Each of these men can go to any city and persuade the young, who can keep company with any one oftheir ownfellow citizens they want without paying, to leave the company ofthese, to join with themselves, pay 20 5. These were all well-known Sophists. Gorgias, after whom Plato named one ofhis dialogues, was a celebrated rhetorician and teacher ofrhetoric. He came to Athens in427 B.C. , and his rhetorical tricks took the city by storm. Two dialogues, the authenticity ofwhich has been doubted, are named after Hippias, whose knowledge was encyclopedic. Prodicus was knownfor his insistence on the precise meaning ofwords. Both he and Hippias are characters inProtagoras (named after anotherfamous Sophist). APOLOGY25 them afee, and be grateful to them besides. Indeed, I learned that there is another wise manfrom Paros who is visiting us,for I met a man who has spent more money on sophists than everybody else put together, Callias, the son ofHipponicus. So I asked him—he has two sons—“Callias,” I said, “ifyour sons were colts or calves, we could ﬁnd and engage a supervisorfor them who would make them excel in their proper qualities, some horse breeder orfarmer. Now since they are b men, whom do you have in mind to supervise them? Who is an expert in this kind ofexcellence, the human and social kind? I think you must have given thought to this since you have sons. Is there such a person,” I asked, “or is there not?” “Certainly there is,” he said. “Who is he?” I asked. “What is his name, where is hefrom? And what is hisfee?” “His name, Socrates, is Evenus, he comesfrom Paros, and hisfee is ﬁve minas.” 6I thought Evenus a happy man, ifhe really possesses this art, and teachesfor so moderate afee. Certainly I would pride and preen c myselfifI had this knowledge, but I do not have it, gentlemen. One ofyou might perhaps interrupt me and say: “But Socrates, what is your occupation? From where have these slanders come? For surely ifyou did not busy yourselfwith something out ofthe common, all these rumors and talk would not have arisen unless you did something other than most people. Tell us what it is, that we may not speak inadvisedly about you.” Anyone who says that seems to be right, and I d will try to show you what has caused this reputation and slander. Listen then. Perhaps some ofyou will think I am jesting, but be sure that all that I shall say is true. What has caused my reputation is none other than a certain kind ofwisdom. What kind ofwisdom? Human wisdom, perhaps. It may be that I really possess this, while those whom I men- tioned just now are wise with a wisdom more than human; else I cannot e explain it,for I certainly do not possess it, and whoever says I do is lying and speaks to slander me. Do not create a disturbance, gentlemen, even ifyou think I am boasting,for the story I shall tell does not originate with me, but I will refer you to a trustworthy source. I shall call upon the god at Delphi as witness to the existence and nature of 21 my wisdom, ifit be such. 7You know Chaerephon. He was myfriend from youth, and thefriend ofmost ofyou, as he shared your exile and 6. A mina equaled100 drachmas. In Socrates’ time one drachma was the daily wage ofa day-laborer. So Evenus’fee was a considerable sum. 7. The god Apollo had a veryfamous shrine at Delphi, where his oracles were delivered through the mouth ofa priestess, the “Pythian.” 26 PLATO your return. You surely know the kind ofman he was, how impulsive in any course ofaction. He went to Delphi at one time and ventured to ask the oracle—as I say, gentlemen, do not create a disturbance— he asked ifany man was wiser than I, and the Pythian replied that no one was wiser. Chaerephon is dead, but his brother will testifytoyou about this. Consider that I tell you this because I would inform you about the b origin ofthe slander. When I heard ofthis reply I asked myself: “What- ever does the god mean? What is his riddle? I am very conscious that I am not wise at all; what then does he mean by saying that I am the wisest? For surely he does not lie; it is not legitimatefor him to do so.” For a long time I was at a loss as to his meaning; then I very reluctantly turned to some such investigation as this; I went to one ofthose reputed wise, thinking that there, ifanywhere, I could refute the oracle and say c to it: “This man is wiser than I, but you said I was.” Then, when I examined this man—there is no needfor me to tell you his name, he was one ofour public men—my experience was something like this: I thought that he appeared wise to many people and especially to himself, but he was not. I then tried to show him that he thought himselfwise, d but that he was not. As a result he came to dislike me, and so did many ofthe bystanders. So I withdrew and thought to myself: “I am wiser than this man; it is likely that neither ofus knows anything worthwhile, but he thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas when I do not know, neither do I think I know; so I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know what I do not know.” After this I approached another man, one ofthose thought to be wiser e than he, and I thought the same thing, and so I came to be disliked both by him and by many others. After that I proceeded systematically. I realized, to my sorrow and alarm, that I was getting unpopular, but I thought that I must attach the greatest importance to the god’s oracle, so I must go to all those who had any reputationfor knowledge to examine its meaning. And by the dog, 8men ofAthens—for I must tell you the truth—I experienced 22 something like this: In my investigation in the service ofthe god I found that those who had the highest reputation were nearly the most deﬁcient, while those who were thought to be inferior were more knowledgeable. I must give you an account ofmy journeyings as ifthey 8. A curious oath, occasionally used by Socrates, it appears in a longerform inGorgias(482b) as “by the dog, the god ofthe Egyptians.” APOLOGY27 were labors I had undertaken to prove the oracle irrefutable. After the politicians, I went to the poets, the writers oftragedies and dithyrambs and the others, intending in their case to catch myselfbeing more b ignorant than they. So I took up those poems with which they seemed to have taken most trouble and asked them what they meant, in order that I might at the same time learn somethingfrom them. I am ashamed to tell you the truth, gentlemen, but I must. Almost all the bystanders might have explained the poems better than their authors could. I soon realized that poets do not compose their poems with knowledge, but c by some inborn talent and by inspiration, like seers and prophets who also say many ﬁne things without any understanding ofwhat they say. The poets seemed to me to have had a similar experience. At the same time I saw that, because oftheir poetry, they thought themselves very wise men in other respects, which they were not. So there again I withdrew, thinking that I had the same advantage over them as I had over the politicians. Finally I went to the craftsmen,for I was conscious ofknowing practically nothing, and I knew that I would ﬁnd that they had knowl- d edge ofmany ﬁne things. In this I was not mistaken; they knew things I did not know, and to that extent they were wiser than I. But, men of Athens, the good craftsmen seemed to me to have the samefault as the poets: each ofthem, because ofhis success at his craft, thought himselfvery wise in other most important pursuits, and this error of e theirs overshadowed the wisdom they had, so that I asked myself,on behalfofthe oracle, whether I should prefer to be as I am, with neither their wisdom nor their ignorance, or to have both. The answer I gave myselfand the oracle was that it was to my advantage to be as I am. As a result ofthis investigation, men ofAthens, I acquired much unpopularity, ofa kind that is hard to deal with and is a heavy burden; 23 many slanders camefrom these people and a reputationfor wisdom, for in each case the bystanders thought that I myselfpossessed the wisdom that I proved that my interlocutor did not have. What is proba- ble, gentlemen, is that infact the god is wise and that his oracular response meant that human wisdom is worth little or nothing, and that when he says this man, Socrates, he is using my name as an example, b as ifhe said: “This man among you, mortals, is wisest who, like Socrates, understands that his wisdom is worthless.” So even now I continue this investigation as the god bade me—and I go around seeking out anyone, citizen or stranger, whom I think wise. Then ifI do not think he is, I come to the assistance ofthe god and show him that he is not wise. 28 PLATO Because ofthis occupation, I do not have the leisure to engage in public affairs to any extent, nor indeed to look after my own, but I live in great poverty because ofmy service to the god. Furthermore, the young men whofollow me around oftheir own c free will, those who have most leisure, the sons ofthe very rich, take pleasure in hearing people questioned; they themselves often imitate me and try to question others. I think they ﬁnd an abundance ofmen who believe they have some knowledge but know little or nothing. The result is that those whom they question are angry, not with themselves but with me. They say: “That man Socrates is a pestilentialfellow who d corrupts the young.” Ifone asks them what he does and what he teaches to corrupt them, they are silent, as they do not know, but, so as not to appear at a loss, they mention those accusations that are available against all philosophers, about “things in the sky and things below the earth,” about “not believing in the gods” and “making the worse the stronger argument”; they would not want to tell the truth, I’m sure, that they have been proved to lay claim to knowledge when they know nothing. These people are ambitious, violent, and numerous; they are continually e and convincingly talking about me; they have been ﬁlling your earsfor a long time with vehement slanders against me. From them Meletus attacked me, and Anytus and Lycon, Meletus being vexed on behalf ofthe poets, Anytus on behalfofthe craftsmen and the politicians, Lycon on behalfofthe orators, so that, as I started out by saying, I 24 should be surprised ifI could rid you ofso much slander in so short a time. That, men ofAthens, is the truthfor you. I have hidden or disguised nothing. I know well enough that this very conduct makes me unpopular, and this is proofthat what I say is true, that such is the b slander against me, and that such are its causes. Ifyou look into this either now or later, this is what you will ﬁnd. Let this sufﬁce as a defense against the charges ofmy earlier accusers. After this I shall try to defend myselfagainst Meletus, that good and patriotic man, as he says he is, and my later accusers. As these are a different lot ofaccusers, let us again take up their sworn deposition. It goes something like this: Socrates is guilty ofcorrupting the young and ofnot believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other new spiritual things. Such is their charge. Let us examine it point c by point. He says that I am guilty ofcorrupting the young, but I say that Meletus is guilty ofdealingfrivolously with serious matters, ofirresponsi- bly bringing people into court, and ofprofessing to be seriously con- APOLOGY29 cerned with things about none ofwhich he has ever cared, and I shall try to prove that this is so. Come here and tell me, Meletus. Surely d you consider it ofthe greatest importance that our young men be as good as possible? 9— Indeed I do. Come then, tell these men who improves them. You obviously know, in view ofyour concern. You say you have discovered the one who corrupts them, namely me, and you bring me here and accuse me to these men. Come, inform these men and tell them who it is who improves them. You see, Meletus, that you are silent and know not what to say. Does this not seem shameful to you and a sufﬁcient proof ofwhat I say, that you have not been concerned with any ofthis? Tell me, my good sir, who improves our young men? — The laws. e That is not what I am asking, but what person who has knowledge ofthe laws to begin with? — These jurymen, Socrates. How do you mean, Meletus? Are these able to educate the young and improve them? — Certainly. All ofthem, or some but not others? — All ofthem. Very good, by Hera. You mention a great abundance ofbenefactors. 25 But what about the audience? Do they improve the young or not? — They do, too. What about the members ofCouncil? 10 — The Councillors, also. But, Meletus, what about the assembly? Do members ofthe assembly corrupt the young, or do they all improve them? — They improve them. All the Athenians, it seems, make the young into ﬁne good men, except me, and I alone corrupt them. Is that what you mean? — That is most deﬁnitely what I mean. You condemn me to a great misfortune. Tell me: does this also apply b to horses, do you think? That all men improve them and one individual corrupts them? Or is quite the contrary true, one individual is able to improve them, or veryfew, namely, the horse breeders, whereas the majority, ifthey have horses and use them, corrupt them? Is that not the case, Meletus, both with horses and all other animals? Ofcourse 9. Socrates here drops into his usual method ofdiscussion by question and answer. This, no doubt, is what Plato had in mind, at least in part, when he made him ask the indulgence ofthe jury ifhe spoke “in his usual manner.” 10. The Council was a body of500 men, elected annually by lot, that prepared the agendafor meetings ofthe assembly and together with the magistrates conducted the public business ofAthens. (On the assembly, see note toEuthy- phro3c.) 30 PLATO it is, whether you and Anytus say so or not. It would be a very happy state ofaffairs ifonly one person corrupted our youth, while the others improved them. You have made it sufﬁciently obvious, Meletus, that you have never c had any concernfor our youth; you show your indifference clearly; that you have given no thought to the subjects about which you bring me to trial. And by Zeus, Meletus, tell us also whether it is betterfor a man to live among good or wickedfellow citizens. Answer, my good man,for I am not asking a difﬁcult question. Do not the wicked do some harm to those who are ever closest to them, whereas good people beneﬁt them? — Certainly. And does the man exist who would rather be harmed than beneﬁted d by his associates? Answer, my good sir,for the law orders you to answer. Is there any man who wants to be harmed? — Ofcourse not. Come now, do you accuse me here ofcorrupting the young and making them worse deliberately or unwillingly? — Deliberately. Whatfollows, Meletus? Are you so much wiser at your age than I am at mine that you understand that wicked people always do some harm to their closest neighbors while good people do them good, but e I have reached such a pitch ofignorance that I do not realize this, namely that ifI make one ofmy associates wicked I run the risk of being harmed by him so that I do such a great evil deliberately, as you say? I do not believe you, Meletus, and I do not think anyone else will. Either I do not corrupt the young or, ifI do, it is unwillingly, and you 26 are lying in either case. Now ifI corrupt them unwillingly, the law does not require you to bring people to courtfor such unwilling wrong- doings, but to get hold ofthem privately, to instruct them and exhort them;for clearly, ifI learn better, I shall cease to do what I am doing unwillingly. You, however, have avoided my company and were unwill- ing to instruct me, but you bring me here, where the law requires one to bring those who are in need ofpunishment, not ofinstruction. And so, men ofAthens, what I said is clearly true: Meletus has never b been at all concerned with these matters. Nonetheless tell us, Meletus, how you say that I corrupt the young; or is it obviousfrom your deposition that it is by teaching them not to believe in the gods in whom the city believes but in other new spiritual things? Is this not what you say I teach and so corrupt them? — That is most certainly what I do say. Then by those very gods about whom we are talking, Meletus, make c this clearer to me and to these men: I cannot be sure whether you APOLOGY31 mean that I teach the beliefthat there are some gods—and therefore I myselfbelieve that there are gods and am not altogether an atheist, nor am I guilty ofthat—not, however, the gods in whom the city believes, but others, and that this is the charge against me, that they are others. Or whether you mean that I do not believe in gods at all, and that this is what I teach to others. — This is what I mean, that you do not believe in gods at all. You are a strangefellow, Meletus. Why do you say this? Do I not d believe, as other men do, that the sun and the moon are gods? — No, by Zeus, gentlemen ofthe jury,for he says that the sun is stone, and the moon earth. My dear Meletus, do you think you are prosecuting Anaxagoras? Are you so contemptuous ofthese men and think them so ignorant of letters as not to know that the books ofAnaxagoras 11 ofClazomenae arefull ofthose theories, andfurther, that the young men learnfrom me what they can buyfrom time to timefor a drachma, at most, in e the bookshops, and ridicule Socrates ifhe pretends that these theories are his own, especially as they are so absurd? Is that, by Zeus, what you think ofme, Meletus, that I do not believe that there are any gods? — That is what I say, that you do not believe in the gods at all. You cannot be believed, Meletus, even, I think, by yourself. The man appears to me, men ofAthens, highly insolent and uncontrolled. He seems to have made this deposition out ofinsolence, violence, and 27 youthful zeal. He is like one who composed a riddle and is trying it out: “Will the wise Socrates realize that I am jesting and contradicting myself, or shall I deceive him and others?” I think he contradicts himself in the afﬁdavit, as ifhe said: “Socrates is guilty ofnot believing in gods but believing in gods,” and surely that is the part ofa jester! Examine with me, gentlemen, how he appears to contradict himself, b and you, Meletus, answer us. Remember, gentlemen, what I asked you when I began, not to create a disturbance ifI proceed in my usual manner. Does any man, Meletus, believe in human activities who does not believe in humans? Make him answer, and not again and again create 11. Anaxagoras ofClazomenae, born about the beginning ofthe ﬁfth century B.C. , came to Athens as a young man and spent his time in the pursuit of natural philosophy. He claimed that the universe was directed by Nous (Mind) and that matter was indestructible but always combining in various ways. He left Athens after being prosecutedfor impiety. 32PLATO a disturbance. Does any man who does not believe in horses believe in horsemen’s activities? Or in ﬂute-playing activities but not in ﬂute- players? No, my good sir, no man could. Ifyou are not willing to answer, I will tell you and these men. Answer the next question, how- ever. Does any man believe in spiritual activities who does not believe c in spirits? — No one. Thank youfor answering, ifreluctantly, when these gentlemen made you. Now you say that I believe in spiritual things and teach about them, whether new or old, but at any rate spiritual things according to what you say, and to this you have sworn in your deposition. But ifI believe in spiritual things I must quite inevitably believe in spirits. Is that not so? It is indeed. I shall assume that you agree, as you do not answer. Do we not believe spirits to be either gods or the children of d gods? Yes or no? — Ofcourse. Then since I do believe in spirits, as you admit, ifspirits are gods, this is what I mean when I say you speak in riddles and in jest, as you state that I do not believe in gods and then again that I do, since I do believe in spirits. If, on the other hand, the spirits are children ofthe gods, bastard children ofthe gods by nymphs or some other mothers, as they are said to be, what man would believe children ofthe gods to exist, but not gods? That would be just as absurd as to believe the young ofhorses and asses, namely mules, to exist, but not to believe in the e existence ofhorses and asses. You must have made this deposition, Meletus, either to test us or because you were at a loss to ﬁnd any true wrongdoing ofwhich to accuse me. There is no way in which you could persuade anyone ofeven small intelligence that it is possiblefor one and the same man to believe in spiritual but not also in divine things, and then againfor that same man to believe neither in spirits 28 nor in gods nor in heroes. I do not think, men ofAthens, that it requires a prolonged defense to prove that I am not guilty ofthe charges in Meletus’ deposition, but this is sufﬁcient. On the other hand, you know that what I said earlier is true, that I am very unpopular with many people. This will be my undoing, ifI am undone, not Meletus or Anytus but the slanders and envy ofmany people. This has destroyed many other good men and b will, I think, continue to do so. There is no danger that it will stop at me. Someone might say: “Are you not ashamed, Socrates, to havefol- lowed the kind ofoccupation that has led to your being now in danger ofdeath?” However, I should be right to reply to him: “You are wrong, sir, ifyou think that a man who is any good at all should take into account the risk oflife or death; he should look to this only in his APOLOGY33 actions, whether what he does is right or wrong, whether he is acting like a good or a bad man.” According to your view, all the heroes who c died at Troy were inferior people, especially the son ofThetis who was so contemptuous ofdanger compared with disgrace. 12 When he was eager to kill Hector, his goddess mother warned him, as I believe, in some such words as these: “My child, ifyou avenge the death ofyour comrade, Patroclus, and you kill Hector, you will die yourself,for your death is tofollow immediately after Hector’s.” Hearing this, he despised death and danger and was much more afraid to live a coward who did d not avenge hisfriends. “Let me die at once,” he said, “when once I have given the wrongdoer his deserts, rather than remain here, a laughingstock by the curved ships, a burden upon the earth.” Do you think he gave thought to death and danger? This is the truth ofthe matter, men ofAthens: wherever a man has taken a position that he believes to be best, or has been placed by his commander, there he must I think remain andface danger, without a thoughtfor death or anything else, rather than disgrace. It would have e been a dreadful way to behave, men ofAthens, if, at Potidaea, Amphipo- lis, and Delium, I had, at the risk ofdeath, like anyone else, remained at my post where those you had elected to command had ordered me, and then, when the god ordered me, as I thought and believed, to live the lifeofa philosopher, to examine myselfand others, I had abandoned my postforfear ofdeath or anything else. That would have been a 29 dreadful thing, and then I might truly have justly been brought here for not believing that there are gods, disobeying the oracle,fearing death, and thinking I was wise when I was not. Tofear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneselfwise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not be the greatest ofall blessingsfor a man, yet menfear it as ifthey knew that it is the greatest ofevils. And surely it is the most blameworthy b ignorance to believe that one knows what one does not know. It is perhaps on this point and in this respect, gentlemen, that I differfrom the majority ofmen, and ifI were to claim that I am wiser than anyone in anything, it would be in this, that, as I have no adequate knowledge ofthings in the underworld, so I do not think I have. I do know, however, that it is wicked and shameful to do wrong, to disobey one’s superior, be he god or man. I shall neverfear or avoid things ofwhich I do not know, whether they may not be good rather than things that c 12. The scene between Thetis and Achilles isfrom theIliadxviii.94ff. 34 PLATO I know to be bad. Even if you acquitted me now and did not believe Anytus, who said to you that either I should not have been brought here in the first place, or that now I am here, you cannot avoid executing me, for if I should be acquitted, your sons would practice the teachings of Socrates and all be thoroughly corrupted; if you said to me in this regard: “Socrates, we do not believe Any tus now; we acquit you, but only on condition that you spend no more time on this investigation and do not practice philosophy, and if you are caught doing so you will die”; if, as I say, you were to acquit me on those te rms, I would say to you: “Men of Athens, I am grateful and I am your friend, but I will obey the god rather than you, and as long as I draw breath and am able, I shall not cease to practice philosophy, to exhort you and in my usual way to point out to any one of you whom I happen to meet: ‘Good Sir, you are an Athenian, a citizen of the greatest city with the greatest reputation for both wisdom and p ower; are you not ashamed of your eagerness to possess as much wealth, reputation, and honors as possible, while you do not care for nor give thought to wisdom or truth, or the best possible s tate of your soul?’ Then, if one of you disputes this and says he does care, I shall not let him go at once or leave him, but I shall question him, examine him, and test him, and if I do not think he has att ained the goodness that he says he has, I shall reproach him because he attaches little importance to the most important things and greater importance to inferior things. I shall treat in this way anyo ne I happen to meet, young and old, citizen and stranger, and more so the citizens because you are more kindred to me. Be sure that this is what the god orders me to do, and I think there is n o greater blessing for the city than my service to the god. For I go around doing nothing but persuading both young and old among you not to care for your body or your wealth in prefer ence to or as strongly as for the best possible state of your soul, as I say to you: Wealth does not bring about excellence, but excellence makes wealth and everything else good for men, both individually and collectively.” 13 Now if by saying this I corrupt the young, this advice must be harmful, but if anyone says that I give different advice, he is talking nonsense. On this point I would say to you, men of Athens: “Whether you believe Anytus or not, whether you acquit me or not, do so on the understanding that this is my course of action, even if I am to face 13. Alternatively, this sentence could be translated: “Wealth does not bring about excellence, but excellence brings about wealth and all other public and private blessings for men.” d e 30 b c APOLOGY35 death many times.” Do not create a disturbance, gentlemen, but abide by my request not to cry out at what I say but to listen,for I think it will be to your advantage to listen, and I am about to say other things at which you will perhaps cry out. By no means do this. Be sure that ifyou kill the sort ofman I say I am, you will not harm me more than yourselves. Neither Meletus nor Anytus can harm me in any way; he could not harm me,for I do not think it is permitted that a better man d be harmed by a worse; certainly he might kill me, or perhaps banish or disfranchise me, which he and maybe others think to be great harm, but I do not think so. I think he is doing himselfmuch greater harm doing what he is doing now, attempting to have a man executed unjustly. Indeed, men ofAthens, I amfarfrom making a defense now on my own behalf, as might be thought, but on yours, to prevent youfrom wrongdoing by mistreating the god’s gift to you by condemning me; e for ifyou kill me you will not easily ﬁnd another like me. I was attached to this city by the god—though it seems a ridiculous thing to say—as upon a great and noble horse which was somewhat sluggish because ofits size and needed to be stirred up by a kind ofgadﬂy. It is tofulﬁll some suchfunction that I believe the god has placed me in the city. I never cease to rouse each and every one ofyou, to persuade and reproach you all day long and everywhere I ﬁnd myselfin your company. 31 Another such man will not easily come to be among you, gentlemen, and ifyou believe me you will spare me. You might easily be annoyed with me as people are when they are arousedfrom a doze, and strike out at me; ifconvinced by Anytus you could easily kill me, and then you could sleep onfor the rest ofyour days, unless the god, in his care for you, sent you someone else. That I am the kind ofperson to be a giftofthe god to the city you might realizefrom thefact that it does not seem like human naturefor me to have neglected all my own affairs b and to have tolerated this neglect nowfor so many years while I was always concerned with you, approaching each one ofyou like afather or an elder brother to persuade you to carefor virtue. Now ifI proﬁted from this by charging afeefor my advice, there would be some sense to it, but you can seefor yourselves that,for all their shameless accusa- tions, my accusers have not been able in their impudence to bring forward a witness to say that I have ever received afee or ever asked c for one. I, on the other hand, have a convincing witness that I speak the truth, my poverty. It may seem strange that while I go around and give this advice privately and interfere in private affairs, I do not venture to go to the assembly and there advise the city. You have heard me give the reason 36 PLATO for this in many places. I have a divine or spiritual sign which Meletus d has ridiculed in his deposition. This began when I was a child. It is a voice, and whenever it speaks it turns me awayfrom something I am about to do, but it never encourages me to do anything. This is what has prevented mefrom taking part in public affairs, and I think it was quite right to prevent me. Be sure, men ofAthens, that ifI had long ago attempted to take part in politics, I should have died long ago, and e beneﬁted neither you nor myself. Do not be angry with mefor speaking the truth; no man will survive who genuinely opposes you or any other crowd and prevents the occurrence ofmany unjust and illegal 32 happenings in the city. A man who really ﬁghtsfor justice must lead a private, not a public, lifeifhe is to survivefor even a short time. I shall give you great proofsofthis, not words but what you esteem, deeds. Listen to what happened to me, that you may know that I will not yield to any man contrary to what is right,forfear ofdeath, even ifI should die at oncefor not yielding. The things I shall tell you are commonplace and smack ofthe lawcourts, but they are true. I have never held any other ofﬁce in the city, but I served as a member ofthe b Council, and our tribe Antiochis was presiding at the time when you wanted to try as a body the ten generals who hadfailed to pick up the survivors ofthe naval battle. 14 This was illegal, as you all recognized later. I was the only member ofthe presiding committee to oppose your doing something contrary to the laws, and I voted against it. The orators were ready to prosecute me and take me away, and your shouts were egging them on, but I thought I should run any risk on the side oflaw and justice rather than join you,forfear ofprison or death, when c you were engaged in an unjust course. This happened when the city was still a democracy. When the oligarchy was established, the Thirty 15summoned me to the Hall, along 14. This was the battle ofArginusae (south ofLesbos) in406 B.C. , the last Athenian victory ofthe war. A violent storm prevented the Athenian generals from rescuing their survivors. For this they were tried in Athens and sentenced to death by the assembly. They were tried in a body, and it is this to which Socrates objected in the Council’s presiding committee which prepared the business ofthe assembly. He obstinately persisted in his opposition, in which he stood alone, and was overruled by the majority. Six generals who were in Athens were executed. 15. This was the harsh oligarchy that was set up after the ﬁnal defeat ofAthens by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War in404 B.C. and that ruled Athensfor some nine months in404–3 before the democracy was restored. APOLOGY37 withfour others, and ordered us to bring Leonfrom Salamis, that he might be executed. They gave many such orders to many people, in order to implicate as many as possible in their guilt. Then I showed again, not in words but in action, that, ifit were not rather vulgar to d say so, death is something I couldn’t care less about, but that my whole concern is not to do anything unjust or impious. That government, powerful as it was, did notfrighten me into any wrongdoing. When we left the Hall, the otherfour went to Salamis and brought in Leon, but I went home. I might have been put to deathfor this, had not the governmentfallen shortly afterwards. There are many who will witness e to these events. Do you think I would have survived all these years ifI were engaged in public affairs and, acting as a good man must, came to the help of justice and considered this the most important thing? Farfrom it, men ofAthens, nor would any other man. Throughout my life, in any public 33 activity I may have engaged in, I am the same man as I am in private life. I have never come to an agreement with anyone to act unjustly, neither with anyone else nor with any one ofthose who they slanderously say are my pupils. I have never been anyone’s teacher. Ifanyone, young or old, desires to listen to me when I am talking and dealing with my own concerns, I have never begrudged this to anyone, but I do not converse when I receive afee and not when I do not. I am equally b ready to question the rich and the poor ifanyone is willing to answer my questions and listen to what I say. And I cannot justly be held responsiblefor the good or bad conduct ofthese people, as I never promised to teach them anything and have not done so. Ifanyone says that he has learned anythingfrom me, or that he heard anything privately that the others did not hear, be assured that he is not telling the truth. Why then do some people enjoy spending considerable time in my c company? You have heard why, men ofAthens; I have told you the whole truth. They enjoy hearing those being questioned who think they are wise, but are not. And this is not unpleasant. To do this has, as I say, been enjoined upon me by the god, by means oforacles and dreams, and in every other way that a divine manifestation has ever ordered a man to do anything. This is true, gentlemen, and can easily be established. IfI corrupt some young men and have corrupted others, then surely d some ofthem who have grown older and realized that I gave them bad advice when they were young should now themselves come up here to accuse me and avenge themselves. Ifthey were unwilling to do so themselves, then some oftheir kindred, theirfathers or brothers or 38 PLATO other relations should recall it now iftheirfamily had been harmed by me. I see many ofthese present here, ﬁrst Crito, my contemporary andfellow demesman, thefather ofCritobulus here; next Lysanias of e Sphettus, thefather ofAeschines here; also Antiphon the Cephisian, thefather ofEpigenes; and others whose brothers spent their time in this way; Nicostratus, the son ofTheozotides, brother ofTheodotus, and Theodotus has died so he could not inﬂuence him; Paralius here, son ofDemodocus, whose brother was Theages; there is Adeimantus, son ofAriston, brother ofPlato here; Aeantodorus, brother ofApollo- 34 dorus here. I could mention many others, some one ofwhom surely Meletus should have brought in as witness in his own speech. Ifheforgot to do so, then let him do it now; I will yield time ifhe has anything of the kind to say. You will ﬁnd quite the contrary, gentlemen. These men are all ready to come to the help ofthe corruptor, the man who has harmed their kindred, as Meletus and Anytus say. Now those who b were corrupted might well have reason to help me, but the uncorrupted, their kindred who are older men, have no reason to help me except the right and proper one, that they know that Meletus is lying and that I am telling the truth. Very well, gentlemen. This, and maybe other similar things, is what I have to say in my defense. Perhaps one ofyou might be angry as he c recalls that when he himselfstood trial on a less dangerous charge, he begged and implored the jurymen with many tears, that he brought his children and many ofhisfriends andfamily into court to arouse as much pity as he could, but that I do none ofthese things, even though I may seem to be running the ultimate risk. Thinking ofthis, d he mightfeel resentful towards me and, angry about this, cast his vote in anger. Ifthere is such a one among you—I do not deem there is, but ifthere is—I think it would be right to say in reply: My good sir, I too have a household and, in Homer’s phrase, I am not born “from oak or rock” butfrom men, so that I have afamily, indeed three sons, men ofAthens, ofwhom one is an adolescent while two are children. Nevertheless, I will not beg you to acquit me by bringing them here. Why do I do none ofthese things? Not through arrogance, gentlemen, e nor through lack ofrespectfor you. Whether I am brave in theface of death is another matter, but with regard to my reputation and yours and that ofthe whole city, it does not seem right to me to do these things, especially at my age and with my reputation. For it is generally believed, whether it be true orfalse, that in certain respects Socrates is 35 APOLOGY39 superior to the majority ofmen. Now ifthose ofyou who are considered superior, be it in wisdom or courage or whatever other virtue makes them so, are seen behaving like that, it would be a disgrace. Yet I have often seen them do this sort ofthing when standing trial, men who are thought to be somebody, doing amazing things as ifthey thought it a terrible thing to die, and as ifthey were to be immortal ifyou did not execute them. I think these men bring shame upon the city so that a b stranger, too, would assume that those who are outstanding in virtue among the Athenians, whom they themselves selectfrom themselves to ﬁll ofﬁces ofstate and receive other honors, are in no way better than women. You should not act like that, men ofAthens, those ofyou who have any reputation at all, and ifwe do, you should not allow it. You should make it very clear that you will more readily convict a man who performs these pitiful dramatics in court and so makes the city a laughingstock, than a man who keeps quiet. Quite apartfrom the question ofreputation, gentlemen, I do not think it right to supplicate the jury and to be acquitted because ofthis, c but to teach and persuade them. It is not the purpose ofa juryman’s ofﬁce to give justice as afavor to whoever seems good to him, but to judge according to law, and this he has sworn to do. We should not accustom you to perjure yourselves, nor should you make a habit ofit. This is irreverent conductfor either ofus. Do not deem it rightfor me, men ofAthens, that I should act towards d you in a way that I do not consider to be good or just or pious, especially, by Zeus, as I am being prosecuted by Meletus herefor impiety; clearly, ifI convinced you by my supplication to do violence to your oath of ofﬁce, I would be teaching you not to believe that there are gods, and my defense would convict me ofnot believing in them. This isfarfrom being the case, gentlemen,for I do believe in them as none ofmy accusers do. I leave it to you and the god to judge me in the way that will be bestfor me andfor you. [The jury now gives its verdict of guilty, and Meletus asks for the penalty of death.] There are many other reasonsfor my not being angry with youfor e 36 convicting me, men ofAthens, and what happened was not unexpected. I am much more surprised at the number ofvotes cast on each side, for I did not think the decision would be by sofew votes but by a great many. As it is, a switch ofonly thirty votes would have acquitted me. I think myselfthat I have been cleared ofMeletus’ charges, and not b 40 PLATO only this, but it is clear to all that, ifAnytus and Lycon had not joined him in accusing me, he would have been ﬁned a thousand drachmas for not receiving a ﬁfth ofthe votes. He assesses the penalty at death. So be it. What counter-assessment should I propose to you, men ofAthens? Clearly it should be a penalty I deserve, and what do I deserve to suffer or to pay because I have deliberately not led a quiet life but have neglected what occupies most people: wealth, household affairs, the position ofgeneral or public orator or the other ofﬁces, the political clubs andfactions that exist in the city? I thought myselftoo honest to survive ifI occupied myself with those things. I did notfollow that path that would have made me c ofno use either to you or to myself, but I went to each ofyou privately and conferred upon him what I say is the greatest beneﬁt, by trying to persuade him not to carefor any ofhis belongings before caring that he himselfshould be as good and as wise as possible, not to carefor the city’s possessions more thanfor the city itself, and to carefor other things in the same way. What do I deservefor being such a man? Some d good, men ofAthens, ifI must truly make an assessment according to my deserts, and something suitable. What is suitablefor a poor benefac- tor who needs leisure to exhort you? Nothing is more suitable, gentle- men, thanfor such a man to befed in the Prytaneum 16—much more suitablefor him thanfor any one ofyou who has won a victory at Olympia with a pair or a team ofhorses. The Olympian victor makes you think yourselfhappy; I make you be happy. Besides, he does not e needfood, but I do. So ifI must make a just assessment ofwhat I deserve, I assess it as this:free meals in the Prytaneum. 37 When I say this you may think, as when I spoke ofappeals to pity and entreaties, that I speak arrogantly, but that is not the case, men of Athens; rather it is like this: I am convinced that I never willingly wrong anyone, but I am not convincing you ofthis,for we have talked together but a short time. Ifit were the law with us, as it is elsewhere, that a b trialfor life should not last one but many days, you would be convinced, but now it is not easy to dispel great slanders in a short time. Since I am convinced that I wrong no one, I am not likely to wrong myself, to say that I deserve some evil and to make some such assessment against myself. What should Ifear? That I should suffer the penalty 16. The Prytaneum was the magistrates’ hall or town hall ofAthens in which public entertainments were given, particularly to Olympian victors on their return home. APOLOGY41 Meletus has assessed against me, ofwhich I say I do not know whether it is good or bad? Am I then to choose in preference to this something that I know very well to be an evil and assess the penalty at that? c Imprisonment? Why should I live in prison, always subjected to the ruling magistrates, the Eleven? A ﬁne, and imprisonment until I pay it? That would be the same thingfor me, as I have no money. Exile? For perhaps you might accept that assessment. I should have to be inordinatelyfond oflife, men ofAthens, to be so unreasonable as to suppose that other men will easily tolerate my company and conversation when you, myfellow citizens, have been d unable to endure them, butfound them a burden and resented them so that you are now seeking to get rid ofthem. Farfrom it, gentlemen. It would be a ﬁne life at my age to be driven out ofone city after another,for I know very well that wherever I go the young men will listen to my talk as they do here. IfI drive them away, they will themselves persuade their elders to drive me out; ifI do not drive them away, their e fathers and relations will drive me out on their behalf. Perhaps someone might say: But Socrates, ifyou leave us will you not be able to live quietly, without talking? Now this is the most difﬁcult point on which to convince some ofyou. IfI say that it is impossible 38 for me to keep quiet because that means disobeying the god, you will not believe me and will think I am being ironical. On the other hand, ifI say that it is the greatest goodfor a man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myselfand others,for the unexamined life is not worth livingfor men, you will believe me even less. What I say is true, gentlemen, but it is not easy to convince you. At the same time, I am not accustomed to think that I deserve any penalty. IfI had money, I would assess the penalty at the amount I could pay, b for that would not hurt me, but I have none, unless you are willing to set the penalty at the amount I can pay, and perhaps I could pay you one mina ofsilver. So that is my assessment. Plato here, men ofAthens, and Crito and Critobulus and Apollodorus bid me put the penalty at thirty minas, and they will stand suretyfor the money. Well then, that is my assessment, and they will be sufﬁcient guarantee ofpayment. [The jury now votes again and sentences Socrates to death.] It isfor the sake ofa short time, men ofAthens, that you will acquire c the reputation and the guilt, in the eyes ofthose who want to denigrate 42PLATO the city, ofhaving killed Socrates, a wise man,for they who want to revile you will say that I am wise even ifI am not. Ifyou had waited but a little while, this would have happened ofits own accord. You see my age, that I am already advanced in years and close to death. I am d saying this not to all ofyou but to those who condemned me to death, and to these same ones I say: Perhaps you think that I was convicted for lack ofsuch words as might have convinced you, ifI thought I should say or do all I could to avoid my sentence. Farfrom it. I was convicted because I lacked not words but boldness and shamelessness and the willingness to say to you what you would most gladly have heardfrom me, lamentations and tears and my saying and doing many e things that I say are unworthy ofme but that you are accustomed to hearfrom others. I did not think then that the danger I ran should make me do anything mean, nor do I now regret the nature ofmy defense. I would much rather die after this kind ofdefense than live after making the other kind. Neither I nor any other man should, on trial or in war, contrive to avoid death at any cost. Indeed it is often 39 obvious in battle that one could escape death by throwing away one’s weapons and by turning to supplicate one’s pursuers, and there are many ways to avoid death in every kind ofdanger ifone will venture to do or say anything to avoid it. It is not difﬁcult to avoid death, gentlemen; it is much more difﬁcult to avoid wickedness,for it runs b faster than death. Slow and elderly as I am, I have been caught by the slower pursuer, whereas my accusers, being clever and sharp, have been caught by the quicker, wickedness. I leave you now, condemned to death by you, but they are condemned by truth to wickedness and injustice. So I maintain my assessment, and they maintain theirs. This perhaps had to happen, and I think it is as it should be. Now I want to prophesy to those who convicted me,for I am at the c point when men prophesy most, when they are about to die. I say, gentlemen, to those who voted to kill me, that vengeance will come upon you immediately after my death, a vengeance much harder to bear than that which you took in killing me. You did this in the belief that you would avoid giving an account ofyour life, but I maintain that quite the opposite will happen to you. There will be more people to test you, whom I now held back, but you did not notice it. They d will be more difﬁcult to deal with as they will be younger and you will resent them more. You are wrong ifyou believe that by killing people you will prevent anyonefrom reproaching youfor not living in the right way. To escape such tests is neither possible nor good, but it is APOLOGY43 best and easiest not to discredit others but to prepare oneselfto be as good as possible. With this prophecy to you who convicted me, I part from you. I should be glad to discuss what has happened with those who voted e for my acquittal during the time that the ofﬁcers ofthe court are busy and I do not yet have to depart to my death. So, gentlemen, stay with me awhile,for nothing prevents usfrom talking to each other while it is allowed. To you, as being myfriends, I want to show the meaning 40 ofwhat has occurred. A surprising thing has happened to me, jurymen— you I would rightly call jurymen. At all previous times myfamiliar prophetic power, my spiritual manifestation,frequently opposed me, even in small matters, when I was about to do something wrong, but now that, as you can seefor yourselves, I wasfaced with what one might think, and what is generally thought to be, the worst ofevils, my divine sign has not opposed me, either when I left home at dawn, or b when I came into court, or at any time that I was about to say something during my speech. Yet in other talks it often held me back in the middle ofmy speaking, but now it has opposed no word or deed ofmine. What do I think is the reasonfor this? I will tell you. What has happened to me may well be a good thing, and those ofus who believe death to be an evil are certainly mistaken. I have convincing proofofthis,for it is c impossible that myfamiliar sign did not oppose me ifI was not about to do what was right. Let us reﬂect in this way, too, that there is good hope that death is a blessing,for it is one oftwo things: either the dead are nothing and have no perception ofanything, or it is, as we are told, a change and a relocatingfor the soulfrom here to another place. Ifit is complete d lack ofperception, like a dreamless sleep, then death would be a great advantage. For I think that ifone had to pick out that night during which a man slept soundly and did not dream, put beside it the other nights and days ofhis life, and then see how many days and nights had been better and more pleasant than that night, not only a private person but the great king would ﬁnd them easy to count compared with the e other days and nights. Ifdeath is like this I say it is an advantage,for all eternity would then seem to be no more than a single night. If,on the other hand, death is a changefrom here to another place, and what we are told is true and all who have died are there, what greater blessing could there be, gentlemen ofthe jury? Ifanyone arriving in Hades will 41 have escapedfrom those who call themselves jurymen here, and will ﬁnd those true jurymen who are said to sit in judgment there, Minos 44PLATO and Rhadamanthus and Aeacus and Triptolemus and the other demi- gods who have been upright in their own life, would that be a poor kind ofchange? Again, what would one ofyou give to keep company with Orpheus and Musaeus, Hesiod and Homer? I am willing to die many times ifthat is true. It would be a wonderful wayfor me to spend my time whenever I met Palamedes and Ajax, the son ofTelamon, b and any other ofthe men ofold who died through an unjust conviction, to compare my experience with theirs. I think it would be pleasant. Most important, I could spend my time testing and examining people there, as I do here, as to who among them is wise, and who thinks he is, but is not. What would one not give, gentlemen ofthe jury,for the opportunity to examine the man who led the great expedition against Troy, or c Odysseus, or Sisyphus, and innumerable other men and women one could mention? It would be an extraordinary happiness to talk with them, to keep company with them and examine them. In any case, they would certainly not put one to deathfor doing so. They are happier there than we are here in other respects, andfor the rest oftime they are deathless, ifindeed what we are told is true. You too must be ofgood hope as regards death, gentlemen ofthe jury, and keep this one truth in mind, that a good man cannot be harmed either in life or in death, and that his affairs are not neglected d by the gods. What has happened to me now has not happened ofitself, but it is clear to me that it was betterfor me to die now and to escape from trouble. That is why my divine sign did not oppose me at any point. So I am certainly not angry with those who convicted me, or with my accusers. Ofcourse that was not their purpose when they accused and convicted me, but they thought they were hurting me, andfor this they deserve blame. This much I askfrom them: When e my sons grow up, avenge yourselves by causing them the same kind of griefthat I caused you, ifyou think they carefor money or anything else more than they carefor virtue, or ifthey think they are somebody when they are nobody. Reproach them as I reproach you, that they do not carefor the right things and think they are worthy when they are not worthy ofanything. Ifyou do this, I shall have been justly treated 42 by you, and my sons also. Now the hour to part has come. I go to die, you go to live. Which ofus goes to the better lot is known to no one, except the god. CRITO About the time of Socrates’ trial, a state galley had set out on an annual religious mission to the small Aegean island of Delos, sacred to Apollo, and while it was away, no execution was allowed to take place. So it was that Socrates was kept in prison for a month after the trial. The ship has now arrived at Cape Sunium in Attica and is thus expected at the Piraeus, Athens’ port, momentarily. So Socrates’ old and faithful friend, Crito, makes one last effort to persuade him to escape into exile, and all arrangements for this plan have been made. It is this conversation between the two old friends that Plato professes to report in this dialogue. It is, as Crito plainly tells him, his last chance, but Socrates will not take it, and he gives his reasons for his refusal. Whether this conversation took place at this particular time is not important, for there is every reason to believe that Socrates’ friends tried to plan his escape and that he refused. Plato more than hints that the authorities would not have minded much, as long as he left the country. G.M.A.G. Socrates:Why have you come so early, Crito? Or is it not still early? 43 Crito:It certainly is. Socrates:How early? Crito:Early dawn. Socrates:I am surprised that the warder was willing to listen to you. Crito:He is quitefriendly to me by now, Socrates. I have been here often and I have given him something. Socrates:Have you just come, or have you been herefor some time? Crito:Afair time. Socrates:Then why did you not wake me right away but sit there b in silence? Crito:By Zeus no, Socrates. I would not myselfwant to be in distress and awake so long. I have been surprised to see you so peacefully asleep. It was on purpose that I did not wake you, so that you should 45 46 PLATO spend your time most agreeably. Often in the past throughout my life, I have considered the way you live happy, and especially so now that you bear your present misfortune so easily and lightly. Socrates:It would not be ﬁtting at my age to resent thefact that I must die now. Crito:Other men ofyour age are caught in such misfortunes, but c their age does not prevent them resenting theirfate. Socrates:That is so. Why have you come so early? Crito:I bring bad news, Socrates, notfor you, apparently, butfor me and all yourfriends the news is bad and hard to bear. Indeed, I would count it among the hardest. Socrates:What is it? Or has the ship arrivedfrom Delos, at the arrival ofwhich I must die? d Crito:It has not arrived yet, but it will, I believe, arrive today, according to a message some men broughtfrom Sunium, where they left it. This makes it obvious that it will come today, and that your life must end tomorrow. Socrates:May it befor the best. Ifit so please the gods, so be it. However, I do not think it will arrive today. Crito:What indication have you ofthis? 44 Socrates:I will tell you. I must die the day after the ship arrives. Crito:That is what those in authority say. Socrates:Then I do not think it will arrive on this coming day, but on the next. I take to witness ofthis a dream I had a little earlier during this night. It looks as ifit was the right timefor you not to wake me. Crito:What was your dream? Socrates:I thought that a beautiful and comely woman dressed in white approached me. She called me and said: “Socrates, may you arrive atfertile Phthia 1on the third day.” b Crito:A strange dream, Socrates. 1. A quotationfrom the ninth book oftheIliad(363). Achilles has rejected all the presents ofAgamemnonfor him to return to the battle and threatens to go home. He says his ships will sail in the morning, and with good weather he might arrive on the third day “infertile Phthia” (which is his home). Socrates takes the dream to mean that he will die, and his soul will ﬁnd its home, on the third day. As always, counting the ﬁrst member ofa series, the third day is the day after tomorrow. CRITO47 Socrates:But it seems clear enough to me, Crito. Crito:Too clear it seems, my dear Socrates, but listen to me even now and be saved. Ifyou die, it will not be a single misfortunefor me. Not only will I be deprived ofafriend, the like ofwhom I shall never ﬁnd again, but many people who do not know you or me very well will think that I could have saved you ifI were willing to spend money, c but that I did not care to do so. Surely there can be no worse reputation than to be thought to value money more highly than one’sfriends,for the majority will not believe that you yourselfwere not willing to leave prison while we were eagerfor you to do so. Socrates:My good Crito, why should we care so muchfor what the majority think? The most reasonable people, to whom one should pay more attention, will believe that things were done as they were done. Crito:You see, Socrates, that one must also pay attention to the d opinion ofthe majority. Your present situation makes clear that the majority can inﬂict not the least but pretty well the greatest evils ifone is slandered among them. Socrates:Would that the majority could inﬂict the greatest evils, for they would then be capable ofthe greatest good, and that would be ﬁne, but now they cannot do either. They cannot make a man either wise orfoolish, but they inﬂict things haphazardly. Crito:That may be so. But tell me this, Socrates, are you anticipating e that I and your otherfriends would have trouble with the informers if you escapefrom here, as having stolen you away, and that we should be compelled to lose all our property or pay heavy ﬁnes and suffer other punishment besides? Ifyou have any suchfear,forget it. We would be 45 justiﬁed in running this risk to save you, and worse, ifnecessary. Do follow my advice, and do not act differently. Socrates:I do have these things in mind, Crito, and also many others. Crito:Have no suchfear. It is not much money that some people require to save you and get you out ofhere. Further, do you not see that those informers are cheap, and that not much money would be needed to deal with them? My money is available and is, I think, b sufﬁcient. If, because ofyour affectionfor me, youfeel you should not spend any ofmine, there are those strangers here ready to spend money. One ofthem, Simmias the Theban, has brought enoughfor this very purpose. Cebes, too, and a good many others. So, as I say, do not let thisfear make you hesitate to save yourself, nor let what you said in 48 PLATO court trouble you, that you would not know what to do with yourself ifyou left Athens,for you would be welcomed in many places to which c you might go. Ifyou want to go to Thessaly, I havefriends there who will greatly appreciate you and keep you safe, so that no one in Thessaly will harm you. Besides, Socrates, I do not think that what you are doing is just, to give up your life when you can save it, and to hasten yourfate as your enemies would hasten it, and indeed have hastened it in their wish to destroy you. Moreover, I think you are betraying your sons by going away and leaving them, when you could bring them up and educate d them. You thus show no concernfor what theirfate may be. They will probably have the usualfate oforphans. Either one should not have children, or one should share with them to the end the toil ofupbringing and education. You seem to me to choose the easiest path, whereas one should choose the path a good and courageous man would choose, particularly when one claims throughout one’s life to carefor virtue. Ifeel ashamed on your behalfand on behalfofus, yourfriends, lest e all that has happened to you be thought due to cowardice on our part: thefact that your trial came to court when it need not have done so, the handling ofthe trial itself, and now this absurd ending which will be thought to have got beyond our control through some cowardice and unmanliness on our part, since we did not save you, or you save 46 yourself, when it was possible and could be done ifwe had been of the slightest use. Consider, Socrates, whether this is not only evil, but shameful, bothfor you andfor us. Take counsel with yourself, or rather the timefor counsel is past and the decision should have been taken, and there is nofurther opportunity,for this whole business must be ended tonight. Ifwe delay now, then it will no longer be possible; it will be too late. Let me persuade you on every count, Socrates, and do not act otherwise. Socrates:My dear Crito, your eagerness is worth much ifit should b have some right aim; ifnot, then the greater your keenness the more difﬁcult it is to deal with. We must therefore examine whether we should act in this way or not, as not only now but at all times I am the kind ofman who listens to nothing within me but the argument that on reﬂection seems best to me. I cannot, now that thisfate has come upon me, discard the arguments I used; they seem to me much the c same. I value and respect the same principles as before, and ifwe have no better arguments to bring up at this moment, be sure that I shall not agree with you, not even ifthe power ofthe majority were to CRITO49 frighten us with more bogeys, as ifwe were children, with threats of incarcerations and executions and conﬁscation ofproperty. How should we examine this matter most reasonably? Would it be by taking up ﬁrst your argument about the opinions ofmen, whether it is sound in every d case that one should pay attention to some opinions, but not to others? Or was that well-spoken before the necessity to die came upon me, but now it is clear that this was said in vainfor the sake ofargument, that it was in truth play and nonsense? I am eager to examine together with you, Crito, whether this argument will appear in any way different to me in my present circumstances, or whether it remains the same, whether we are to abandon it or believe it. It was said on every occasion by those who thought they were speaking sensibly, as I have just now e been speaking, that one should greatly value some people’s opinions, but not others. Does that seem to you a sound statement? You, asfar as a human being can tell, are exemptfrom the likelihood ofdying tomorrow, so the present misfortune is not likely to lead you 47 astray. Consider then, do you not think it a sound statement that one must not value all the opinions ofmen, but some and not others, nor the opinions ofall men, but those ofsome and not ofothers? What do you say? Is this not well said? Crito:It is. Socrates:One should value the good opinions, and not the bad ones? Crito:Yes. Socrates:The good opinions are those ofwise men, the bad ones those offoolish men? Crito:Ofcourse. Socrates:Come then, what ofstatements such as this: Should a man professionally engaged in physical training pay attention to the b praise and blame and opinion ofany man, or to those ofone man only, namely a doctor or trainer? Crito:To those ofone only. Socrates:He should thereforefear the blame and welcome the praise ofthat one man, and not those ofthe many? Crito:Obviously. Socrates:He must then act and exercise, eat and drink in the way the one, the trainer and the one who knows, thinks right, not all the others? 50 PLATO Crito:That is so. Socrates:Very well. And ifhe disobeys the one, disregards his c opinion and his praises while valuing those ofthe many who have no knowledge, will he not suffer harm? Crito:Ofcourse. Socrates:What is that harm, where does it tend, and what part of the man who disobeys does it affect? Crito:Obviously the harm is to his body, which it ruins. Socrates:Well said. So with other matters, not to enumerate them all, and certainly with actions just and unjust, shameful and beautiful, good and bad, about which we are now deliberating, should wefollow the opinion ofthe many andfear it, or that ofthe one, ifthere is one d who has knowledge ofthese things and before whom wefeelfear and shame more than before all the others? Ifwe do notfollow his directions, we shall harm and corrupt that part ofourselves that is improved by just actions and destroyed by unjust actions. Or is there nothing in this? Crito:I think there certainly is, Socrates. Socrates:Come now, ifwe ruin that which is improved by health and corrupted by disease by notfollowing the opinions ofthose who know, is life worth livingfor us when that is ruined? And that is the e body, is it not? Crito:Yes. Socrates:And is life worth living with a body that is corrupted and in bad condition? Crito:In no way. Socrates:And is life worth livingfor us with that part ofus corrupted that unjust action harms and just action beneﬁts? Or do we think that part ofus, whatever it is, that is concerned with justice and injustice, is inferior to the body? 48 Crito:Not at all. Socrates:It is more valuable? Crito:Much more. Socrates:We should not then think so much ofwhat the majority will say about us, but what he will say who understands justice and injustice, the one, that is, and the truth itself. So that, in the ﬁrst place, you were wrong to believe that we should carefor the opinion ofthe CRITO51 many about what is just, beautiful, good, and their opposites. “But,” someone might say, “the many are able to put us to death.” Crito:That too is obvious, Socrates, and someone might well say so. b Socrates:And, my admirablefriend, that argument that we have gone through remains, I think, as before. Examine thefollowing state- ment in turn as to whether it stays the same or not, that the most important thing is not life, but the good life. Crito:It stays the same. Socrates:And that the good life, the beautiful life, and the just life are the same; does that still hold, or not? Crito:It does hold. Socrates:As we have agreed sofar, we must examine next whether it is justfor me to try to get out ofhere when the Athenians have not acquitted me. Ifit is seen to be just, we will try to do so; ifit is not, c we will abandon the idea. Asfor those questions you raise about money, reputation, the upbringing ofchildren, Crito, those considerations in truth belong to those people who easily put men to death and would bring them to life again ifthey could, without thinking; I mean the majority ofmen. For us, however, since our argument leads to this, the only valid consideration, as we were saying just now, is whether we should be acting rightly in giving money and gratitude to those who d will lead me out ofhere, and ourselves helping with the escape, or whether in truth we shall do wrong in doing all this. Ifit appears that we shall be acting unjustly, then we have no need at all to take into account whether we shall have to die ifwe stay here and keep quiet, or suffer in another way, rather than do wrong. Crito:I think you put that beautifully, Socrates, but see what we should do. Socrates:Let us examine the question together, my dearfriend, e and ifyou can make any objection while I am speaking, make it and I will listen to you, but ifyou have no objection to make, my dear Crito, then stop nowfrom saying the same thing so often, that I must leave here against the will ofthe Athenians. I think it important to persuade you before I act, and not to act against your wishes. See whether the start ofour inquiry is adequately stated, and try to answer 49 what I ask you in the way you think best. Crito:I shall try. 52PLATO Socrates:Do we say that one must never in any way do wrong willingly, or must one do wrong in one way and not in another? Is to do wrong never good or admirable, as we have agreed in the past, or have all theseformer agreements been washed out during the lastfew days? Have we at our agefailed to noticefor some time that in our b serious discussions we were no differentfrom children? Above all, is the truth such as we used to say it was, whether the majority agree or not, and whether we must still suffer worse things than we do now, or will be treated more gently, that, nonetheless, wrongdoing or injustice is in every way harmful and shameful to the wrongdoer? Do we say so or not? Crito:We do. Socrates:So one must never do wrong. Crito:Certainly not. Socrates:Nor must one, when wronged, inﬂict wrong in return, as the majority believe, since one must never do wrong. Crito:That seems to be the case. c Socrates:Come now, should one do harm to anyone or not, Crito? Crito:One must never do so. Socrates:Well then, ifone is oneselfdone harm, is it right, as the majority say, to do harm in return, or is it not? Crito:It is never right. Socrates:Doing people harm is no differentfrom wrongdoing. Crito:That is true. Socrates:One should never do wrong in return, nor do any man harm, no matter what he may have done to you. And Crito, see that you do not agree to this, contrary to your belief. For I know that only d afew people hold this view or will hold it, and there is no common ground between those who hold this view and those who do not, but they inevitably despise each other’s views. So then consider very care- fully whether we have this view in common, and whether you agree, and let this be the basis ofour deliberation, that neither to do wrong nor to return a wrong is ever correct, nor is doing harm in returnfor harm done. Or do you disagree and do not share this view as a basis for discussion? I have held itfor a long time and still hold it now, but e ifyou think otherwise, tell me now. If, however, you stick to ourformer opinion, then listen to the next point. CRITO53 Crito:I stick to it and agree with you. So say on. Socrates:Then I state the next point, or rather I ask you: when one has come to an agreement that is just with someone, should one fulﬁll it or cheat on it? Crito:One shouldfulﬁll it. Socrates:See whatfollowsfrom this: ifwe leave here without the city’s permission, are we harming people whom we should least do 50 harm to? And are we sticking to a just agreement, or not? Crito:I cannot answer your question, Socrates. I do not know. Socrates:Look at it this way. If, as we were planning to run away from here, or whatever one should call it, the laws and the state came and confronted us and asked: “Tell me, Socrates, what are you intending to do? Do you not by this action you are attempting intend to destroy us, the laws, and indeed the whole city, asfar as you are concerned? b Or do you think it possiblefor a city not to be destroyed ifthe verdicts ofits courts have noforce but are nulliﬁed and set at naught by private individuals?” What shall we answer to this and other such arguments? For many things could be said, especially by an orator on behalfofthis law we are destroying, which orders that the judgments ofthe courts shall be carried out. Shall we say in answer, “The city wronged me, c and its decision was not right.” Shall we say that, or what? Crito:Yes, by Zeus, Socrates, that is our answer. Socrates:Then what ifthe laws said: “Was that the agreement between us, Socrates, or was it to respect the judgments that the city came to?” And ifwe wondered at their words, they would perhaps add: “Socrates, do not wonder at what we say but answer, since you are accustomed to proceed by question and answer. Come now, what accusation do you bring against us and the city, that you should try to d destroy us? Did we not, ﬁrst, bring you to birth, and was it not through us that yourfather married your mother and begat you? Tell us, do you ﬁnd anything to criticize in those ofus who are concerned with marriage?” And I would say that I do not criticize them. “Or in those ofus concerned with the nurture ofbabies and the education that you too received? Were those assigned to that subject not right to instruct yourfather to educate you in the arts and in physical culture?” And I e would say that they were right. “Very well,” they would continue, “and after you were born and nurtured and educated, could you, in the ﬁrst place, deny that you are our offspring and servant, both you and your forefathers? Ifthat is so, do you think that we are on an equalfooting 54PLATO as regards the right, and that whatever we do to you it is rightfor you to do to us? You were not on an equalfooting with yourfather as regards the right, nor with your master ifyou had one, so as to retaliate for anything they did to you, to revile them ifthey reviled you, to beat 51 them ifthey beat you, and so with many other things. Do you think you have this right to retaliation against your country and its laws? That ifwe undertake to destroy you and think it right to do so, you can undertake to destroy us, asfar as you can, in return? And will you say that you are right to do so, you who truly carefor virtue? Is your wisdom such as not to realize that your country is to be honored more than your mother, yourfather, and all your ancestors, that it is more to be revered and more sacred, and that it countsfor more among the gods b and sensible men, that you must worship it, yield to it, and placate its anger more than yourfather’s? You must either persuade it or obey its orders, and endure in silence whatever it instructs you to endure, whether blows or bonds, and ifit leads you into war to be wounded or killed, you must obey. To do so is right, and one must not give way or retreat or leave one’s post, but both in war and in courts and everywhere else, one must obey the commands ofone’s city and country, or persuade c it as to the nature ofjustice. It is impious to bring violence to bear against your mother orfather; it is much more so to use it against your country.” What shall we say in reply, Crito, that the laws speak the truth, or not? Crito:I think they do. Socrates:“Reﬂect now, Socrates,” the laws might say, “that ifwhat we say is true, you are not treating us rightly by planning to do what you are planning. We have given you birth, nurtured you, educated you; we have given you and all other citizens a share ofall the good d things we could. Even so, by giving every Athenian the opportunity, once arrived at voting age and having observed the affairs ofthe city and us the laws, we proclaim that ifwe do not please him, he can take his possessions and go wherever he pleases. Not one ofour laws raises any obstacle orforbids him, ifhe is not satisﬁed with us or the city, if one ofyou wants to go and live in a colony or wants to go anywhere else, and keep his property. We say, however, that whoever ofyou e remains, when he sees how we conduct our trials and manage the city in other ways, has infact come to an agreement with us to obey our instructions. We say that the one who disobeys does wrong in three ways, ﬁrst because in us he disobeys his parents, also those who brought him up, and because, in spite ofhis agreement, he neither obeys us CRITO55 nor, ifwe do something wrong, does he try to persuade us to do better. Yet we only propose things, we do not issue savage commands to do 52 whatever we order; we give two alternatives, either to persuade us or to do what we say. He does neither. We do say that you too, Socrates, are open to those charges ifyou do what you have in mind; you would be among, not the least, but the most guilty ofthe Athenians.” And if I should say “Why so?” they might well be right to upbraid me and say that I am among the Athenians who most deﬁnitely came to that agreement with them. They might well say: “Socrates, we have convinc- b ing proofs that we and the city were congenial to you. You would not have dwelt here most consistently ofall the Athenians ifthe city had not been exceedingly pleasing to you. You have never left the city, even to see afestival, norfor any other reason except military service; you have never gone to stay in any other city, as people do; you have had no desire to know another city or other laws; we and our city satisﬁed you. c “So decisively did you choose us and agree to be a citizen under us. Also, you have had children in this city, thus showing that it was congenial to you. Then at your trial you could have assessed your penalty at exile ifyou wished, and you are now attempting to do against the city’s wishes what you could then have done with her consent. Then you prided yourselfthat you did not resent death, but you chose, as you said, death in preference to exile. Now, however, those words do not make you ashamed, and you pay no heed to us, the laws, as you plan to destroy us, and you act like the meanest type ofslave by d trying to run away, contrary to your commitments and your agreement to live as a citizen under us. First then, answer us on this very point, whether we speak the truth when we say that you agreed, not only in words but by your deeds, to live in accordance with us.” What are we to say to that, Crito? Must we not agree? Crito:We must, Socrates. Socrates:“Surely,” they might say, “you are breaking the commit- ments and agreements that you made with us without compulsion or e deceit, and under no pressure oftimefor deliberation. You have had seventy years during which you could have gone away ifyou did not like us, and ifyou thought our agreements unjust. You did not choose to go to Sparta or to Crete, which you are always saying are well governed, nor to any other city, Greek orforeign. You have been away 53 from Athens less than the lame or the blind or other handicapped people. It is clear that the city has been outstandingly more congenial to you than to other Athenians, and so have we, the laws,for what city 56 PLATO can please without laws? Will you then not now stick to our agreements? You will, Socrates, ifwe can persuade you, and not make yourselfa laughingstock by leaving the city. “For consider what good you will do yourselfor yourfriends by breaking our agreements and committing such a wrong. It is pretty obvious that yourfriends will themselves be in danger ofexile, disfran- chisement, and loss ofproperty. Asfor yourself,ifyou go to one ofthe b nearby cities—Thebes or Megara, both are well governed—you will arrive as an enemy to their government; all who carefor their city will look on you with suspicion, as a destroyer ofthe laws. You will also strengthen the conviction ofthe jury that they passed the right sentence on you,for anyone who destroys the laws could easily be thought to c corrupt the young and the ignorant. Or will you avoid cities that are well governed and men who are civilized? Ifyou do this, will your life be worth living? Will you have social intercourse with them and not be ashamed to talk to them? And what will you say? The same as you did here, that virtue and justice are man’s most precious possession, along with lawful behavior and the laws? Do you not think that Socrates d would appear to be an unseemly kind ofperson? One must think so. Or will you leave those places and go to Crito’sfriends in Thessaly? There you will ﬁnd the greatest license and disorder, and they may enjoy hearingfrom you how absurdly you escapedfrom prison in some disguise, in a leather jerkin or some other things in which escapees wrap themselves, thus altering your appearance. Will there be no one to say that you, likely to live but a short time more, were so greedyfor life that you transgressed the most important laws? Possibly, Socrates, e ifyou do not annoy anyone, but ifyou do, many disgraceful things will be said about you. “You will spend your time ingratiating yourselfwith all men, and be at their beck and call. What will you do in Thessaly butfeast, as ifyou had gone to a banquet in Thessaly? Asfor those conversations ofyours about justice and the rest ofvirtue, where will they be? You say you want 54 to livefor the sake ofyour children, that you may bring them up and educate them. How so? Will you bring them up and educate them by taking them to Thessaly and making strangers ofthem, that they may enjoy that too? Or not so, but they will be better brought up and educated here, while you are alive, though absent? Yes, yourfriends will look after them. Will they look after them ifyou go and live in Thessaly, but not if you go away to the underworld? Ifthose who profess themselves your friends are any good at all, one must assume that they will. b CRITO57 “Be persuaded by us who have brought you up, Socrates. Do not value either your children or your life or anything else more than goodness, in order that when you arrive in Hades you may have all this as your defense before the rulers there. Ifyou do this deed, you will not think it better or more just or more pious here, nor will any one ofyourfriends, nor will it be betterfor you when you arrive yonder. As it is, you depart, ifyou depart, after being wronged not by us, the laws, but by men; but ifyou depart after shamefully returning wrong c for wrong and mistreatmentfor mistreatment, after breaking your agree- ments and commitments with us, after mistreating those you should mistreat least—yourself, yourfriends, your country, and us—we shall be angry with you while you are still alive, and our brothers, the laws ofthe underworld, will not receive you kindly, knowing that you tried to destroy us asfar as you could. Do not let Crito persuade you, rather than us, to do what he says.” d Crito, my dearfriend, be assured that these are the words I seem to hear, as the Corybants seem to hear the music oftheir ﬂutes, and the echo ofthese words resounds in me, and makes it impossiblefor me to hear anything else. Asfar as my present beliefs go, ifyou speak in opposition to them, you will speak in vain. However, ifyou think you can accomplish anything, speak. Crito:I have nothing to say, Socrates. Socrates:Let it be then, Crito, and let us act in this way, since e this is the way the god is leading us. MENO Meno’s is one of the leading aristocratic families of Thessaly—whose capital was Larissa—traditionally friendly to Athens and Athenian interests. Here he is a young man, about to embark on an unscrupulous military and political career, leading to an early death at the hands of the Persian king. To his aristocratic “virtue” (Plato’s ancient readers would know what that ultimately came to) he adds an admiration for ideas on the subject he has learned from the rhetorician Gorgias (about whom we learn more in the dialogue named after him). What brings Meno to Athens we are not told. His family’s local sponsor is the democratic politician Anytus, one of Socrates’ accusers at his trial, and apparently Anytus is Meno’s host. The dialogue begins abruptly, without stage-setting preliminaries of the sort we ﬁnd in the “Socratic” dialogues, and with no context of any kind being provided for the conversation. Meno wants to know Socrates’ position on the then much-debated question whether virtue can be taught, or whether it comes rather by practice, or else is acquired by one’s birth and nature, or in some other way. Socrates and Meno pursue that question, and the preliminary one of what virtue indeedis, straight through to the inconclusive conclusion characteristic of “Socratic” dialogues. (Anytus joins the conversation brieﬂy. He bristles when, to support his doubts that virtue can be taught, Socrates points to the failure of famous Athenian leaders to pass their own virtue on to their sons, and he issues a veiled threat of the likely consequences to Socrates of such “slanderous” attacks.) The dialogue is best remembered, however, for the interlude in which Socrates questions Meno’s slave about a problem in geometry— how to ﬁnd a square double in area to any given square. Having determined that Meno does not know what virtue is, and recognizing that he himself does not know either, Socrates has proposed to Meno that they inquire into this together. Meno protests that that is impossible, challenging Socrates with the “paradox” that one logically cannot inquire productively into what one does not already know—nor of course into what one already does! Guided by Socrates’ questions, the slave (who has never studied geometry before) comes to see for himself, to recognize, what the right answer to the geometrical problem 58 MENO59 must be. Socrates argues that this conﬁrms something he has heard from certain wise priests and priestesses—that the soul is immortal and that at our birth we already possess all theoretical knowledge (he includes here not just mathematical theory but moral knowledge as well). Prodded by Socrates’ questions, the slave was “recollecting” this prior knowledge, not drawing new conclusions from data being presented to him for the ﬁrst time. So in moral inquiry, as well, there is hope that, if we question ourselves rightly, “recollection” can progressively improve our understanding of moral truth and eventually lead us to full knowledge of it. The examination of the slave assuages Meno’s doubt about the possibility of such inquiry. He and Socrates proceed to inquire together what virtue is—but now they follow a new method of “hypothesis” introduced by Socrates again by analogy with procedures in geometry. Socrates no longer asks Meno for his views and criticizes those. Among other “hypotheses” that he now works with, he advances and argues for a hypothesis of his own, that virtue is knowledge (in which case it must be teachable). But he also considers weaknesses in his own argument, leading to the alternative possible hypothesis, that virtue is god-granted right opinion (and so, not teachable). In the second half of the dialogue we thus see a new Socrates, with new methods of argument and inquiry, not envisioned in such “Socratic” dialogues as Euthyphro, Laches, andCharmides.Menopoints forward toPhaedo, where the thesis that theoretical knowledge comes by recollection is discussed again, with a clear reference back toMeno, but now expanded by the addition of Platonic Forms as objects of recollection and knowledge. J.M.C. Meno: Can you tell me, Socrates, can virtue be taught? Or is it not 70 teachable but the result ofpractice, or is it neither ofthese, but men possess it by nature or in some other way? Socrates:Before now, Meno, Thessalians had a high reputation among the Greeks and were admiredfor their horsemanship and their wealth, but now, it seems to me, they are also admiredfor their wisdom, b not least thefellow citizens ofyourfriend Aristippus ofLarissa. The responsibilityfor this reputation ofyours lies with Gorgias,for when he came to your city hefound that the leading Aleuadae, your lover 60 PLATO Aristippus among them, loved himfor his wisdom, and so did the other leading Thessalians. In particular, he accustomed you to give a bold and grand answer to any question you may be asked, as experts are likely to do. Indeed, he himselfwas ready to answer any Greek who c wished to question him, and every question was answered. But here in Athens, my dear Meno, the opposite is the case, as ifthere were a dearth ofwisdom, and wisdom seems to have departed hence to go to you. Ifthen you want to ask one ofus that sort ofquestion, everyone 71 will laugh and say: “Good stranger, you must think me happy indeed ifyou think I know whether virtue can be taught or how it comes to be; I am sofarfrom knowing whether virtue can be taught or not that I do not even have any knowledge ofwhat virtue itselfis.” I myself, Meno, am as poor as myfellow citizens in this matter, and b I blame myselffor my complete ignorance about virtue. IfIdonot know what something is, how could I know what qualities it possesses? Or do you think that someone who does not know at all who Meno is could know whether he is good-looking or rich or well-born, or the opposite ofthese? Do you think that is possible? Meno: I do not; but, Socrates, do you really not know what virtue is? Are we to report this to thefolk back home about you? c Socrates: Not only that, myfriend, but also that, as I believe, I have never yet met anyone else who did know. Meno: How so? Did you not meet Gorgias when he was here? Socrates: I did. Meno: Did you then not think that he knew? Socrates: I do not altogether remember, Meno, so that I cannot tell you now what I thought then. Perhaps he does know; you know what he used to say, so you remind me ofwhat he said. You tell me d yourself,ifyou are willing,for surely you share his views.—Ido. Socrates: Let us leave Gorgias out ofit, since he is not here. But Meno, by the gods, what do you yourselfsay that virtue is? Speak and do not begrudge us, so that I may have spoken a most unfortunate untruth when I said that I had never met anyone who knew, ifyou and Gorgias are shown to know. Meno: It is not hard to tell you, Socrates. First, ifyou want the e virtue ofa man, it is easy to say that a man’s virtue consists ofbeing able to manage public affairs and in so doing to beneﬁt hisfriends and harm his enemies and to be careful that no harm comes to himself;if MENO61 you want the virtue ofa woman, it is not difﬁcult to describe: she must manage the home well, preserve its possessions, and be submissive to her husband; the virtue ofa child, whether male orfemale, is different again, and so is that ofan elderly man, ifyou want that, or ifyou want that ofafree man or a slave. And there are very many other virtues, so 72 that one is not at a loss to say what virtue is. There is virtuefor every action and every age,for every task ofours and every one ofus—and, Socrates, the same is truefor wickedness. Socrates: I seem to be in great luck, Meno; while I am lookingfor one virtue, I havefound you to have a whole swarm ofthem. But, Meno, tofollow up the image ofswarms, ifI were asking you what is b the nature ofbees, and you said that they are many and ofall kinds, what would you answer ifI asked you: “Do you mean that they are many and varied and differentfrom one another insofar as they are bees? Or are they no different in that regard, but in some other respect, in their beauty,for example, or their size or in some other such way?” Tell me, what would you answer ifthus questioned? Meno: I would say that they do not differfrom one another in being bees. Socrates:IfI went on to say: “Tell me, what is this very thing, Meno, in which they are all the same and do not differfrom one c another?” Would you be able to tell me? Meno: I would. Socrates: The same is true in the case ofthe virtues. Even ifthey are many and various, all ofthem have one and the sameform which makes them virtues, and it is right to look to this when one is asked to make clear what virtue is. Or do you not understand what I mean? d Meno: I think I understand, but I certainly do not grasp the meaning ofthe question asfully as I want to. Socrates: I am asking whether you think it is only in the case of virtue that there is onefor man, anotherfor woman, and so on, or is the same true in the case ofhealth and size and strength? Do you think that there is one healthfor man and anotherfor woman? Or, ifit is health, does it have the sameform everywhere, whether in man or in e anything else whatever? Meno: The health ofa man seems to me the same as that ofa woman. Socrates: And so with size and strength? Ifa woman is strong, that strength will be the same and have the sameform,for by “the same” 62PLATO I mean that strength is no different asfar as being strength, whether in a man or a woman. Or do you think there is a difference? Meno: I do not think so. Socrates: And will there be any difference in the case ofvirtue, as far as being virtue is concerned, whether it be in a child or an old man, 73 in a woman or in a man? Meno: I think, Socrates, that somehow this is no longer like those other cases. Socrates: How so? Did you not say that the virtue ofa man consists ofmanaging the city well, and that ofa woman ofmanaging the household? — I did. Socrates: Is it possible to manage a city well, or a household, or anything else, while not managing it moderately and justly? — Certainly not. Socrates: Then ifthey manage justly and moderately, they must b do so with justice and moderation? — Necessarily. Socrates: So both the man and the woman, ifthey are to be good, need the same things, justice and moderation. — So it seems. Socrates: What about a child and an old man? Can they possibly be good ifthey are intemperate and unjust? — Certainly not. Socrates: But ifthey are moderate and just? — Yes. Socrates: So all human beings are good in the same way,for they c become good by acquiring the same qualities. — It seems so. Socrates: And they would not be good in the same way ifthey did not have the same virtue. — They certainly would not be. Socrates: Since then the virtue ofall is the same, try to tell me and to remember what Gorgias, and you with him, said that that same thing is. Meno: What else but to be able to rule over people, ifyou are d seeking one description to ﬁt them all. Socrates: That is indeed what I am seeking, but, Meno, is virtue the same in the case ofa child or a slave, namely,for them to be able to rule over a master, and do you think that he who rules is still a slave? — I do not think so at all, Socrates. Socrates: It is not likely, my good man. Consider thisfurther point: you say that virtue is to be able to rule. Shall we not add to thisjustly and not unjustly? Meno: I think so, Socrates,for justice is virtue. MENO63 Socrates: Is it virtue, Meno, or a virtue? — What do you mean? e Socrates: As with anything else. For example, ifyou wish, take roundness, about which I would say that it is a shape, but not simply that it is shape. I would not so speak ofit because there are other shapes. Meno: You are quite right. So I too say that not only justice is a virtue but there are many other virtues. Socrates: What are they? Tell me, as I could mention other shapes 74 to you ifyou bade me do so, so do you mention other virtues. Meno: I think courage is a virtue, and moderation, wisdom, and muniﬁcence, and very many others. Socrates: We are having the same trouble again, Meno, though in another way; we havefound many virtues while lookingfor one, but we cannot ﬁnd the one which covers all the others. Meno: I cannot yet ﬁnd, Socrates, what you are lookingfor, one b virtuefor them all, as in the other cases. Socrates: That is likely, but I am eager, ifI can, that we should make progress,for you understand that the same applies to everything. Ifsomeone asked you what I mentioned just now: “What is shape, Meno?” and you told him that it was roundness, and ifthen he said to you what I did: “Is roundness shape or a shape?” you would surely tell him that it is a shape? — I certainly would. Socrates: That would be because there are other shapes? — Yes. c Socrates: And ifhe asked youfurther what they were, you would tell him? — I would. Socrates: So too, ifhe asked you what color is, and you said it is white, and your questioner interrupted you, “Is white color or a color?” you would say that it is a color, because there are also other colors? — I would. Socrates: And ifhe bade you mention other colors, you would mention others that are no less colors than white is? — Yes. d Socrates: Then ifhe pursued the argument as I did and said: “We always arrive at the many; do not talk to me in that way, but since you call all these many by one name, and say that no one ofthem is not a shape even though they are opposites, tell me what this is which applies as much to the round as to the straight and which you call e shape, as you say the round is as much a shape as the straight.” Do you not say that? — I do. 64PLATO Socrates: When you speak like that, do you assert that the round is no more round than it is straight, and that the straight is no more straight than it is round? Meno: Certainly not, Socrates. Socrates: Yet you say that the round is no more a shape than the straight is, nor the one more than the other. — That is true. Socrates: What then is this to which the name shape applies? Try to tell me. Ifthen you answered the man who was questioning about shape or color: “I do not understand what you want, my man, nor what 75 you mean,” he would probably wonder and say: “You do not understand that I am seeking that which is the same in all these cases?” Would you still have nothing to say, Meno, ifone asked you: “What is this which applies to the round and the straight and the other things which you call shapes and which is the same in them all?” Try to say, that you may practicefor your answer about virtue. Meno: No, Socrates, but you tell me. b Socrates: Do you want me to do you thisfavor? Meno: I certainly do. Socrates: And you will then be willing to tell me about virtue? Meno: I will. Socrates: We must certainly press on. The subject is worth it. Meno: It surely is. Socrates: Come then, let us try to tell you what shape is. See whether you will accept that it is this: Let us say that shape is that which alone ofexisting things alwaysfollows color. Is that satisfactory to you, or do you lookfor it in some other way? I should be satisﬁed c ifyou deﬁned virtue in this way. Meno: But that isfoolish, Socrates. Socrates: How do you mean? Meno: That shape, you say, alwaysfollows color. Well then, if someone were to say that he did not know what color is, but that he had the same difﬁculty as he had about shape, what do you think your answer would be? Socrates: A true one, surely, and ifmy questioner was one ofthose clever and disputatious debaters, I would say to him: “I have given my answer; ifit is wrong, it is your job to refute it.” But ifthey arefriends as you and I are, and want to discuss with each other, they must answer d MENO65 in a manner more gentle and more proper to discussion. By this I mean that the answers must not only be true, but in terms admittedly known to the questioner. I too will try to speak in these terms. Do you call something “the end”? I mean such a thing as a limit or boundary,for e all those are, I say, the same thing. Prodicus 1might disagree with us, but you surely call something “ﬁnished” or “completed”—that is what I want to express, nothing elaborate. Meno: I do, and I think I understand what you mean. Socrates: Further, you call something a plane, and something else 76 a solid, as in geometry? Meno: I do. Socrates: From this you may understand what I mean by shape, for I say this ofevery shape, that a shape is that which limits a solid; in a word, a shape is the limit ofa solid. Meno: And what do you say color is, Socrates? Socrates: You are outrageous, Meno. You bother an old man to answer questions, but you yourselfare not willing to recall and to tell b me what Gorgias says that virtue is. Meno:After you have answered this, Socrates, I will tell you. Socrates: Even someone who was blindfolded would knowfrom your conversation that you are handsome and still have lovers. Meno: Why so? Socrates: Because you areforever giving orders in a discussion, as spoiled people do, who behave like tyrants as long as they are young. And perhaps you have recognized that I am at a disadvantage with c handsome people, so I will do you thefavor ofan answer. Meno: By all means do me thatfavor. Socrates: Do you want me to answer after the manner ofGorgias, which you would most easilyfollow? Meno:Ofcourse I want that. Socrates: Do you both say there are efﬂuvia ofthings, as Empe- docles 2does? — Certainly. 1. Prodicus was a well-known Sophist who was especially keen on the exact meaning ofwords. 2. Empedocles (c.493–433b.c.)ofAcragas in Sicily was a philosopherfamous for his theories about the world ofnature and natural phenomena (including sense-perception). 66 PLATO Socrates: And that there are channels through which the efﬂuvia make their way? — Deﬁnitely. Socrates: And some efﬂuvia ﬁt some ofthe channels, while others d are too small or too big? — That is so. Socrates: And there is something which you call sight? — There is. Socrates: From this, “comprehend what I state,” as Pindar said; 3 for color is an efﬂuviumfrom shapes which ﬁts the sight and is perceived. Meno: That seems to me to be an excellent answer, Socrates. Socrates: Perhaps it was given in the manner to which you are accustomed. At the same time I think that you can deducefrom this answer what sound is, and smell, and many such things. — Quite so. e Socrates: It is a theatrical answer so it pleases you, Meno, more than that about shape. — It does. Socrates: It is not better, son ofAlexidemus, but I am convinced that the other is, and I think you would agree, ifyou did not have to go away before the mysteries as you told me yesterday, but could remain and be initiated. Meno: I would stay, Socrates, ifyou could tell me many things like these. 77 Socrates: I shall certainly not be lacking in eagerness to tell you such things, bothfor your sake and my own, but I may not be able to tell you many. Come now, you too try tofulﬁll your promise to me and tell me the nature ofvirtue as a whole and stop making many out ofone, as jokers say whenever someone breaks something; but allow virtue to remain whole and sound, and tell me what it is,for I have b given you examples. Meno: I think, Socrates, that virtue is, as the poet says, “to ﬁnd joy in beautiful things and have power.” So I say that virtue is to desire beautiful things and have the power to acquire them. Socrates: Do you mean that the man who desires beautiful things desires good things? — Most certainly. Socrates: Do you assume that there are people who desire bad things, and others who desire good things? Do you not think, my good c man, that all men desire good things? 3. Frg.105(Snell). MENO67 Meno: I do not. Socrates: But some desire bad things? — Yes. Socrates: Do you mean that they believe the bad things to be good, or that they know they are bad and nevertheless desire them? — I think there are both kinds. Socrates: Do you think, Meno, that anyone, knowing that bad things are bad, nevertheless desires them? — I certainly do. Socrates: What do you mean by desiring? Is it to securefor one- self? — What else? Socrates: Does he think that the bad things beneﬁt him who pos- d sesses them, or does he know they harm him? Meno: There are some who believe that the bad things beneﬁt them, others who know that the bad things harm them. Socrates: And do you think that those who believe that bad things beneﬁt them know that they are bad? Meno: No, that I cannot altogether believe. Socrates: It is clear then that those who do not know things to be bad do not desire what is bad, but they desire those things that they e believe to be good but that are infact bad. Itfollows that those who have no knowledge ofthese things and believe them to be good clearly desire good things. Is that not so? — It is likely. Socrates: Well then, those who you say desire bad things, believing that bad things harm their possessor, know that they will be harmed by them? — Necessarily. Socrates: And do they not think that those who are harmed are 78 miserable to the extent that they are harmed? — That too is inevitable. Socrates: And that those who are miserable are unhappy? — I think so. Socrates: Does anyone wish to be miserable and unhappy? — I do not think so, Socrates. Socrates: No one then wants what is bad, Meno, unless he wants to be such. For what else is being miserable but to desire bad things and secure them? Meno: You are probably right, Socrates, and no one wants what b is bad. Socrates: Were you not saying just now that virtue is to desire good things and have the power to secure them? — Yes, I was. 68 PLATO Socrates: The desiring part ofthis statement is common to every- body, and one man is no better than another in this? — So it appears. Socrates: Clearly then, ifone man is better than another, he must be better at securing them. — Quite so. Socrates: This then is virtue according to your argument, the power ofsecuring good things. c Meno: I think, Socrates, that the case is altogether as you now understand it. Socrates: Let us see then whether what you say is true,for you may well be right. You say that the capacity to acquire good things is virtue? — I do. Socrates: And by good things you mean,for example, health and wealth? Meno: Yes, and also to acquire gold and silver, also honors and ofﬁces in the city. Socrates: By good things you do not mean other goods than these? Meno: No, but I mean all things ofthis kind. Socrates: Very well. According to Meno, the hereditary guestfriend d ofthe Great King, virtue is the acquisition ofgold and silver. Do you add to this acquiring, Meno, the words justly and piously, or does it make no difference to you but even ifone secures these things unjustly, you call it virtue nonetheless? Meno: Certainly not, Socrates. Socrates: You would then call it wickedness? — Indeed I would. Socrates: It seems then that the acquisition must be accompanied by justice or moderation or piety or some other part ofvirtue; ifit is e not, it will not be virtue, even though it provides good things. Meno: How could there be virtue without these? Socrates: Thenfailing to secure gold and silver, whenever it would not be just to do so, eitherfor oneselfor another, is not thisfailure to secure them also virtue? Meno: So it seems. Socrates: Then to provide these goods would not be virtue any more than not to provide them, but apparently whatever is done with 79 justice will be virtue, and what is done without anything ofthe kind is wickedness. Meno: I think it must necessarily be as you say. MENO69 Socrates: We said a little while ago that each ofthese things was a part ofvirtue, namely, justice and moderation and all such things? — Yes. Socrates: Then you are playing with me, Meno. — How so, Soc- rates? Socrates: Because I begged you just now not to break up orfragment virtue, and I gave examples ofhow you should answer. You paid no attention, but you tell me that virtue is to be able to secure good things b with justice, and justice, you say, is a part ofvirtue. Meno: I do. Socrates:Itfollows thenfrom what you agree to, that to act in whatever you do with a part ofvirtue is virtue,for you say that justice is a part ofvirtue, as are all such qualities. Why do I say this? Because when I begged you to tell me about virtue as a whole, you arefarfrom telling me what it is. Rather, you say that every action is virtue ifit is performed with a part ofvirtue, as ifyou had said what virtue is as a c whole, so I would already know that, even ifyoufragment it into parts. I think you mustface the same questionfrom the beginning, my dear Meno, namely, what is virtue, ifevery action performed with a part of virtue is virtue? For that is what one is saying when he says that every action performed with justice is virtue. Do you not think you should face the same question again, or do you think one knows what a part ofvirtue is ifone does not know virtue itself? — I do not think so. Socrates:Ifyou remember, when I was answering you about shape, d we rejected the kind ofanswer that tried to answer in terms still being the subject ofinquiry and not yet agreed upon. — And we were right to reject them. Socrates: Then surely, my good sir, you must not think, while the nature ofvirtue as a whole is still under inquiry, that by answering in terms ofthe parts ofvirtue you can make its nature clear to anyone or make anything else clear by speaking in this way, but only that the same question must be put to you again—what do you take the nature e ofvirtue to be when you say what you say? Or do you think there is no point in what I am saying? — I think what you say is right. Socrates: Answer me again thenfrom the beginning: What do you and yourfriend say that virtue is? Meno: Socrates, before I even met you I used to hear that you are 80 always in a state ofperplexity and that you bring others to the same 70 PLATO state, and now I think you are bewitching and beguiling me, simply putting me under a spell, so that I am quite perplexed. Indeed, ifa joke is in order, you seem, in appearance and in every other way, to be like the broad torpedo ﬁsh,for it too makes anyone who comes close and touches itfeel numb, and you now seem to have had that kind of b effect on me,for both my mind and my tongue are numb, and I have no answer to give you. Yet I have made many speeches about virtue before large audiences on a thousand occasions, very good speeches as I thought, but now I cannot even say what it is. I think you are wise not to sail awayfrom Athens to go and stay elsewhere,for ifyou were to behave like this as a stranger in another city, you would be driven awayfor practicing sorcery. Socrates: You are a rascal, Meno, and you nearly deceived me. Meno: Why so particularly, Socrates? Socrates: I know why you drew this image ofme. c Meno: Why do you think I did? Socrates: So that I should draw an image ofyou in return. I know that all handsome men rejoice in images ofthemselves; it is to their advantage,for I think that the images ofbeautiful people are also beautiful, but I will draw no image ofyou in turn. Now ifthe torpedo ﬁsh is itselfnumb and so makes others numb, then I resemble it, but not otherwise,for I myselfdo not have the answer when I perplex others, but I am more perplexed than anyone when I cause perplexity in others. So now I do not know what virtue is; perhaps you knew before you contacted me, but now you are certainly like one who does d not know. Nevertheless, I want to examine and seek together with you what it may be. Meno: How will you lookfor it, Socrates, when you do not know at all what it is? How will you aim to searchfor something you do not know at all? Ifyou should meet with it, how will you know that this is the thing that you did not know? Socrates: I know what you want to say, Meno. Do you realize what e a debater’s argument you are bringing up, that a man cannot search eitherfor what he knows orfor what he does not know? He cannot searchfor what he knows—since he knows it, there is no need to search—norfor what he does not know,for he does not know what to lookfor. Meno: Does that argument not seem sound to you, Socrates? 81 MENO71 Socrates: Not to me. Meno: Can you tell me why? Socrates: I can. I have heard wise men and women talk about divine matters… Meno: What did they say? Socrates: What was, I thought, both true and beautiful. Meno: What was it, and who were they? Socrates: The speakers were among the priests and priestesses whose care it is to be able to give an account oftheir practices. Pindar too b says it, and many others ofthe divine among our poets. What they say is this; see whether you think they speak the truth: They say that the human soul is immortal; at times it comes to an end, which they call dying; at times it is reborn, but it is never destroyed, and one must therefore live one’s life as piously as possible: Persephone will return to the sun above in the ninth year the souls of those from whom she will exact punishment for old miseries, and from these come noble kings, c mighty in strength and greatest in wisdom, and for the rest of time men will call them sacred heroes. 4 As the soul is immortal, has been born often, and has seen all things here and in the underworld, there is nothing which it has not learned; so it is in no way surprising that it can recollect the things it knew before, both about virtue and other things. As the whole ofnature is d akin, and the soul has learned everything, nothing prevents a man, after recalling one thing only—a process men call learning—discovering everything elsefor himself,ifhe is brave and does not tire ofthe search, for searching and learning are, as a whole, recollection. We must, therefore, not believe that debater’s argument,for it would make us idle, andfainthearted men like to hear it, whereas my argument makes e them energetic and keen on the search. I trust that this is true, and I want to inquire along with you into the nature ofvirtue. Meno: Yes, Socrates, but how do you mean that we do not learn, but that what we call learning is recollection? Can you teach me that this is so? 4. Frg.133 (Snell). 72PLATO Socrates: As I said just now, Meno, you are a rascal. You now ask me ifI can teach you, when I say there is no teaching but recollection, 82 in order to show me up at once as contradicting myself. Meno: No, by Zeus, Socrates, that was not my intention when I spoke, but just a habit. Ifyou can somehow show me that things are as you say, please do so. Socrates: It is not easy, but I am nevertheless willing to do my best for your sake. Call one ofthese many attendants ofyours, whichever b you like, that I may prove it to you in his case. Meno: Certainly. You there comeforward. Socrates: Is he a Greek? Does he speak Greek? Meno: Very much so. He was born in our household. Socrates: Pay attention then whether you think he is recollecting or learningfrom me. Meno: I will pay attention. Socrates: Tell me now, boy, you know that a square ﬁgure is like this? — I do. Socrates: A square then is a ﬁgure in which all thesefour sides c are equal? — Yes indeed. Socrates: And it also has these lines through the middle equal? 5—Yes. 5. Socrates draws a square ABCD. The “lines through the middle” are the lines joining the middle ofthese sides, which also go through the center of the square, namely EF and GH. A 1 ft. G 1 ft. B 1 ft. EF 1 ft. DHC MENO73 Socrates: And such a ﬁgure could be larger or smaller? — Certainly. Socrates:Ifthen this side were twofeet, and this other side two feet, how manyfeet would the whole be? Consider it this way: Ifit were twofeet this way, and only onefoot that way, the ﬁgure would be once twofeet? — Yes. Socrates: But ifit is twofeet also that way, it would surely be twice d twofeet? — Yes. Socrates: How manyfeet is twice twofeet? Work it out and tell me. — Four, Socrates. Socrates: Now we could have another ﬁgure twice the size ofthis one, with thefour sides equal like this one. — Yes. Socrates: How manyfeet will that be? — Eight. Socrates: Come now, try to tell me how long each side ofthis will be. The side ofthis is twofeet. What about each side ofthe one which e is its double? — Obviously, Socrates, it will be twice the length. Socrates: You see, Meno, that I am not teaching the boy anything, but all I do is question him. And now he thinks he knows the length ofthe line on which an eight-foot ﬁgure is based. Do you agree? Meno: I do. Socrates: And does he know? Meno: Certainly not. Socrates: He thinks it is a line twice the length? Meno: Yes. Socrates: Watch him now recollecting things in order, as one must recollect. Tell me, boy, do you say that a ﬁgure double the size is based on a line double the length? Now I mean such a ﬁgure as this, not 83 long on one side and short on the other, but equal in every direction like this one, and double the size, that is, eightfeet. See whether you still believe that it will be based on a line double the length. — I do. Socrates: Now the line becomes double its length ifwe add another ofthe same length here? — Yes indeed. Socrates: And the eight-foot square will be based on it, ifthere are four lines ofthat length? — Yes. Socrates: Well, let us drawfrom itfour equal lines, and surely that b is what you say is the eight-foot square? — Certainly. Socrates: And within this ﬁgure arefour squares, each ofwhich is equal to thefour-foot square? — Yes. Socrates: How big is it then? Is it notfour times as big? — Ofcourse. 74PLATO Socrates: Is this square then, which isfour times as big, its dou- ble? — No, by Zeus. Socrates: How many times bigger is it? — Four times. Socrates: Then, my boy, the ﬁgure based on a line twice the length c is not double butfour times as big? — You are right. Socrates: Andfour timesfour is sixteen, is it not? — Yes. Socrates: On how long a line should the eight-foot square be based? Onthisline we have a square that isfour times bigger, do we not? — Yes. Socrates: Now thisfour-foot square is based on this line here, half the length? — Yes. Socrates: Very well. Is the eight-foot square not double this one and halfthat one? 6— Yes. Socrates: Will it not be based on a line longer than this one and shorter than that one? Is that not so? — I think so. d Socrates: Good, you answer what you think. And tell me, was this one not two-feet long, and that onefourfeet? — Yes. Socrates: The line on which the eight-foot square is based must then be longer than this one oftwofeet, and shorter than that one of fourfeet? — It must be. Socrates: Try to tell me then how long a line you say it is. e — Threefeet. Socrates: Then ifit is threefeet, let us add the halfofthis one, and it will be threefeet? For these are twofeet, and the other is one. And here, similarly, these are twofeet and that one is onefoot, and so the ﬁgure you mention comes to be? — Yes. Socrates: Now ifit is threefeet this way and threefeet that way, will the whole ﬁgure be three times threefeet? — So it seems. Socrates: How much is three times threefeet? — Ninefeet. Socrates: And the double square was to be how manyfeet? — Eight. Socrates: So the eight-foot ﬁgure cannot be based on the three- foot line? — Clearly not. 6. I.e., the eight-foot square is double thefour-foot square and halfthe sixteen- foot square—double the square based on a line twofeet long and halfthe square based on afour-foot side. MENO75 Socrates: But on how long a line? Try to tell us exactly, and ifyou 84 do not want to work it out, show mefrom what line. — By Zeus, Socrates, I do not know. Socrates: You realize, Meno, what point he has reached in his recollection. At ﬁrst he did not know what the basic line ofthe eight- foot square was; even now he does not yet know, but then he thought he knew, and answered conﬁdently as ifhe did know, and he did not think himselfat a loss, but now he does think himselfat a loss, and as he does not know, neither does he think he knows. b Meno: That is true. Socrates: So he is now in a better position with regard to the matter he does not know? Meno: I agree with that too. Socrates: Have we done him any harm by making him perplexed and numb as the torpedo ﬁsh does? Meno: I do not think so. Socrates: Indeed, we have probably achieved something relevant to ﬁnding out how matters stand,for now, as he does not know, he would be glad to ﬁnd out, whereas before he thought he could easily make many ﬁne speeches to large audiences about the square ofdouble c size and said that it must have a base twice as long. Meno: So it seems. Socrates: Do you think that before he would have tried to ﬁnd out that which he thought he knew though he did not, before hefell into perplexity and realized he did not know and longed to know? Meno: I do not think so, Socrates. Socrates: Has he then beneﬁtedfrom being numbed? Meno: I think so. Socrates: Look then how he will come out ofhis perplexity while searching along with me. I shall do nothing more than ask questions and not teach him. Watch whether you ﬁnd me teaching and explaining d things to him instead ofaskingfor his opinion. Socrates: You tell me, is this not afour-foot ﬁgure? You under- stand? — I do. Socrates: We add to it this ﬁgure which is equal to it? — Yes. Socrates: And we add this third ﬁgure equal to each ofthem? — Yes. 76 PLATO Socrates: Could we then ﬁll in the space in the corner? — Cer- tainly. 7 Socrates: So we have thesefour equal ﬁgures? — Yes. Socrates: Well then, how many times is the whole ﬁgure larger e than this one? 8— Four times. Socrates: But we should have had one that was twice as large, or do you not remember? — I certainly do. Socrates: Does not this linefrom one corner to the other cut each 85 ofthese ﬁgures in two? 9— Yes. 7. Socrates now builds up his sixteen-foot square by joining twofour-foot squares, then a third, like this: 2 ft. 2 ft. 2 ft. 2 ft. Filling “the space in the corner” will give anotherfour-foot square, which completes the sixteen-foot square containingfourfour-foot squares. 8. “This one” is any one ofthe inside squares offourfeet. 9. Socrates now draws the diagonals ofthefour inside squares, namely, FH, HE, EG, and GF, which togetherform the square GFHE. A 2 ft. G 2 ft. B 2 ft. EF 2 ft. DHC MENO77 Socrates: So these arefour equal lines which enclose this ﬁg- ure?10 — They are. Socrates: Consider now: How large is the ﬁgure?—Idonotunder- stand. Socrates: Within thesefour ﬁgures, each line cuts offhalfofeach, does it not? — Yes. Socrates: How many ofthis size are there in this ﬁgure? 11— Four. Socrates: How many in this? 12 — Two. Socrates: What is the relation offour to two? — Double. b Socrates: How manyfeet in this? 13 — Eight. Socrates: Based on what line? — This one. Socrates: That is, on the line that stretchesfrom corner to corner ofthefour-foot ﬁgure? — Yes. — Clever men call this the diagonal, so that ifdiagonal is its name, you say that the double ﬁgure would be that based on the diagonal? — Most certainly, Socrates. Socrates: What do you think, Meno? Has he, in his answers, ex- pressed any opinion that was not his own? c Meno: No, they were all his own. Socrates: And yet, as we said a short time ago, he did not know? — That is true. Socrates: So these opinions were in him, were they not? — Yes. Socrates: So the man who does not know has within himselftrue opinions about the things that he does not know? — So it appears. Socrates: These opinions have now just been stirred up like a dream, but ifhe were repeatedly asked about these same things in various ways, you know that in the end his knowledge about these d things would be as accurate as anyone’s. — It is likely. Socrates: And he will know it without having been taught but only questioned, and ﬁnd the knowledge within himself? — Yes. Socrates: And is not ﬁnding knowledge within oneselfrecollec- tion? — Certainly. 10. I.e., GFHE. 11. Again, GFHE: Socrates is asking how many ofthe triangles “cut off from inside” there are inside GFHE. 12. I.e., any ofthe interior squares. 13. GFHE again. 78 PLATO Socrates: Must he not either have at some time acquired the knowl- edge he now possesses, or else have always possessed it? — Yes. Socrates:Ifhe always had it, he would always have known. Ifhe acquired it, he cannot have done so in his present life. Or has someone e taught him geometry? For he will perform in the same way about all geometry, and all other knowledge. Has someone taught him every- thing? You should know, especially as he has been born and brought up in your house. Meno: But I know that no one has taught him. Socrates: Yet he has these opinions, or doesn’t he? Meno: That seems indisputable, Socrates. Socrates:Ifhe has not acquired them in his present life, is it not 86 clear that he had them and had learned them at some other time? — It seems so. Socrates: Then that was the time when he was not a human being? — Yes. Socrates:Ifthen, during the time he exists and is not a human being he will have true opinions which, when stirred by questioning, become knowledge, will not his soul have learned during all time? For it is clear that during all time he exists, either as a man or not. — So it seems. Socrates: Then ifthe truth about reality is always in our soul, the b soul would be immortal so that you should always conﬁdently try to seek out and recollect what you do not know at present—that is, what you do not recollect? Meno: Somehow, Socrates, I think that what you say is right. Socrates: I think so too, Meno. I do not insist that my argument is right in all other respects, but I would contend at all costs in both word and deed asfar as I could that we will be better men, braver and less idle, ifwe believe that one must searchfor the things one does not know, rather than ifwe believe that it is not possible to ﬁnd out what c we do not know and that we must not lookfor it. Meno: In this too I think you are right, Socrates. Socrates: Since we are ofone mind that one should seek to ﬁnd out what one does not know, shall we try to ﬁnd out together what virtue is? Meno: Certainly. But Socrates, I should be most pleased to investi- gate and hear your answer to my original question, whether we should MENO79 try to ﬁnd out on the assumption that virtue is something teachable, d or is a natural gift, or in whatever way it comes to men. Socrates:IfI were directing you, Meno, and not only myself,we would not investigate whether virtue is teachable or not before we investigated what virtue itselfis. But because you do not even attempt to rule yourself, in order that you may befree, but you try to rule me and do so, I will agree with you—for what can I do? So we must, it appears, inquire into the qualities ofsomething the nature ofwhich e we do not yet know. However, please relax your rule a little bitfor me and agree to investigate whether it is teachable or not by means ofa hypothesis. I mean the way geometers often carry on their investigations. For example, ifthey are asked whether a speciﬁc area can be inscribed 87 in theform ofa triangle within a given circle, one ofthem might say: “I do not yet know whether that area has that property, but I think I have, as it were, a hypothesis that is ofusefor the problem, namely this: Ifthat area is such that when one has applied it as a rectangle to the given straight line in the circle, it is deﬁcient by a ﬁgure similar b to the very ﬁgure which is applied, then I think one alternative results, whereas another results ifit is impossiblefor this to happen. So, by using this hypothesis, I am willing to tell you what results with regard to inscribing it in the circle—that is, whether it is impossible or not.” 14 So let us speak about virtue also, since we do not know either what it is or what qualities it possesses, and let us investigate whether it is teachable or not by means ofa hypothesis, and say this: Among the things existing in the soul, ofwhat sort is virtue, that it should be teachable or not? First, ifit is another sort than knowledge, is it teachable or not, or, as we were just saying, recollectable? Let it make no difference c to us which term we use: Is it teachable? Or is it plain to anyone that men cannot be taught anything but knowledge? — I think so. Socrates: But, ifvirtue is a kind ofknowledge, it is clear that it could be taught. — Ofcourse. Socrates: We have dealt with that question quickly, that ifit is of one kind it can be taught; ifit is ofadifferent kind, it cannot. — We have indeed. Socrates: The next point to consider seems to be whether virtue is knowledge or something else. — That does seem to be the next point d to consider. 14. The translation herefollows the interpretation ofT. L. Heath,A History of Greek Mathematics(Oxford: Clarendon Press,1921), vol. I, pp.298ff. 80 PLATO Socrates: Well now, do we say that virtue is itselfsomething good, and will this hypothesis stand ﬁrmfor us, that it is something good? —Ofcourse. Socrates:Ifthen there is anything else good that is different and separatefrom knowledge, virtue might well not be a kind ofknowledge; but ifthere is nothing good that knowledge does not encompass, we would be right to suspect that it is a kind ofknowledge. — That is so. Socrates: Surely virtue makes us good? — Yes. e Socrates: And ifwe are good, we are beneﬁcent,for all that is good is beneﬁcial. Is that not so? — Yes. Socrates: So virtue is something beneﬁcial? Meno: That necessarilyfollowsfrom what has been agreed. Socrates: Let us then examine what kinds ofthings beneﬁt us, taking them up one by one: health, we say, and strength, and beauty, and also wealth. We say that these things, and others ofthe same kind, beneﬁt us, do we not? — We do. Socrates: Yet we say that these same things also sometimes harm one. Do you agree or not? — I do. 88 Socrates: Look then, what directingfactor determines in each case whether these things beneﬁt or harm us? Is it not the right use ofthem that beneﬁts us, and the wrong use that harms us? — Certainly. Socrates: Let us now look at the qualities ofthe soul. There is something you call moderation, and justice, courage, mental quickness, memory, muniﬁcence, and all such things? — There is. Socrates: Consider whichever ofthese you believe not to be knowl- b edge but differentfrom it; do they not at times harm us, at other times beneﬁt us? Courage,for example, when it is not wisdom but like a kind ofrecklessness: when a man is reckless without understanding, he is harmed; when with understanding, he is beneﬁted. — Yes. Socrates: The same is true ofmoderation and mental quickness; when they are learned and disciplined with understanding they are beneﬁcial, but without understanding they are harmful? — Very much so. Socrates: Therefore, in a word, all that the soul undertakes and c endures, ifdirected by wisdom, ends in happiness, but ifdirected by ignorance, it ends in the opposite? — That is likely. Socrates:Ifthen virtue is something in the soul and it must be beneﬁcial, it must be knowledge, since all the qualities ofthe soul are MENO81 in themselves neither beneﬁcial nor harmful, but accompanied by d wisdom orfolly they become harmful or beneﬁcial. This argument shows that virtue, being beneﬁcial, must be a kind ofwisdom. — I agree. Socrates: Furthermore, those other things we were mentioning just now, wealth and the like, are at times good and at times harmful. Just asfor the rest ofthe soul the direction ofwisdom makes things beneﬁcial, but harmful ifdirected byfolly, so in these cases, ifthe soul uses and e directs them right it makes them beneﬁcial, but bad use makes them harmful? — Quite so. Socrates: The wise soul directs them right, thefoolish soul wrongly? — That is so. Socrates: So one may say this about everything; all other human activities depend on the soul, and those ofthe soul itselfdepend on wisdom ifthey are to be good. According to this argument the beneﬁcial 89 would be wisdom, and we say that virtue is beneﬁcial? — Certainly. Socrates: Then we say that virtue is wisdom, either the whole or a part ofit? Meno: What you say, Socrates, seems to me quite right. Socrates: Then, ifthat is so, the good are not so by nature? — I do not think they are. Socrates: For ifthey were, this wouldfollow: Ifthe good were so b by nature, we would have people who knew which among the young were by nature good; we would take those whom they had pointed out and guard them in the Acropolis, sealing them up there much more carefully than gold so that no one could corrupt them, and when they reached maturity they would be useful to their cities. — Reasonable enough, Socrates. Socrates: Since the good are not good by nature, does learning c make them so? Meno: Necessarily, as I now think, Socrates, and clearly, on our hypothesis, ifvirtue is knowledge, it can be taught. Socrates: Perhaps, by Zeus, but may it be that we were not right to agree to this? Meno: Yet it seemed to be right at the time. Socrates: We should not only think it right at the time, but also now and in thefuture ifit is to be at all sound. Meno: What is the difﬁculty? What do you have in mind that you d do not like about it and doubt that virtue is knowledge? 82PLATO Socrates: I will tell you, Meno. I am not saying that it is wrong to say that virtue is teachable ifit is knowledge, but look whether it is reasonable ofme to doubt whether it is knowledge. Tell me this: Ifnot only virtue but anything whatever can be taught, should there not be ofnecessity people who teach it and people who learn it? — I think so. Socrates: Then again, ifon the contrary there are no teachers or e learners ofsomething, we should be right to assume that the subject cannot be taught? Meno: Quite so, but do you think that there are no teachers ofvirtue? Socrates: I have often tried to ﬁnd out whether there were any teachers ofit, but in spite ofall my efforts I cannot ﬁnd any. And yet I have searchedfor them with the help ofmany people, especially those whom I believed to be most experienced in this matter. And now, Meno, Anytus 15 here has opportunely come to sit down by us. Let us share our search with him. It would be reasonablefor us to do so,for 90 Anytus, in the ﬁrst place, is the son ofAnthemion, a man ofwealth and wisdom, who did not become rich automatically or as the result ofagift like Ismenias the Theban, who recently acquired the possessions ofPolycrates, but through his own wisdom and efforts. Further, he did not seem to be an arrogant or puffed up or offensive citizen in other ways, but he was a well-mannered and well-behaved man. Also he gave b ourfriend here a good upbringing and education, as the majority of Athenians believe,for they are electing him to the highest ofﬁces. It is right then to lookfor the teachers ofvirtue with the help ofmen such as he, whether there are any and ifso who they are. Therefore, Anytus, please join me and your guestfriend Meno here, in our inquiry as to who are the teachers ofvirtue. Look at it in this way: Ifwe wanted Meno to become a good physician, to what teachers would we send c him? Would we not send him to the physicians? Anytus: Certainly. Socrates: And ifwe wanted him to be a good shoemaker, to shoe- makers? — Yes. Socrates: And so with other pursuits? — Certainly. Socrates: Tell me again on this same topic, like this: We say that we would be right to send him to the physicians ifwe want him to become a physician; whenever we say that, we mean that it would be d 15. Anytus was one ofSocrates’ accusers at his trial. SeeApology23e. MENO83 reasonable to send him to those who practice the craft rather than to those who do not, and to those who exactfeesfor this very practice and have shown themselves to be teachers ofanyone who wishes to come to them and learn. Is it not with this in mind that we would be right to send him? — Yes. Socrates: And the same is true about ﬂute-playing and the other crafts? It would be veryfoolishfor those who want to make someone e a ﬂute-player to refuse to send him to those who profess to teach the craft and make money at it, but to send him to make troublefor others by seeking to learnfrom those who do not claim to be teachers or have a single pupil in that subject which we want the one we send to learn from them? Do you not think it very unreasonable to do so? — By Zeus, I do, and also very ignorant. Socrates: Quite right. However, you can now deliberate with me about our guestfriend Meno here. He has been telling mefor some time, Anytus, that he longs to acquire that wisdom and virtue which 91 enables men to manage their households and their cities well, to take care oftheir parents, to know how to welcome and to send away both citizens and strangers as a good man should. Consider to whom we b should be right to send him to learn this virtue. Or is it obvious in view ofwhat was said just now that we should send him to those who profess to be teachers ofvirtue and have shown themselves to be available to any Greek who wishes to learn, andfor this ﬁx afee and exact it? Anytus: And who do you say these are, Socrates? Socrates: You surely know yourselfthat they are those whom men call sophists. Anytus: By Heracles, hush, Socrates. May no one ofmy household c orfriends, whether citizen or stranger, be mad enough to go to these people and be harmed by them,for they clearly cause the ruin and corruption oftheirfollowers. Socrates: How do you mean, Anytus? Are these people, alone of those who claim the knowledge to beneﬁt one, so differentfrom the others that they not only do not beneﬁt what one entrusts to them but on the contrary corrupt it, even though they obviously expect to make d moneyfrom the process? I ﬁnd I cannot believe you,for I know that one man, Protagoras, made more moneyfrom this knowledge ofhis than Phidias who made such notably ﬁne works, and ten other sculptors. Surely what you say is extraordinary, ifthose who mend old sandals and restore clothes would befound out within the month ifthey returned e 84PLATO the clothes and sandals in a worse state than they received them; if they did this they would soon die ofstarvation, but the whole ofGreece has not noticedforforty years that Protagoras corrupts those whofre- quent him and sends them away in a worse moral condition than he received them. I believe that he was nearly seventy when he died and had practiced his craftforforty years. During all that time to this very day his reputation has stood high; and not only Protagoras but a great many others, some born before him and some still alive today. Are we 92 to say that you maintain that they deceive and harm the young know- ingly, or that they themselves are not aware ofit? Are we to deem those whom some people consider the wisest ofmen to be so mad as that? Anytus: They arefarfrom being mad, Socrates. It is much rather those among the young who pay theirfees who are mad, and even more the relatives who entrust their young to them and most ofall the b cities who allow them to come in and do not drive out any citizen or stranger who attempts to behave in this manner. Socrates: Has some sophist wronged you, Anytus, or why are you so hard on them? Anytus: No, by Zeus, I have never met one ofthem, nor would I allow any one ofmy people to do so. Socrates: Are you then altogether without any experience of these men? Anytus: And may I remain so. Socrates: How then, my good sir, can you know whether there is c any good in their instruction or not, ifyou are altogether without experience ofit? Anytus: Easily,for I know who they are, whether I have experience ofthem or not. Socrates: Perhaps you are a wizard, Anytus,for I wonder,from what you yourselfsay, how else you know about these things. However, let us not try to ﬁnd out who the men are whose company would make d Meno wicked—let them be the sophists ifyou like—but tell us, and beneﬁt yourfamilyfriend here by telling him, to whom he should go in so large a city to acquire, to any worthwhile degree, the virtue I was just now describing. Anytus: Why did you not tell him yourself? Socrates: I did mention those whom I thought to be teachers of it, but you say I am wrong, and perhaps you are right. You tell him in e MENO85 your turn to whom among the Athenians he should go. Tell him the name ofanyone you want. Anytus: Why give him the name ofone individual? Any Athenian gentleman he may meet, ifhe is willing to be persuaded, will make him a better man than the sophists would. Socrates: And have these gentlemen become virtuous automati- cally, without learningfrom anyone, and are they able to teach others 93 what they themselves never learned? Anytus: I believe that these men have learnedfrom those who were gentlemen before them; or do you not think that there are many good men in this city? Socrates: I believe, Anytus, that there are many men here who are good at public affairs, and that there have been as many in the past, but have they been good teachers oftheir own virtue? That is the point we are discussing, not whether there are good men here or not, or whether there have been in the past, but we have been investigating b for some time whether virtue can be taught. And in the course ofthat investigation we are inquiring whether the good men oftoday and of the past knew how to pass on to another the virtue they themselves possessed, or whether a man cannot pass it on or receive itfrom another. This is what Meno and I have been investigatingfor some time. Look at it this way,from what you yourselfhave said. Would you not say that Themistocles 16 was a good man? — Yes. Even the best ofmen. c Socrates: And therefore a good teacher ofhis own virtue ifany- one was? Anytus: I think so, ifhe wanted to be. Socrates: But do you think he did not want some other people to be worthy men, and especially his own son? Or do you think he be- grudged him this, and deliberately did not pass on to him his own virtue? d Have you not heard that Themistocles taught his son Cleophantus to be a good horseman? He could remain standing upright on horseback and shoot javelinsfrom that position and do many other remarkable things which hisfather had him taught and made skillful at, all of which required good teachers. Have you not heard thisfrom your elders? — I have. 16. Famous Athenian statesman and general ofthe early ﬁfth centuryb.c.,a leader in the victorious war against the Persians. 86 PLATO Socrates: So one could not blame the poor natural talents ofthe sonfor hisfailure in virtue? — Perhaps not. e Socrates: But have you ever heard anyone, young or old, say that Cleophantus, the son ofThemistocles, was a good and wise man at the same pursuits as hisfather? — Never. Socrates: Are we to believe that he wanted to educate his son in those other things but not to do better than his neighbors in that skill which he himselfpossessed, ifindeed virtue can be taught? — Perhaps not, by Zeus. Socrates: And yet he was, as you yourselfagree, among the best teachers ofvirtue in the past. Let us consider another man, Aristides, 94 the son ofLysimachus. Do you not agree that he was good? — I very deﬁnitely do. Socrates: He too gave his own son Lysimachus the best Athenian education in matters which are the business ofteachers, and do you think he made him a better man than anyone else? For you have been in his company and seen the kind ofman he is. Or take Pericles, a b man ofsuch magniﬁcent wisdom. You know that he brought up two sons, Paralus and Xanthippus? — I know. Socrates: You also know that he taught them to be as good horsemen as any Athenian, that he educated them in the arts, in gymnastics, and in all else that was a matter ofskill not to be inferior to anyone, but did he not want to make them good men? I think he did, but this could not be taught. And lest you think that only afew most inferior Athenians are incapable in this respect, reﬂect that Thucydides 17 too brought up two sons, Melesias and Stephanus, that he educated them well in all c other things. They were the best wrestlers in Athens—he entrusted the one to Xanthias and the other to Eudorus, who were thought to be the best wrestlers ofthe day, or do you not remember? Anytus: I remember I have heard that said. Socrates: It is surely clear that he would not have taught his boys d what it costs money to teach, but havefailed to teach them what costs nothing—making them good men—ifthat could be taught? Or was Thucydides perhaps an inferior person who had not manyfriends among the Athenians and the allies? He belonged to a great house; he had 17. Not the historian but Thucydides the son ofMelesias, an Athenian states- man who was an opponent ofPericles and who was ostracized in440b.c. MENO87 great inﬂuence in the city and among the other Greeks, so that ifvirtue could be taught he would havefound the man who could make his sons good men, be it a citizen or a stranger, ifhe himselfdid not have e the time because ofhis public concerns. But,friend Anytus, virtue can certainly not be taught. Anytus: I think, Socrates, that you easily speak ill ofpeople. I would advise you, ifyou will listen to me, to be careful. Perhaps also in another city, and certainly here, it is easier to injure people than to beneﬁt them. I think you know that yourself. 95 Socrates: I think, Meno, that Anytus is angry, and I am not at all surprised. He thinks, to begin with, that I am slandering those men, and then he believes himselfto be one ofthem. Ifhe ever realizes what slander is, he will ceasefrom anger, but he does not know it now. You tell me, are there not worthy men among your people? — Certainly. Socrates: Well now, are they willing to offer themselves to the b young as teachers? Do they agree they are teachers, and that virtue can be taught? Meno: No, by Zeus, Socrates, but sometimes you would hear them say that it can be taught, at other times, that it cannot. Socrates: Should we say that they are teachers ofthis subject, when they do not even agree on this point? — I do not think so, Socrates. Socrates: Further, do you think that these sophists, who alone profess to be so, are teachers ofvirtue? Meno: I admire this most in Gorgias, Socrates, that you would never c hear him promising this. Indeed, he ridicules the others when he hears them making this claim. He thinks one should make people clever speakers. Socrates: You do not think then that the sophists are teachers? Meno: I cannot tell, Socrates; like most people, at times I think they are; at other times I think that they are not. Socrates: Do you know that not only you and the other public men at times think that it can be taught, at other times that it cannot, d but that the poet Theognis 18 says the same thing? — Where? Socrates: In his elegiacs: “Eat and drink with these men, and keep their company. Please those whose power is great,for you will learn 18. Theognis was a poet ofthe mid–sixth centuryb.c.The quotations below are oflines 33–36 and434–38 (Diehl) ofhis elegies. 88 PLATO goodnessfrom the good. Ifyou mingle with bad men you will lose e even what wit you possess.” You see that here he speaks as ifvirtue can be taught? — So it appears. Socrates: Elsewhere, he changes somewhat: “Ifthis could be done,” he says, “and intelligence could be instilled,” somehow those who could do this “would collect large and numerousfees,” andfurther: “Never would a bad son be born ofa goodfather,for he would be persuaded by wise words, but you will never make a bad man good by teaching.” 96 You realize that the poet is contradicting himselfon the same subject? — He seems to be. Socrates: Can you mention any other subject ofwhich those who claim to be teachers not only are not recognized to be teachers ofothers but are not recognized to have knowledge ofit themselves, and are thought to be poor in the very matter which they profess to teach? Or b any other subject ofwhich those who are recognized as worthy teachers at one time say it can be taught and at other times that it cannot? Would you say that people who are so confused about a subject can be effective teachers ofit? — No, by Zeus, I would not. Socrates:Ifthen neither the sophists nor the worthy people them- selves are teachers ofthis subject, clearly there would be no others? — I do not think there are. Socrates:Ifthere are no teachers, neither are there pupils? — As c you say. Socrates: And we agreed that a subject that has neither teachers nor pupils is not teachable? — We have so agreed. Socrates: Now there seem to be no teachers ofvirtue anywhere? — That is so. Socrates:Ifthere are no teachers, there are no learners? — That seems so. Socrates: Then virtue cannot be taught? Meno: Apparently not, ifwe have investigated this correctly. I cer- d tainly wonder, Socrates, whether there are no good men either, or in what way good men come to be. Socrates: We are probably poor specimens, you and I, Meno. Gorgias has not adequately educated you, nor Prodicus me. We must then at all costs turn our attention to ourselves and ﬁnd someone who will in some way make us better. I say this in view ofour recent e investigation,for it is ridiculous that wefailed to see that it is not only MENO89 under the direction ofknowledge that men succeed in their affairs, and that is perhaps why the knowledge ofhow good men come to be escapes us. Meno: How do you mean, Socrates? Socrates: I mean this: We were right to agree that good men must be beneﬁcent, and that this could not be otherwise. Is that not so? — Yes. Socrates: And that they will be beneﬁcent ifthey give us correct direction in our affairs. To this too we were right to agree? — Yes. 97 Socrates: But that one cannot give correct direction ifone does not have knowledge; to this our agreement is likely to be incorrect. — How do you mean? Socrates: I will tell you. A man who knew the way to Larissa, or anywhere else you like, and went there and directed others would surely lead them well and correctly? — Certainly. Socrates: What ifsomeone had had a correct opinion as to which b was the way but had not gone there nor indeed had knowledge ofit, would he not also lead correctly? — Certainly. Socrates: And as long as he has the right opinion about that of which the other has knowledge, he will not be a worse guide than the one who knows, as he has a true opinion, though not knowledge. — In no way worse. Socrates: So true opinion is in no way a worse guidefor correct action than knowledge. It is this that we omitted in our investigation ofthe nature ofvirtue, when we said that only knowledge can guide c correct action,for true opinion can do so also. — So it seems. Socrates: So correct opinion is no less useful than knowledge? Meno: Yes, to this extent, Socrates. But the man who has knowledge will always succeed, whereas he who has true opinion will only succeed at times. Socrates: How do you mean? Will he who has the right opinion not always succeed, as long as his opinion is right? Meno: That appears to be so ofnecessity, and it makes me wonder, Socrates, this being the case, why knowledge is prizedfar more highly d than right opinion, and why they are different. Socrates: Do you know why you wonder, or shall I tell you? — By all means tell me. Socrates: It is because you have paid no attention to the statues of Daedalus, but perhaps there are none in Thessaly. 90 PLATO Meno: What do you have in mind when you say this? Socrates: That they too run away and escape ifone does not tie them down but remain in place iftied down. — So what? e Socrates: To acquire an untied work ofDaedalus is not worth much, like acquiring a runaway slave,for it does not remain, but it is worth much iftied down,for his works are very beautiful. What am I thinking ofwhen I say this? True opinions. For true opinions, as long as they remain, are a ﬁne thing and all they do is good, but they are not willing to remain long, and they escapefrom a man’s mind, so that 98 they are not worth much until one ties them down by [giving] an account ofthe reason why. And that, Meno, myfriend, is recollection, as we previously agreed. After they are tied down, in the ﬁrst place they become knowledge, and then they remain in place. That is why knowledge is prized higher than correct opinion, and knowledge differs from correct opinion in being tied down. Meno: Yes, by Zeus, Socrates, it seems to be something like that. Socrates: Indeed, I too speak as one who does not have knowledge b but is guessing. However, I certainly do not think I am guessing that right opinion is a different thingfrom knowledge. IfI claim to know anything else—and I would make that claim aboutfew things—I would put this down as one ofthe things I know. — Rightly so, Socrates. Socrates: Well then, is it not correct that when true opinion guides the course ofevery action, it does no worse than knowledge? — I think you are right in this too. Socrates: Correct opinion is then neither inferior to knowledge c nor less useful in directing actions, nor is the man who has it less so than he who has knowledge. — That is so. Socrates: And we agreed that the good man is beneﬁcent. — Yes. Socrates: Since then it is not only through knowledge but also through right opinion that men are good, and beneﬁcial to their cities when they are, and neither knowledge nor true opinion come to men d by nature but are acquired—or do you think either ofthese comes by nature? — I do not think so. Socrates: Then ifthey do not come by nature, men are not so by nature either. — Surely not. Socrates: As goodness does not come by nature, we inquired next whether it could be taught. — Yes. Socrates: We thought it could be taught, ifit was knowledge? — Yes. MENO91 Socrates: And that it was knowledge ifit could be taught? — Quite so. Socrates: And that ifthere were teachers ofit, it could be taught, e but ifthere were not, it was not teachable? — That is so. Socrates: And then we agreed that there were no teachers ofit? — We did. Socrates: So we agreed that it was neither teachable nor knowl- edge? — Quite so. Socrates: But we certainly agree that virtue is a good thing? — Yes. Socrates: And that which guides correctly is both useful and good? — Certainly. Socrates: And that only these two things, true beliefand knowledge, 99 guide correctly, and that ifa man possesses these he gives correct guidance. The things that turn out right by some chance are not due to human guidance, but where there is correct human guidance it is due to two things, true beliefor knowledge. — I think that is so. Socrates: Now because it cannot be taught, virtue no longer seems to be knowledge? — It seems not. Socrates: So one ofthe two good and useful things has been b excluded, and knowledge is not the guide in public affairs. — I do not think so. Socrates: So it is not by some kind ofwisdom, or by being wise, that such men lead their cities, those such as Themistocles and those mentioned by Anytus just now? That is the reason why they cannot make others be like themselves, because it is not knowledge which makes them what they are. Meno: It is likely to be as you say, Socrates. Socrates: Therefore, ifit is not through knowledge, the only alterna- tive is that it is through right opinion that statesmenfollow the right c coursefor their cities. As regards knowledge, they are no differentfrom soothsayers and prophets. They too say many true things when inspired, but they have no knowledge ofwhat they are saying. — That is proba- bly so. Socrates: And so, Meno, is it right to call divine these men who, without any understanding, are right in much that is ofimportance in what they say and do? — Certainly. Socrates: We should be right to call divine also those soothsayers and prophets whom we just mentioned, and all the poets, and we d 92PLATO should call no less divine and inspired those public men who are no less under the gods’ inﬂuence and possession, as their speeches lead to success in many important matters, though they have no knowledge ofwhat they are saying. — Quite so. Socrates: Women too, Meno, call good men divine, and the Spar- tans, when they eulogize someone, say “This man is divine.” Meno: And they appear to be right, Socrates, though perhaps Anytus e here will be annoyed with youfor saying so. Socrates: I do not mind that; we shall talk to him again, but ifwe were right in the way in which we spoke and investigated in this whole discussion, virtue would be neither an inborn quality nor taught, but comes to those who possess it as a giftfrom the gods which is not accompanied by understanding, unless there is someone among our 100 statesmen who can make another into a statesman. Ifthere were one, he could be said to be among the living as Homer said Tiresias was among the dead, namely, that “he alone retained his wits while the others ﬂitted about like shadows.” 19 In the same manner such a man would, asfar as virtue is concerned, here also be the only true reality compared, as it were, with shadows. Meno: I think that is an excellent way to put it, Socrates. b Socrates:Itfollowsfrom this reasoning, Meno, that virtue appears to be present in those ofus who may possess it as a giftfrom the gods. We shall have clear knowledge ofthis when, before we investigate how it comes to be present in men, we ﬁrst try to ﬁnd out what virtue in itselfis. But now the time has comefor me to go. You convince your guestfriend Anytus here ofthese very things ofwhich you have yourself been convinced, in order that he may be more amenable. Ifyou succeed, you will also confer a beneﬁt upon the Athenians. 19.Odysseyx.494–95. PHAEDO Phaedo, known to the ancients also by the descriptive titleOn the Soul, is a drama about Socrates’ last hours and his death in the jail at Athens. On the way back home to Elis, one of his intimates, Phaedo, who was with him then, stops off at Phlius, in the Peloponnese. There he reports it all to a group of Pythagoreans settled there since their expulsion from southern Italy. The Pythagorean connection is carried further in the dialogue itself, since Socrates’ two fellow discussants, Simmias and Cebes—from Thebes, the other city where expelled members of the brotherhood settled—are associates of Philolaus, the leading Pythagorean there. Pythagoreans were noted for their belief in the immortality of the soul and its reincarnation in human or animal form and for the consequent concern to keep one’s soul pure by avoiding contamination with the body, so as to win the best possible next life. Socrates weaves all these themes into his own discussion of the immortality of the soul. It is noteworthy that these Pythagorean elements are lacking from theApology, where Socrates expresses himself noncommittally and unconcernedly about the possibility of immortality—and fromCrito, as well as the varied discussions of the soul’s virtues in such dialogues asEuthyphro, Laches,andProtagoras. Those dialogues are of course not records of discussions the historical Socrates actually held, but Plato seems to take particular pains to indicate thatPhaedodoes not give us Socrates’ actual last conversation or even one that ﬁts at all closely his actual views. He takes care to tell us that he was not present on the last day: Phaedo says he was ill. Socrates makes much of the human intellect’s afﬁnity to eternal Forms of Beauty, Justice, and other normative notions, and of mathematical properties and objects, such as Oddness and Evenness and the integers Two, Three, and the rest, as well as physical forces such as Hot and Cold, all existing in a nonphysical realm accessible only to abstract thought. None of this comports well with Socrates’ description of his philosophical interests in theApologyor with the way he conducts his inquiries in Plato’s “Socratic” dialogues. It is generally agreed that both the Pythagorean motifs of immortality and puriﬁcation and the 93 94PLATO theory of eternal Forms that is linked with them in this dialogue are Plato’s own contribution. Indeed,Phaedo’s afﬁnities in philosophical theory go not towards the Socratic dialogues, but toSymposiumand Republic. There is an unmistakable reference toMeno’s theory of theoretical knowledge (of geometry, and also of the nature of human virtue) as coming by recollection of objects known before birth. But now the claim is made that this recollection is of Forms. Phaedoconcludes with a myth describing the fate of the soul after death. Concluding myths in other dialogues, with which this one should be compared, are those inGorgiasandRepublic. It should also be compared with the myth in Socrates’ second speech in Phaedrus. Despite the Platonic innovations in philosophical theory,Phaedo presents a famously moving picture of Socrates’ deep commitment to philosophy and the philosophical life even, or especially, in the face of an unjustly imposed death. J.M.C. Echecrates: Were you with Socrates yourself, Phaedo, on the day 57 when he drank the poison in prison, or did someone else tell you about it? Phaedo: I was there myself, Echecrates. Echecrates: What are the things he said before he died? And how did he die? I should be glad to hear this. Hardly anyonefrom Phlius visits Athens nowadays, nor has any stranger comefrom Athensfor b some time who could give us a clear account ofwhat happened, except that he drank the poison and died, but nothing more. Phaedo: Did you not even hear how the trial went? 58 Echecrates: Yes, someone did tell us about that, and we wondered that he seems to have died a long time after the trial took place. Why was that, Phaedo? Phaedo: That was by chance, Echecrates. The day before the trial, as it happened, the prow ofthe ship that the Athenians send to Delos had been crowned with garlands. Echecrates: What ship is that? PHAEDO95 Phaedo: It is the ship in which, the Athenians say, Theseus once sailed to Crete, taking with him the two lots ofseven victims. 1He saved them and was himselfsaved. The Athenians vowed then to Apollo, so b the story goes, that ifthey were saved they would send a mission to Delos every year. Andfrom that time to this they send such an annual mission to the god. They have a law to keep the city pure while it lasts, and no execution may take place once the mission has begun until the ship has made its journey to Delos and returned to Athens, and this can sometimes take a long time ifthe winds delay it. The mission begins when the priest ofApollo crowns the prow ofthe ship, and this c happened, as I say, the day before Socrates’ trial. That is why Socrates was in prison a long time between his trial and his execution. Echecrates: What about his actual death, Phaedo? What did he say? What did he do? Who ofhisfriends were with him? Or did the authorities not allow them to be present and he died with no friends present? Phaedo: By no means. Some were present, infact, a good many. d Echecrates: Please be good enough to tell us all that occurred as fully as possible, unless you have some pressing business. Phaedo: I have the time and I will try to tell you the whole story, for nothing gives me more pleasure than to call Socrates to mind, whether talking about him myself, or listening to someone else do so. Echecrates: Your hearers will surely be like you in this, Phaedo. So do try to tell us every detail as exactly as you can. Phaedo: I certainlyfound being there an astonishing experience. Although I was witnessing the death ofone who was myfriend, I had e nofeeling ofpity,for the man appeared happy in both manner and words as he died nobly and withoutfear, Echecrates, so that it struck me that even in going down to the underworld he was going with the gods’ blessing and that he wouldfare well when he got there, ifanyone 59 ever does. That is why I had nofeeling ofpity, such as would seem natural in my sorrow, nor indeed ofpleasure, as we engaged in philo- sophical discussion as we were accustomed to do—for our arguments were ofthat sort—but I had a strangefeeling, an unaccustomed mixture ofpleasure and pain at the same time as I reﬂected that he was just 1. Legend says that Minos, king ofCrete, compelled the Athenians to send seven youths and seven maidens every year to be sacriﬁced to the Minotaur until Theseus saved them and killed the monster. 96 PLATO about to die. All ofus present were affected in much the same way, sometimes laughing, then weeping; especially one ofus, Apollodorus— you know the man and his ways. Echecrates:Ofcourse I do. b Phaedo: He was quite overcome; but I was myselfdisturbed, and so were the others. Echecrates: Who, Phaedo, were those present? Phaedo: Among the local people there was Apollodorus, whom I mentioned, Critobulus and hisfather, 2also Hermogenes, Epigenes, Aeschines, and Antisthenes. Ctesippus ofPaeania was there, Menexenus and some others. Plato, I believe, was ill. Echecrates: Were there someforeigners present? Phaedo: Yes, Simmiasfrom Thebes with Cebes and Phaedondes, c andfrom Megara, Euclides and Terpsion. Echecrates: What about Aristippus and Cleombrotus? Were they there? Phaedo: No. They were said to be in Aegina. Echecrates: Was there anyone else? Phaedo: I think these were about all. Echecrates: Well then, what do you say the conversation was about? Phaedo: I will try to tell you everythingfrom the beginning. On the previous days also both the others and I used to visit Socrates. We d foregathered at daybreak at the court where the trial took place,for it was close to the prison, and each day we used to wait around talking until the prison should open,for it did not open early. When it opened we used to go in to Socrates and spend most ofthe day with him. On this day we gathered rather early, because when we left the prison on e the previous evening we were informed that the shipfrom Delos had 2. Thefather ofCritobulus is Crito, after whom the dialogueCritois named. Several ofthe otherfriends ofSocrates mentioned here also appear in other dialogues. Hermogenes is one ofthe speakers inCratylus. Epigenes is mentioned inApology33e, as is Aeschines, who was a writer ofSocratic dialogues. Menexe- nus has a part inLysisand has a dialogue named after him; Ctesippus appears in bothLysisandEuthydemus. Euclides and Terpsion are speakers in the introductory conversation ofTheaetetus, and Euclides too wrote Socratic dia- logues. Simmias and Cebes are mentioned inCrito45b as having come to Athens with enough money to secure Socrates’ escape. PHAEDO97 arrived, and so we told each other to come to the usual place as early as possible. When we arrived the gatekeeper who used to answer our knock came out and told us to wait and not go in until he told us to. “The Eleven,” 3he said, “arefreeing Socratesfrom his bonds and telling him how his death will take place today.” After a short time he came and told us to go in. Wefound Socrates recently releasedfrom his 60 chains, and Xanthippe—you know her—sitting by him, holding their baby. When she saw us, she cried out and said the sort ofthing that women usually say: “Socrates, this is the last time yourfriends will talk to you and you to them.” Socrates looked at Crito. “Crito,” he said, “let someone take her home.” And some ofCrito’s people led her away lamenting and beating her breast. b Socrates sat up on the bed, bent his leg, and rubbed it with his hand, and as he rubbed he said: “What a strange thing that which men call pleasure seems to be, and how astonishing the relation it has with what is thought to be its opposite, namely pain! A man cannot have both at the same time. Yet ifhe pursues and catches the one, he is almost always bound to catch the other also, like two creatures with one head. I think that ifAesop had noted this he would have composed afable c that a god wished to reconcile their opposition but could not do so, so he joined their two heads together, and therefore when a man has the one, the otherfollows later. This seems to be happening to me. My bonds caused pain in my leg, and now pleasure seems to befollowing.” Cebes intervened and said: “By Zeus, yes, Socrates, you did well to remind me. Evenus 4asked me the day before yesterday, as others had done before, what induced you to write poetry after you came to prison, d you who had never composed any poetry before, putting thefables of Aesop into verse and composing the hymn to Apollo. Ifit is ofany concern to you that I should have an answer to give to Evenus when he repeats his question, as I know he will, tell me what to say to him.” Tell him the truth, Cebes, he said, that I did not do this with the idea ofrivaling him or his poems,for I knew that would not be easy, but I tried to ﬁnd out the meaning ofcertain dreams and to satisfymy e conscience in case it was this kind ofart they werefrequently bidding me to practice. The dreams were something like this: the same dream 3. The Eleven were the police commissioners ofAthens. 4. Socrates refers to Evenus as a Sophist and teacher ofthe young inApol- ogy20a–c. 98 PLATO often came to me in the past, now in one shape now in another, but saying the same thing: “Socrates,” it said, “practice and cultivate the arts.” In the past I imagined that it was instructing and advising me to do what I was doing, such as those who encourage runners in a race, that the dream was thus bidding me do the very thing I was doing, 61 namely, to practice the art ofphilosophy, this being the highest kind ofart, and I was doing that. But now, after my trial took place, and thefestival ofthe god was preventing my execution, I thought that, in case my dream was bidding me to practice this popular art, I should not disobey it but compose poetry. I thought it safer not to leave here until I had satisﬁed my b conscience by writing poems in obedience to the dream. So I ﬁrst wrote in honor ofthe god ofthe presentfestival. After that I realized that a poet, ifhe is to be a poet, must composefables, not arguments. Being no teller offables myself, I took the stories I knew and had at hand, thefables ofAesop, and I versiﬁed the ﬁrst ones I came across. Tell this to Evenus, Cebes, wish him well and bid himfarewell, and tell him, ifhe is wise, tofollow me as soon as possible. I am leaving today, it seems, as the Athenians so order it. c Said Simmias: “What kind ofadvice is this you are giving to Evenus, Socrates? I have met him many times, andfrom my observation he is not at all likely tofollow it willingly.” How so, said he, is Evenus not a philosopher? I think so, Simmias said. Then Evenus will be willing, like every man who partakes worthily ofphilosophy. Yet perhaps he will not take his own life,for that, they say, is not right. As he said this, Socrates put hisfeet on the ground d and remained in this position during the rest ofthe conversation. Then Cebes asked: “How do you mean Socrates, that it is not right to do oneselfviolence, and yet that the philosopher will be willing to follow one who is dying?” Come now, Cebes, have you and Simmias, who keep company with Philolaus, 5not heard about such things? Nothing deﬁnite, Socrates. Indeed, I too speak about thisfrom hearsay, but I do not mind telling you what I have heard,for it is perhaps most appropriatefor one who is about to depart yonder to tell and examine tales about what we e 5. See the introduction to this dialogue. PHAEDO99 believe that journey to be like. What else could one do in the time we have until sunset? But whatever is the reason, Socrates,for people to say that it is not right to kill oneself? As to your question just now, I have heard Philolaus say this when staying in Thebes and I have also heard itfrom others, but I have never heard anyone give a clear account ofthe matter. Well, he said, we must do our best, and you may yet hear one. And 62 it may well astonish you ifthis subject, alone ofall things, is simple, and it is never, as with everything else, better at certain times andfor certain people to die than to live. And ifthis is so, you may well ﬁnd it astonishing that thosefor whom it is better to die are wrong to help themselves, and that they must waitfor someone else to beneﬁt them. And Cebes, lapsing into his own dialect, laughed quietly and said: “Zeus knows it is.” Indeed, said Socrates, it does seem unreasonable when put like that, b but perhaps there is reason to it. There is the explanation that is put in the language ofthe mysteries, that we men are in a kind ofprison, and that one must notfree oneselfor run away. That seems to me an impressive doctrine and one not easy to understandfully. However, Cebes, this seems to me well expressed, that the gods are our guardians and that men are one oftheir possessions. Or do you not think so? I do, said Cebes. And would you not be angry ifone ofyour possessions killed itself when you had not given any sign that you wished it to die, and ifyou c had any punishment you could inﬂict, you would inﬂict it? Certainly, he said. Perhaps then, put in this way, it is not unreasonable that one should not kill oneselfbefore a god had indicated some necessity to do so, like the necessity now put upon us. That seems likely, said Cebes. Asfor what you were saying, that d philosophers should be willing and ready to die, that seems strange, Socrates, ifwhat we said just now is reasonable, namely, that a god is our protector and that we are his possessions. It is not logical that the wisest ofmen should not resent leaving this service in which they are governed by the best ofmasters, the gods,for a wise man cannot believe that he will look after himselfbetter when he isfree. Afoolish man might easily think so, that he must escapefrom his master; he would e not reﬂect that one must not escapefrom a good master but stay with him as long as possible, because it would befoolish to escape. But the sensible man would want always to remain with one better than himself. 100PLATO So, Socrates, the opposite of what was saidbefore is likely tobe true; the wise wouldresentdying, whereas the foolish wouldrejoice at it. I thought that when Socrates heardthis he was pleasedbyCebes’ argumentation. Glancing at us, he said: “Cebes is always on the track 63 of some arguments; he is certainly not willing tobe at once convinced by what one says.” SaidSimmias: “But actually, Socrates, I thinkmyself that Cebes has a point now. Why shouldtruly wise men want to avoidthe service of mastersbetter than themselves, andleave them easily? AndI think Cebes is aiming his argument at you,because you arebearing leaving us so lightly, andleaving those goodmasters, as you say yourself, the gods.” You areboth justiﬁedin what you say, andI thinkyou mean that b I must makeadefense against this, as if I were in court. You certainly must, saidSimmias. Come then, he said, let me try to makemydefense to you more convincing than it was to the jury. For, Simmias andCebes, I should be wrong not to resentdying if Ididnotbelieve that I shouldgo ﬁrst to other wise andgoodgods, andthen to men who havediedandare better than men are here. Be assuredthat, as it is, I expect to join the company of goodmen. This last I wouldnot altogether insist on,but c if I insist on anything at all in these matters, it is that I shall come to gods who are very goodmasters. That is why I am not so resentful, because I have goodhope that some future awaits men afterdeath, as we havebeen toldfor years, a muchbetter future for the goodthan for the wicked. Well now, Socrates, saidSimmias,do you intendtokeep thisbelief to yourself as you leave us, or wouldyou share it with us? I certainly d thinkit wouldbeablessing for us too, andat the same time it would be yourdefense if you convince us of what you say. I will try, he said,but ﬁrst let us see what it is that Crito here has, I think,been wanting to say for quite a while. What else, Socrates, saidCrito,but what the man who is to give you the poison hasbeen telling me for some time, that I shouldwarn you to talkas little as possible. People get heatedwhen they talk,he says, andone shouldnotbe heatedwhen taking the poison, as those e whodo must sometimesdrinkit two or three times. Socrates replied: “Take no notice of him; only let himbe prepared to administer it twice or, if necessary, three times.” I was rather sure you wouldsay that, Crito said,but he hasbeen bothering me for some time. PHAEDO101 Let himbe, he said. I want to make my argumentbefore you, my judges, as to why I thinkthat a man who has truly spent his life in philosophy is probably right tobeofgoodcheer in the face ofdeath andtobe very hopeful that afterdeath he will attain the greatestblessings 64 yonder. I will try to tell you, Simmias andCebes, how this maybe so. I am afraidthat other peopledo not realize that the one aim of those who practice philosophy in the proper manner is to practice fordying anddeath.Now if this is true, it wouldbe strange indeedif they were eager for this all their lives andthen resent it when what they have wantedandpracticedfor a long time comes upon them. Simmias laughedandsaid: “By Zeus, Socrates, you made me laugh, though I was in no laughing moodjust now. I thinkthat the majority, b on hearing this, will thinkthat itdescribes the philosophers very well, andour people in Thebes wouldthoroughly agree that philosophers are nearlydeadandthat the majority of men is well aware that they deserve tobe. Andthey wouldbe telling the truth, Simmias, except for theirbeing aware. They are not aware of the way true philosophers are nearlydead, nor of the way theydeserve tobe, nor of the sort ofdeath theydeserve. c But never mindthem, he said, let us talkamong ourselves. Do we believe that there is such a thing asdeath? Certainly, saidSimmias. Is it anything else than the separation of the soul from thebody? Do webelieve thatdeath is this, namely, that thebody comes tobe separatedby itself apart from the soul, andthe soul comes tobe separated by itself apart from thebody? Isdeath anything else than that? No, that is what it is, he said. Consider then, my goodsir, whether you share my opinion, for this will leadus to abetterknowledge of what we are investigating. Do you d thinkit is the part of a philosopher tobe concernedwith such so-called pleasures as those of foodanddrink? By no means. What about the pleasures of sex? Not at all. What of the other pleasures concernedwith the service of thebody? Do you thinksuch a man prizes them greatly, the acquisition ofdistin- guishedclothes andshoes andthe otherbodily ornaments? Do you thinkhe values these ordespises them, except insofar as one cannot do without them? e I thinkthe true philosopherdespises them. 102PLATO Do you not think, he said, that in general such a man’s concern is not with thebodybut that, as far as he can, he turns away from the body towards the soul? Ido. So in the ﬁrst place, such things show clearly that the philosopher 65 more than other men frees the soul from association with thebodyas much as possible? Apparently. A man who ﬁnds no pleasure in such things andhas no part in them is thoughtby the majority not todeserve to live andtobe close todeath; the man, that is, whodoes not care for the pleasures of thebody. What you say is certainly true. Then what about the actual acquiring ofknowledge? Is thebodyan obstacle when one associates with it in the search forknowledge? I mean, for example,do men ﬁndany truth in sight or hearing, or are b not even the poets forever telling us that wedo not see or hear anything accurately, andsurely if those two physical senses are not clear or precise, our other senses can hardlybe accurate, as they are all inferior to these. Do you not thinkso? I certainlydo, he said. When then, he asked,does the soul grasp the truth? For whenever it attempts to examine anything with thebody, it is clearlydeceivedby it. True. c Is it not in reasoning if anywhere that any realitybecomes clear to the soul? Yes. Andindeedthe soul reasonsbest when none of these senses troubles it, neither hearing nor sight, nor pain nor pleasure,but when it is most by itself, taking leave of thebodyandas far as possible having no contact or association with it in its search for reality. That is so. Andit is then that the soul of the philosopher mostdisdains the d body, ﬂees from it andseekstobeby itself? It appears so. What about the following, Simmias? Do we say that there is such a thing as the Just itself, or not? Wedo say so,by Zeus. Andthe Beautiful, andthe Good? Of course. Andhave you ever seen any of these things with your eyes? PHAEDO103 In no way, he said. Or have you ever graspedthem with any of yourbodily senses? I am speaking of all things such as Bigness, Health, Strength, and,ina word, the reality of all other things, that which each of them essentially is. Is what is most true in them contemplatedthrough thebody, or is this e the position: Whoever of us prepares himselfbest andmost accurately to grasp that thing itself which he is investigating will come closest to the knowledge of it? Obviously. Then he willdo this most perfectly who approaches the object with thought alone, without associating any sight with his thought, or 66 dragging in any sense perception with his reasoning,but who, using pure thought alone, tries to trackdown each reality pure andby itself, freeing himself as far as possible from eyes andears and,inaword, from the wholebody,because thebody confuses the soul anddoes not allow it to acquire truth andwisdom whenever it is associatedwith it. Will not that man reach reality, Simmias, if anyonedoes? What you say, saidSimmias, is indeedtrue. All these things will necessarily make the true philosophersbelieve b andsay to each other something like this: “There is likely tobe some- thing such as a path to guide us out of our confusion,because as long as we have abodyandour soul is fusedwith such an evil we shall never adequately attain what wedesire, which we afﬁrm tobe the truth. Thebodykeeps usbusy in a thousandwaysbecause of its needfor nurture. Moreover, if certaindiseasesbefall it, they impede our search c for the truth. It ﬁlls us with wants,desires, fears, all sorts of illusions andmuch nonsense, so that, as it is said, in truth andin fact no thought of anykindever comes to us from thebody. Only thebodyandits desires cause war, civildiscord,andbattles, for all wars aredue to the desire to acquire wealth, andit is thebodyandthe care of it, to which d we are enslaved, which compel us to acquire wealth, andall this makes us toobusy to practice philosophy. Worst of all, if wedo get some respite from it andturn to some investigation, everywhere in our investi- gations thebody is present andmakes for confusion andfear, so that it prevents us from seeing the truth. “It really hasbeen shown to us that, if we are ever to have pure knowledge, we must escape from thebodyandobserve things in them- e selves with the soulby itself. It seems likely that we shall, only then, when we aredead, attain that which wedesire andof which we claim tobe lovers, namely, wisdom, as our argument shows, not while we 104PLATO live; for if it is impossible to attain any pureknowledge with thebody, then one of two things is true: either we can never attainknowledge or we cando so afterdeath. Then andnotbefore, the soul isby itself 67 apart from thebody. While we live, we shallbe closest toknowledge if we refrain as much as possible from association with thebodyand do not join with it more than we must, if we are not infectedwith its naturebut purify ourselves from it until the godhimself frees us. In this way we shall escape the contamination of thebody’s folly; we shall belikely tobe in the company of people of the samekind,andby our own efforts we shallknow all that is pure, which is presumably the truth, for it is not permittedto the impure to attain the pure.” b Such are the things, Simmias, that all those who love learning in the proper manner must say to one another andbelieve. Ordo you not thinkso? I certainlydo, Socrates. Andif this is true, my friend, saidSocrates, there is goodhope that on arriving where I am going, if anywhere, I shall acquire what has been our chief preoccupation in our past life, so that the journey that c is now orderedfor me is full of goodhope, as it is also for any other man whobelieves that his mindhasbeen preparedand, as it were, puriﬁed. It certainly is, saidSimmias. Anddoes puriﬁcation not turn out tobe what we mentionedin our argument some time ago, namely, to separate the soul as far as possible from thebodyandaccustom it to gather itself andcollect itself out of every part of thebodyandtodwellby itself as far as it canboth now d andin the future, freed, as it were, from thebondsofthebody? Certainly, he said. Andthat freedom andseparation of the soul from thebodyis calleddeath? That is altogether so. It is only those who practice philosophy in the right way, we say, who always most want to free the soul; andthis release andseparation of the soul from thebody is the preoccupation of the philosophers? So it appears. Therefore, as I saidat thebeginning, it wouldberidiculous for a man to train himself in life to live in a state as close todeath as possible, andthen to resent it when it comes? e Ridiculous, of course. In fact, Simmias, he said, those who practice philosophy in the right way are in training fordying andthey feardeath least of all men. PHAEDO105 Consider it from this point of view: If they are altogether estranged from thebodyanddesire to have their soulby itself, wouldit notbe quite absurdfor them tobe afraidandresentful when this happens? If theydidnot gladly set out for a place, where, on arrival, they may hope to attain that for which they hadyearnedduring their lifetime, that is, 68 wisdom, andwhere they wouldberidof the presence of that from which they are estranged? Many men, at thedeath of their lovers, wives, or sons, were willing to go to the underworld,drivenby the hope of seeing there those for whose company they longed,andbeing with them. Will then a true lover of wisdom, who has a similar hope andknows that he will never ﬁndit to any extent except in Hades,be resentful ofdying andnot gladly undertake the journey thither? One must surely thinkso, my b friend, if he is a true philosopher, for he is ﬁrmly convincedthat he will not ﬁndpureknowledge anywhere except there. Andif this is so, then, as I saidjust now, wouldit notbe highly unreasonable for such a man to feardeath? It certainly would,by Zeus, he said. Then you have sufﬁcient indication, he said, that any man whom you see resentingdeath was not a lover of wisdombut a lover of the body, andalso a lover of wealth or of honors, either orboth. c It is certainly as you say. And, Simmias, he said,does not what is calledcouragebelong especially to men of thisdisposition? Most certainly. Andthe quality of moderation which even the majority callby that name, that is, not to get swept off one’s feetby one’s passions,but to treat them withdisdain andorderliness, is this not suitedonly to those d who most of alldespise thebodyandlive the life of philosophy? Necessarily so, he said. If you are willing to reﬂect on the courage andmoderation of other people, you will ﬁndthem strange. In what way, Socrates? Youknow that they all considerdeath a great evil? Deﬁnitely, he said. Andthebrave among them facedeath, when theydo, for fear of greater evils? That is so. Therefore, it is fear andterror that make all menbrave, except the philosophers. Yet it is illogical tobebrave through fear andcowardice. 106 PLATO It certainly is. e What of the moderate among them? Is their experience not similar? Is it licentiousness of akindthat makes them moderate? We say this is impossible, yet their experience of this simple-mindedmoderation turns out tobe similar: they fear tobedeprivedof other pleasures which theydesire, so theykeep away from some pleasuresbecause they are overcomeby others.Now tobe masteredby pleasure is what they call licentiousness,but what happens to them is that they master certain 69 pleasuresbecause they are masteredby others. This is like what we mentionedjust now, that in some way it is akindof licentiousness that has made them moderate. That seems likely. My goodSimmias, I fear this is not the right exchange to attain virtue, to exchange pleasures for pleasures, pains for pains, andfears for fears, the greater for the less like coins,but that the only valid b currency for which all these things shouldbe exchangedis wisdom. With this we have real courage andmoderation andjustice and,ina word, true virtue, with wisdom, whether pleasures andfears andall such thingsbe present or absent. When these are exchangedfor one another in separation from wisdom, such virtue is only an illusory appearance of virtue; it is in fact ﬁt for slaves, without soundness or truth, whereas, in truth, moderation andcourage andjustice are a purging away of all such things, andwisdom itself is akindof cleansing c or puriﬁcation. It is likely that those who establishedthe mystic rites for us were not inferior personsbut were speaking in riddles long ago when they saidthat whoever arrives in the underworlduninitiatedand unsanctiﬁedwill wallow in the mire, whereas he who arrives there puriﬁedandinitiatedwilldwell with the gods. There are indeed,as those concernedwith the mysteries say, many who carry the thyrsus but the Bacchants are few. 6These latter are, in my opinion, no other d than those who have practicedphilosophy in the right way. I have in my life left nothing undone in order tobe countedamong these as far as possible, as I havebeen eager tobe in every way. Whether my eagerness was right andwe accomplishedanything we shall, I think, know for certain in a short time, godwilling, on arriving yonder. This is mydefense, Simmias andCebes, that I am likely tobe right to leave you andmy masters here without resentment or complaint, e 6. That is, the true worshipers of Dionysus, as opposedto those who only carry the external symbols of his worship. PHAEDO107 believing that there, as here, I shall ﬁndgoodmasters andgoodfriends. If mydefense is more convincing to you than to the Athenian jury, it willbe well. When Socrates ﬁnished,Cebes intervened: Socrates, he said, every- thing else you saidis excellent, I think,but men ﬁndit very hardto 70 believe what you saidabout the soul. They thinkthat after it has left thebody it no longer exists anywhere,but that it isdestroyedand dissolvedon theday the mandies, as soon as it leaves thebody; and that, on leaving it, it isdispersedlikebreath or smoke, has ﬂown away andgone andis no longer anything anywhere. If indeedit gathered itself together andexistedby itself andescapedthose evils you were recently enumerating, there wouldthenbe much goodhope, Socrates, that what you say is true;but tobelieve this requires a gooddeal of b faith andpersuasive argument, tobelieve that the soul still exists after a man hasdiedandthat it still possesses some capability andintelligence. What you say is true, Cebes, Socrates said,but what shall wedo? Do you want todiscuss whether this is likely tobe true or not? Personally, saidCebes, I shouldlike to hear your opinion on the subject. Ido not think, saidSocrates, that anyone who heardme now, not even a comic poet, 7couldsay that I ambabbling anddiscussing things c thatdo not concern me, so we must examine the question thoroughly, if you thinkwe shoulddo so. Let us examine it in some such a manner as this: whether the souls of men who havediedexist in the underworld or not. We recall an ancient theory that souls arriving there come from here, andthen again that they arrive here andareborn here from the dead. If that is true, that the living comebackfrom thedead, then surely our souls must exist there, for they couldnot comebackif they d didnot exist, andthis is a sufﬁcient proof that these things are so if it truly appears that the living never come from any other source than from thedead. If this is not the case we shouldneedanother argument. Quite so, saidCebes. Do not, he said, conﬁne yourself to humanity if you want to under- standthis more readily,but take all animals andall plants into account, and, in short, for all things which come tobe, let us see whether they e come tobe in this way, that is, from their opposites if they have such, as thebeautiful is the opposite of the ugly andthe just of the unjust, 7. A veiledreference to Aristophanes, who pilloriedSocrates on these grounds in his comic playClouds. 108 PLATO anda thousandother things of thekind. Let us examine whether those that have an opposite must necessarily come tobe from their opposite andfrom nowhere else, as, for example, when something comes tobe larger it must necessarilybecome larger from havingbeen smaller before. Yes. Then if something smaller comes tobe, it will come from something largerbefore, whichbecame smaller? 71 That is so, he said. Andthe weaker comes tobe from the stronger, andthe swifter from the slower? Certainly. Further, if something worse comes tobe,does it not come from the better, andthe juster from the more unjust? Of course. So we have sufﬁciently establishedthat all things come tobe in this way, opposites from opposites? Certainly. There is a further point, something such as this, about these opposites: Between each of those pairs of opposites there are two processes: from b the one to the other andthen again from the other to the ﬁrst;between the larger andthe smaller there is increase anddecrease, andwe call the one increasing andthe otherdecreasing? Yes, he said. Andso too there is separation andcombination, cooling andheating, andall such things, even if sometimes wedo not have a name for the process,but in fact it mustbe everywhere that they come tobe from one another, andthat there is a process ofbecoming from each into the other? Assuredly, he said. Well then, is there an opposite to living, as sleeping is the opposite c ofbeing awake? Quite so, he said. What is it? Beingdead,hesaid. Therefore, if these are opposites, they come tobe from one another, andthere are two processes of generationbetween the two? Of course. I will tell you, saidSocrates, one of the two pairs I was just talking about, the pair itself andthe two processes, andyou will tell me the PHAEDO109 other. I mean, to sleep andtobe awake; tobe awake comes from d sleeping, andto sleep comes frombeing awake. Of the two processes one is going to sleep, the other is waking up. Do you accept that, or not? Certainly. You tell me in the same way about life anddeath. Do you not say that tobedeadis the opposite ofbeing alive? Ido. Andthey come tobe from one another? Yes. What comes tobe frombeing alive? Beingdead. Andwhat comes tobe frombeingdead? One must agree that it isbeing alive. Then, Cebes, living creatures andthings come tobe from thedead? So it appears, he said. e Then our souls exist in the underworld. That seems likely. Then in this case one of the two processes ofbecoming is clear, for dying is clear enough, is it not? It certainly is. What shall wedo then? Shall we not supply the opposite process of becoming? Is nature tobe lame in this case? Or must we providea process ofbecoming opposite todying? We surely must. Andwhat is that? Coming to life again. Therefore, he said, if there is such a thing as coming to life again, 72 it wouldbe a process of coming from thedeadto the living? Quite so. It is agreedbetween us then that the living come from thedeadin this way no less than thedeadfrom the living, and, if that is so, it seems tobe a sufﬁcient proof that the souls of thedeadmustbe somewhere whence they can comebackagain. I think, Socrates, he said, that this follows from what we have agreedon. Consider in this way, Cebes, he said, that, as I think, we were not wrong to agree. If the two processes ofbecomingdidnot alwaysbalance b each other as if they were going roundin a circle,but generation proceededfrom one point to its opposite in a straight line anditdid 110 PLATO not turnbackagain to the other opposite or take any turning,do you realize that all things wouldultimatelybe in the same state,be affected in the same way, andcease tobecome? Howdo you mean? he said. It is not hardto understandwhat I mean. If, for example, there was such a process as going to sleep,but no corresponding process of waking up, you realize that in the endeverything wouldshow the story of Endymion 8to have no meaning. There wouldbe no point to itbecause c everything wouldhave the same experience as he hadandbe asleep. Andif everything were combinedandnothing separated, the saying of Anaxagoras 9wouldsoonbe true, “that all things were mixedtogether.” In the same way, mydear Cebes, if everything that partakes of life were todie andremain in that state andnot come to life again, wouldnot d everything ultimately have tobedeadandnothing alive? Even if the living came from some other source, andall that liveddied, how could all things avoidbeing absorbedindeath? It couldnotbe, Socrates, saidCebes, andI thinkwhat you say is altogether true. I think,Cebes, saidhe, that this is verydeﬁnitely the case andthat we were notdeceivedwhen we agreedon this: Coming to life again in truth exists, the living come tobe from thedead,andthe souls of e thedeadexist. Furthermore, Socrates, Cebes rejoined, such is also the case if that theory is true that you are accustomedto mention frequently, that for us learning is no other than recollection. According to this, we must at some previous time have learnedwhat we now recollect. This is possible only if our soul existedsomewherebefore it tookon this 73 human shape. So according to this theory too, the soul is likely tobe something immortal. Cebes, Simmias interrupted, what are the proofs of this? Remind me, for Ido not quite recall them at the moment. There is one excellent argument, saidCebes, namely that when men are interrogatedin the right manner, they always give the right 8. Endymion was grantedeternal sleepby Zeus. 9. Anaxagoras of Clazomenae wasborn at thebeginning of the ﬁfth century b.c.He came to Athens as a young man andspent most of his life there in the study of natural philosophy. He is quotedlater in thedialogue (97c ff.) as claiming that the universe isdirectedby Mind(Nous). The reference here is to his statement that in the original state of the worldall its elements were thoroughly commingled. PHAEDO111 answer of their own accord,andthey couldnotdo this if theydidnot possess theknowledge andthe right explanation inside them. Then if b one shows them adiagram or something else of thatkind, this will show most clearly that such is the case. 10 If thisdoes not convince you, Simmias, saidSocrates, see whether you agree if we examine it in some such way as this, fordo youdoubt that what we call learning is recollection? It is not that Idoubt, saidSimmias,but I want to experience the very thing we arediscussing, recollection, andfrom what Cebes undertookto say, I am now remembering andam pretty nearly convinced.Neverthe- less, I shouldlike to hear now the way you were intending to explain it. This way, he said. We surely agree that if anyone recollects anything, c he must haveknown itbefore. Quite so, he said. Do we not also agree that whenknowledge comes to mindin this way, it is recollection? What waydo I mean? Like this: When a man sees or hears or in some other way perceives one thing andnot only knows that thingbut also thinks of another thing of which theknowledge is not the samebutdifferent, are we not right to say that he recollects the secondthing that comes into his mind? Howdo you mean? d Things such as this: Toknow a man is surely adifferentknowledge fromknowing a lyre. Of course. Well, youknow what happens to lovers: whenever they see a lyre, a garment, or anything else that theirbelovedis accustomedto use, theyknow the lyre, andthe image of theboy to whom itbelongs comes into their mind. This is recollection, just as someone, on seeing Simmias, often recollects Cebes, andthere are thousands of other such occurrences. Thousandsindeed, saidSimmias. Is thiskindof thing not recollection of akind, he said, especially so when one experiences it about things that one hadforgotten,because e one hadnot seen them for some time? — Quite so. Further, he said, can a man seeing the picture of a horse or a lyre recollect a man, or seeing a picture of Simmias recollect Cebes? — Cer- tainly. Or seeing a picture of Simmias, recollect Simmias himself? — He certainly can. 10. Cf.Meno81e ff., where Socratesdoes precisely that. 112PLATO In all these cases the recollection canbe occasionedby things that 74 are similar,but it can alsobe occasionedby things that aredissimilar? — It can. When the recollection is causedby similar things, must one not of necessity also experience this: to consider whether the similarity to that which one recollects isdeﬁcient in any respect or complete? — One must. Consider, he said, whether this is the case: We say that there is something that is equal. Ido not mean a stickequal to a stickor a stone to a stone, or anything of thatkind,but something elsebeyond all these, the Equal itself. Shall we say that this exists or not? Indeedwe shall,by Zeus, saidSimmias, mostdeﬁnitely. b Anddoweknow what this is? — Certainly. Whence have we acquiredtheknowledge of it? Is it not from the things we mentionedjust now, from seeing sticks or stones or some other things that are equal we come to thinkof that other which is different from them? Ordoesn’t it seem to you tobedifferent? Look at it also this way: Do not equal stones andsticks sometimes, while remaining the same, appear to one tobe equal andto another tobe unequal? — Certainly theydo. But what of the equals themselves? Have they ever appearedunequal c to you, or Equality tobe Inequality? Never, Socrates. These equal things andthe Equal itself are therefore not the same? Ido not thinkthey are the same at all, Socrates. But it isdeﬁnitely from the equal things, though they aredifferent from that Equal, that you havederivedandgraspedtheknowledge of equality? Very true, Socrates. Whether itbelike them or unlike them? Certainly. It makes nodifference. As long as the sight of one thing makes you thinkof another, whether itbe similar ordissimilar, this must of necessity be recollection? d Quite so. Well then, he said,do we experience something like this in the case of equal sticksandthe other equal objects we just mentioned? Do they seem to us tobe equal in the same sense as what is Equal itself? Is there somedeﬁciency in theirbeing such as the Equal, or is there not? A considerabledeﬁciency, he said. PHAEDO113 Whenever someone, on seeing something, realizes that that which he now sees wants tobelike some other realitybut falls short and e cannotbelike that other since it is inferior,do we agree that the one who thinks this must have priorknowledge of that to which he says it is like,butdeﬁciently so? Necessarily. Well,do we also experience this about the equal objects andthe Equal itself, ordo we not? Verydeﬁnitely. We must then possessknowledge of the Equalbefore that time when we ﬁrst saw the equal objects andrealizedthat all these objects strive 75 tobelike the Equalbut aredeﬁcient in this. That is so. Then surely we also agree that this conception of oursderives from seeing or touching or some other sense perception, andcannot come into our mindin any other way, for all these senses, I say, are the same. They are the same, Socrates, at any rate in respect to that which our argument wishes to make plain. Our sense perceptions must surely make us realize that all that we b perceive through them is striving to reach that which is Equalbut falls short of it; or howdo we express it? Like that. Thenbefore webegan to see or hear or otherwise perceive, we must have possessedknowledge of the Equal itself if we were about to refer our sense perceptions of equal objects to it, andrealizedthat all of them were eager tobelike it,but were inferior. That follows from what hasbeen said, Socrates. But webegan to see andhear andotherwise perceive right afterbirth? Certainly. We must then have acquiredtheknowledge of the Equalbefore this. c Yes. It seems then that we must have possesseditbeforebirth. It seems so. Therefore, if we hadthisknowledge, weknewbeforebirth and immediately after not only the Equal,but the Greater andthe Smaller andall such things, for our present argument is no more about the Equal than about the Beautiful itself, the Gooditself, the Just, the Pious, and, as I say, about all those things which we markwith the seal d of “what it is,”both when we are putting questions andanswering them. So we must have acquiredknowledge of them allbefore we wereborn. 114PLATO That is so. If, having acquiredthisknowledge in each case, we have not forgotten it, we remainknowing andhaveknowledge throughout our life, for to know is to acquireknowledge,keep it andnot lose it. Do we not call the losing ofknowledge forgetting? Most certainly, Socrates, he said. e But, I think, if we acquiredthisknowledgebeforebirth, then lost it atbirth, andthen laterby the use of our senses in connection with those objects we mentioned, we recoveredtheknowledge we hadbefore, wouldnot what we call learningbe the recovery of our ownknowledge, andwe are right to call this recollection? Certainly. It was seen tobe possible for someone to see or hear or otherwise 76 perceive something, andby this tobe put in mindof something else which he hadforgotten andwhich is relatedto itby similarity or difference. One of two things follows, as I say: either we wereborn with theknowledge of it, andall of usknow it throughout life, or those who later, we say, are learning, are only recollecting, andlearning wouldbe recollection. That is certainly the case, Socrates. Which alternativedo you choose, Simmias? That we areborn with thisknowledge or that we recollect later the things of which we had b knowledge previously? I have no means of choosing at the moment, Socrates. Well, can you make this choice? What is your opinion about it? A man who hasknowledge wouldbeable to give an account of what he knows, or wouldhe not? He must certainlybeable todo so, Socrates, he said. Anddo you thinkeverybody can give an account of the things we were mentioning just now? I wish they could, saidSimmias,but I’m afraidit is much more likely thatby this time tomorrow there willbe no one left who cando so adequately. So youdo not thinkthat everybody hasknowledge of those things? c Noindeed. So they recollect what they once learned? They must. Whendidour souls acquire theknowledge of them? Certainly not since we wereborn as men. Indeedno. PHAEDO115 Before that then? Yes. So then, Simmias, our souls also existedapart from thebodybefore they tookon human form, andthey hadintelligence. Unless we acquire theknowledge at the moment ofbirth, Socrates, for that time is still left to us. Quite so, my friend,but at what other timedo we lose it? We just d now agreedthat we are notborn with thatknowledge. Do we then lose it at the very time we acquire it, or can you mention any other time? I cannot, Socrates. Ididnot realize that I was talking nonsense. So this is our position, Simmias? he said. If those realities we are always talking about exist, the Beautiful andthe Goodandall that kindof reality, andwe refer all the things we perceive to that reality, discovering that it existedbefore andis ours, andwe compare these e things with it, then, just as they exist, so our soul must existbefore we areborn. If these realitiesdo not exist, then this argument is altogether futile. Is this the position, that there is an equal necessity for those realities to exist, andfor our souls to existbefore we wereborn? If the formerdo not exist, neitherdo the latter? Ido not think, Socrates, saidSimmias, that there is any possible doubt that it is equally necessary forboth to exist, andit is opportune that our argument comes to the conclusion that our soul existsbefore 77 we areborn, andequally so that reality of which you are now speaking. Nothing is so evident to me personally as that all such things must certainly exist, the Beautiful, the Good,andall those you mentioned just now. I also thinkthat sufﬁcient proof of this hasbeen given. Then what about Cebes? saidSocrates, for we must persuade Cebes also. He is sufﬁciently convincedI think, saidSimmias, though he is the mostdifﬁcult of men to persuadeby argument,but Ibelieve him to be fully convincedthat our soul existedbefore we wereborn. Ido not b thinkmyself, however, that it hasbeen provedthat the soul continues to exist afterdeath; the opinion of the majority which Cebes mentioned still stands, that when a mandies his soul isdispersedandthis is the endof its existence. What is to prevent the soul coming tobeandbeing constitutedfrom some other source, existingbefore it enters a human bodyandthen, havingdone so anddepartedfrom it, itselfdying and beingdestroyed? You are right, Simmias, saidCebes. Half of what neededproof has c been proved, namely, that our soul existedbefore we wereborn,but 116 PLATO further proof is neededthat it exists no less after we havedied,ifthe proof is tobe complete. It hasbeen provedeven now, Simmias andCebes, saidSocrates, if you are ready to combine this argument with the one we agreedon before, that every living thing must come from thedead. If the soul existsbefore, it must, as it comes to life andbirth, come from nowhere d else thandeath andbeingdead, so how couldit avoidexisting after death since it mustbeborn again? What you speakof has then even nowbeen proved. However, I thinkyou andSimmias wouldliketo discuss the argument more fully. You seem to have this childish fear that the windwouldreallydissolve andscatter the soul, as it leaves the body, especially if one happens todie in a high windandnot in e calm weather. Cebes laughedandsaid: Assuming that we were afraid, Socrates, try to change our minds, or ratherdo not assume that we are afraid,but perhaps there is a childin us who has these fears; try to persuade him not to feardeath likeabogey. You should, saidSocrates, sing a charm over him everyday until you have charmedaway his fears. Where shall we ﬁnda goodcharmer for these fears, Socrates, he 78 said, now that you are leaving us? Greece is a large country, Cebes, he said,andthere are goodmen in it; the tribes of foreigners are also numerous. You shouldsearch for such a charmer among them all, sparing neither trouble nor expense, for there is nothing on which you couldspendyour money to greater advantage. You must also search among yourselves, for you might not easily ﬁndpeople who coulddo thisbetter than yourselves. That shallbedone, saidCebes,but let us, if it pleases you, goback b to the argument where we left it. Of course it pleases me. Splendid,hesaid. We must then askourselves something like this: Whatkindof thing is likely tobe scattered?Onbehalf of whatkindof thing shouldone fear this, andfor whatkindof thing shouldone not fear it? We should then examine to which class the soulbelongs, andas a result either fear for the soul orbeofgoodcheer. What you say is true. Is not anything that is composite anda compoundby nature liable c tobe split up into its component parts, andonly that which is noncom- posite, if anything, is not likely tobe split up? PHAEDO117 I thinkthat is the case, saidCebes. Are not the things that always remain the same andin the same state most likely not tobe composite, whereas those that vary from one time to another andare never the same are composite? I thinkthat is so. Let us then return to those same things with which we weredealing earlier, to that reality of whose existence we are giving an account in d our questions andanswers; are they ever the same andin the same state, ordo they vary from one time to another; can the Equal itself, the Beautiful itself, each thing in itself, the real, everbe affectedby any change whatever? Ordoes each of them that really is,being uniform by itself, remain the same andnever in any way tolerate any change whatever? It must remain the same, saidCebes, andin the same state, Socrates. What of the manybeautiful particulars,be they men, horses, clothes, e or other such things, or the many equal particulars, andall those which bear the same name as those others? Do they remain the same or, in total contrast to those other realities, one might say, never in any way remain the same as themselves or in relation to each other? The latter is the case; they are never in the same state. These latter you couldtouch andsee andperceive with the other 79 senses,but those that always remain the same canbe graspedonlyby the reasoning power of the mind? They are not seenbut are invisible? That is altogether true, he said. Do you then want us to assume twokinds of existences, the visible andthe invisible? Let us assume this. Andthe invisible always remains the same, whereas the visible neverdoes? Let us assume that too. Now one part of ourselves is thebody, another part is the soul? b Quite so. To which class of existencedo we say thebody is more alikeandakin? To the visible, as anyone can see. What about the soul? Is it visible or invisible? It is not visible to men, Socrates, he said. Well, we meant visible andinvisible to human eyes. Ordo you think we meant to some others? To human eyes. Then whatdo we say about the soul? Is it visible or not visible? 118 PLATO Not visible. So it is invisible? — Yes. So the soul is more like the invisible than thebody, andthebody c more like the visible? — Without anydoubt, Socrates. Haven’t we also saidsome time ago that when the soul makes use of thebody to investigate something,be it through hearing or seeing or some other sense—for to investigate something through thebodyis todo it through the senses—it isdraggedby thebody to the things that are never the same, andthe soul itself strays andis confusedanddizzy, as if it weredrunk, insofar as it is in contact with thatkindof thing? Certainly. But when the soul investigatesby itself it passes into the realm of d what is pure, ever existing, immortal andunchanging, andbeing akin to this, it always stays with it whenever it isby itself andcando so; it ceases to stray andremains in the same state as it is in touch with things of the samekind,andits experience then is what is calledwisdom? Altogether well saidandvery true, Socrates, he said. Judging from what we have saidbefore andwhat we are saying now, e to which of these twokindsdo you thinkthat the soul is more alike andmore akin? I think, Socrates, he said, that on this line of argument any man, even thedullest, wouldagree that the soul is altogether more like that which always exists in the same state rather than like that whichdoes not. What of thebody? That is like the other. Lookat it also this way: When the soul andthebody are together, 80 nature orders the one tobesubject andtobe ruled,andthe other to rule andbe master. Then again, whichdo you thinkis like thedivine andwhich like the mortal? Do you not thinkthat the nature of the divine is to rule andto lead, whereas it is that of the mortal tobe ruled andbesubject? Ido. Whichdoes the soul resemble? Obviously, Socrates, the soul resembles thedivine, andthebody resembles the mortal. Consider then, Cebes, whether it follows from all that hasbeen said that the soul is most like thedivine,deathless, intelligible, uniform, b indissoluble, always the same as itself, whereas thebody is most like that which is human, mortal, multiform, unintelligible, soluble, and never consistently the same. Have we anything else to say to show, my dear Cebes, that this is not the case? PHAEDO119 We have not. Well then, thatbeing so, is it not natural for thebodytodissolve easily, andfor the soul tobe altogether indissoluble, or nearly so? Of course. c You realize, he said, that when a mandies, the visible part, thebody, which exists in the visible world,andwhich we call the corpse, whose natural lot it wouldbetodissolve, fall apart, andbeblown away,does not immediately suffer any of these thingsbut remains for a fair time, in fact, quite a long time if the mandies with hisbody in a suitable condition andat a favorable season? If thebody is emaciatedor em- balmed, as in Egypt, it remains almost whole for a remarkable length of time, andeven if thebodydecays, some parts of it, namelybones d andsinews andthe like, are nevertheless, one might say,deathless. Is that not so? — Yes. Will the soul, the invisible part which makes its way to a region of the samekind,noble andpure andinvisible, to Hades in fact, to the goodandwise godwhither, godwilling, my soul must soonbe going— will the soul,being of thiskindandnature,be scatteredanddestroyed on leaving thebody, as the majority of men say? Far from it, mydear Cebes andSimmias,but what happens is much more like this: If it is e pure when it leaves thebodyanddrags nothingbodily with it, as it had no willing association with thebody in life,but avoidedit andgathered itself togetherby itself andalways practicedthis, which is no other than practicing philosophy in the right way, in fact, training todie easily. 81 Or is this not training fordeath? It surely is. A soul in this state makes its way to the invisible, which is like itself, thedivine andimmortal andwise, andarriving there it canbe happy, having riditself of confusion, ignorance, fear, violentdesires, andthe other human ills and,asissaidof the initiates, truly spendthe rest of time with the gods. Shall we say this, Cebes, or somethingdifferent? This,by Zeus, saidCebes. But I thinkthat if the soul is pollutedandimpure when it leaves b thebody, having alwaysbeen associatedwith it andservedit,bewitched by physicaldesires andpleasures to the point at which nothing seems to exist for itbut the physical, which one can touch andsee or eat and drinkor make use of for sexual enjoyment, andif that soul is accustomed to hate andfear andavoidthat which isdim andinvisible to the eyes but intelligible andtobe graspedby philosophy—do you thinksuch a soul will escape pure andby itself? Impossible, he said. c 120 PLATO It is nodoubt permeatedby the physical, which constant intercourse andassociation with thebody, as well as considerable practice, has causedtobecome ingrainedin it? Quite so. We mustbelieve, my friend, that thisbodily element is heavy, ponder- ous, earthy, andvisible. Through it, such a soul hasbecome heavy and isdraggedbackto the visible region in fear of the unseen andof Hades. It wanders, as we are told, aroundgraves andmonuments, where d shadowy phantoms, images that such souls produce, havebeen seen, souls that have notbeen freedandpuriﬁedbut share in the visible, andare therefore seen. That is likely, Socrates. It is indeed,Cebes. Moreover, these are not the souls of goodbut of inferior men, which are forcedto wander there, paying the penalty for their previousbadupbringing. They wander until their longing for e that which accompanies them, the physical, again imprisons them in abody, andthey are then, as is likely,boundto such characters as they have practicedin their life. Whatkindof charactersdo you say these are, Socrates? Those, for example, who have carelessly practicedgluttony, violence, anddrunkenness are likely to join a company ofdonkeys or of similar animals. Do you not thinkso? 82 Very likely. Those who have esteemedinjustice highly, andtyranny andplunder, will join the tribes of wolves andhawksandkites, or where else shall we say that they go? Certainly to those, saidCebes. Andclearly, thedestination of the others will conform to the way in which they havebehaved? Clearly, of course. The happiest of these, who will also have thebestdestination, are those who have practicedpopular andsocial virtue, which they call b moderation andjustice andwhich wasdevelopedbyhabit andpractice, without philosophy or understanding? How are they the happiest? Because it is likely that they will again join a social andgentle group, either ofbees or wasps or ants, andthen again the samekindof human group, andsobemoderate men. That is likely. No one may join the company of the gods who has not practiced philosophy andis not completely pure when hedeparts from life, no c PHAEDO121 onebut the lover of learning. It is for this reason, my friends Simmias andCebes, that those who practice philosophy in the right waykeep away from allbodily passions, master them anddo not surrender them- selves to them; it is not at all for fear of wasting their substance andof poverty, which the majority andthe money-lovers fear, nor for fear of dishonor andill repute, like the ambitious andlovers of honors, that theykeep away from them. That wouldnotbe natural for them, Socrates, saidCebes. By Zeus, no, he said. Those who care for their own soul anddo not d live for the service of theirbodydismiss all these things. Theydo not travel the same roadas those whodo notknow where they are going but,believing that nothing shouldbedone contrary to philosophy and theirdeliverance andpuriﬁcation, they turn to this andfollow wherever philosophy leads. How so, Socrates? I will tell you, he said. The lovers of learningknow that when philosophy gets holdof their soul, it is imprisonedin andclinging to e thebody, andthat it is forcedto examine other things through it as through a cage andnotby itself, andthat it wallows in everykindof ignorance. Philosophy sees that the worst feature of this imprisonment is that it isdue todesires, so that the prisoner himself is contributing to his own incarceration most of all. As I say, the lovers of learning 83 know that philosophy gets holdof their soul when it is in that state, then gently encourages it andtries to free itby showing them that investigation through the eyes is full ofdeceit, as is that through the ears andthe other senses. Philosophy then persuades the soul to with- draw from the senses insofar as it is not compelledto use them and bids the soul to gather itself togetherby itself, to trust only itself and whatever reality, existingby itself, the soulby itself understands, and b not to consider as true whatever it examinesby other means, for this isdifferent indifferent circumstances andis sensible andvisible, whereas what the soul itself sees is intelligible andinvisible. The soul of the true philosopher thinks that thisdeliverance must notbe opposedand sokeeps away from pleasures anddesires andpains as far as he can; he reﬂects that violent pleasure or pain or passiondoes not cause merely such evils as one might expect, such as one suffers when one hasbeen c sickor extravagant throughdesire,but the greatest andmost extreme evil, though onedoes not reﬂect on this. What is that, Socrates? askedCebes. That the soul of every man, when it feels violent pleasure or pain in connection with some object, inevitablybelieves at the same time 122PLATO that what causes such feelings mustbe very clear andvery true, which it is not. Such objects are mostly visible, are they not? Certainly. Anddoesn’t such an experience tie the soul to thebody most com- d pletely? How so? Because every pleasure or pain provides, as it were, another nail to rivet the soul to thebodyandto weldthem together. It makes the soul corporeal, so that itbelieves that truth is what thebody says it is. As it shares thebeliefs anddelights of thebody, I thinkit inevitably comes to share its ways andmanner of life andis unable ever to reach Hades in a pure state; it is always full ofbody when itdeparts, so that it soon fallsbackinto anotherbodyandgrows with it as if it hadbeen e sewn into it. Because of this, it can have no part in the company of thedivine, the pure anduniform. What you say is very true, Socrates, saidCebes. This is why genuine lovers of learning are moderate andbrave, or do you thinkit is for the reasons the majority says they are? I certainlydo not. 84 Indeedno. This is how the soul of a philosopher wouldreason: It wouldnot thinkthat while philosophy must free it, it shouldwhile being freedsurrender itself to pleasures andpains andimprison itself again, thus laboring in vain like Penelope at her web. The soul of the philosopher achieves a calm from such emotions; it follows reason and ever stays with it contemplating the true, thedivine, which is not the object of opinion.Nurturedby this, itbelieves that one shouldlive in b this manner as long as one is alive and, afterdeath, arrive at what is akin andof the samekind,andescape from human evils. After such nurture there is nodanger, Simmias andCebes, that one shouldfear that, on parting from thebody, the soul wouldbe scatteredanddissipated by the windsandno longerbe anything anywhere. When Socrates ﬁnishedspeaking there was a long silence. He ap- c pearedtobe concentrating on what hadbeen said,andso were most of us. But Cebes andSimmias were whispering to each other. Socrates observedthem andquestionedthem. Come, he said,do you think there is something lacking in my argument? There are still manydoubt- ful points andmany objections for anyone who wants a thoroughdiscus- sion of these matters. If you arediscussing some other subject, I have nothing to say,but if you have somedifﬁculty about this one,do not hesitate to speakfor yourselves andexpoundit if you thinkthe argument PHAEDO123 couldbe improved,andif you thinkyou willdobetter, take me along d with you in thediscussion. I will tell you the truth, Socrates, saidSimmias. Both of us have been indifﬁculty for some time, andeach of us hasbeen urging the other to question youbecause we wantedto hear what you wouldsay, but we hesitatedtobother you, lest itbedispleasing to you in your present misfortune. When Socrates heardthis he laughedquietly andsaid: “Really, Simmias, it wouldbe hardfor me to persuade other people that Ido e not consider my present fate a misfortune if I cannot persuade even you, andyou are afraidthat it is moredifﬁcult todeal with me than before. You seem to thinkme inferior to the swans in prophecy. They singbefore too,but when they realize that they mustdie they sing most andmostbeautifully, as they rejoice that they are about todepart to 85 join the godwhose servants they are. But men,because of their own fear ofdeath, tell lies about the swans andsay that they lament their death andsing in sorrow. Theydo not reﬂect that nobirdsings when it is hungry or coldor suffers in any other way, neither the nightingale nor the swallow nor the hoopoe, though theydo say that these sing laments when in pain.Nordo the swans,but Ibelieve that as they belong to Apollo, they are prophetic, haveknowledge of the future, b andsing of theblessings of the underworld, sing andrejoice on that daybeyondwhat theydidbefore. As Ibelieve myself tobe a fellow servant with the swans anddedicatedto the same god,andhave received from my master a gift of prophecy not inferior to theirs, I am no more despondent than they on leaving life. Therefore, you must speakand askwhatever you want as long as the authorities allow it.” Well spoken, saidSimmias. I will tell you mydifﬁculty, andthen Cebes will say why hedoes not accept what was said.Ibelieve, as c perhaps youdo, that preciseknowledge on that subject is impossible or extremelydifﬁcult in our present life,but that it surely shows a very poor spirit not to examine thoroughly what is saidabout it, andtodesist before one is exhaustedby an all-aroundinvestigation. One should achieve one of these things: learn the truth about these things or ﬁnd it for oneself, or, if that is impossible, adopt thebest andmost irrefutable d of men’s theories, and,borne upon this, sail through thedangers of life as upon a raft, unless someone shouldmake that journey safer and less risky upon a ﬁrmer vessel of somedivinedoctrine. So even now, since you have saidwhat youdid, I will feel no shame at asking questions, andI will notblame myself in the futurebecause Ididnot say what I 124PLATO think. As I examine what we said,bothby myself andwith Cebes, it does not seem tobeadequate. SaidSocrates: “You may wellbe right, my friend,but tell me how e it is inadequate.” In this way, as it seems to me, he said: “One might make the same argument about harmony, lyre andstrings, that a harmony is something invisible, withoutbody,beautiful anddivine in the attunedlyre, whereas 86 the lyre itself andits strings are physical,bodily, composite, earthy, and akin to what is mortal. Then if someonebreaks the lyre, cuts orbreaks the strings andthen insists, using the same argument as you, that the harmony must still exist andis notdestroyedbecause it wouldbe impossible for the lyre andthe strings, which are mortal, still to exist when the strings arebroken, andfor the harmony, which is akin and of the same nature as thedivine andimmortal, tobedestroyedbefore b that which is mortal; he wouldsay that the harmony itself still must exist andthat the woodandthe strings must rotbefore the harmony can suffer. Andindeed, Socrates, I thinkyou must have this in mind, that we reallydo suppose the soul tobe something of thiskind;asthe body is stretchedandheldtogetherby the hot andthe cold, thedry andthe moist, andother such things, andour soul is a mixture and c harmony of those things when they are mixedwith each other rightly andindue measure. If then the soul is akindof harmony or attunement, clearly, when ourbody is relaxedor stretchedwithoutdue measureby diseases andother evils, the soul must immediatelybedestroyed, even if itbe mostdivine, as are the other harmonies foundin music andall the works of artists, andthe remains of eachbody last for a long time until they rot or areburned. Consider what we shall say in answer to d one whodeems the soul tobe a mixture ofbodily elements andtobe the ﬁrst to perish in the process we calldeath.” Socrates lookedat uskeenly, as was his habit, smiled,andsaid: “What Simmias says is quite fair. If one of you is more resourceful than I am, whydidhe not answer him, for he seems to have handledthe argument competently. However, I thinkthatbefore we answer him, we shouldhear Cebes’ objection, in order that we may have time to e deliberate on an answer. When we have heardhim we shouldeither agree with them, if we thinkthem in tune with us or, if not,defend our own argument. Come then, Cebes. What is troubling you?” I tell you, saidCebes, the argument seems to me tobe at the same 87 point asbefore andopen to the same objection. Ido notdeny that it hasbeen very elegantly and, if it is not offensive to say so, sufﬁciently PHAEDO125 provedthat our soul existedbefore it tookon this present form,but I do notbelieve the same applies to its existing somewhere after our death.Not that I agree with Simmias’ objection that the soul is not stronger andmuch more lasting than thebody, for I thinkit is superior in all these respects. “Why then,” the argument might say, “are you still unconvinced? Since you see that when the mandies, the weaker part continues to exist,do you not thinkthat the more lasting part must b be preservedduring that time?” On this point consider whether what I say makes sense. Like Simmias, I too needan image, for I thinkthis argument is much as if one saidat thedeath of an oldweaver that the man had not perishedbut was safe andsoundsomewhere, andofferedas proof the fact that the cloakthe oldman hadwoven himself andwas wearing c was still soundandhadnot perished. If one was not convinced,he wouldbeaskedwhether a man lasts longer than a cloakwhich is in use andbeing worn, andif the answer was that a man lasts much longer, this wouldbetaken as proof that the man wasdeﬁnitely safe andsound, since the more temporary thing hadnot perished. But, Simmias, Ido not thinkthat is so, for consider what I say. Anybody couldsee that the man who saidthis was talking nonsense. That weaver hadwoven andworn out many such cloaks. He perishedafter many d of them,butbefore the last. Thatdoes not mean that a man is inferior andweaker than a cloak. The image illustrates, I think, the relationship of the soul to thebody, andanyone who says the same thing about them wouldappear to me tobe talking sense, that the soul lasts a long time while thebodyisweaker andmore short-lived. He might say that each soul wears out manybodies, especially if it lives many years. If thebody were in a state of ﬂux andperishedwhile the man was still alive, andthe soul wove afresh thebody that is worn out, yet it would e be inevitable that whenever the soul perishedit wouldbe wearing the lastbody it wove andperish onlybefore this last. Then when the soul perished, thebody wouldshow the weakness of its natureby soon decaying anddisappearing. So we cannot trust this argument andbe conﬁdent that our soul continues to exist somewhere after ourdeath. 88 For, if one were to concede, even more than youdo, to a man using that argument, if one were to grant him not only that the soul exists in the timebefore we areborn,but that there is no reason why the soul of some shouldnot exist andcontinue to exist after ourdeath, and thus frequentlybeborn anddie in turn; if one were to grant him that the soul’s nature is so strong that it can survive manybodies,but if, 126 PLATO having grantedall this, onedoes not further agree that the soul is not damagedby its manybirths andis not, in the end, altogetherdestroyed in one of thosedeaths, he might say that no oneknows whichdeath b anddissolution of thebodybrings about thedestruction of the soul, since not one of us canbe aware of this. Andin that case, any man who facesdeath with conﬁdence is foolish, unless he can prove that the soul is altogether immortal. If he cannot, a man about todie must of necessity always fear for his soul, lest the present separation of the soul from thebodybring about the completedestruction of the soul. When we heardwhat they saidwe were alldepressed,aswetold c each other afterwards. We hadbeen quite convincedby the previous argument, andthey seemedto confuse us again, andtodrive us to doubt not only what hadalreadybeen saidbut also what was going to be said, lest webe worthless as critics or the subject itself admittedof no certainty. Echecrates: By the gods, Phaedo, you have my sympathy, for as I listen to you now I ﬁndmyself saying to myself: “What argument shall we d trust, now that that of Socrates, which was extremely convincing, has fallen intodiscredit?” The statement that the soul is somekindof har- mony has a remarkable holdon me, now andalways, andwhen it was mentionedit remindedme that I hadmyself previously thought so. Andnow I am again quite in need, as if from thebeginning, of some other argument to convince me that the souldoes notdie along with the man. Tell me then,by Zeus, how Socrates tackledthe argument. Was he obviouslydistressed, as you say you people were, or was he not, e but quietly came to the rescue of his argument, anddidhedoso satisfactorily or inadequately? Tell us everything as precisely as you can. Phaedo: I have certainly often admiredSocrates, Echecrates,but never more than on this occasion. That he hada reply was perhaps 89 not strange. What I wonderedat most in him was the pleasant,kind, andadmiring way he receivedthe young men’s argument, andhow sharply he was aware of the effect thediscussion hadon us, andthen how well he healedourdistress and, as it were, recalledus from our ﬂight anddefeat andturnedus aroundto join him in the examination of their argument. Echecrates: Howdidhedo this? Phaedo: I will tell you. I happenedtobe sitting on his rightby the couch on a low stool, so that he was sitting well above me. He stroked b my headandpressedthe hair on thebackof my neck, for he was in PHAEDO127 the habit of playing with my hair at times. “Tomorrow, Phaedo,” he said, “you will probably cut thisbeautiful hair.” Likely enough, Socrates, I said. Not if you takemyadvice, he said. Why not? saidI. It is today, he said, that I shall cut my hair andyou yours, if our argumentdies on us, andwe cannot revive it. If I were you, andthe c argument escapedme, I wouldtake an oath, as the Argivesdid, not to let my hair growbefore I fought again anddefeatedthe argument of Simmias andCebes. But, I said, they say that not even Heracles couldﬁght two people. Then call on me as your Iolaus, as long as thedaylight lasts. I shall call on you,but in this case as Iolaus calling on Heracles. It makes nodifference, he said,but ﬁrst there is a certain experience we mustbe careful to avoid. What is that? I asked. That we shouldnotbecome misologues, as peoplebecome misan- d thropes. There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse. Misology andmisanthropy arise in the same way. Misan- thropy comes when a man withoutknowledge or skill has placedgreat trust in someone andbelieves him tobe altogether truthful, sound,and trustworthy; then, a short time afterwardsheﬁnds him tobe wicked andunreliable, andthen this happens in another case; when one has frequently hadthat experience, especially with those whom onebelieved e tobe one’s closest friends, then, in the end, after many suchblows, one comes to hate all men andtobelieve that no one is soundin any way at all. Have you not seen this happen? I surely have, I said. This is a shameful state of affairs, he said,andobviouslydue to an attempt to have human relations without any skill in human affairs, for such skill wouldleadone tobelieve, what is in fact true, that the very goodandthe very wickedareboth quite rare, andthat most men are 90 between those extremes. Howdo you mean? saidI. The same as with the very tall andthe very short, he said. Do you thinkanything is rarer than to ﬁndan extremely tall man or an extremely short one? Or adog or anything else whatever? Or again, one extremely swift or extremely slow, ugly orbeautiful, white orblack? Are you not aware that in all those cases the most extreme at either endare rare andfew,but those inbetween are many andplentiful? 128 PLATO Certainly, I said. Therefore, he said, if a contest of wickedness were established, there b too the winners, you think, wouldbe very few? That is likely, saidI. Likely indeed,hesaid,but arguments are not like men in this particular. I was merely following your leadjust now. The similarity lies rather in this: It is as when one who lacksskill in arguments puts his trust in an argument asbeing true, then shortly afterwardsbelieves it tobe false—as sometimes it is andsometimes it is not—andso with another argument andthen another. Youknow how those in particular who spendtheir time studying contradiction in the endbelieve them- c selves to havebecome very wise andthat they alone have understood that there is no soundness or reliability in any object or in any argument, but that all that exists simply ﬂuctuates up anddown as if it were in the Euripus 11anddoes not remain in the same place for any time at all. What you say, I said, is certainly true. It wouldbe pitiable, Phaedo, he said, when there is a true and reliable argument andone that canbeunderstood, if a man who has dealt with such arguments as appear at one time true, at another time d untrue, shouldnotblame himself or his own lackof skillbut,because of hisdistress, in the endgladly shift theblame away from himself to the arguments, andspendthe rest of his life hating andreviling reasoned discussion andsobedeprivedof truth andknowledge of reality. Yes,by Zeus, I said, that wouldbe pitiable indeed. This then is the ﬁrst thing we shouldguardagainst, he said.We e shouldnot allow into our minds the conviction that argumentation has nothing soundabout it; much rather we shouldbelieve that it is we who are not yet soundandthat we must take courage andbe eager to attain soundness, you andthe others for the sake of your whole life still 91 to come, andI for the sakeofdeath itself. I am indanger at this moment of not having a philosophical attitudeabout this,but like those who are quite uneducated, I am eager to get thebetter of you in argument, for the uneducated, when they engage in argument about anything, give no thought to the truth about the subject ofdiscussionbut are only eager that those present will accept the position they have set forth. Idiffer from them only to this extent: I shall notbe eager to get the agreement of those present that what I say is true, except incidentally, 11. The Euripus is the straitsbetween the islandof Euboea andBoeotia on the Greekmainland; its currents wereboth violent andvariable. PHAEDO129 but I shallbe very eager that I shouldmyselfbe thoroughly convinced that things are so. For I am thinking—see in how contentious a spirit— b that if what I say is true, it is a ﬁne thing tobe convinced; if, on the other hand, nothing exists afterdeath, at least for this timebefore Idie I shalldistress those present less with lamentations, andmy folly will not continue to exist along with me—that wouldbeabadthing—but will come to an endin a short time. Thus prepared, Simmias and Cebes, he said, I come todeal with your argument. If you will takemy advice, you will givebut little thought to Socratesbut much more to c the truth. If you thinkthat what I say is true, agree with me; if not, oppose it with every argument andtake care that in my eagerness Ido notdeceive myself andyou and,likeabee, leave my sting in you when I go. We must proceed, he said,andﬁrst remindme of what you saidif Ido not appear to remember it. Simmias, as Ibelieve, is indoubtand fear that the soul, though it is moredivine andbeautiful than thebody, d yet predeceases it,being akindof harmony. Cebes, I thought, agrees with me that the soul lasts much longer than thebody,but that no one knows whether the soul often wears out manybodies andthen, on leaving its lastbody, is now itselfdestroyed. This then isdeath, the destruction of the soul, since thebody is alwaysbeingdestroyed. Are these the questions, Simmias andCebes, which we must investigate? Theyboth agreedthat they were. e Do you then, he asked, reject all our previous statements, or some but not others? Some, theyboth said,but not others. What, he said,about the statements we made that learning is recollec- tion andthat, if this was so, our soul must of necessity exist elsewhere 92 before us,before it was imprisonedin thebody? For myself, saidCebes, I was wonderfully convincedbyitatthe time andI standby it now also, more thanby any other statement. That, saidSimmias, is also my position, andI shouldbe very surprised if I ever changedmy opinion about this. But you must change your opinion, my Theban friend, saidSocrates, if you stillbelieve that a harmony is a composite thing, andthat the soul is akindof harmony of the elements of thebody in a state of tension, for surely you will not allow yourself to maintain that a composite harmony b existedbefore those elements from which it hadtobe composed,or wouldyou? Never, Socrates, he said. 130 PLATO Do you realize, he said, that this is what you are in fact saying when you state that the soul existsbefore it takes on the form andbodyofa man andthat it is composedof elements whichdo not yet exist? A harmony is not like that to which you compare it; the lyre andthe strings andthe notes, though still unharmonized, exist; the harmony c is composedlast of all, andis the ﬁrst tobedestroyed. How will you harmonize this statement with your former one? In no way, saidSimmias. Andsurely, he said, a statement about harmony shoulddo so more than any other. It should, saidSimmias. So your statement is inconsistent? Consider which of your statements you prefer, that learning is recollection or that the soul is a harmony. I much prefer the former, Socrates. I adoptedthe latter without d proof,because of a certain probability andplausibility, which is why it appeals to most men. Iknow that arguments of which the proof isbased on probability are pretentious and,ifonedoes not guardagainst them, they certainlydeceive one, in geometry andeverything else. The theory of recollection andlearning, however, wasbasedon an assumption worthy of acceptance, for our soul was saidto exist alsobefore it came into thebody, just as the realitydoes that is of thekindthat we qualify by the words “what it is,” andI convincedmyself that I was quite correct e to accept it. Therefore, I cannot accept the theory that the soul is a harmony either from myself or anyone else. What of this, Simmias? Do you thinkit natural for a harmony, or any other composite, tobeinadifferent state from that of the elements 93 of which it is composed? Not at all, saidSimmias. Nor, as I think, can it act orbe actedupon in adifferent way than its elements? He agreed. One must therefore suppose that a harmonydoes notdirect its components,but isdirectedby them. He acceptedthis. A harmony is therefore far from making a movement, or uttering a sound,ordoing anything else, in a manner contrary to that of its parts. Far from it indeed,hesaid. Does not the nature of each harmonydependon the way it has been harmonized? Ido not understand,hesaid. PHAEDO131 Will it not, if it is more andmore fully harmonized,be more and b more fully a harmony, andif it is less andless fully harmonized, it will be less andless fully a harmony? Certainly. Can thisbe true about the soul, that one soul is more andmore fully a soul than another, or is less andless fully a soul, even to the smallest extent? Not in any way. Come now,by Zeus, he said. One soul is saidto have intelligence andvirtue andtobe good, another to have folly andwickedness and c tobebad. Are those things truly said? They certainly are. What will someone who holds the theory that the soul is a harmony say that those things are which reside in the soul, that is, virtue and wickedness? Are these some other harmony anddisharmony? That the goodsoul is harmonizedand,being a harmony, has within itself another harmony, whereas the evil soul isboth itself a lackof harmony andhas no other within itself? Idon’tknow what to say, saidSimmias,but one who holds that assumption must obviously say something of thatkind. We have previously agreed, he said, that one soul is not more and d not less a soul than another, andthis means that one harmony is not more andmore fully, or less andless fully, a harmony than another. Is that not so? Certainly. Now that which is no more andno less a harmony is not more or less harmonized. Is that so? It is. Can that which is neither more nor less harmonizedpartake more or less of harmony, ordoes itdo so equally? Equally. Then if a soul is neither more nor less a soul than another, it has e been harmonizedto the same extent? This is so. If that is so, it wouldhave no greater share ofdisharmony or of harmony? It wouldnot. Thatbeing the case, couldone soul have more wickedness or virtue than another, if wickedness isdisharmony andvirtue harmony? It couldnot. 132PLATO But rather, Simmias, according to correct reasoning, no soul, if it is 94 a harmony, will have any share of wickedness, for harmony is surely altogether this very thing, harmony, andwouldnever share indis- harmony. It certainly wouldnot. Nor woulda soul,being altogether this very thing, a soul, share in wickedness? How couldit, in view of what hasbeen said? So it follows from this argument that all the souls of all living creatures willbe equally good, if souls areby nature equally this very thing, souls. I thinkso, Socrates. Does our argument seem right, he said,anddoes it seem that it b shouldhave come to this, if the hypothesis that the soul is a harmony was correct? Not in any way, he said. Further, of all the parts of a man, can you mention any other part that rules him than his soul, especially if it is a wise soul? I cannot. Does itdosoby following the affections of thebodyorby opposing them? I mean, for example, that when thebody is hot andthirsty the souldraws him to the opposite, to notdrinking; when thebodyis hungry, to not eating, andwe see a thousandother examples of the soul opposing the affections of thebody. Is that not so? c It certainly is. On the other hand, we previously agreedthat if the soul were a harmony, it wouldneverbe out of tune with the stress andrelaxation andthe striking of the strings or anything elsedone to its composing elements,but that it wouldfollow andneverdirect them? Wedidso agree, of course. Well,does it now appear todo quite the opposite, ruling over all the elements of which one says it is composed, opposing nearly all of d them throughout life,directing all their ways, inﬂicting harsh and painful punishment on them, at times in physical culture andmedicine, at other times more gentlyby threats andexhortations, holding converse withdesires andpassions andfears as if it were one thing talking to a different one, as Homer wrote somewhere in theOdysseywhere he says that Odysseus “struckhisbreast andrebukedhis heart saying, ‘Endure, my heart, you have enduredworse than this’ ” ? 12 12.Odysseyxx.17–18. PHAEDO133 Do you thinkthat when he composedthis the poet thought that his e soul was a harmony, a thing tobedirectedby the affections of the body? Didhe not rather regardit as ruling over them andmastering them, itself a much moredivine thing than a harmony? Yes,by Zeus, I thinkso, Socrates. Therefore, my goodfriend, it is quite wrong for us to say that the 95 soul is a harmony, andin saying so we woulddisagreeboth with the divine poet Homer andwith ourselves. That is so, he said. Very well, saidSocrates. Harmonia of Thebes seems somehow rea- sonably propitious to us. How andby what argument, mydear Cebes, can we propitiate Cadmus? 13 I think,Cebes said, that you will ﬁnda way. Youdealt with the argument about harmony in a manner that was quite astonishing to me. When Simmias was speaking of hisdifﬁculties I was very much b wondering whether anyone wouldbeable todeal with his argument, andI was quitedumbfoundedwhen right away he couldnot resist your argument’s ﬁrst onslaught. I shouldnot wonder, therefore, if that of Cadmus sufferedthe same fate. My goodsir, saidSocrates,do notboast, lest some malign inﬂuence upset the argument we are about to make. However, we leave that to the care of the god,but let us come to grips with it in the Homeric fashion, to see if there is anything in what you say. The sum of your problem is this: You consider that the soul mustbe provedtobe immortal andindestructiblebefore a philosopher on the point ofdeath, c who is conﬁdent that he will fare muchbetter in the underworldthan if he hadledany otherkindof life, can avoidbeing foolish andsimple- mindedin this conﬁdence. To prove that the soul is strong, that it is divine, that it existedbefore we wereborn as men, all this, you say, does not show the soul tobe immortalbut only long-lasting. That it existedfor a very long timebefore, that itknew much andactedmuch, makes it no more immortalbecause of that; indeed, its very entering d into a humanbody was thebeginning of itsdestruction, likeadisease; it wouldlive that life indistress andwouldin the endbedestroyedin what we calldeath. You say it makes nodifference whether it enters a body once or many times as far as the fear of each of us is concerned, for it is natural for a man who is no fool tobe afraid,ifhedoes not 13. Harmonia was in legendthe wife of Cadmus, the founder of Thebes. Socrates’ punning joke is simply that, havingdealt with Harmonia (harmony), we must nowdeal with Cadmus (i.e., Cebes, the other Theban). 134PLATO know andcannot prove that the soul is immortal. This, I think, is what you maintain, Cebes; Ideliberately repeat it often, in order that no point may escape us, andthat you may addor subtract something if e you wish. AndCebes said: “There is nothing that I want to addor subtract at the moment. That is what I say.” Socrates pausedfor a long time,deep in thought. He then said: “This is no unimportant problem that you raise, Cebes, for it requires 96 a thorough investigation of the cause of generation anddestruction. I will, if you wish, give you an account of my experience in these matters. Then if something I say seems useful to you, make use of it to persuade us of your position.” I surelydo wish that, saidCebes. Listen then, andI will, Cebes, he said. When I was a young man I was wonderfullykeen on that wisdom which they call natural science, for I thought it splendidtoknow the causes of everything, why it comes tobe, why it perishes, andwhy it exists. I was often changing my mind b in the investigation, in the ﬁrst instance, of questions such as these: Are living creatures nurturedwhen heat andcoldproduce akindof putrefaction, as some say? Do we thinkwith ourblood, or air, or ﬁre, or none of these, anddoes thebrain provide our senses of hearing and sight andsmell, from which come memory andopinion, andfrom memory andopinion which hasbecome stable, comesknowledge? Then again, as I investigatedhow these things perish andwhat happens to things in the skyandon the earth, ﬁnally Ibecame convincedthat c I have no natural aptitude at all for thatkindof investigation, andof this I will give you sufﬁcient proof. This investigation made me quite blindeven to those things which I andothers thought that I clearly knewbefore, so that I unlearnedwhat I thought Iknewbefore, about many other things andspeciﬁcally about how men grew. I thought before that it was obvious to anybody that men grew through eating anddrinking, for foodadds ﬂesh to ﬂesh andbones tobones, andin d the same way appropriate parts were addedto all other parts of the body, so that the man grew from an earlier smallbulkto a largebulk later, andso a small manbecamebig. That is what I thought then. Do you not thinkit was reasonable? Ido, saidCebes. Then further consider this: I thought my opinion was satisfactory, that when a large man stoodby a small one he was tallerby a head, andso a horse was taller than a horse. Even clearer than this, I thought e that ten was more than eightbecause two hadbeen added,andthat a PHAEDO135 two-cubit length is larger than a cubitbecause it surpasses itby half its length. Andwhatdo you thinknow about those things? That I am far,by Zeus, frombelieving that Iknow the cause of any of those things. I will not even allow myself to say that where one is addedto one either the one to which it is addedor the one that is addedbecomes two, or that the one addedandthe one to which it 97 is addedbecome twobecause of the addition of the one to the other. I wonder that, when each of them is separate from the other, each of them is one, nor are they then two,but that, when they come near to one another, this is the cause of theirbecoming two, the coming together andbeing placedcloser to one another.Nor can I any longer be persuadedthat when one thing isdivided, thisdivision is the cause of itsbecoming two, for just now the cause ofbecoming two was the b opposite. At that time it was their coming close together andone was addedto the other,but now it isbecause one is taken andseparated from the other. Ido not any longer persuade myself that Iknow why a unit or anything else comes tobe, or perishes or existsby the oldmethodof investigation, andIdo not accept it,but I have a confusedmethodof my own. Oneday I heardsomeone reading, as he said, from abook c of Anaxagoras, andsaying that it is Mindthatdirects andis the cause of everything. I wasdelightedwith this cause andit seemedto me good, in a way, that Mindshouldbe the cause of all. I thought that if this were so, thedirecting Mindwoulddirect everything andarrange each thing in the way that wasbest. If then one wishedtoknow the cause of each thing, why it comes tobe or perishes or exists, one hadto ﬁnd what was thebest way for it tobe, or tobe actedupon, or to act. On d these premises then itbeﬁtteda man to investigate only, about this and other things, what isbest. The same man must inevitably alsoknow what is worse, for that is part of the sameknowledge. As I reﬂectedon this subject I was gladto thinkthat I hadfoundin Anaxagoras a teacher about the cause of things after my own heart, andthat he wouldtell e me, ﬁrst, whether the earth is ﬂat or round,andthen wouldexplain why it is so of necessity, saying which isbetter, andthat it wasbetter tobe so. If he saidit was in the middle of the universe, he wouldgo on to show that it wasbetter for it tobe in the middle, andif he showed me those things I shouldbe preparednever todesire any otherkind 98 of cause. I was readytoﬁndout in the same way about the sun and the moon andthe other heavenlybodies, about their relative speed, their turnings, andwhatever else happenedto them, how it isbest that 136 PLATO each shouldact orbe actedupon. I never thought that Anaxagoras, who saidthat those things weredirectedby Mind, wouldbring in any other cause for them than that it wasbest for them tobe as they are. Once he hadgiven thebest for each as the cause for each andthe b general cause of all, I thought he wouldgo on to explain the common goodfor all, andI wouldnot have exchangedmy hopes for a fortune. I eagerly acquiredhisbooksandreadthem as quickly as I couldin order toknow thebest andthe worst as soon as possible. This wonderful hope wasdashedas I went on reading andsaw that the man made no use of Mind, nor gave it any responsibility for the management of things,but mentionedas causes air andether andwater c andmany other strange things. That seemedto me much like saying that Socrates’ actions are alldue to his mind,andthen in trying to tell the causes of everything Ido, to say that the reason that I am sitting here isbecause mybody consists ofbones andsinews,because the bones are hardandare separatedby joints, that the sinews are such as to contract andrelax, that they surroundthebones along with ﬂesh andskin which holdthem together, then as thebones are hanging in d their sockets, the relaxation andcontraction of the sinews enable me tobendmy limbs, andthat is the cause of my sitting here with my limbsbent. Again, he wouldmention other such causes for my talking to you: soundsandair andhearing, anda thousandother such things,but he wouldneglect to mention the true causes, that, after the Athenians decidedit wasbetter to condemn me, for this reason it seemedbest to e me to sit here andmore right to remain andto endure whatever penalty they ordered. For,by thedog, I thinkthese sinews andbones could long ago havebeen in Megara or among the Boeotians, taken thereby 99 mybelief as to thebest course, if I hadnot thought it more right and honorable to endure whatever penalty the city orderedrather than escape andrun away. To call those things causes is too absurd.If someone saidthat withoutbones andsinews andall such things, I shouldnotbeable todo what Idecided, he wouldbe right,but surely to say that they are the cause of what Ido, andnot that I have chosen thebest course, even though I act with my mind, is to speakvery lazily b andcarelessly. Imagine notbeing able todistinguish the real cause from that without which the cause wouldnotbeable to act as a cause. It is what the majority appear todo, like people groping in thedark; they call it a cause, thus giving it a name thatdoes notbelong to it. That is why one man surrounds the earth with a vortex to make the heavenskeep it in place, another makes the air support it likeawide c PHAEDO137 lid. As for their capacity ofbeing in thebest place they couldpossibly be put, this theydo not lookfor, nordo theybelieve it to have any divine force,but theybelieve that they will some timediscover a stronger andmore immortal Atlas to holdeverything together more, andthey do notbelieve that the truly goodand“binding”bindsandholds them together. I wouldgladlybecome thedisciple of any man who taught the workings of thatkindof cause. However, since I wasdeprivedand couldneitherdiscover it myself nor learn it from another,do you wish d me to give you an explanation of how, as a secondbest, Ibusiedmyself with the search for the cause, Cebes? I wouldwish it above all else, he said. After this, he said, when I hadweariedof investigating things, I thought that I mustbe careful to avoidthe experience of those who watch an eclipse of the sun, for some of them ruin their eyes unless they watch its reﬂection in water or some such material. A similar e thought crossedmy mind,andI fearedthat my soul wouldbe altogether blindedif I lookedat things with my eyes andtriedto grasp them with each of my senses. So I thought I must take refuge indiscussions and investigate the truth of thingsby means of words. However, perhaps this analogy is inadequate, for I certainlydo not admit that one who 100 investigates thingsby means of wordsisdealing with images any more than one who looks at facts. However, I startedin this manner: taking as my hypothesis in each case the theory that seemedto me the most compelling, I wouldconsider as true, about cause andeverything else, whatever agreedwith this, andas untrue whateverdidnot so agree. But I want to put my meaning more clearly, for Ido not thinkthat you understandme now. No,by Zeus, saidCebes, not very well. This, he said, is what I mean. It is nothing new,but what I have b never stoppedtalking about,both elsewhere andin the earlier part of our conversation. I am going to try to show you thekindof cause with which I have concernedmyself. I turnbackto those oft-mentioned things andproceedfrom them. I assume the existence of a Beautiful, itselfby itself, of a Goodanda Great andall the rest. If you grant me these andagree that they exist, I hope to show you the cause as a result, andto ﬁndthe soul tobe immortal. Take it that I grant you this, saidCebes, andhasten to your con- c clusion. Consider then, he said, whether you share my opinion as to what follows, for I thinkthat, if there is anythingbeautifulbesides the Beauti- ful itself, it isbeautiful for no other reason than that it shares in that 138 PLATO Beautiful, andI say so with everything. Do you agree to this sort of cause? — Ido. I no longer understandor recognize those other sophisticatedcauses, d andif someone tells me that a thing isbeautifulbecause it has abright color or shape or any such thing, I ignore these other reasons—for all these confuse me—but I simply, naively, andperhaps foolishly cling to this, that nothing else makes itbeautiful other than the presence of, or the sharing in, or however you maydescribe its relationship to that Beautiful we mentioned, for I will not insist on the precise nature of the relationship,but that allbeautiful things arebeautifulby the Beauti- ful. That, I think, is the safest answer I can give myself or anyone else. e Andif I stickto this I thinkI shall never fall into error. This is the safe answer for me or anyone else to give, namely, that it is through Beauty thatbeautiful things are madebeautiful. Ordo you not thinkso too? —Ido. Andthat it is through Bigness thatbig things arebig andthebigger arebigger, andthat smaller things are made smallby Smallness? — Yes. Andyou wouldnot accept the statement that one man is taller than anotherby a headandthe shorter man shorterby the same,but you 101 wouldbear witness that you mean nothing else than that everything that isbigger is madebiggerby nothing else thanby Bigness, andthat is the cause of itsbeingbigger, andthe smaller is made smaller onlyby Smallness, andthis is why it is smaller. I thinkyou wouldbe afraidthat some opposite argument wouldconfront you if you saidthat someone is bigger or smallerby a head, ﬁrst,because thebigger isbigger andthe smaller smallerby the same, thenbecause thebigger isbiggerbya headwhich is small, andthis wouldbe strange, namely, that someone b is madebiggerby something small. Wouldyou notbe afraidof this? I certainly would, saidCebes, laughing. Then you wouldbe afraidto say that ten is more numerous than eightby two, andthat this is the cause of the excess, andnotNumerous- ness andbecause ofNumerousness, or that two cubits isbigger than one cubitby half andnotby Bigness, for this is the same fear. — Certainly. Then wouldyou not avoidsaying that when one is addedto one it is the addition andwhen it isdividedit is thedivision that is the cause c of two? Andyou wouldloudly exclaim that youdo notknow how else each thing can come tobe exceptby sharing in the particular reality in which it shares, andin these cases youdo notknow of any other cause ofbecoming two exceptby sharing in Twoness, andthat the things that are tobe two must share in this, as that which is tobe one PHAEDO139 must share in Oneness, andyou woulddismiss these additions and divisions andother such subtleties, andleave them to those wiser than yourself to answer. But you, afraid, as they say, of your own shadow d andyour inexperience, wouldcling to the safety of your own hypothesis andgive that answer. If someone then attackedyour hypothesis itself, you wouldignore him andwouldnot answer until you hadexamined whether the consequences that follow from it agree with one another or contradict one another. 14 Andwhen you must give an account of your hypothesis itself you will proceedin the same way: you will assume another hypothesis, the one which seems to youbest of the higher ones until you come to something acceptable,but you will not jumble the e two as thedebatersdobydiscussing the hypothesis andits consequences at the same time, if you wish todiscover any truth. This theydo not discuss at all nor give any thought to,but their wisdom enables them to mix everything up andyet tobe pleasedwith themselves,but if you 102 are a philosopher I thinkyou willdo as I say. What you say is very true, saidSimmias andCebes together. Echecrates: Yes,by Zeus, Phaedo, andthey were right; I thinkhe made these things wonderfully clear to anyone of even small intelli- gence. Phaedo: Yes indeed, Echecrates, andall those present thought so too. Echecrates:Andsodo we who were not presentbut hear of it now. What was saidafter that? Phaedo: As I recall it, when the above hadbeen accepted,andit was agreedthat each of the Forms existed,andthat other things acquired b their nameby having a share in them, he followedthis upbyasking: If you say these things are so, when you then say that Simmias is taller than Socratesbut shorter than Phaedo,do you not mean that there is in Simmiasboth tallness andshortness? — Ido. But, he said,do you agree that the words of the statement “Simmias is taller than Socrates”do not express the truth of the matter? It is not, c surely, the nature of Simmias tobe taller than Socratesbecause he is Simmiasbutbecause of the tallness he happens to have?Nor is he taller than Socratesbecause Socrates is Socrates,butbecause Socrates has smallness comparedwith the tallness of the other? — True. 14. Alternatively: “If someone shouldcling to your hypothesis itself, you would dismiss him andwouldnot answer until you hadexaminedwhether the conse- quences that follow from it agree with one another or contradict one another.” 140 PLATO Nor is he shorter than Phaedobecause Phaedo is Phaedo,butbe- cause Phaedo has tallness comparedwith the shortness of Simmias? — That is so. So then Simmias is calledboth short andtall,beingbetween the d two, presenting his shortness tobe overcomeby the tallness of one, andhis tallness to overcome the shortness of the other. He smilingly added, I seem tobe going to talklikeabook,but it is as I say. The other agreed. My purpose is that you may agree with me.Now it seems to me that not only Tallness itself is never willing tobe tall andshort at the same time,but also that the tallness in us will never admit the short orbe overcome,but one of two things happens: either it ﬂees and e retreats whenever its opposite, the short, approaches, or it isdestroyed by its approach. It is not willing to endure andadmit shortness andbe other than it was, whereas I admit andendure shortness andstill remain the same person andam this short man. But Tallness,being tall, cannot venture tobe small. In the same way, the short in us is unwilling to become or tobe tall ever, nordoes any other of the oppositesbecome orbe its opposite while stillbeing what it was; either it goes away or 103 isdestroyedwhen that happens. — I altogether agree, saidCebes. When he heardthis, someone of those present—I have no clear memory of who it was—said: “By the gods,didwe not agree earlier in ourdiscussion 15to the very opposite of what is nowbeing said, namely, that the larger came from the smaller andthe smaller from the larger, andthat this simply was how opposites came tobe, from their opposites, but now I thinkwe are saying that this wouldnever happen?” On hearing this, Socrates inclinedhis headtowards the speaker and said: “You havebravely remindedus,but youdo not understandthe differencebetween what is saidnow andwhat was saidthen, which b was that an opposite thing came from an opposite thing; now we say that the opposite itself couldneverbecome opposite to itself, neither that in us nor that in nature. Then, my friend, we were talking of things that have opposite qualities andnaming these after them,but now we say that these opposites themselves, from the presence of which in them things get their name, never can tolerate the coming tobe from one c another.” At the same time he lookedto Cebes andsaid: “Does anything of what this man says alsodisturbyou?” 15. The reference is to70d–71aabove. PHAEDO141 Not at the moment, saidCebes,but Ido notdeny that many things dodisturbme. We are altogether agreedthen, he said, that an opposite will never be opposite to itself. — Entirely agreed. Consider then whether you will agree to this further point. There is something you call hot andsomething you call cold. — There is. Are they the same as what you call snow andﬁre? — By Zeus, no. d So the hot is something other than ﬁre, andthe coldis something other than snow? — Yes. You think,Ibelieve, thatbeing snow it will not admit the hot, as we saidbefore, andremain what it was andbeboth snow andhot,but when the hot approaches it will either retreatbefore it orbedestroyed. — Quite so. So ﬁre, as the coldapproaches, will either go away orbedestroyed; it will never venture to admit coldness andremain what it was, ﬁre and cold. — What you say is true. e It is true then about some of these things that not only the Form itselfdeserves its own name for all time,but there is something else that is not the Formbut has its character whenever it exists. Perhaps I can make my meaning clearer: the Oddmust alwaysbe given this name we now mention. Is that not so? — Certainly. Is it the only one of existing things tobe calledodd—this is my question—or is there something else than the Oddwhich one must 104 nevertheless also always call odd, as well asby its own name,because it is suchby nature as never tobe separatedfrom the Odd? I mean, for example, the number three andmany others. Consider three:do you not thinkthat it must alwaysbe calledbothby its own name and by that of the Odd, which is not the same as three? That is the nature of three, andof ﬁve, andof half of all the numbers; each of them is odd,but it is not the Odd. Then again, two andfour andthe whole b other column of numbers; each of them, while notbeing the same as the Even, is always even. Do you not agree? — Of course. Looknow. What I want to make clear is this:Not onlydo those opposites not admit each other,but this is also true of those things which, while notbeing opposite to each other yet always contain the opposites, andit seems that thesedo not admit that Form which is opposite to that which is in them; when it approaches them, they either perish or give way. Shall we not say that three will perish or undergo c anythingbefore, while remaining three,becoming even? — Certainly, saidCebes. 142PLATO Yet surely two is not the opposite of three? — Indeedit is not. It is then not only opposite Forms thatdo not admit each other’s approach,but also some other things thatdo not admit the onset of opposites. — Very true. Do you then want us, if we can, todeﬁne what these are? — I surelydo. Wouldtheybe the things that compel whatever they occupy not d only to contain their Formbut also always that of some opposite? — Howdo you mean? As we were saying just now, you surelyknow that what the Form of three occupies mustbe not only threebut also odd. — Certainly. Andwe say that the opposite Form to the Form that achieves this result couldnever come to it. — It couldnot. Now it is Oddness that hasdone this? — Yes. Andopposite to this is the Form of the Even? — Yes. So then the Form of the Even will never come to three? —Never. e Then three has no share in the Even? —Never. So three is uneven? — Yes. As for what I saidwe mustdeﬁne, that is, whatkindof things, while notbeing opposites to something, yetdo not admit the opposite, as, for example, the triad, though it is not the opposite of the Even, yetdoes not admit itbecause it alwaysbrings along the opposite of the Even, 105 andso thedyadin relation to the Odd, ﬁre to the Cold,andvery many other things, see whether you woulddeﬁne it thus:Not onlydoes the opposite not admit its opposite,but that whichbrings along some opposite into that which it occupies; that whichbrings this along will not admit the opposite to that which itbrings along. Refresh your memory; it is no worse forbeing heardoften. Fivedoes not admit the form of the Even, nor will ten, itsdouble, admit the form of the Odd. Thedouble itself is an opposite of something else, yet it will not admit the form of the Odd.Nordo one-and-a-half andother such fractions b admit the form of the Whole, nor will one-third,andso on, if you follow me andagree to this. I certainly agree, he said,andI follow you. Tell me again from thebeginning, he said,anddo not answer in the words of the question,butdoasIdo. I say thatbeyondthat safe answer, which I spoke of ﬁrst, I see another safe answer. If you should askme what, coming into abody, makes it hot, my reply wouldnot c be that safe andignorant one, that it is heat,but our present argument provides a more sophisticatedanswer, namely, ﬁre, andif you askme PHAEDO143 what, on coming into abody, makes it sick, I will not say sicknessbut fever.Nor, if askedthe presence of what in a number makes it odd,I will not say oddnessbut oneness, andso with other things. See if you now sufﬁciently understandwhat I want. — Quite sufﬁciently. Answer me then, he said, what is it that, present in abody, makes it living? — A soul. Andis that always so? — Of course. d Whatever the soul occupies, it alwaysbrings life to it? — Itdoes. Is there, or is there not, an opposite to life? — There is. What is it? — Death. So the soul will never admit the opposite of that which itbrings along, as we agree from what hasbeen said? Most certainly, saidCebes. Well, andwhatdo we call that whichdoes not admit the form of the even? — The uneven. Whatdo we call that which will not admit the just andthat which will not admit the musical? The unmusical, andthe other the unjust. e Very well, whatdo we call that whichdoes not admitdeath? Thedeathless, he said. Now the souldoes not admitdeath? —No. So the soul isdeathless? — It is. Very well, he said. Shall we say that this hasbeen proved,do you think? Quite adequately proved, Socrates. Well now, Cebes, he said, if the uneven were of necessity indestructi- ble, surely three wouldbeindestructible? — Of course. 106 Andif the non-hot were of necessity indestructible, then whenever anyonebrought heat to snow, the snow wouldretreat safe andunthawed, for it couldnotbedestroyed, nor again couldit standits groundand admit the heat? — What you say is true. In the same way, if the non-coldwere indestructible, then when some coldattackedthe ﬁre, it wouldneitherbe quenchednordestroyed, but retreat safely. —Necessarily. Must then the same notbe saidof thedeathless? If thedeathless is b also indestructible, it is impossible for the soul tobedestroyedwhen death comes upon it. For it follows from what hasbeen saidthat it will not admitdeath orbedead, just as three, we said, will notbe even nor will the odd; nor will ﬁrebe cold, nor the heat that is in the ﬁre. But, someone might say, what prevents the odd, while notbecoming even c 144PLATO as hasbeen agreed, frombeingdestroyed,andthe even to come tobe instead? We couldnot maintain against the man who saidthis that it is notdestroyed, for the uneven is not indestructible. If we hadagreed that it was indestructible, we couldeasily have maintainedthat at the coming of the even, the oddandthe three have gone away andthe same wouldholdfor ﬁre andthe hot andthe other things. — Surely. Andso now, if we are agreedthat thedeathless is indestructible, d the soul,besidesbeingdeathless, is indestructible. If not, we need another argument. There is no needfor one as far as that goes, for hardly anything couldresistdestruction if thedeathless, which lasts forever, would admitdestruction. All wouldagree, saidSocrates, that the god,andthe Form of life itself, andanything that isdeathless, are neverdestroyed. — All men wouldagree,by Zeus, to that, andthe gods, I imagine, even more so. If thedeathless is indestructible, then the soul, if it isdeathless, e wouldalsobeindestructible? —Necessarily. Then whendeath comes to man, the mortal part of himdies, it seems,but hisdeathless part goes away safe andindestructible, yielding the place todeath. — So it appears. Therefore the soul, Cebes, he said, is most certainlydeathless and 107 indestructible andour souls will reallydwell in the underworld. I have nothing more to say against that, Socrates, saidCebes, nor can Idoubt your arguments. If Simmias here or someone else has something to say, he shouldnot remain silent, for Ido notknow to what further occasion other than the present he couldput it off if he wants to say or to hear anything on these subjects. Certainly, saidSimmias, I myself have no remaining grounds for doubt after what hasbeen said; nevertheless, in view of the importance of our subject andmy low opinion of human weakness, I ambound b still to have some private misgivings about what we have said. You are not only right to say this, Simmias, Socrates said,but our ﬁrst hypotheses require clearer examination, even though we ﬁndthem convincing. Andif you analyze them adequately, you will, I think, follow the argument as far as a man can, andif the conclusion is clear, you will lookno further. — That is true. It is right to thinkthen, gentlemen, that if the soul is immortal, it c requires our care not only for the time we call our life,but for the sake of all time, andthat one is in terribledanger if onedoes not give it that care. Ifdeath were escape from everything, it wouldbe a great PHAEDO145 boon to the wickedto get ridof thebodyandof their wickedness together with their soul. But now that the soul appears tobe immortal, d there is no escape from evil or salvation for it exceptbybecoming as goodandwise as possible, for the soul goes to the underworldpossessing nothingbut its education andupbringing, which are saidtobring the greatestbeneﬁt or harm to thedeadright at thebeginning of the journey yonder. We are toldthat when each persondies, the guardian spirit who was allottedto him in life proceedstoleadhim to a certain place, whence those who havebeen gatheredtogether there must, afterbeing e judged, proceedto the underworldwith the guide who hasbeen ap- pointedto leadthem thither from here. Having there undergone what they must andstayedthere the appointedtime, they are ledbackhere by another guide after long periods of time. The journey is not as Aeschylus’ Telephus 16 describes it. He says that only one single path 108 leadstoHades,but I thinkit is neither one nor simple, for then there wouldbe no needof guides; one couldnot make any mistake if there werebut one path. As it is, it is likely to have many forksandcrossroads; andIbase this judgment on the sacredrites andcustoms here. The well-orderedandwise soul follows the guideandis not without familiarity with its surroundings,but the soul that is passionately attachedto thebody, as I saidbefore, hovers aroundit andthe visible b worldfor a long time, struggling andsuffering much until it is ledaway by force andwithdifﬁcultyby its appointedspirit. When the impure soul which has performedsome impuredeedjoins the others after being involvedin unjustkillings, or committedother crimes which are akin to these andare actions of souls of thiskind, everybody shuns it andturns away, unwilling tobe its fellow traveler or its guide; such a soul wanders alone completely at a loss until a certain time arrives and c it is forcibly ledto its properdwelling place. On the other hand, the soul that has leda pure andmoderate life ﬁnds fellow travelers and godstoguide it, andeach of themdwells in a place suitedto it. There are many strange places upon the earth, andthe earth itself is not such as those who are usedtodiscourse upon itbelieve it tobe in nature or size, as someone has convincedme. Simmias said: “Whatdo you mean, Socrates? I have myself heard d many things saidabout the earth,but certainly not the things that convince you. I shouldbe gladto hear them.” 16. TheTelephusof Aeschylus is not extant. 146 PLATO Indeed, Simmias, Ido not thinkit requires the skill of Glaucus 17 to tell you what they are,but to prove them true requires more than that skill, andI shouldperhaps notbeable todo so. Also, even if I had theknowledge, my remaining time wouldnotbe long enough to tell e the tale. However, nothing prevents my telling you what I am convinced is the shape of the earth andwhat its regions are. Even that is sufﬁcient, saidSimmias. Well then, he said, the ﬁrst thing of which I am convincedis that 109 if the earth is a sphere in the middle of the heavens, it has no needof air or any other force to prevent it from falling. The homogeneous nature of the heavens on all sides andthe earth’s own equipoise are sufﬁcient to holdit, for an objectbalancedin the middle of something homogeneous will have no tendency to incline more in anydirection than any otherbut will remain unmoved. This, he said, is the ﬁrst point of which I am persuaded. Andrightly so, saidSimmias. Further, the earth is very large, andwe live aroundthe sea in a small portion of itbetween Phasis andthe pillars of Heracles, like ants or b frogs arounda swamp; many other peoples live in many such parts of it. Everywhere about the earth there are numerous hollows of many kindsandshapes andsizes into which the water andthe mist andthe air have gathered. The earth itself is pure andlies in the pure sky where the stars are situated, which the majority of those whodiscourse on c these subjects call the ether. The water andmist andair are the sediment of the ether andthey always ﬂow into the hollows of the earth. We, whodwell in the hollows of it, are unaware of this andwe thinkthat we live above, on the surface of the earth. It is as if someone who lived deepdown in the middle of the ocean thought he was living on its surface. Seeing the sun andthe other heavenlybodies through the water, he wouldthinkthe sea tobe the sky;because he is slow and d weak, he has never reachedthe surface of the sea or risen with his head above the water or come out of the sea to our region here, nor seen how much purer andmorebeautiful it is than his own region, nor has he ever heardof it from anyone who has seen it. Our experience is the same: Living in a certain hollow of the earth, webelieve that we live upon its surface; the air we call the heavens, as if the stars made their way through it; this too is the same: Because 17. A proverbial expression whose origin, andwhose speciﬁc meaning, is ob- scure. PHAEDO147 of our weakness andslowness we are not able to make our way to the e upper limit of the air; if anyone got to this upper limit, if anyone came to it or reachedit on wings andhis headrose above it, then just as ﬁsh on rising from the sea see things in our region, he wouldsee things there and, if his nature couldendure to contemplate them, he would know that there is the true heaven, the true light, andthe true earth, for the earth here, these stones andthe whole region, are spoiledand 110 eaten away, just as things in the sea areby the salt water. Nothing worth mentioning grows in the sea, nothing, one might say, is fullydeveloped; there are caves andsandandendless slime and mudwherever there is earth—not comparable in any way with the beauties of our region. So those things above are in their turn far superior to the things weknow. Indeed, if this is the moment to tell a tale, Simmias, it is worth hearing about the nature of things on the b surface of the earth under the heavens. At any rate, Socrates, saidSimmias, we shouldbe gladto hear this story. Well then, my friend, in the ﬁrst place it is saidthat the earth, looked at from above, lookslike those sphericalballs made up of twelve pieces of leather; it is multicolored,andof these colors those usedby our painters give us an indication; up there the whole earth has these colors, c but muchbrighter andpurer than these; one part is sea-green andof marvelousbeauty, another is golden, another is white, whiter than chalk or snow; the earth is composedalso of the other colors, more numerous andbeautiful than any we have seen. The very hollows of the earth, full of water andair, gleaming among the variety of other colors, present d a color of their own so that the whole is seen as a continuum of variegatedcolors. On the surface of the earth the plants grow with correspondingbeauty, the trees andthe ﬂowers andthe fruits, andso with the hills andthe stones, morebeautiful in their smoothness and transparency andcolor. Our precious stones here arebut fragments, our cornelians, jaspers, emeralds, andthe rest. All stones there are of e thatkind,andeven morebeautiful. The reason is that there they are pure, not eaten away or spoiledbydecay andbrine, or corrodedby the water andair which have ﬂowedinto the hollows here andbring ugliness anddisease upon earth, stones, the other animals, andplants. The earth itself is adornedwith all these things, andalso with goldandsilver 111 andother metals. These standout,being numerous andmassive and occurring everywhere, so that the earth is a sight for theblessed. There are many other living creatures upon the earth, andalso men, some 148 PLATO living inland, others at the edge of the air, as we live on the edge of the sea, others again live on islands surroundedby air close to the mainland. In a word, what water andthe sea are to us, the air is to b them, andthe ether is to them what the air is to us. The climate is such that they are withoutdisease, andthey live much longer than peopledo here; their eyesight, hearing, andintelligence andall such are as superior to ours as air is superior to water andether to air in purity; they have groves andtemplesdedicatedto the gods, in which the gods reallydwell, andthey communicate with themby speech and prophecy andby the sight of them; they see the sun andmoon and c stars as they are, andin other ways their happiness is in accordwith this. This then is the nature of the earth as a whole andof its surroundings; aroundthe whole of it there are many regions in the hollows; some aredeeper andmore open than that in which we live; others aredeeper andhave a narrower opening than ours, andthere are some that have d lessdepth andmore width. All these are connectedwith each other below the surface of the earth in many placesby narrow andbroader channels, andthus have outlets through which much water ﬂows from one to another as into mixingbowls; huge rivers ofboth hot andcold water thus ﬂowbeneath the earth eternally, much ﬁre andlarge rivers of ﬁre, andmany of wet mud,both more pure andmore muddy, such e as those ﬂowing in advance of the lava andthe stream of lava itself in Sicily. These streams then ﬁll up every andall regions as the ﬂow reaches each, andall these places move up anddown with the oscillating movement of the earth. The natural cause of the oscillation is as follows: One of the hollows of the earth, which is also thebiggest, pierces 112 through the whole earth; it is that which Homer mentionedwhen he said: “Fardown where is thedeepest pitbelow the earth…,” 18 and which he elsewhere, andmany other poets, call Tartarus; into this chasm all the rivers ﬂow together, andagain ﬂow out of it, andeach river is affectedby the nature of the landthrough which it ﬂows. The b reason for their ﬂowing into andout of Tartarus is that this water has nobottom or solidbasebut it oscillates up anddown in waves, and the air andwindabout itdo the same, for they follow it when it ﬂows to this or that part of the earth. Just as when peoplebreathe, the ﬂow of air goes in andout, so here the air oscillates with the water and creates terrible winds as it goes in andout. Whenever the water retreats c to what we call the lower part of the earth, it ﬂows into those parts and 18.Iliadviii.14; cf. viii.481. PHAEDO149 ﬁlls them up as if the water were pumpedin; when it leaves that part for this, it ﬁlls these parts again, andthe parts ﬁlledﬂow through the channels andthrough the earth andin each case arrive at the places to which the channels leadandcreate seas andmarshes andrivers and springs. From there the waters ﬂow under the earth again, some ﬂowing d aroundlarger andmore numerous regions, some aroundsmaller and shallower ones, then ﬂowbackinto Tartarus, some at a point much lower than where they issuedforth, others only a little way,but all of them at a lower point, some of them at the opposite side of the chasm, some on the same side; some ﬂow in a wide circle roundthe earth once or many times like snakes, then go as fardown as possible, then gobackinto the chasm of Tartarus. From each side it is possible to e ﬂowdown as far as the center,but notbeyond, for this part that faces the river ﬂow from either side is steep. There are many other large rivers of allkinds, andamong these there are four of note; thebiggest which ﬂows on the outside (of the earth) in a circle is calledOceanus; opposite it andﬂowing in the oppositedirection is the Acheron; it ﬂows through many otherdeserted 113 regions andfurther undergroundmakes its way to the Acherusian lake to which the souls of the majority come afterdeath and, after remaining there for a certain appointedtime, longer for some, shorter for others, they are sentbacktobirth as living creatures. The thirdriver issues between the ﬁrst two, andclose to its source it falls into a regionburning with much ﬁre andmakesalake larger than our sea,boiling with water andmud. From there it goes in a circle, foul andmuddy, andwinding b on its way it comes, among other places, to the edge of the Acherusian lakebutdoes not mingle with its waters; then, coiling many times undergroundit ﬂows lowerdown into Tartarus; this is calledthe Pyri- phlegethon, andits lava streams throw off fragments of it in various parts of the earth. Opposite this the fourth river issues forth, which is calledStygion, andit is saidto ﬂow ﬁrst into a terrible andwildregion, c all of itblue-gray in color, andthe lake that this river formsby ﬂowing into it is calledthe Styx. As its waters fall into the lake they acquire dreadpowers; thendivingbelow andwinding roundit ﬂows in the oppositedirection from the Pyriphlegethon andinto the opposite side of the Acherusian lake; its watersdo not mingle with any other; it too ﬂows in a circle andinto Tartarus opposite the Pyriphlegethon. The name of that fourth river, the poets tell us, is Cocytus. 19 19. For these features of the underworld, seeOdysseyx.511ff., xi.157. 150 PLATO Such is the nature of these things. When thedeadarrive at the place d to which each hasbeen ledby his guardian spirit, they are ﬁrst judged as to whether they have leda goodandpious life. Those who have livedan average life make their way to the Acheron andembarkupon such vessels as there are for them andproceedto the lake. There they dwell andare puriﬁedby penalties for any wrongdoing they may have e committed; they are also suitably rewardedfor their gooddeeds as each deserves. Those who aredeemedincurablebecause of the enormity of their crimes, having committedmany great sacrileges or wickedand unlawful murders andother such wrongs—their ﬁtting fate is tobe hurledinto Tartarus never to emerge from it. Those who aredeemed to have committedgreatbut curable crimes, such asdoing violence to their father or mother in a ﬁt of temperbut who have felt remorse for 114 the rest of their lives, or who havekilledsomeone in a similar manner, these must of necessitybe thrown into Tartarus,but a year later the current throws them out, those who are guilty of murderby way of Cocytus, andthose who havedone violence to their parentsby way of the Pyriphlegethon. After they havebeen carriedalong to the Acheru- sian lake, they cry out andshout, some for those they havekilled, others for those they have maltreated,andcalling them they then pray to them andbeg them to allow them to step out into the lakeandto receive b them. If they persuade them, theydo step out andtheir punishment comes to an end; if theydo not, they are takenbackinto Tartarus and from there into the rivers, andthisdoes not stop until they have per- suadedthose they have wronged, for this is the punishment which the judges imposedon them. Those who aredeemedto have livedan extremely pious life are c freedandreleasedfrom the regions of the earth as from a prison; they make their way up to a puredwelling place andlive on the surface of the earth. Those who have puriﬁedthemselves sufﬁcientlyby philoso- phy live in the future altogether without abody; they make their way to even morebeautifuldwelling places which it is hardtodescribe clearly, nordo we now have the time todo so. Because of the things we have enunciated, Simmias, one must make every effort to share in virtue andwisdom in one’s life, for the rewardisbeautiful andthe hope is great. No sensible man wouldinsist that these things are as I havedescribed d them,but I thinkit is ﬁtting for a man to riskthebelief—for the risk is a noble one—that this, or something like this, is true about our souls andtheirdwelling places, since the soul is evidently immortal, anda man shouldrepeat this to himself as if it were an incantation, which PHAEDO151 is why I havebeen prolonging my tale. That is the reason why a man shouldbe of goodcheer about his own soul, ifduring life he has ignored e the pleasures of thebodyandits ornamentation as of no concern to him anddoing him more harm than good,but has seriously concerned himself with the pleasures of learning, andadornedhis soul not with alienbut with its own ornaments, namely, moderation, righteousness, 115 courage, freedom, andtruth, andin that state awaits his journey to the underworld. Now you, Simmias, Cebes, andthe rest of you, Socrates continued, will each take that journey at some other timebut my fatedday calls me now, as a tragic character might say, andit is about time for me to have mybath, for I thinkitbetter to have itbefore Idrinkthe poison andsave the women the trouble of washing the corpse. When Socrates hadsaidthis Crito spoke. Very well, Socrates, what b are your instructions to me andthe others about your children or anything else? What can wedo that wouldplease you most? —Nothing new, Crito, saidSocrates,but what I am always saying, that you will please me andmine andyourselvesbytaking goodcare of your own selves in whatever youdo, even if youdo not agree with me now,but if you neglect your own selves, andare unwilling to live following the tracks, as it were, of what we have saidnow andon previous occasions, you will achieve nothing even if you strongly agree with me at this c moment. We shallbe eager to follow your advice, saidCrito,but how shall webury you? In any way you like, saidSocrates, if you can catch me andIdo not escape you. Andlaughing quietly, looking at us, he said:Ido not convince Crito that I am this Socrates talking to you here andordering d all I say,but he thinks that I am the thing which he will soonbe looking at as a corpse, andso he asks how he shallbury me. I havebeen saying for some time andat some length that after I havedrunkthe poison I shall no longerbe with youbut will leave you to go andenjoy some goodfortunes of theblessed,but it seems that I have saidall this to him in vain in an attempt to reassure you andmyself too. Give a pledge to Crito on mybehalf, he said, the opposite pledge to that he gave the jury. He pledgedthat I wouldstay; you must pledge that I will not stay e after Idie,but that I shall go away, so that Crito willbear it more easily when he sees mybodybeingburnedorburiedandwill notbe angry on mybehalf, as if I were suffering terribly, andso that he shouldnot say at the funeral that he is laying out, or carrying out, orburying Socrates. Forknow you well, mydear Crito, that to express oneself 152PLATO badly is not only faulty as far as the language goes,butdoes some harm to the soul. You mustbe of goodcheer, andsay you areburying my body, andbury it in any way you likeandthinkmost customary. 116 After saying this he got up andwent to another room to take his bath, andCrito followedhim andhe toldus to wait for him. So we stayed, talking among ourselves, questioning what hadbeen said,and then again talking of the great misfortune that hadbefallen us. We all felt as if we hadlost a father andwouldbe orphanedfor the rest of our b lives. When he hadwashed, his children werebrought to him—two of his sons were small andone was older—andthe women of his householdcame to him. He spoke to thembefore Crito andgave them what instructions he wanted. Then he sent the women andchildren away, andhe himself joinedus. It was now close to sunset, for he had stayedinside for some time. He came andsatdown after hisbath and conversedfor a short while, when the ofﬁcer of the Eleven came and stoodby him andsaid: “I shall not reproach you as Ido the others, c Socrates. They are angry with me andcurse me when, obeying the orders of my superiors, I tell them todrinkthe poison. During the time you havebeen here I have come toknow you in other ways as the noblest, the gentlest, andthebest man who has ever come here. So now too Iknow that you will not make trouble for me; youknow who is responsible andyou willdirect your anger against them. Youknow what message Ibring. Fare you well, andtry to endure what you must as easily as possible.” The ofﬁcer was weeping as he turnedaway and d went out. Socrates lookedup at him andsaid: “Fare you well also; we shalldoasyoubidus.” Andturning to us he said: “How pleasant the man is! During the whole time I havebeen here he has come in andconversedwith me from time to time, a most agreeable man. Andhow genuinely he now weeps for me. Come, Crito, let us obey him. Let someonebring the poison if it is ready; if not, let the man prepare it.” But Socrates, saidCrito, I thinkthe sun still shines upon the hills e andhas not yet set. Iknow that othersdrinkthe poison quite a long time after they have receivedthe order, eating anddrinking quite abit, andsome of them enjoy intimacy with their lovedones. Do not hurry; there is still some time. It is natural, Crito, for them todo so, saidSocrates, for they think theyderive somebeneﬁt fromdoing this,but it is not ﬁtting for me. I 117 do not expect anybeneﬁt fromdrinking the poison a little later, except tobecome ridiculous in my own eyes for clinging to life, andbe sparing of it when there is none left. SodoasIaskanddo not refuse me. PHAEDO153 Hearing this, Crito noddedto the slave who was standing near him; the slave went out andafter a time camebackwith the man who was to administer the poison, carrying it made ready in a cup. When Socrates saw him he said: “Well, my goodman, you are an expert in this; what must onedo?” — “Justdrinkit andwalkarounduntil your legs feel heavy, andthen liedown andit will act of itself.” Andhe offeredthe b cup to Socrates, who tookit quite cheerfully, Echecrates, without a tremor or any change of feature or color,but looking at the man from under his eyebrows as was his wont, asked: “Whatdo you say about pouring a libation from thisdrink? It is allowed?” — “We only mix as much as webelieve will sufﬁce,” saidthe man. Iunderstand, Socrates said,but one is allowed,indeedone must, c utter a prayer to the gods that the journey from here to yonder maybe fortunate. This is my prayer andmay itbe so. Andwhile he was saying this, he was holding the cup, andthen drainedit calmly andeasily. Most of us hadbeen able to holdback our tears reasonably well up till then,but when we saw himdrinking it andafter hedrankit, we couldholdthembackno longer; my own tears came in ﬂoods against my will. So I coveredmy face. I was weeping for myself, not for him—for my misfortune inbeingdeprivedof such d a comrade. Evenbefore me, Crito was unable to restrain his tears and got up. Apollodorus hadnot ceasedfrom weepingbefore, andat this moment his noisy tears andanger made everybody presentbreakdown, except Socrates. “What is this,” he said, “you strange fellows. It is mainly for this reason that I sent the women away, to avoidsuch unseemliness, e for I am toldone shoulddie in goodomenedsilence. Sokeep quiet andcontrol yourselves.” His wordsmade us ashamed,andwe checkedour tears. He walked around,andwhen he saidhis legs were heavy he lay on hisbackas he hadbeen toldtodo, andthe man who hadgiven him the poison touchedhisbody, andafter a while testedhis feet andlegs, pressed hardupon his foot, andaskedhim if he felt this, andSocrates saidno. 118 Then he pressedhis calves, andmade his way up hisbodyandshowed us that it was coldandstiff. He felt it himself andsaidthat when the coldreachedhis heart he wouldbe gone. As hisbelly was getting cold Socrates uncoveredhis head—he hadcoveredit—andsaid—these were his last words — “Crito, we owe a cockto Asclepius; 20make this offering 20. A cockwas sacriﬁcedto Asclepiusby the sickpeople who slept in his temples, hoping for a cure. Socrates apparently means thatdeath is a cure for the ills of life. 154PLATO to him anddo not forget.” — “It shallbedone,” saidCrito, “tell us if 118a there is anything else.” But there was no answer. Shortly afterwards Socrates made a movement; the man uncoveredhim andhis eyes were ﬁxed. Seeing this Crito closedhis mouth andhis eyes. Such was the endof our comrade, Echecrates, a man who, we would say, was of all those we haveknown thebest, andalso the wisest and the most upright. SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING Socrates and Plato’s Socratic Dialogues 1. Benson, Hugh H., ed.Essays on the Philosophy of Socrates,Oxford,1992. Has extensivebibliography. 2. Kraut, Richard,ed.The Cambridge Companion to Plato, Cambridge,1992. Comprehensivediscussions of all aspects of Plato’s work. Chapters4,5, and6 are specially relevant to thedialogues printedhere. Has extensivebib- liography. 3.Nehamas, Alexander.The Art of Living,Berkeley,1998. 4. Vlastos, Gregory, ed.The Philosophy of Socrates: A Collection of Critical Essays,New York,1971. 5. .Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher,Ithaca,N.Y.,1991. Euthyphro 6. Cohen, S. Marc. “Socrates on the Deﬁnition of Piety:Euthyphro10a–11b,” Journal of the History of Philosophy9(1971), repr. in (4),158–76. 7. Geach, Peter T. “Plato’sEuthyphro: An Analysis andCommentary,”The Monist50 (1966):369–82. 8. Kidd, Ian. “The Case of Homicide in Plato’sEuthyphro,” in E. M. Craik, ed.,Owls to Athens,Oxford,1990,213–22. 9. MacPherran, Mark. “Socratic Piety in theEuthyphro,”Journal of the History of Philosophy23(1985), repr. in (1),220–41. 10. Mann, William. “Piety: Lending Euthyphro a Hand,”Philosophy and Phe- nomenological Research58 (1998):123–42. 11. Taylor, Christopher C. W. “The Endof theEuthyphro,”Phronesis27 (1982):109–1 8. Apology 12. Brickhouse, Thomas C., andNicholas D. Smith.Socrates on Trial,Ox- ford,1989. 13. Burnyeat, Myles F. “The Impiety of Socrates,”Ancient Philosophy17 (1997):1–12. 14. Reeve, C. D. C.Socrates in the Apology,Indianapolis,1989. 15. Stone, I. F.The Trial of Socrates,New York,1988; with Myles F. Burnyeat, “Review ofThe Trial of Socrates,by I. F. Stone,”New York Review of Books 35 (1988):12–18. Crito 16. Bostock, David. “The Interpretation of Plato’sCrito,”Phronesis35 (1990):1–20. 17. Kraut, Richard.Socrates and the State,Princeton,1984. 18. Woozley, Anthony D.Law and Obedience: The Arguments of Plato’s Crito, Chapel Hill,1979. 155 156 SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING Meno 19. Dimas, P. “True Belief in theMeno,”Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 14(1996):1–32. 20. Irwin, T. H.Plato’s Ethics, chap. 9, “Socratic MethodandSocratic Ethics: TheMeno,” Oxford,1995,127–47. 21.Nehamas, Alexander. “Meno’s Paradox andSocrates as a Teacher,”Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy3(1985):1–30. Reprintedin H. Benson, ed., Essays on the Philosophy of Socrates,New York,1992,andinNehamas, Virtues of Authenticity, Princeton,1999. Phaedo 22. Bostock, David.Plato’s Phaedo, Oxford,1986. 23. Frey, Roger G. “DidSocrates Commit Suicide?”Philosophy53 (1978): 106–8. 24. Gallop, David.Plato: Phaedo, tr. with notes, Oxford,1975. 25. Gill, Christopher. “The Death of Socrates,”Classical Quarterly23(1973): 25–8. 26. Matthews, Gareth B., andThomas Blackson. “Causes in thePhaedo,” Synthe` se79(1989):581–91. 27.Nehamas, Alexander. “Predication andForms of Opposites in thePhaedo,” Review of Metaphysics26(1973):461–91. 28. Scott, Dominic. “Platonic Recollection,” in G. Fine, ed.,Plato 1: Metaphys- ics and Epistemology, Oxford ,1999. 29. Vlastos, Gregory. “Reasons andCauses,”Philosophical Review78 (1969):291–325. Reprintedin Vlastos,Platonic Studies,2nded., Prince- ton,1981.
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