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1. What does – and does not – make sense about these Presocratics’ idea of what the Fundamental Stuff of the Universe (Urstoff/Arche) is? How can we logically understand the dilemma of sameness vs. change, and “many-ness” vs. “one-ness”?

2. Is relativism correct? That is, is every assertion mere opinion/ preference and nothing more? Is subjectivism correct? That is, is there no objective reality, but only mere perception?

  • What is Protagoras’ most famous saying? What is Relativism? How can it be addressed? What are the Three Denials of Gorgias? And how do they relate to three fields of philosophy?

3. Should I obey the law merely when I would otherwise get caught, or always? (Or almost always?) What does and does not constitute a valid exception to this obedience?

- What, in ancient Greek thought, is the primary purpose of the Law? Why not break the law if it benefits you and you wouldn’t get caught? (Why wouldn’t Socrates escape prison?)

4. Is there a soul truly distinct from (transcending) the body? If so, is it immortal, or does it cease to exist at death?

- What are some ways of understanding what is meant by “the soul “?

  • What are some philosophical arguments for and against the existence/immortality of the soul? What are Socrates’ arguments on this question?Excerpts from The Revival of Philosophy The best reason for a revival of philosophy is that unless a man has a philosophy certain horrible things will happen to him. He will be practical; he will be progressive; he will cultivate efficiency; [he will dedicate himself to development]; he will do the work that lies nearest; he will devote himself to deeds, not words. Thus struck down by blow after blow of blind stupidity and random fate, he will stagger on to a miserable death with no comfort but a series of catchwords [pop culture/business soundbites]; such as those which I have catalogued above. [But] Those things are simply substitutes for thoughts. In some cases they are the tags and tailends of somebody else's thinking. That means that a man who refuses to have his own philosophy will not even have the advantages of a brute beast, and be left to his own instincts. He will only have the used-up scraps of somebody else's philosophy; which the beasts do not have to inherit; hence their happiness. Men have always one of two things: either a complete and conscious philosophy or the unconscious acceptance of the broken bits of some incomplete and shattered and often discredited philosophy. … Doing the work that is nearest [instead of ever doing Philosophy] is obvious nonsense; yet it has been repeated in many albums. In nine cases out of ten it would mean doing the work that we are least fitted to do, such as cleaning the windows or clouting the policeman over the head. "Deeds, not words" is itself an excellent example of "Words, not thoughts." It is a deed to throw a pebble into a pond and a word that sends a prisoner to the gallows. But there are certainly very futile words; and this sort of journalistic philosophy and popular science almost entirely consists of them. Some people fear that philosophy will bore or bewilder them; because they think it is not only a string of long words, but a tangle of complicated notions. These people miss the whole point of the modern situation. These are exactly the evils that exist already; mostly for want of a philosophy. The politicians and the papers are always using long words. It is not a complete consolation that they use them wrongly. The political and social relations are already hopelessly complicated. They are far more complicated than any page of medieval metaphysics; the only difference is that the medievalist could trace out the tangle and follow the complications; and the moderns cannot. The chief practical things of today, like finance and political corruption, are frightfully complicated. We are content to tolerate them because we are content to misunderstand them, not to understand them. The business world needs metaphysics - to simplify it. I know these words will be received with scorn, and with gruff reassertion that this is no time for nonsense and paradox; and that what is really wanted is a practical man to go in and clear up the mess. And a practical man will doubtless appear, one of the unending succession of practical men; and he will doubtless go in, and perhaps clear up a few millions for himself and leave the mess more bewildering than before; as each of the other practical men has done. The reason is perfectly simple. This sort of rather crude and unconscious person always adds to the confusion; because he himself has two or three different motives at the same moment, and does not distinguish between them. A man has, already entangled hopelessly in his own mind, (1) a hearty and human desire for money, (2) a somewhat priggish and superficial desire to be progressing, or going the way the world is going, (3) a dislike to being thought too old to keep up with the young people, (4) a certain amount of vague but genuine patriotism or public spirit, (5) a misunderstanding of a mistake made by Mr. H. G. Wells, in the form of a book on Evolution. When a man has all these things in his head, and does not even attempt to sort them out, he is called by common consent and acclamation a practical man. But the practical man cannot be expected to improve the impracticable muddle; for he cannot clear up the muddle in his own mind, let alone in his own highly complex community and civilisation. For some strange reason, it is the custom to say of this sort of practical man that "he knows his own mind". Of course this is exactly what he does not know. He may in a few fortunate cases know what he wants, as does a dog or a baby of two years old; but even then he does not know why he wants it. And it is the why and the how that have to be considered when we are tracing out the way in which some culture or tradition has got into a tangle. What we need, as the ancients understood, is not a politician who is a businessman, but a king who is a philosopher. I apologise for the word "king", which is not strictly necessary to the sense; but I suggest that it would be one of the functions of the philosopher to pause upon such words, and determine their importance and unimportance. The Roman Republic and all its citizens had to the last a horror of the word "king." It was in consequence of this that they invented and imposed on us the word "Emperor". The great Republicans who founded America also had a horror of the word "king"; which has therefore reappeared with the special qualification of a Steel King, an Oil King, a Pork King, or other similar monarchs made of similar materials. … Philosophy is merely thought that has been thought out. It is often a great bore. But man has no alternative, except between being influenced by thought that has been thought out and being influenced by thought that has not been thought out. The latter is what we commonly call culture and enlightenment today. But man is always influenced by thought of some kind, his own or somebody else's; that of somebody he trusts or that of somebody he never heard of, thought at first, second or third hand; thought from exploded legends or unverified rumours; but always something with the shadow of a system of values and a reason for preference. A man does test everything by something. The question here is whether he has ever tested the test. … A modern man is quite free to choose either philosophy. But what is actually the matter with the modern man is that he does not know even his own philosophy; but only his own phraseology. He can only repeat what are generally nothing but phrases; or are, at their best, prejudices. … -GK Chesterton 1 GORGIAS This dialogue contains Plato’s argument against Sophism. Socrates disputes with three interlocutors, Gorgias, Polus, and Callicles, in turn…. Against Gorgias, Socrates argues that rhetoric is not really a craft because its aim is not a real good as such. Furthermore, it does not really benefit the practitioner because the powers that it intends to produce are not directed toward the good. To support these claims, Socrates has to give an analysis of what a real good consists in. Against Polus, Socrates argues that it is better to be just than to acquire the kinds of powers offered by rhetoric. Callicles rejects Socrates’ analysis, arguing that rhetoric gives him the power to pursue his own pleasure and that this is the ultimate good. Socrates tries to refute this hedonistic argument in order to sustain his own criticisms of rhetoric. He argues that the real good is justice rather than pleasure. To refute Callicles’ hedonism, Socrates argues that some pleasures are better than others. Once Callicles concedes this point, Socrates uses it to argue against hedonism and hence sophistry. ….(ABRIDGED PORTION).... Socrates (S):As I say, then, cookery is the flattery disguised as medicine; and cosmetics is disguised as gymnastics in the same way—crooked, deceptive, mean, slavish, deceiving by shaping, colouring, smoothing, dressing, making people assume a beauty (kallos) which is not their own, and neglecting the beauty of their own which would come through gymnastics. To avoid going on at length, I want to tell you, as the geometricians would— for now perhaps you might follow me—as cosmetics is to gymnastics, so is sophistry to legislation, and as cookery is to medicine, so is rhetoric to justice. But as I say, this is how they differ by nature, but since they are so close to each other, sophists and rhetors are mixed up in the same area and about the same thing, so that they don’t know what to make of themselves, and other people don’t know what to make of them. Indeed, if the soul did not control the body, but the body controlled itself, and if the soul did not examine and distinguish cookery and medicine, but the body by itself discriminated by guesswork from the gratifications to it, then the Anaxagorean condition would be everywhere, Polus my friend—you’re familiar with that; ‘all things together’ would be mixed up in the same area, with no distinction between matters of medicine and health and of cookery. What I say rhetoric is, then—you’ve heard it. It corresponds to cookery, doing in the soul what cookery does in the body. Now perhaps I’ve done something absurd. I didn’t allow you to make long speeches, but I’ve drawn out my own speech to this length. Well, it’s fair for you to excuse me; for when I was speaking briefly, you weren’t understanding, and you couldn’t do anything at all with the answer I gave you, but you needed an explanation. And so if I can’t do anything with your answer either, then draw out your speeches; but if I can, let me do it; for that’s only just. And now if you can do anything with this answer, do it Polus (P). Then do you think that good rhetors count as worthless in the cities, as flatterers? S. I think they don’t count at all. P. What do you mean, they don’t count? Don’t they have the greatest power in the cities? S. No—not if you say that having power is a good to the man with the power. P. Well, I do say so. S. Then I think the rhetors have the least power of anyone in the city. P. What? Aren’t they like tyrants? Don’t they kill whoever they want to, and expropriate and expel from the cities whoever they think fit (dokein)? And isn’t this having great power? S. No—at least Polus doesn’t agree.. P. I don’t agree? Of course I agree. S. No, by the…. Indeed you don’t. For you said that having great power is a good to the man who has it. P. Yes. I still say so. S. Then do you think it is a good if someone does whatever seems best to him, when he has no intelligence? Do you call even this having great power? P. No, I don’t. S. Then won’t you show that the rhetors have intelligence and that rhetoric is a craft, not flattery, by refuting me? If you leave me unrefuted, the rhetors who do what they think fit in the cities and the tyrants will have gained no good by it; but power, you say is a good, and you also agree that doing what we think fit without intelligence is an evil, don’t you? P. Yes. I do. S. Then how are the rhetors or the tyrants to have great power in the cities, unless Socrates is refuted by Polus and convinced that they do what they want to? P. Certainly; for I’m anxious to know what on earth you’ll say. S. Well then, so that you’ll know, tell me this, as though I were asking you from the beginning:—Which do you think is worse, Polus—doing injustice or suffering it? P. I think suffering it is worse. S. Now then—do you think it’s more shameful to do injustice or to suffer it? Answer. P. To do it. S. Then isn’t it also worse, if it’s more shameful? P. Not at all. S. I understand. Apparently you don’t think that the same thing is fine and good or evil and shameful. P. Certainly not. 2 S. Then if doing injustice is more shameful than suffering it, then isn’t it either more distressing, and more shameful by exceeding in distress, or by exceeding in evil, or in both? P. Of course. S. Then first of all, let’s see if doing injustice exceeds suffering it in distress, and whether those who do injustice are more in pain than those who suffer it. P. That’s certainly not right, Socrates. S. Then it doesn’t exceed in distress. P. No indeed. S. Then by exceeding in evil doing injustice is worse than suffering it. P. Yes. It’s clear that it is. S. Now didn’t the mass of men and you agree with us earlier that doing injustice is more shameful than suffering it? P. Yes. S. And now it has turned out worse. P. It looks like it. S. Then would you choose the more evil and shameful over the less? Don’t shrink from answering, Polus—you won’t be harmed at all; but present yourself nobly to the argument (logos) as to a doctor; answer, and say either e yes or no to what I’m asking you. P. Well, no; I wouldn’t choose it, Socrates. S. And would any other man? P. I don’t think so—by this argument anyway. S. Then I was saying what was true, that neither I nor you nor any other man would choose doing injustice over suffering it; for it’s actually worse. P. Apparently. S. I’m saying this:—Always the most shameful is most shameful by producing the greatest distress or harm or both, from what was agreed in the previous discussion. P. Certainly. S. And isn’t it just now agreed by us that injustice and all baseness of soul is most shameful? P. Yes. It’s agreed. S. Then isn’t it either the most painful, and the most shameful of them by exceeding in pain, or by exceeding in harm, or in both ways? P. It must be. S. Then is it more painful than being poor and sick to be unjust and intemperate (akolastos) and cowardly and stupid? P. I don’t think so, from what we’ve said, Socrates. S. Then it is by exceeding the other things in some remarkably serious harm and amazing evil that baseness of soul is the most shameful of all, since it doesn’t exceed in pain, on your account. P. Apparently. S. And which craft rids us of baseness and injustice? If you don’t find this easy, consider it this way:—Where and to whom do we take people sick in body? P. To the doctors, Socrates. S. And where do we take those who do unjust and intemperate (akolastainontes) actions? P. To the court of justice, are you saying? S. And don’t we take them to pay justice? P. I agree. S. Then don’t those who punish (kofozein) rightly practise some kind of justice when they punish? P. It’s clear they do. S. Then money-making rids us of poverty, medicine of sickness, and the administration of justice rids us of intemperance (akolasia) and injustice? P. Apparently. S. Well then, which is the more wretched of two people who have an evil either in body or in soul, the one who is treated and gets rid of the evil, or the one who isn’t treated and still has it? P. The one who isn’t treated, I think. S. Now isn’t paying justice getting rid of the greatest evil, baseness? P. Yes, it is. S. Yes, for presumably administration of justice makes people temperate and more just, and is in fact the medical craft to cure baseness. P. Yes. S. Then the man with no evil in his soul is happiest, since this appeared the greatest of evils. P. Yes. That’s clear. S. And presumably second to him is the man who gets rid of the evil. P. It looks like it. S. And this is the man who is corrected and reprimanded and pays justice. P. Yes. S. Then the man who has the evil in his soul and does not get rid of it lives worst. P. Apparently. S. And isn’t this man in fact whoever does the greatest injustices and exercises the greatest injustice and manages not to be corrected or punished (kolazesthai) and not to pay justice—as you say Archelaus and the other tyrants and rhetors and dynasts managed to do? P. It looks like it…. S. All right. If these things are true, then what is the great use of rhetoric, Polus? For in fact from what has been agreed now a man should most of all take care for himself so that he doesn’t do injustice, knowing that he will have a great enough evil if he does. Isn’t that right? P. Quite. S. And if he or whoever else he cares about does do injustice, he should go voluntarily wherever he will pay justice as quickly as possible, to the court of justice as to the doctor, eager to prevent the disease of injustice from being chronic and making his soul festering and incurable—or what else are we saying, Polus, if our 3 previous agreements remain firm? Mustn’t what we say now agree with what we said then only this way, and otherwise not? P. Yes indeed. What else are we to say, Socrates? S. And then, turning it around the opposite way, if we really should harm anyone—an enemy or anyone at all—as long as we don’t ourselves suffer any injustice from the enemy—for we must be careful about that—but if our enemy treats someone else unjustly, we should take every precaution, in speaking and in action, to prevent him from paying justice and appearing before the court of justice. And if he appears, we must arrange it so that he escapes and doesn’t pay justice, but if he has stolen a lot of money, we must see he doesn’t pay it back, but keeps it and spends it on himself and his relatives, unjustly and godlessly; and if he has done injustice deserving death, we must see he does not suffer death—best of all never, to be immortal in his baseness, but otherwise to live the longest possible life in this condition. For these sorts of things I think rhetoric is useful, Polus, since for someone who isn’t about to act unjustly, its use doesn’t seem to me to be all that great— if indeed it has any use at all, for it wasn’t evident anywhere in what was said previously. CALLICLES. Tell me Chaerephon, is Socrates in earnest about all this, or is he joking? CHAEREPHON. Well, to me he seems remarkably in earnest, Callicles. But there’s nothing like asking him. C. I’m certainly anxious to do that, by the gods. Tell me, Socrates, are we to suppose you’re in earnest now, or joking? For if you’re in earnest, and all these things you say are really true, then wouldn’t the life of us men be upside down? And don’t we apparently do everything that’s the opposite of what we should do? S. … In the Assembly, if you’re saying something and the Athenian demos says it’s not so, you change and say what it wants. And with this fine young man the son of Pyrilampes you’re affected in other similar ways. For you’re incapable of opposing the proposals and speeches of your beloved; and if someone were amazed whenever you say the things you say because of your beloveds, at how absurd these things are, then no doubt you’d tell him, if you wanted to tell him what’s true, that unless someone stops your beloved from saying these things, you’ll never stop saying them either. And so you must suppose that you’re bound to (chrenai) hear the same sorts of things from me. Don’t be amazed that I say these things, but stop my beloved, philosophy, saying them. For she says what you hear from me now, my friend; and she’s much less impulsive than my other beloved. For this son of Cleinias here says now this, now that; but philosophy says always the same. She says what amazes you now, and you were present yourself when it was said. And so either refute her, as I was saying just now, and show that doing injustice and doing injustice without paying justice are not the worst of evils…. C. Socrates, I think you swagger in your speeches, as if you were really a mob-orator. And now you’re making this speech when you’ve done the same thing to Polus that Polus was denouncing Gorgias for letting you do to him. For remember he said that you asked Gorgias whether, if anyone wanting to learn rhetoric came to him without knowing just things, he would teach him. Then Gorgias was ashamed, said Polus, and said he would teach him, because of men’s habit, since they would be offended if someone said he couldn’t teach about just things. Because of this agreement, said Polus, Gorgias was forced to contradict himself, and this is exactly what you like. And then Polus laughed at you, rightly, I think. But now you have done the same thing over again to him. And for just this I can’t admire Polus myself, for his concession to you that doing injustice is more shameful than suffering it; for from this agreement he himself in turn was bound up by you in the argument, and was muzzled, after being ashamed to say what he thought. For indeed, Socrates, you lead things to these vulgarities and stock themes of mob-orators, though you claim to pursue the truth—things which are not fine by nature, but only by rule (nomos). For mostly these are opposed to each other, nature and rule; and so if someone is ashamed and dare not say what he thinks, he is compelled to contradict himself. And this is the clever device you’ve thought of and use to make mischief in discussion; if someone speaks according to rule, you craftily question him according to nature, and if he speaks of what belongs to nature, you ask him about what belongs to rule—just as lately about these things—doing injustice and suffering it—Polus was speaking of the fine according to rule, but you pursued the argument according to nature. For by nature everything is more shameful which is also worse, suffering injustice, but by rule doing injustice is more shameful. For this isn’t what happens to a man, to suffer injustice; it’s what happens to some slave for whom it’s better to die than to live—for if he suffers injustice and abuse, he can’t defend himself or anyone else he cares about. But in my view those who lay down the rules are the weak men, the many. And so they lay down the rules and assign their praise and blame with their eye on themselves and their own advantage. They terrorize the stronger men capable of having more; and to prevent these men from having more than themselves they say that taking more is shameful and unjust, and that doing injustice is this, seeking to have more than other people; they are satisfied, I take it, if they themselves have an equal share when they’re inferior. That’s why by rule this is said to be unjust and shameful, to seek to have more than the many, and they call that doing injustice. 4 But I think nature itself shows this, that it is just for the better man to have more than the worse, and the more powerful than the less powerful. Nature shows that this is so in many areas—among other animals, and in whole cities and races of men, that the just stands decided in this way—the superior rules over the weaker and has more. For what sort of justice did Xerxes rely on when he marched against Greece, or his father against the Scythians? And you could mention innumerable other such things. But I think these men do these things according to nature—the nature of the just; yes, by Zeus, by the rule of nature, though no doubt not by the rule we lay down—we mould the best and strongest among us, taking them from youth up, like lions, and tame them by spells and incantations over them, until we enslave them, telling them they ought to have equal shares, and that this is the fine and the just. But I think that if a man is born with a strong enough nature, he will shake off and smash and escape all this. He will trample on all our writings, charms, incantations, all the rules contrary to nature. He rises up and shows himself master, this slave of ours, and there the justice of nature suddenly bursts into light. And I think Pindar too indicates what I say, in the song where he says, ‘Rule, the king of all, mortals and immortals….’ This, he says, ‘leads and makes just what is most violent, with overpowering hand; I judge this by the works of Heracles, since without paying the price….’ He says something like this—for I don’t know the song—but he says that without payment and without receiving them as a gift from Geryon Heracles drove off the cattle, assuming that this was the just by nature, that the better and superior man possesses the cattle and other goods of the worse and inferior men. ... … it is not shameful for someone to philosophize when he is a boy. But whenever a man who’s now older still philosophizes, the thing becomes ridiculous, Socrates. I’m struck by the philosophizers most nearly the way I’m struck by those who mumble and act childishly. I mean— whenever I see a child, when that kind of dialogue is still fitting for him, mumbling and being childish, I enjoy it; I find it charming, suitable for a free citizen, suiting the age of a child. And whenever I hear a child speaking a clear dialogue, I find it unpleasing; it annoys my ears; and I find it fit for a slave instead. But whenever someone hears a man mumbling, or sees him act childishly, he finds it ridiculous, unmanly, deserving a beating. Well, philosophizers strike me the same way too. For when I see philosophy in a young boy, I admire it, I find it suitable, and I regard him as a free man, and a nonphilosophizer as un-free, someone who will never expect anything fine or noble from himself. But when I see an older man still philosophizing and not giving it up, I think this man needs a beating, Socrates. For, as I was saying just now, this person is bound to end up being unmanly, even if he has an altogether good nature; for he shuns the city centre and the public squares where the poet says men win good reputations. He is sunk away out of sight for the rest of his life, and lives whispering with three or four boys in a corner, and never gives voice to anything fit for a free man, great and powerful. ... For as it is, suppose someone arrested you, or some other philosopher, and threw you into goal, claiming you were doing injustice when you were doing none; you know you’d have no idea what to do with yourself; you’d be dizzy, you’d gape, not knowing what to say; you’d go into court, to face some inferior wretch of an accuser, and you’d be put to death if he wanted the death penalty for you. Now how can this be wise, Socrates?—’this craft which takes a man of good nature and makes him worse’—with no power to defend himself or save himself or anyone else from the greatest dangers, with only the power to be despoiled of all his property by his enemies, and to live altogether dishonoured in the city. With someone like this, to put it crudely, anyone is at liberty to push his face in and get off scot-free. S. If I had a soul made of gold, Callicles, don’t you think I’d be delighted to find one of those stones on which they test gold—the best one, so that if I brought my soul to it, and it agreed that my soul was well cared for, I would be sure I was in good condition and needed no other touchstone? C. And what’s your point in asking that, Socrates? S. I’ll tell you. I think I’ve stumbled on that kind of lucky find now, by stumbling on you. Clearly, then, this is how it is now with these questions: if you agree with me about anything in the discussion, then this will have been adequately tested by me and you, and it will no longer need to be brought to another touchstone. … In reality, then, agreement between you and me will finally possess the goal of truth…. But now repeat for me again from the beginning—how do you say the just is, you and Pindar—the just by nature? Is it for the superior man to remove by force what belongs to the inferior men, and for the better man to rule worse men, and for the nobler man to have more than the baser man? You aren’t saying that the just is anything else, are you? Or do I remember correctly? C. Yes. That’s what I was saying then, and say now…. S. And do you call the same man better and superior?… Define this very thing for me clearly; are the superior and the better and the stronger the same thing, or something different? C. Yes. I’m telling you clearly that they’re the same…. S. … I repeat my question from eagerness to know clearly what you’re saying. For presumably you don’t think that two men are better than one, or that your slaves are better than you, just because they’re stronger than you. 5 But now say again from the beginning what do you say the better men are, since you say they’re not the stronger? C. I say they’re the worthier men. S. Now do you see that you’re just saying names, making nothing clear? Won’t you tell me—do you say that the better and the superior men are the wiser men, or some others? C. Yes indeed. I say they are, very much so. S. Then often one wise man is superior to thousands with no wisdom, on your account, and he should rule them, and they should be ruled, and the ruler should have more than the ruled. I think that’s what you want to say— and I’m not trying to catch you with a word—if the one is superior to the thousands. C. Yes, that’s what I’m saying. For this is what I think the just by nature is—that the man who is better and wiser should rule over the lower men, and have more than them…. S. Won’t you say what the superior and wiser man has more of when he justly takes more?… C. But I’ve been saying for a long time. First of all I say who the superior men are—I don’t say shoemakers or cooks; they’re whoever are wise in the city’s affairs, about how to govern it well, and not only wise, but also brave, and capable of fulfilling what they intend—and who don’t slacken because of softness of soul. S. Do you see, excellent Callicles, that you and I don’t accuse each other of the same thing? For you say I’m always saying the same thing, and you blame me for it, but on the contrary I accuse you of never saying the same about the same things. Previously you were defining the better and superior men as the stronger, then as the wiser, now again you’ve come bringing something else. Some kind of braver men are what you call the superior and the better men. Come on, my friend, tell me once and for all, just who do you call the better and superior—better and superior in what? C. But I’ve told you—those who are wise in the city’s affairs, and brave. For it is fitting for these to rule cities, and the just is this, for them to have more than the rest— for the rulers to have more than the ruled. S. But what about themselves, my friend? Rulers or ruled in what way? C. What are you talking about? S. I’m talking about each one of them ruling himself. Or shouldn’t he do this at all, rule himself, but only rule the others? C. What are you talking about, ‘ruling himself’? S. Nothing complicated, but just as the many say— temperate, master of himself, ruling the pleasures and appetites within him. C. How funny you are. You’re calling the fools the temperate people. S. What? Anyone would realize that’s not what I’m saying. C. But it certainly is, Socrates. For how could a man become happy who’s enslaved to anything at all? No. The fine and just according to nature is this, what I’m speaking freely of to you now—the man who is to live rightly should let his appetites grow as large as possible and not restrain (kolazein) them, and when these are as large as possible, he must have the power to serve them, because of his bravery and wisdom, and to fill them with whatever he has an appetite for at any time. But I think this isn’t in the power of the many. And so they blame these people out of shame, concealing their own powerlessness, and say that intemperance (akolasia) is actually shameful, as I was saying previously, enslaving the men with the best natures; and when they haven’t the power to find fulfillment for their pleasures, they praise temperance and justice because of their own unmanliness…. S. You’re carrying through your speech nobly, Callicles, and speaking freely. For now you’re saying clearly what the others think but aren’t willing to say. And so I’m asking you not to slacken at all, so that it will really become clear how we should live. And tell me this:—Do you say that a man must not restrain (kolazein) his appetites, if he’s to be as he should be, but should let them grow as great as possible, and find fulfillment for them from anywhere at all, and that virtue is this? C. That’s what I say. S. Then it’s wrong to say that those who need (dein) nothing are happy. C. Of course. Otherwise stones and corpses would be happiest. S. But the life you speak of is a strange one too. For I tell you, I wouldn’t be surprised if Euripides speaks the truth in those verses where he says, ‘Who knows if being alive is really being dead, and being dead being alive?’ And perhaps we too are really dead. For once I heard from some wise man that we are dead now, our body is our tomb; and that of our soul with appetites in it is liable to be persuaded and to sway back and forth. And a subtle man, perhaps some Sicilian or Italian, who told this story, played on the name, and because it was persuadable (pithanon) and impressionable called it a jar (pithon), and called the foolish (ano?tous) the uninitiated (amu?tous), and said that in the foolish men that of the soul with appetites, the foolish, intemperate, and insatiable in it, was a leaking jar, because it couldn’t be filled. This man indicates—contrary to you, Callicles—that of all those in Hades—speaking of the unseen (aides) this way—these are the most wretched, the uninitiated, and that they carry water to this leaky jar with another leaky thing, a sieve. And so he’s saying— so the man who told me said—that the sieve is the soul; and he likened the soul of the foolish to a sieve because it was leaky, since it could hold nothing, from its unreliability and forgetfulness. 6 Now this is all fairly strange. But he shows what I’d like to indicate to you, so that I persuade you, if I can, to change your mind, and instead of the insatiable and unrestrained life to choose the orderly life adequately supplied and satisfied with whatever it has at any time. But now do I persuade you at all to change your mind, and agree that the orderly are happier than the intemperate? Or even if I tell you many more stories like this one, won’t you change your mind any the more? C. You’re nearer the truth there, Socrates. S. Come on then, I’ll tell you another comparison, from the same school as that one. See now if you’re saying something like this about the life of each of the two men, the temperate and the intemperate:—Suppose for instance that each of two men has a lot of jars, and one has sound and full jars, one full of wine, another of honey, another of milk, and many others full of many things. And suppose the sources for each of these things are scarce and hard to find, provided only with much severe effort. Now when one man has filled up, he brings in no more, and doesn’t care about them, but is at rest as far as they are concerned. The other man has sources like the first man’s that can be drawn on, though with difficulty. But his vessels are leaky and rotten, and he is forced to be always filling them day and night, or else he suffers the most extreme distresses. Now if this is how each man’s life is, do you say that the intemperate man’s life is happier than the orderly man’s? When I tell you this, do I persuade you at all to concede that the orderly life is better than the intemperate, or don’t I persuade you? C. No, you don’t, Socrates. For that one who has filled up has no pleasure at all any more. It’s what I was saying just now—living like a stone once he has filled up, with no more enjoyment or distress. No; living pleasantly is in this—in having as much as possible flowing in. S. But if the inflow is large, mustn’t the outflow be large too, and mustn’t there be big holes for the outflow? C. Of course. S. Then you’re speaking of some kind of torrentbird’s life, not a corpse’s or a stone’s. Tell me now; are you talking about something like being hungry and eating when you’re hungry? C. I am. S. And being thirsty find drinking when you’re thirsty? C. That’s what I’m talking about—and about having all the other appetites and having the power to fill them and enjoy it, and so living happily…. But tell me even now; do you say that the same thing is pleasant and good, or that there is something of pleasant things which is not good? C. Well, so that I don’t leave my argument (logos) inconsistent, if I say that they’re different, I say they’re the same…. S. Then return to what has been agreed before. In speaking of hunger, were you saying that it is pleasant or painful? I’m talking about hunger itself. C. I say it’s painful. But I say that eating when you’re hungry is pleasant. S. Then do you see what follows, that you say someone is distressed and enjoying at the same time, when you say he is thirsty and drinks? Or doesn’t this come about at the same time and in the same place, in soul or body— for I think it makes no difference? Is that so or not? C. It is. S. But now you say it’s impossible for someone doing well to do badly at the same time. C. Yes, I do. S. While you are agreed that it’s possible to be in pain and enjoyment at the same time. C. Apparently. S. Then enjoying is not doing well, nor is being in pain doing badly; and so the pleasant turns out to be different from the good. C. I don’t know what sort of sophistry you’re at, Socrates. S. You know, but you’re acting soft, Callicles. Go further on, and see how wise you are when you take me to task. Isn’t each of us finished with his pleasure from drinking at the same time as he is finished being thirsty? C. I agree. S. And don’t we cease from hunger and all the other appetites and from pleasures at the same time? C. That’s right. S. But now, we don’t cease from goods and evils at the same time, as you were agreeing then; don’t you agree now? C. Yes, I do. So what? S. Then goods turn out not to be the same as pleasant things, my friend, and evils not to be the same as painful things. For we cease from pleasant and painful things at the same time, but not from good and evil things, since they’re different from pleasant and painful. Then how can pleasant things be the same as goods, or painful things the same as evils?… C. I’ve been listening to you for a long time and agreeing, Socrates, thinking that even if someone concedes something to you as a joke, you fasten on it gleefully like young boys. As though you really suppose that I or any other man don’t think some pleasures are better and others worse. S. Ah Callicles, what a scoundrel you are. You treat me like a child, telling me now that the same things are this way, and again that they’re some other way, and deceiving me. And I didn’t think at the start that you’d voluntarily deceive me, because I thought you were a friend. But it turns out I was misled; and it seems I must ‘make the best of what I have’, as the old saying goes, and accept what you’re offering me. And that is, you’re 7 saying now, that there are pleasures, some good and some bad. Isn’t that right? C. Yes. S. Then are the beneficial ones good, and the harmful ones evil? C. Quite. S. And those which produce some good are beneficial, and those which produce some evil are evil? C. I agree. S. Are you speaking of these kinds of pleasures—in the body, for instance, among the pleasures found in eating and drinking that we were speaking of just now—those which produce health in the body, or strength or some other excellence (aret?) of the body, are these good, and the ones which produce the opposites of these things evil? C. Certainly. S. And similarly among distresses, aren’t some worthy, others base? C. Of course. S. Then mustn’t we choose and do the worthy ones, both pleasures and distresses? C. Certainly. S. But not the base ones? C. Clearly not. S. Yes; for I take it we agreed that we must do everything for the sake of goods, if you remember—Polus and I. Do you agree with us too, that the good is the end of all actions, and that for the sake of it we should do all the other things, not do it for the sake of the other things? Do you cast a third vote with ours? C. I do. S. Then for the sake of goods we should do other things, including pleasant things, not good things for the sake of pleasant things? C. Quite. S. Now is it for anyone to select which kinds of pleasant things are good and which evil? Or does it need a craftsman for each thing? C. It needs a craftsman. S. Then let’s recall another thing I was saying to Polus and Gorgias. I was saying, if you remember, that there are practices, some limited to pleasure, only that one thing, ignorant of the better and the worse, and other practices which know what is good and what is bad. And I was assigning to the practices concerned with pleasures the knack—no craft—of confectionery, and to those concerned with the good the medical craft. And for the sake of the god of friendship, Callicles, don’t think you should make jokes at me, and don’t answer capriciously, contrary to what you think, nor again take what I say that way, as making jokes. For you see that our discussion is about this—and what would anyone with the slightest intelligence be more seriously concerned about than this? I mean—what way ought we to live? … … S. All right. What about rhetoric addressed to the Athenian people and the other peoples of the cities, the peoples composed of free men, exactly what do we find this is? Do you think that rhetors always speak with an eye on what is best, and aim to make the citizens as good as possible by their speeches? Or do they too concentrate on gratifying the citizens, despising the common interest for the sake of their own private interest? Do they approach the people in cities as children, trying only to gratify them, with no concern about whether they will be better or worse from it?... ... C. Well, if you look properly, you’ll find one. S. Then let’s see, considering calmly this way, whether any of these men proved to be virtuous. Come now, the good man who speaks with a view to the best, surely he won’t speak at random, but will look to something? He will be like all other craftsmen; each of them selects and applies his efforts with a view to his own work, not at random, but so that what he produces will acquire some form. Look for instance if you like at painters, builders, shipwrights, all other craftsmen—whichever one you like; see how each of them arranges in a structure whatever he arranges, and compels one thing to be fitting and suitable to another, until he composes the whole thing arranged in a structure and order. All craftsmen, including those we were talking of just now, gymnastic-trainers, and doctors, form the body into order and structure, don’t they? Do we agree that this is so, or not? C. Let’s say this is so. S. Then when a house gets structure and order, it will be worthy, and when it lacks structure, wretched? C. I agree. S. And surely a boat the same way? C. Yes. S. And don’t we say the same about our bodies? C. Quite. S. And what about the soul? Will it be worthy if it lacks structure, or if it gains some kind of structure and order? C. From what’s been said before, we must agree on this too. S. Then what’s the name for what comes to be in the body from structure and order? C. I suppose you’re talking about health and strength. S. I am. And what’s the name for what comes to be in the soul from structure and order? Try to find and say the name for this as for the body. C. And why don’t you say it yourself, Socrates? S. Well, if it pleases you more, I’ll say it myself. But you, if you think I speak well, agree, and if you don’t, examine 8 me, and don’t give in to me. I think that the name for the structures of the body is ‘healthy’ from which health and the rest of bodily excellence (arete) come to be in the body. Is that so, or isn’t it? C. It is. S. And for the structures and orderings of the soul the name is ‘lawful’ and ‘law’, from which people become lawful and orderly; and these are justice and temperance. Do you say so, or not? C. Let it be so. S. Then won’t that rhetor, the craftsman, the good one, look to these things when he applies whatever speeches he makes to souls, and when he applies all his actions to them, and when he gives whatever he gives, and when he takes away whatever he takes away? He’ll always have his mind on this; to see that the souls of the citizens acquire justice and get rid of injustice, and that they acquire temperance and get rid of intemperance (akolasia) and that they acquire the rest of virtue and get rid of vice. Do you agree or not? C. I agree. S. Yes, for what’s the benefit, Callicles, of giving lots of the most pleasant food or drink or anything else to a sick body in wretched condition, which won’t help it one bit more than the opposite method, on the right account, and will help even less? Is that so? C. Let it be so. S. Yes; for I suppose it’s no profit for a man to live with bodily wretchedness; in that condition you must live wretchedly too. Isn’t that so? C. Yes. S. And don’t the doctors mostly allow a healthy man to fulfill his appetites, for instance to eat and drink as much as he wants when he’s hungry or thirsty? And don’t they practically never allow a sick man to fill himself with what he has an appetite for? Don’t you also agree with this much? C. I do. S. And isn’t it the same way, my excellent man, about the soul? As long as it’s corrupt, senseless, intemperate, unjust, and impious, we should restrain it from its appetites, and not allow it to do anything else except what will make it better. Do you say so, or not? C. I do. S. For, I take it, that way it’s better for the soul itself. C. Quite. S. And isn’t restraining it from what it has an appetite for tempering it? C. Yes. S. Then being tempered is better for the soul than intemperance, which you just now thought was better. C. I don’t know what you’re saying, Socrates. Ask someone else. S. This man won’t abide being helped and tempered, and himself undergoing the very thing our discussion is about—being tempered. C. No; I don’t care about anything you say; I’ve answered these questions of yours for Gorgias’ sake. S. Well, what will we do, then? Are we breaking off the discussion in the middle? C. That’s up to you. S. Well, they say it’s not right to break stories off in the middle either; we should put a head on it, so that it won’t go around headless. So answer the rest of the questions too, so that our discussion will get its head on. C. You’re so insistent, Socrates. Listen to me, and let this discussion go, or have a dialogue with someone else as well. S. Then who else is willing? Surely we mustn’t leave the discussion incomplete. C. And couldn’t you finish the discussion yourself? Say it all in your own person, or answer your own questions. … [Socrates continues dialogue going back and forth with himself] … S. Well, I say that if the temperate soul is good, the soul affected the opposite way to the temperate soul is bad; and this was agreed to be the senseless and intemperate (akolastos) soul. — Quite. — And now the temperate man would do fitting things towards both gods and men. For surely he wouldn’t be acting temperately if he did unfitting things? — This must be so. — Now by doing fitting things towards men he would do just things, and by doing them towards gods, he would do pious things. And someone who does just and pious things must be just and pious. — That’s so. — And further he must be brave too. For it’s not what a temperate man does to avoid or pursue unfitting things; he will avoid or pursue the things and people, pleasures and pains he should, and will resist and endure where he should. And so, Callicles, since the temperate man is just and brave and pious, as we described him, he definitely must be a completely good man; and the good man must do whatever he does well and finely; and the man who does well must be blessed and happy, and the base man who does badly must be wretched—and this would be the man who is the opposite way to the temperate man—the intemperate (akolastos) man whom you were praising. And so I set things down this way, and say that these things are true. And if they are true, then apparently the man who wants to be happy must pursue and practise temperance, and flee intemperance as fast as each of us can run. He must manage, best of all, to have no need of tempering (kolazesthai); but if he or any of his own, an 9 individual or a city, needs tempering, justice and tempering must be imposed, if he is to be happy. I believe this is the goal a man should look to in living, on which he should concentrate everything of his own and the city’s— to see that justice and temperance are present in everyone who is to be blessed—this is the way he should act. He should not allow his appetites to be intemperate and try to fulfill them—an endless evil—while he lives the life of a brigand. For no other man would be a friend to such a man; nor would god. For he is incapable of community; and when there is no community with a man, there can be no friendship with him. Now the wise men say, Callicles, that heaven and earth, gods and men are bound by community and friendship and order and temperance and justice; and that is why they call this whole universe the ‘world-order’, not ‘disorder’ or ‘intemperance’, my friend. But I think you don’t heed them, though you’re wise yourself. You haven’t noticed that geometrical equality has great power among gods and men; you think you should practise taking more, because you are heedless of geometry. Well then; either we must refute this argument and show that it is not by possession of justice and temperance that the happy are happy, and that the wretched are not wretched by the possession of vice; or else if this argument is true, we must examine what are the results that follow. All those previous things follow, Callicles—you asked me if I was serious when I said them, when I said that a man should denounce himself and his son and his companion if he does any unjust action, and should use rhetoric for this. And those things you thought Polus conceded to me out of shame were after all true, that doing injustice is as much worse than suffering it as it is more shameful; and after all someone who is going to be a rhetor in the right way should be a just man, one who knows about just things—which again Polus said Gorgias had conceded out of shame. Since that is so, let’s consider what you’re abusing me for, whether it’s well said or not. You say indeed that I’m unable to help myself or any of my friends or relatives, or save them from the most serious dangers, but I’m in the power of whoever wishes, just as the dishonoured are at the mercy of whoever feels like it—whether he wants to push my face in, in your vigorous expression, or to confiscate my money, or to expel me from the city, or finally to kill me—and this condition is the most shameful of all, on your account. Now what my argument is has often enough been said already, but nothing prevents it being said over again. I say, Callicles, that having my face pushed in unjustly is not the most shameful thing—nor is having my body or my purse cut. But to strike and cut me and mine unjustly is more shameful and evil, and likewise robbing, enslaving, house-breaking, and in short, any injustice against me and mine is both worse and more shameful for the man who does the injustice than for me who suffer it. These things which appeared true to us earlier in the previous arguments (logos) are held firm and bound down, so I say—even if it is a bit impolite to say so—by iron and adamantine arguments; so at least it appears so far. And if you, or someone more vigorous than you, doesn’t untie them, no one who says anything besides what I say now can be right. For my argument (logos) is always the same, that I myself don’t know how these things are, but no one I’ve ever met, just as now, is able to speak otherwise without being ridiculous. Well then, again I lay it down that this is so. Now if it’s so, and if injustice is the greatest of evils for the man who does injustice, and an even greater evil than the greatest, if that is possible, is doing injustice and not paying justice—then what lack of power to defend himself would make a man really ridiculous? Won’t it be the lack of power to defend himself against the greatest of harms to us? Surely this defence definitely must be the most shameful for us to lack power to provide, for ourselves and for friends and family. And the second most shameful will be the lack of defence against the second most serious evil, and the third most shameful against the third most serious evil, and so on in the same way—the greater each evil is, the finer it is to have the power to defend ourselves against it, and the more shameful it is to lack the power. Is that how it is, or some other way, Callicles? C. No other way. S. Then of these two things, doing injustice and suffering it, we say that doing injustice is the greater evil, and suffering it the lesser. Then how should a man equip himself for self-defence, so as to gain both of these benefits, from not doing injustice and from not suffering it? Does he need power or wish? I’m saying this:—Is it by not wishing to suffer injustice that a man will avoid suffering it, or by equipping himself with some power for not suffering it? C. It’s clear that this is the way, by having a power. S. And what about doing injustice? If a man doesn’t want to do injustice, will that be enough, because he won’t do injustice? Or for this too should he equip himself with some power and craft, since if he doesn’t learn and practise them he’ll do injustice? Why haven’t you answered me that, Callicles, whether you think Polus and I were right or not when we were forced to agree in the previous discussion, when we agreed that no one wants to do injustice, but all those who do it do it involuntarily? C. You can say that that’s so, Socrates, so that you can complete the argument. S. But in this activity, how to be as good as possible and how best to govern one’s own house or the city, it’s counted (novnizdn) shameful to say you won’t give advice unless you’re paid. Isn’t that right? 10 C. Yes. S. For it’s clear that this is the explanation; this is the only benefit which makes its beneficiary anxious to confer benefits in return for benefits received. That’s why you think it’s a fine sign of having conferred this kind of benefit, that you benefit in return, and if you haven’t, you don’t. Is this so? C. It is. S. Then define for me what kind of care for the city you’re urging on me. Do you want me to struggle, as a doctor would, to make the Athenians as good as possible, or to serve them and approach them aiming at their gratification? Tell me the truth, Callicles. Since you began by speaking freely to me, it’s only just that you should go on saying what you think. Tell me now as well as before, well and nobly. C. Well, I’m telling you you should serve them. S. Then it’s flattery you’re urging on me, my most noble friend. C. Yes, if it pleases you more to call a Mysian a Mysian, Socrates. For if you don’t do that…. S. Don’t tell me what you’ve often told me, that anyone who wants to will kill me. Save me the trouble of telling you in reply, ‘He’ll be base, and I’ll be a good man.’ And don’t tell me he’ll take away anything I have, or I’ll reply, ‘But when he takes it, he’ll have no good use for it. He took it from me unjustly, and in the same way when he’s taken it, he’ll use it unjustly, if unjustly then shamefully, and if shamefully then badly.’ C. How confident you seem that none of these things will ever happen to you, Socrates. You think you live out of harm’s way, and that you’ll never be dragged into court, perhaps by some wretched scoundrel. S. Then I’m really senseless, Callicles, if I don’t think that anything might happen to anyone in this city. But here’s something I know full d well. If I’m brought to court and face one of these penalties, as you say, my prosecutor will be a base man—for no worthy man would ever prosecute someone who wasn’t doing injustice—and it wouldn’t be at all extraordinary if I were put to death. Do you want me to say why I expect this? C. Certainly. S. I think I am one of a few Athenians—not to say the only one—who undertake the real political craft and practise politics—the only one among people now. I don’t aim at gratification with each of the speeches I make, but aim at the best, not the pleasantest, and I’m not willing to do ‘these subtle things’ that you advise me. That’s why I won’t know what to say in court. But the same account applies to me that I was telling to Polus. For I will be judged as a doctor might be judged by a jury of children with a cook as prosecutor. For consider how such a man would defend himself if he found himself before such a jury, if someone accused him and said ‘Children, this man has inflicted many evils on you. He ruins the youngest of you by cutting and burning. He leaves you confused, slimming and choking you, giving you those terribly bitter potions, and compelling you to go hungry and thirsty. He’s not like me. I used to feast you on many pleasant things of all kinds.’ What do you think a doctor caught in this evil would be able to say? Or suppose he told the truth, and said, ‘It was healthy, children, all that I was doing.’ What sorts of protests would he hear from such jurymen? Wouldn’t they be loud? C. Perhaps. We ought to suppose so. S. Don’t you think he’d be caught at a complete loss about what he ought to say? C. Quite. S. And yet I know that the same thing would happen to me too if I came before a jury-court. For I won’t be able to tell them the pleasures I have provided—which they think are benefits and advantages, while I envy neither the providers nor those provided with them. And suppose someone says that I ruin the younger men by confusing them, or that I speak evil of the older people by harsh remarks in private or in public. Then I’ll be able to say neither what’s true—’All this that I say and do is just, gentlemen of the jury’ (as you rhetors say)—nor anything else. And so perhaps whatever it turns out to be will happen to me. C. Then do you think, Socrates, that it’s a fine condition for a man in the city when he’s like this, and without power to defend himself? S. Yes—if he had this one thing which you have often agreed on, Callicles; if he had secured his own defence, by saying and doing nothing unjust towards men or gods. For we have often agreed that this is the supreme form of self defense. And so if someone refuted me and showed that I have no power to defend myself or anyone else with this defence, then I would be ashamed if I were refuted before many people or before few, or with the two of us by ourselves; and if I were put to death because I lacked this power, I would be annoyed. But if I died because I lacked flattering rhetoric, I know for sure that you would see me bearing death easily. For being put to death itself—no one fears that unless he’s altogether unreasoning and unmanly; it is doing injustice that he fears. For if the soul is full of many injustices when it arrives in Hades, that is the ultimate of all evils. Platonic Dialogue, Phaedo ECHECRATES. Were you there with Socrates yourself, Phaedo, on the day he drank the poison in the prison, or did you hear of it from someone else? PHAEDO. I was there myself, Echecrates. … ECHECRATES. And what about the circumstances of the death itself, Phaedo? What was it that was said and done, and which of his intimates were there with him? Or would the authorities allow no one to be present, so that he met his end isolated from his friends? PHAEDO. By no means: some were present, in fact quite a number. ECHECRATES. Please do try, then, to give us as definite a report as you can of the whole thing, unless you happen to be otherwise engaged. PHAEDO. No, I am free, and I’ll try to describe it for you; indeed it’s always the greatest of pleasures for me to recall Socrates, whether speaking myself or listening to someone else. ECHECRATES. Well, Phaedo, you certainly have an audience of the same mind; so try to recount everything as minutely as you can. PHAEDO. Very well then. I myself was curiously affected while I was there: it wasn’t pity that visited me, as might have been expected for someone present at the death of an intimate friend; because the man seemed to me happy, Echecrates, both in his manner and his words, so fearlessly and nobly was he meeting his end; and so I felt assured that even while on his way to Hades he would not go without divine providence, and that when he arrived there he would fare well, if ever anyone did. That’s why I wasn’t visited at all by the pity that would seem natural for someone present at a scene of sorrow, nor again by the pleasure from our being occupied, as usual, with philosophy—because the discussion was, in fact, of that sort—but a simply extraordinary feeling was upon me, a sort of strange mixture of pleasure and pain combined, as I reflected that Socrates was shortly going to die. All of us there were affected in much the same way, 1 now laughing, now in tears, one of us quite exceptionally so, Apollodorus—I think you know the man and his manner. … Socrates:‘Very well then, let me try to defend myself more convincingly before you than I did before the jury. Because if I didn’t believe, Simmias and Cebes, that I shall enter the presence, first, of other gods both wise and good, and next of dead people better than those in this world, then I should be wrong not to be resentful at death; but as it is, be assured that I expect to join the company of good men—although that point I shouldn’t affirm with absolute conviction; but I shall enter the presence of gods who are very good masters, be assured that if there’s anything I should affirm on such matters, it is that. So that’s why I am not so resentful, but rather am hopeful that there is something in store for those who’ve died—in fact, as we’ve long been told, something far better for the good than for the wicked.’ ‘Well then, Socrates,’ said Simmias, ‘do you mean to go off keeping this thought to yourself, or would you share it with us too? We have a common claim on this benefit as well, I think; and at the same time your defence will be made, if you persuade us of what you say.’ ‘All right, I’ll try,’ he said. ‘But first let’s find out what it is that Crito here has been wanting to say, for some time past, I think.’ ’Why Socrates,’ said Crito, ‘it’s simply that the man who’s going to give you the poison has been telling me for some time that you must be warned to talk as little as possible: he says people get heated through talking too much, and one must bring nothing of that sort in contact with the poison; people doing that sort of thing are sometimes obliged, otherwise, to drink twice or even three times.’ ‘Never mind him,’ said Socrates. ‘Just let him prepare his stuff so as to give two doses, or even three if need be.’ ‘Yes, I pretty well knew it,’ said Crito; ‘but he’s been giving me trouble for some while.’ ‘Let him be,’ he said. ‘Now then, with you for my jury I want to give my defence, and show with what good reason, as it seems to me, a man who has truly spent his life in philosophy feels confident when about to die, and is hopeful that, when he has died, he will win very great benefits in the other world. So I’ll try, Simmias and Cebes, to explain how this could be. ‘Other people may well be unaware that all who actually engage in philosophy aright are practising nothing other than dying and being dead. Now if this is true, it would be odd indeed for them to be eager in their whole life for nothing but that, and yet to be resentful when it comes, the very thing they’d long been eager for and practised.’ Simmias laughed at this and said: ‘Goodness, Socrates, you’ve made me laugh, even though I wasn’t much inclined to laugh just now. I imagine that most people, on hearing that, would think it very well said of philosophers—and our own countrymen would quite agree—that they are, indeed, longing for death, and that they, at any rate, are well aware that that is what philosophers deserve to undergo.’ ‘Yes, and what they say would be true, Simmias, except for their claim to be aware of it themselves; because they aren’t aware in what sense genuine philosophers are longing for death and deserving of it, and what kind of death they deserve. Anyway, let’s discuss it among ourselves, disregarding them: do we suppose that death is a reality?’ ‘Certainly,’ rejoined Simmias. ‘And that it is nothing but the separation of the soul from the body? And that being dead is this: the body’s having come to be apart, separated from the soul, alone by itself, and the soul’s being apart, alone by itself, separated from the body? Death can’t be anything else but that, can it?’ ‘No, it’s just that.’ ‘Now look, my friend, and see if maybe you agree with me on these points; because through them I think we’ll improve our knowledge of what we’re examining. Do you think it befits a philosophical man to be keen about the so-called pleasures of, for example, food and drink?’ ‘Not in the least, Socrates,’ said Simmias. 2 ‘And what about those of sex?’ ‘Not at all.’ ‘And what about the other services to the body? Do you think such a person regards them as of any value? For instance, the possession of smart clothes and shoes, and the other bodily adornments—do you think he values them highly, or does he disdain them, except in so far as he’s absolutely compelled to share in them?’ ‘I think the genuine philosopher disdains them.’ ‘Do you think in general, then, that such a person’s concern is not for the body, but so far as he can stand aside from it, is directed towards the soul?’ ‘I do.’ ‘Then is it clear that, first, in such matters as those the philosopher differs from other people in releasing his soul, as far as possible, from its communion with the body?’ ‘It appears so.’ ‘And presumably, Simmias, it does seem to most people that someone who finds nothing of that sort pleasant, and takes no part in those things, doesn’t deserve to live; rather, one who cares nothing for the pleasures that come by way of the body runs pretty close to being dead.’ ‘Yes, what you say is quite true.’ ’And now, what about the actual gaining of wisdom? Is the body a hindrance or not, if one enlists it as a partner in the quest? This is the sort of thing I mean: do sight and hearing afford mankind any truth, or aren’t even the poets always harping on such themes, telling us that we neither hear nor see anything accurately? And yet if those of all the bodily senses are neither accurate nor clear, the others will hardly be so; because they are, surely, all inferior to those. Don’t you think so?’ ‘Certainly.’ ‘So when does the soul attain the truth? Because plainly, whenever it sets about examining anything in company with the body, it is completely taken in by it.’ ‘That’s true.’ ‘So isn’t it in reasoning, if anywhere at all, that any realities become manifest to it?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘And it reasons best, presumably, whenever none of these things bothers it, neither hearing nor sight nor pain, nor any pleasure either, but whenever it comes to be alone by itself as far as possible, disregarding the body, and whenever, having the least possible communion and contact with it, it strives for reality.’ ‘That is so.’ ‘So there again the soul of the philosopher utterly disdains the body and flees from it, seeking rather to come to be alone by itself?’ ‘It seems so.’ ‘Well now, what about things of this sort, Simmias? Do we say that a just itself is a reality or not?’ ‘Yes, we most certainly do!’ ‘And likewise, a beautiful and a good?’ ‘Of course.’ ‘Now did you ever yet see any such things with your eyes?’ ‘Certainly not.’ ‘Well did you grasp them with any other bodily sense-perception? And I’m talking about them all— about largeness, health, and strength, for example— and, in short, about the being of all other such things, what each one actually is; is it through the body that the truest view of them is gained, or isn’t it rather thus: whoever of us is prepared to think most fully and minutely of each object of his inquiry, in itself, will come closest to the knowledge of each?’ ‘Yes, certainly.’ ‘Then would that be achieved most purely by one who approached each object with his intellect alone as far as possible, neither applying sight in his thinking, nor dragging in any other sense to accompany his reasoning; rather, using his intellect alone by itself and unsullied, he would undertake the hunt for each reality alone by itself and unsullied; he would be separated as far as possible from his eyes and ears, and virtually from his whole body, on the ground that it confuses the soul, and doesn’t allow it to gain truth and wisdom when in partnership with it: isn’t this the one, Simmias, who will attain reality, if anyone will?’ 3 ‘What you say is abundantly true, Socrates,’ said Simmias. ‘For all those reasons, then, some such view as this must present itself to genuine philosophers, so that they say such things to one another as these: “There now, it looks as if some sort of track is leading us, together with our reason, astray in our inquiry: as long as we possess the body, and our soul is contaminated by such an evil, we’ll surely never adequately gain what we desire—and that, we say, is truth. Because the body affords us countless distractions, owing to the nurture it must have; and again, if any illnesses befall it, they hamper our pursuit of reality. Besides, it fills us up with lusts and desires, with fears and fantasies of every kind, and with any amount of trash, so that really and truly we are, as the saying goes, never able to think of anything at all because of it. Thus, it’s nothing but the body and its desires that brings wars and factions and fighting; because it’s over the gaining of wealth that all wars take place, and we’re compelled to gain wealth because of the body, enslaved as we are to its service; so far all those reasons it leaves us no leisure for philosophy. And the worst of it all is that if we do get any leisure from it, and turn to some inquiry, once again it intrudes everywhere in our researches, setting up a clamour and disturbance, and striking terror, so that the truth can’t be discerned because of it. Well now, it really has been shown us that if we’re ever going to know anything purely, we must be rid of it, and must view the objects themselves with the soul by itself; it’s then, apparently, that the thing we desire and whose lovers we claim to be, wisdom, will be ours—when we have died, as the argument indicates, though not while we live. Because, if we can know nothing purely in the body’s company, then one of two things must be true: either knowledge is nowhere to be gained, or else it is for the dead; since then, but no sooner, will the soul be alone by itself apart from the body. And therefore while we live, it would seem that we shall be closest to knowledge in this way—if we consort with the body as little as possible, and do not commune with it, except in so far as we must, and do not infect ourselves with its nature, but remain pure from it, until God himself shall release us; and being thus pure, through separation from the body’s folly, we shall probably be in like company, and shall know through our own selves all that is unsullied—and that, 1 dare say, is what the truth is; because never will it be permissible for impure to touch pure.” Such are the things, I think, Simmias, that all who are rightly called lovers of knowledge must say to one another, and must believe. Don’t you agree?’ ‘Emphatically, Socrates.’ ‘Well then, if that’s true, my friend,’ said Socrates, ‘there’s plenty of hope for one who arrives where I’m going, that there, if anywhere, he will adequately possess the object that’s been our great concern in life gone by; and thus the journey now appointed for ine may also be made with good hope by any other man who regards his intellect as prepared, by having been, in a manner, purified.’ ‘Yes indeed,’ said Simmias. ‘Then doesn’t purification turn out to be just what’s been mentioned for some while in our discussion—the parting of the soul from the body as far as possible, and the habituating of it to assemble and gather itself together, away from every part of the body, alone by itself, and to live, so far as it can, both in the present and in the hereafter, released from the body, as from fetters ?’ ‘Yes indeed.’ ‘And is it just this that is named “death”—a release and parting of soul from body?’ ‘Indeed it is.’ ‘And it’s especially those who practise philosophy aright, or rather they alone, who are always eager to release it, as we say, and the occupation of philosophers is just this, isn’t it—a release and parting of soul from body?’ ‘It seems so.’ ‘Then wouldn’t it be absurd, as I said at the start, for a man to prepare himself in his life to live as close as he can to being dead, and then to be resentful when that comes to him?’ ‘It would be absurd, of course.’ 4 ‘Truly then, Simmias, those who practise philosophy aright are cultivating dying, and for them, least of all men, does being dead hold any terror. Look at it like this: if they’ve set themselves at odds with the body at every point, and desire to possess their soul alone by itself, wouldn’t it be quite illogical if they were afraid and resentful when that came about—if, that is, they didn’t go gladly to the place where, on arrival, they may hope to attain what they longed for throughout life, namely wisdom—and to be rid of the company of that with which they’d set themselves at odds? Or again, many have been willing to enter Hades of their own accord, in quest of human loves, of wives and sons who have died, led by this hope, that there they would see and be united with those they desired; will anyone, then, who truly longs for wisdom, and who firmly holds this same hope, that nowhere but in Hades will he attain it in any w ay worth mentioning, be resentful at dying; and will he not go there gladly? One must suppose so, my friend, if he’s truly a lover of wisdom; since this will be his firm belief, that nowhere else but there will he attain wisdom purely. Yet if that is so, wouldn’t it, as I said just now, be quite illogical if such a person were afraid of death?’ ‘Yes, quite illogical!’ ‘Then if you see a man resentful that he is going to die, isn’t that proof enough for you that he’s no lover of wisdom after all, but what we may call a lover of the body?… When Socrates had said that, Cebes rejoined: ‘The other things you say, Socrates, I find excellent; but what you say about the soul is the subject of much disbelief: people fear that when it’s been separated from the body, it may no longer exist anywhere, but that on the very day a person dies, it may be destroyed and perish, as soon as it’s separated from the body; and that as it goes out, it may be dispersed like breath or smoke, go flying off, and exist no longer anywhere at all. True, if it did exist somewhere, gathered together alone by itself, and separated from those evils you were recounting just now, there’d be plenty of hope, Socrates, and a fine hope it would be, that what you say is true; but on just this point, perhaps, one needs no little reassuring and convincing, that when the person has died, his soul exists, and that it possesses some power and wisdom.’ ‘That’s true, Cebes,’ said Socrates; ‘but then what are we to do? Would you like us to speculate on those very questions, and see whether that is likely to be the case or not?’ ‘For my part anyway,’ said Cebes, ‘I’d gladly hear whatever opinion you have about them.’ ‘Well,’ said Socrates, ‘I really don’t think anyone listening now, even if he were a comic poet, would say that I’m talking idly, and arguing about things that don’t concern me. If you agree, then, we should look into the matter. ‘Let’s consider it, perhaps, in this way: do the souls of human beings exist in Hades when they have died, or do they not? Now there’s an ancient doctrine, which we’ve recalled, that they do exist in that world, entering it from this one, and that they re-enter this world and are born again from the dead; yet if that is so, if living people are born again from those who have died, surely our souls would have to exist in that world? Because they could hardly be born again, if they didn’t exist; so it would be sufficient evidence for the truth of those claims, if it really became plain that living people are born from the dead and from nowhere else; but if that isn’t so, some other argument would be needed.’ ‘Certainly,’ said Cebes. ‘Well now, consider the matter, if you want to understand more readily, in connection not only with mankind, but with all animals and plants; and, in general, for all things subject to coming-to-be, let’s see whether everything comes to be in this way: opposites come to be only from their opposites—in the case of all things that actually have an opposite—as, for example, the beautiful is opposite, of course, to the ugly, just to unjust, and so on in countless other cases. So let’s consider this: is it necessary that whatever has an opposite comes to be only from its opposite? For example, when a thing comes to be larger, it must, surely, come to be larger from being smaller before?’ ‘Yes.’ 5 ‘And again, if it comes to be smaller, it will come to be smaller later from being larger before?’ ‘That’s so.’ ‘And that which is weaker comes to be, presumably, from a stronger, and that which is faster from a slower?’ ‘Certainly.’ ‘And again, if a thing comes to be worse, it’s from a better, and if more just, from a more unjust?’ ‘Of course.’ ‘Are we satisfied, then, that all things come to be in this way, opposite things from opposites?’ ‘Certainly.’ … [In this abridged portion, Socrates argues that the soul, as life of the body, is the opposite of death, and thus must come from the death of a previous life] ... ‘In that way too, then, we’re agreed that living people are born from the dead no less than dead people from the living; and we thought that, if that were the case, it would be sufficient evidence that the souls of the dead must exist somewhere, whence they are born again.’ ‘I think, Socrates, that that must follow from our admissions.’ ... [in the next abridged portion, Socrates presents his argument from recollection of knowledge from before birth] ... ‘Now if, having got it before birth, we were born in possession of it, did we know, both before birth and as soon as we were born, not only the equal, the larger and the smaller, but everything of that sort? Because our present argument concerns the beautiful itself, and the good itself, and just and holy, no less than the equal; in fact, as I say, it concerns everything on which we set this seal, “that which it is”, in the questions we ask and in the answers we give. And so we must have got pieces of knowledge of all those things before birth.’ ‘Then let’s go back to those entities to which we turned in our earlier argument. Is the reality itself, whose being we give an account of in asking and answering questions, unvarying and constant, or does it vary? Does the equal itself, the beautiful itself, that which each thing itself is, the real, ever admit of any change whatever? Or does that which each of them is, being uniform alone by itself, remain unvarying and constant, and never admit of any kind of alteration in any way or respect whatever?’ ‘It must be unvarying and constant, Socrates,’ said Cebes. ‘But what about the many beautiful things, such as human beings or horses or cloaks or anything else at all of that kind? Or equals, or all things that bear the same name as those objects? Are they constant, or are they just the opposite of those others, and practically never constant at all, either in relation to themselves or to one another?’ ‘That is their condition,’ said Cebes; ‘they are never unvarying.’ ‘Now these things you could actually touch and see and sense with the other senses, couldn’t you, whereas those that are constant you could lay hold of only by reasoning of the intellect; aren’t such things, rather, invisible and not seen?’ ‘What you say is perfectly true.’ ‘Then would you like us to posit two kinds of beings, the one kind seen, the other invisible?’ ‘Let’s posit them.’ ‘And the invisible is always constant, whereas the seen is never constant?’ ‘Let’s posit that too.’ ‘Well, but we ourselves are part body and part soul, aren’t we?’ ‘We are.’ ‘Then to which kind do we say that the body will be more similar and more akin?’ ‘That’s clear to anyone: obviously to the seen.’ ‘And what about the soul? Is it seen or invisible?’ ‘It’s not seen by human beings, at any rate, Socrates.’ ‘But we meant, surely, things seen and not seen with reference to human nature; or do you think we meant any other?’ ‘We meant human nature.’ 6 ‘What do we say about soul, then? Is it seen or unseen?’ ‘It’s not seen.’ ‘Then it’s invisible?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Then soul is more similar than body to the invisible, whereas body is more similar to that which is seen.’ ‘That must be so, Socrates.’ ‘Now weren’t we saying a while ago that whenever the soul uses the body as a means to study anything, either by seeing or hearing or any other sense—because to use the body as a means is to study a thing through sense perception—then it is dragged by the body towards objects that are never constant; and it wanders about itself, and is confused and dizzy, as if drunk, by virtue of contact with things of a similar kind?’ ‘Certainly.’ ‘Whereas whenever it studies alone by itself, it departs yonder towards that which is pure and always existent and immortal and unvarying, and by virtue of its kinship with it, enters always into its company, whenever it has come to be alone by itself, and whenever it may do so; then it has ceased from its wandering and, when it is about those objects, it is always constant and unvarying, because of its contact with things of a similar kind; and this condition of it is called “wisdom”, is it not?’ ‘That’s very well said and perfectly true, Socrates.’ ‘Once again, then, in the light of our earlier and present arguments, to which kind do you think that soul is more similar and more akin?’ ‘Everyone, I think, Socrates, even the slowest learner, following this line of inquiry, would agree that soul is totally and altogether more similar to what is unvarying than to what is not.’ ‘And what about the body?’ ‘That is more like the latter.’ ‘Now look at it this way too: when soul and body are present in the same thing, nature ordains that the one shall serve and be ruled, whereas the other shall rule and be master; here again, which do you think is similar to the divine and which to the mortal? Don’t you think the divine is naturally adapted for ruling and domination, whereas the mortal is adapted for being ruled and for service?’ ‘I do.’ ‘Which kind, then, does the soul resemble?’ ‘Obviously, Socrates, the soul resembles the divine, and the body the mortal.’ ‘So what I was saying we were to define, the kind of things which, while not opposite to a given thing, nevertheless don’t admit it, the opposite in question— as we’ve just seen that threeness, while not opposite to the even, nevertheless doesn’t admit it, since it always brings up its opposite, just as twoness brings up the opposite of the odd, and the fire brings up the opposite of the cold, and so on in a great many other cases—well, see whether you would define them thus: it is not only the opposite that doesn’t admit its opposite; there is also that which brings up an opposite into whatever it enters itself; and that thing, the very thing that brings it up, never admits the quality opposed to the one that’s brought up. Recall it once more: there’s no harm in hearing it several times. Five won’t admit the form of the even, nor will ten, its double, admit that of the odd. That, of course, is itself also the opposite of something else; nevertheless, it won’t admit the form of the odd. Nor again will oneand-a-half, and the rest of that series, the halves, admit the form of the whole; and the same applies to a third, and all that series. Do you follow and agree that that is so?’ ‘I agree most emphatically, and I do follow.’ ‘Then please repeat it from the start; and don’t answer in the exact terms of my question, but in imitation of my example. I say this, because from what’s now being said I see a different kind of safety beyond the answer I gave initially, the old safe one. Thus, if you were to ask me what it is, by whose presence in a body, that body will be hot, I shan’t give you the old safe, ignorant answer, that it’s heat, but a subtler answer now available, that it’s fire. And again, if you ask what it is, by whose presence in a body, that body will ail, I shan’t say that it’s illness, but fever. 7 And again, if asked what it is, by whose presence in a number, that number will be odd, I shan’t say oddness, but oneness, and so on. See whether by now you have an adequate understanding of what I want.’ ‘Yes, quite adequate.’ ‘Answer then, and tell me what it is, by whose presence in a body, that body will be living.’ ‘Soul.’ ‘And is that always so?’ ‘Of course.’ ‘Then soul, whatever it occupies, always comes to that thing bringing life?’ ‘It comes indeed.’ ‘And is there an opposite to life, or is there none?’ ‘There is.’ ‘What is it?’ ‘Death.’ ‘Now soul will absolutely never admit the opposite of what it brings up, as has been agreed earlier?’ ‘Most emphatically,’ said Cebes. ‘Well now, what name did we give just now to what doesn’t admit the form of the even?’ ‘Uneven.’ ‘And to that which doesn’t admit the just, and to whatever doesn’t admit the musical?’ ‘Unmusical, and unjust.’ ‘Well then, what do we call whatever doesn’t admit death?’ ‘Immortal.’ ‘But soul doesn’t admit death?’ ‘No.’ ‘Then soul is immortal.’ ‘It’s immortal.’ ‘Very well. May we say that that much has been proved? Or how does it seem to you?’ ‘Yes, and very adequately proved, Socrates.’ ‘Now what about this, Cebes? If it were necessary for the uneven to be imperishable, three would be imperishable, wouldn’t it?’ ‘Of course.’ ‘Or again, if the non-hot were necessarily imperishable likewise, then whenever anyone brought hot against snow, the snow would get out of the way, remaining intact and unmelted? Because it couldn’t perish, nor again could it abide and admit the heat.’ ‘True.’ ‘And in the same way, I imagine, if the noncoolable were imperishable, then whenever something cold attacked the fire, it could never be put out nor could it perish, but it would depart and go away intact.’ ‘It would have to.’ ‘Then aren’t we compelled to say the same thing about the immortal? If the immortal is also imperishable, it’s impossible for soul, whenever death attacks it, to perish. Because it follows from what’s been said before that it won’t admit death, nor will it be dead, just as we said that three will not be even, any more than the odd will be; and again that fire will not be cold, any more than the heat in the fire will be. “But”, someone might say, “what’s to prevent the odd, instead of coming to be even, as we granted it didn’t, when the even attacks, from perishing, and there coming to be even in its place?” Against one who said that, we could not contend that it doesn’t perish; because the uneven is not imperishable. If that had been granted us, we could easily have contended that when the even attacks, the odd and three depart and go away. And we could have contended similarly about fire and hot and the rest, couldn’t we?’ ‘Certainly we could.’ ‘So now, about the immortal likewise: if it’s granted us that it must also be imperishable, then soul, besides being immortal, would also be imperishable; but if not, another argument would be needed.’ ‘But there’s no need of one, on that score at least. Because it could hardly be that anything else wouldn’t: admit destruction if the immortal, being everlasting, is going to admit destruction.’ ‘Well God anyway,’ said Socrates, ‘and the form of life itself, and anything else immortal there may be, never perish, as would, I think, be agreed by everyone.’ ‘Why yes, to be sure; by all human beings and still more, I imagine, by gods.’ 8 Then, given that the immortal is also indestructible, wouldn’t soul, if it proves to be immortal, be imperishable as well?’ ‘It absolutely must be imperishable.’ ‘Then when death attacks a person, the mortal part, it seems, dies; whereas the immortal part gets out of the way of death, departs, and goes away intact and undestroyed.’ ‘It appears so.’ ‘Beyond all doubt then, Cebes, soul is immortal and imperishable, and our souls really will exist in Hades.’ ‘Well, Socrates, for my part I’ve no further objection, nor can I doubt the arguments at any point. But if Simmias here or anyone else has anything to say, he’d better not keep silent; as I know of no future occasion to which anyone wanting to speak or hear about such things could put it off.’ ‘Well no,’ said Simmias; ‘nor have I any further ground for doubt myself, as far as the arguments go; though in view of the size of the subject under discussion, and having a low regard for human weakness, I’m bound to retain some doubt in my mind about what’s been said.’ ‘Not only that, Simmias,’ said Socrates; ‘what you say is right, so the initial hypothesis, even if they’re acceptable to you people, should still be examined more clearly: if you analyse them adequately, you will, I believe, follow the argument to the furthest point to which a human being can follow it up; and if you get that clear, you’ll seek nothing further.’ ‘What you say is true.’ ‘Now to insist that those things are just as i Hd I’ve related them would not be fitting for a man of intelligence; but that either that or something like it is true about our souls and their dwellings, given that the soul evidently is immortal, that, I think, is fitting and worth risking, for one who believes that it is so— for a noble risk it is—so one should repeat such things to oneself like a spell; which is just why I’ve so prolonged the tale. For those reasons, then, any man should have confidence for his own soul, who during his life has rejected the pleasures of the body and its adornments as alien, thinking they do more harm than good, but has devoted himself to the pleasures of learning, and has decked his soul with no alien adornment, but with its own, with temperance and justice, bravery, liberality, and truth, thus awaiting the journey he will make to Hades, whenever destiny shall summon him. Now as for you, Simmias and Cebes and the rest, you will make your several journeys at some future time, but for myself, “e’en now”, as a tragic hero might say, “destiny doth summon me”; and it’s just about time I made for the bath: it really seems better to take a bath before drinking the poison, and not to give the women the trouble of washing a dead body.’ When he’d spoken, Crito said: ‘Very well, Socrates: what instructions have you for these others or for me, about your children or about anything else? What could we do, that would be of most service to you?’ ‘What I’m always telling you, Crito,’ said he, ‘and nothing very new: if you take care for yourselves, your actions will be of service to me and mine, and to yourselves too, whatever they may be, even if you make no promises now; but if you take no care for yourselves, and are unwilling to pursue your lives along the tracks, as it were, marked by our present and earlier discussions, then even if you make many firm promises at this time, you’ll do no good at all.’ ‘Then we’ll strive to do as you say,’ he said; ‘but in what fashion are we to bury you?’ ‘However you wish,’ said he; ‘provided you catch me, that is, and I don’t get away from you.’ And with this he laughed quietly, looked towards us and said: ‘Friends, I can’t persuade Crito that I am Socrates here, the one who is now conversing and arranging each of the things being discussed; but he imagines I’m that dead body he’ll see in a little while, so he goes and asks how he’s to bury me! But as for the great case I’ve been arguing all this time, that when I drink the poison, I shall no longer remain with you, but shall go off and depart for some happy state of the blessed, this, I think, I’m putting to him in vain, while comforting you and myself alike. So please stand surety for me with Crito, the opposite surety to that 9 which he stood for me with the judges: his guarantee was that I would stay behind, whereas you must guarantee that, when I die, I shall not stay behind, but shall go off and depart; then Crito will bear it more easily, and when he sees the burning or interment of my body, he won’t be distressed for me, as if I were suffering dreadful things, and won’t say at the funeral that it is Socrates they are laying out or bearing to the grave or interring. Because you can be sure, my dear Crito, that misuse of words is not only troublesome in itself, but actually has a bad effect on the soul. Rather, you should be of good cheer, and say you are burying my body; and bury it however you please, and think most proper.’ After saying this, he rose and went into a room to take a bath, and Crito followed him but told us to wait. So we waited, talking among ourselves about what had been said and reviewing it, and then again dwelling on how great a misfortune had befallen us, simply thinking of it as if we were deprived of a father and would lead the rest of our life as orphans, After he’d bathed and his children had been brought to him—he had two little sons and one big one—and those women of his household had come, he talked with them in Crito’s presence, and gave certain directions as to his wishes; he then told the women and children to leave, and himself returned to us. By now it was close to sunset, as he’d spent a long time inside. So he came and sat down, fresh from his bath, and there wasn’t much talk after that. Then the prison official came in, stepped up to him and said, ‘Socrates, I shan’t reproach you as I reproach others for being angry with me and cursing, whenever by order of the rulers I direct them to drink the poison. In your time here I’ve known you for the most generous and gentlest and best of men who have ever come to this place; and now especially, I feel sure it isn’t with me that you’re angry, but with others, because you know who are responsible. Well now, you know the message I’ve come to bring: goodbye, then, and try to bear the inevitable as easily as you can.’ And with this he turned away in tears, and went off. Socrates looked up at him and said: ‘Goodbye to you too, and we’ll do as you say.’ And to us he added: ‘What a civil man he is! Throughout my time here he’s been to see me, and sometimes talked with me, and been the best of fellows; and now how generous of him to weep for me! But come on, Crito, let’s obey him: let someone bring in the poison, if it has been prepared; if not, let the man prepare it.’ Crito said: ‘But Socrates, I think the sun is still on the mountains and hasn’t yet gone down. And besides, I know of others who’ve taken the draught long after the order had been given them, and after dining well and drinking plenty, and even in some cases enjoying themselves with those they fancied. Be in no hurry, then: there’s still time left.’ Socrates said: ‘It’s reasonable for those you speak of to do those things—because they think they gain by doing them; for myself, it’s reasonable not to do them; because I think I’ll gain nothing by taking the draught a little later: I’ll only earn my own ridicule by clinging to life, and being sparing when there’s nothing more left. Go on now; do as I ask, and nothing else.’ Hearing this, Crito nodded to the boy who was standing nearby. The boy went out, and after spending a long time away he returned, bringing the man who was going to administer the poison, and was carrying it ready-pounded in a cup. When he saw the man, Socrates said: ‘Well, my friend, you’re an expert in these things: what must one do?’ ‘Simply drink it,’ he said, ‘and walk about till a heaviness comes over your legs; then lie down, and it will act of itself.’ And with this he held out the cup to Socrates. He took it perfectly calmly, Echecrates, without a tremor, or any change of colour or countenance; but looking up at the man, and fixing him with his customary stare, he said: ‘What do you say to pouring someone a libation from this drink? Is it allowed or not?’ ‘We only prepare as much as we judge the proper dose, Socrates,’ he said. ‘I understand,’ he said; ‘but at least one may pray to the gods, and so one should, that the removal from this world to the next will be a happy one; that is my 10 own prayer: so may it be.’ With these words he pressed the cup to his lips, and drank it off with good humour and without the least distaste. Till then most of us had been fairly well able to restrain our tears; but when we saw he was drinking, that he’d actually drunk it, we could do so no longer. In my own case, the tears came pouring out in spite of myself, so that I covered my face and wept for myself—not for him, no, but for my own misfortune in being deprived of such a man for a companion. Even before me, Crito had moved away, when he was unable to restrain his tears. And Apollodorus, who even earlier had been continuously in tears, now burst forth into such a storm of weeping and grieving, that he made everyone present break down except Socrates himself. But Socrates said: ‘What a way to behave, my strange friends! Why, it was mainly for that reason that I sent the women away, so that they shouldn’t make this sort of trouble; in fact, I’ve heard one should die in silence. Come now, calm yourselves and have strength.’ When we heard this, we were ashamed and checked our tears. He walked about, and when he said that his legs felt heavy he lay down on his back— as the man told him—and then the man, this one who...

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