3. Socratic Citizenship: Plato’s Crito


Professor Steven Smith:
Okay I want to begin with a question today,
I have a question for you; well you’ve been reading the
Apology, you’ve now read the–you’ve
read the Apology and the Crito;
you’ve had a little chance to think about these works.
I’d just like to do a piece of survey research,
how many of you, just a show of hands is all I
need; how many of you believe
Socrates is innocent and should be acquitted? Okay and how many of you
believe he is guilty and more or less got what he deserved? Higher please, okay.
Not exactly the same proportion, I think,
somewhat a greater number believe in his innocence than in
the Athenian jury obviously. But let me just ask you in the
brown shirt, just curious, why do you think he is innocent
and should be acquitted? Student: Well I felt
that he [inaudible] and it seemed to me that the
[inaudible] more on personal views
[inaudible] and not exactly by concrete
charges. Professor Steven Smith:
And I noticed you had your, yes why do you believe he was
guilty and got what he deserved? Student: [Inaudible]
what is just isn’t somehow [inaudible]
what is just is what society agrees [inaudible]
and I mean he was going against people who had the authority to
define words like in [inaudible] what is just is what society
says is just and society says [inaudible].
Professor Steven Smith: Okay so as Lincoln once said,
both of you can’t be right, neither of you may be right,
but both of you can’t be right. So this is a question that I
want to continue today, to consider what the trial of
Socrates means and I want to begin by going back to a problem
or a paradox that I ended the class with last time.
That is to say that Socrates proposes, right,
a new conception of what it is to be a citizen,
he opposes, we have seen, the traditional,
you might say Homeric conception,
of the citizen, certain notions of citizen
loyalty and patriotism, created,
shaped by the poetic tradition going back to Homer.
He wants to replace that with a new kind of, I want to call it
rational citizenship, philosophical citizenship.
A view of citizenship that, again, relies on one’s own
powers of independent reason and judgment and argument and in the
course of defending this point of view,
Socrates says, in an interesting passage,
that he has spent his entire life pursuing private matters
rather than public ones and has deliberately avoided public
issues, issues of politics and that
raises a question. How can a citizen,
how can this new kind of citizenship that he is
proposing, how can any kind of citizenship
be devoted just to private matters and not public?
Citizenship seems to require even the public sphere,
the public realm. What does Socrates mean when he
says his way of life has been devoted almost exclusively to
private rather than to public matters?
Well, the first thing we might think about is whether that’s
entirely true, whether he’s being entirely
candid with his audience; after all, the kind of
investigations, the kind of interrogations that
he has been pursuing since going to the Delphic Oracle and then
following at least his interpretation of its mandate,
these investigations of the politicians, the poets,
the craftsman and the like. He says these have been carried
out in public, he has gone around in the
market and in the open and in the public forum questioning,
interrogating and obviously making a variety of people look
foolish. So this is hardly simply a
private question or a private way of life but perhaps he means
simply that by pursuing a private life that again he’s
going to rely almost exclusively on his own individual powers of
reason and judgment, not to defer or rely on such
public goods as custom, as authority,
as tradition, things of this sort.
But I think Socrates means more than that, more than simply he
wishes to rely on the powers of private individual judgment.
When he says that his way of life has been private,
he means that he has pursued a policy of,
let’s call it “the principled abstinence from public life.”
Socrates is a great abstainer, he has abstained from
participation in the collective actions of the city,
actions that he believes could only entail a complicity in acts
of public injustice. His own motto,
if you want to ascribe him a motto, seems to be a variety of
the Hippocratic Oath, you know, that doctors are
famous for: “do no harm.” And to do no harm he has
required of himself a kind of principled abstention from
public life. If George Bush described
himself not long ago as the decider, you might call Socrates
the abstainer. But what does he mean by or
what do I mean by referring to his policies of abstention from
political life? Do you remember he gives a
couple of examples of this sort? One of them,
remember, concerned his refusal to join in the judgment to
condemn and execute the ten Athenian generals who had failed
to collect the corpses, the bodies, of the men lost in
a particular battle during the Peloponnesian War?
This was a mark of great shame and disgrace.
This was an actual event. There was a kind of judgment of
collective guilt and they were all executed there,
the leaders, the generals of this particular
battle and Socrates tells how he refused to engage in that kind
of–to join the court in the judgment of their collective
guilt, a true incident.
And the second story you remember from your reading of
the book was his telling, reminding the jury how he
refused to participate. He was ordered by the Thirty,
the hated Tyranny of the Thirty, he was ordered to assist
in the arrest of a man known as Leon of Salamis,
an arrest that would have and did in fact lead to Leon’s
execution and Socrates tells how he at considerable risk to
himself refused to participate in the arrest of this man.
In both of these cases, I take it, Socrates’ point is
that his own individual moral integrity stands as a kind of
litmus test, you might say,
for whether to engage or disengage from political life.
“I was the sort of man,” he tells the jury,
“I was the sort of man who never conceded anything to
anyone contrary to what is just,”
no doubt also reminding them of his, again, his refusal to bow
to the Thirty Tyrants in the case of Leon of Salamis.
But this raises, I think, the central or a
central point about Socratic citizenship or Socrates’ view of
citizenship, this kind of principled
disobedience to the law, something like Thoreau’s model
of civil disobedience. Does this policy of principled
disobedience, you might say vindicate or
indict Socrates of the charge of corruption and impiety that has
been brought against him? Can a citizen he affirms,
I will ask though, can a citizen put his own
conscience above the law as Socrates seems to do?
This is a problem that we will see considerably later in the
term that vexes a very important political thinker by the name of
Hobbes about whether an individual can somehow put their
own sense of conscience or moral integrity even above the law.
What would a community of Socratic citizens look like,
each one picking and choosing, you might say,
the laws or the rules to obey or to follow or not to follow.
Socrates is so concerned, it seems, with his individual,
his private moral integrity that he says in a sense to the
city of Athens, to the court,
to the Athens, to the Assembly or the courts
that he will not dirty his hands with public life and again this
is a question that we will see later on that Machiavelli takes
very seriously–the question of whether or not politics,
political life requires one to dirty one’s hands in the world.
What kind of citizen is it, is he or she who abstains from,
maybe even rejects, the harsh necessities,
requirements of political life? Socrates seems to be in some
respects an example of what Hegel in the nineteenth century
described as a beautiful soul, you know, someone who and he
used that term ironically I should say, someone who puts
their own private moral incorruptibility above all else
and we all probably know or have read about people like this.
How does Socrates answer these charges of, in a way being not
just an abstainer but he kept putting his own private moral
conscience or integrity over and above the law?
He tries to defend his point of view by arguing in a famous
passage that his policy of abstinence actually carries
important benefits to the city. He brings with it important
benefits and in the passage that I’m referring to,
he defines himself as a gadfly, everyone will remember that,
the gadfly who improves the quality of life in the city.
In section 30d, Socrates writes,
let me read the passage. “So I, men of Athens are now
too far from making a defense speech on my own behalf,
I do it rather,” he says, ” on your behalf.
What I say, I say for you,” he appears to say,
“so that you do not do something wrong concerning the
gift of the god,” referring to himself,
“the gift of the god by voting to condemn me.
For if you kill me,” he continues, “you will not easily
discover another of my sort who even if it is rather ridiculous
to say so, has simply been set upon the
city by the god as though upon a great and well-born horse who is
rather sluggish because of his great size and needs to be
awakened by some gadfly. Just so in fact the god seems
to me to have set me upon the city as someone of this sort.
I awaken and persuade and reproach each one of you and I
do not stop settling down everywhere upon you the whole
day.” So here we have the example of
Socrates telling us not only declaring himself to be the gift
of the god who is brought but he is a great benefactor of the
city, that his example of the man,
of individual moral conscience, brings with it great,
as it were, public benefits. It is not on his behalf,
he tells the audience, but yours, his fellow citizens’
that he does what he does. “You may not like me,” he says
to the jury, “but I am good for you and furthermore he claims in
this what can only be described as sort of quasi-religious
language that he has no choice in the matter.
This is not something he has chosen to do.
He is, as he says a gift from the god, he has been commanded,
he argues, to do this. “Men of Athens,” he says,
“I will obey the god rather than you and as long as I
breathe and am able to do so, I will certainly not stop
philosophizing.” He seems to envelope himself
and his way of life with a kind of religious imagery,
the Delphic Oracle, the gift of the god image,
he envelopes his conception of citizenship within this
religious language and this will or should lead any reader of the
Apology and any reader of Plato to ask an important
question about Socrates’ use of this language.
We will see it again in different ways in the
Republic. Is he sincere in saying this,
in making this point or his he somehow being ironical in his
use of the religious tone or the religious register?
He is, after all, on trial for his life,
for the charge of impiety. Would it not seem that in order
to rebut the charge of impiety that he would use or adopt a
kind of religious language that would resonate with the jury and
rebut the accusation, perhaps even suggesting that he
is the truly religious and pious one and not the ones like Anytus
and Meletus who are bringing charges against him?
Socrates seems, or could be seen,
to be speaking not just ironically but provocatively in
describing himself as a gift of the god.
In a sense, you might ask what could be more ludicrous,
Socrates declaring himself or anyone declaring themselves to
be a gift of the divine. But, right, who would make such
a claim? But in another respect he seems
to take the divine calling very seriously, right,
I mean does he not? It was only when the Delphic
Oracle replied to Charephon, he tells that story,
that no one was wiser than Socrates, that Socrates
undertook this second sailing as it were,
his turn away from the investigation of purely natural
phenomena to the study of the world of moral virtue and
justice. He repeatedly maintains that
the path he has taken is not of his own choosing but the result
of a divine command. He is under some kind of divine
edict and it is precisely his devotion to this divine
command, to this particular kind of
calling that has led him to neglect his worldly affairs.
He reminds, at various points, the audience of his extreme
poverty, his neglect of his family and his obligations to
his wife and children as well as to suffer the disgrace and the
abuse that is directed against him by various public figures,
he tells us. All of this is the result of
his devotion to the divine command.
He presents himself, in other words,
as a human being of unparalleled piety and devotion
who will risk life itself rather than quit the post that has been
given to him. It’s a very tall order that he
claims for himself. Do we believe him in this
respect, I mean an important question, do we believe him
again, is he being sincere in this or
is he using this as it were a kind of rhetoric with which to
envelope himself? What is this peculiar kind of
piety that he claims to practice?
In many ways, in replying to the jury’s
verdict in the request that he cease philosophizing,
Socrates explains himself in the following terms.
Let me just quote one other passage briefly from the second
speech that he gives to the jury after his conviction.
“It is hardest of all to persuade you,
to persuade some of you about this,” he says,
about his way of life. “For if I say that this is to
disobey the god and because of this it is impossible to keep
quiet, you will not be persuaded by me
on the grounds that I am being ironic.
And on the other hand,” he says, “if I say that this even
happens to be a very great good for a human being that is to
make speeches every day about virtue and that the unexamined
life is not worth living for a human being,
you will still less be persuaded by me.”
In other words, what he seems to be saying in
that passage at around 37c and d is that he realizes he is on the
horns of a dilemma. On the one hand,
he says, his reference to a divine mission,
he explicitly says there, will be taken by his audience
as being just another instance of Socratic irony and
insincerity. But, he says,
if he tries to persuade people of the goodness and the justice
of his way of life on simply rational grounds alone,
to persuade them that the examined life alone is worth
living, he says he will not be believed.
So, what you might say is a Socratic citizen to do,
he will either be accused of being ironic and not be believed
or he will simply be disbelieved if he attempts to defend himself
on rational or philosophical grounds.
That raises the question, I think, that I began the class
with today. Should Socrates be tolerated,
would a good society tolerate Socrates?
This is the question raised by this dialogue in the
Crito as well. How far should freedom of
speech and that is to say speech that borders on,
even verges into, civic impiety,
how far should such speech be tolerated?
It’s been an assumption of readers of Plato over the years
that the trial of Socrates, that the execution of Socrates,
presents the case for the fullest liberty or freedom of
thought in discussion in the evils or the dangers to a
society of trying to persecute or suppress freedom of speech.
But is this right, in other words,
is that really Plato’s teaching?
Among the things Socrates says he cares deeply about is his
calling, as he puts it, to do nothing but persuade you
both younger and older not to care for your bodies and money
but how your soul will be in the best possible condition. How are we to understand this
case about toleration and freedom of speech?
The Apology presents Socrates right as presenting the
most intransigent case for the philosopher as a radical critic
or questioner of society. Socrates demands that the
Athenians change not simply this or that aspect of their policy
but he demands nothing less than a drastic,
I would even say revolutionary, change in Athenian civic life,
in Athenian civic culture. He tells his fellows citizens,
right, that their lives are not worth living,
only the examined life is worth living and you are not living
examined lives therefore your life cannot possibly have any
value to it. Even when presented with the
option to cease philosophizing, he refuses to do so on the
ground that, again, he is acting under a
command, divine command and cannot do otherwise.
Is Plato asking us to regard Socrates as a man of high
principle, standing up for what he believes in the face of death
or as a kind of revolutionary agitator who cannot and should
not be tolerated by a society whose basic laws and values he
will not accept? To some degree,
I am inclined to answer that both of those questions have
something to them. Maybe the answer,
or an answer, to this question is revealed in
the Crito, the companion dialogue,
the companion speech that goes along with the Apology,
although it typically gets much less attention than the
Apology. In part, because I think the
dialogue presents, as it were, the city’s case,
the case of the city against Socrates, I mean to consider
some of the following. If the Apology presents
the philosopher’s case against the city, Socrates’ case against
the city, the Crito presents the
city’s case against the philosopher.
Here, Socrates makes the case against himself,
you might say he makes the case against himself better than his
accusers in the courtroom did. So in the Apology,
the speech between Socrates and the laws that form,
as it were the kind of central action of the dialogue,
presents the case that Meletus and Anytus should have made
against him. While the Apology seems
to denigrate the political life as requiring complicity in
injustice and Socrates says he will have no part of laws or
policies that entail injustice, the Crito makes the case
for the dignity of the laws, the dignity or majesty of the
city and its laws. While the Apology
defends, again, a politics of principled
abstinence or disobedience to the political life,
the Crito makes the most complete and far-reaching case
for obligation and obedience to the law that has perhaps ever
been made. So how do we reconcile,
if we can, these two apparently contradictory points of view in
these two dialogues? These two dialogues,
it should be evident, I mean, differ not only in
content but in their dramatic context. Just consider,
again, some of the following. The Apology is a speech
given before a large and largely anonymous audience of over 500
persons, the Assembly, the Court.
We see Socrates addressing, the only time in any platonic
dialogue, an audience of this size.
The Crito, on the other hand,
is a conversation between Socrates and a single
individual, only one person. The Apology takes place
in the Court of Athens, the most public of settings,
while the Crito occurs within the darkness and
confinement of a prison cell. The Apology shows
Socrates defending himself and his life as a gift of the god
that most truly benefits the city but in the Crito,
we see him bow down to the authority of the laws that he
seems to have previously rejected and finally if the
Apology presents Socrates as the first martyr for
philosophy, the first person to die for the
cause of philosophy, the Crito shows
Socrates’ trial and sentence as a case of justice delivered. These huge contrasts,
again, they force us to ask a question, what is Plato doing in
presenting these two very different points of view,
what is his point in presenting these two works with two such
sharply contrasting perspectives on the relation of Socrates to
the city? Was Plato confused,
was he contradicting himself, was he–what was he doing? Big question. I hope I have time to answer it. So let’s look into the
Crito just a little bit. Crito is named for a
friend and disciple of Socrates who at the outset of the
dialogue is sitting as a watchful guardian over his
mentor. He urges Socrates to allow him
to help him escape. The jailers have been bribed
and escape would be made easy but rather than trying to
convince Crito directly, Socrates creates a dialogue;
actually, you might say a dialogue within the larger
dialogue, a dialogue between himself and the laws of Athens
where he puts forward the case against escape,
that is to say the case against disobedience to the law and the
argument could be summarized as follows.
No state can exist without rules.
The first rule of any state is the rule that citizens are not
free to set aside the rules, to choose among them which ones
to obey and to disobey. To engage in civil disobedience
of any kind is not only to call this or that rule into question
but it is to call into question the very nature of law,
the very question of the rules. To question or disobey the law
is tantamount to destroying the authority of the law.
The breaking of so much as a single law constitutes the
essence of anarchy, constitutes the essence of
lawlessness, it is a far-reaching argument
for obedience to the law. The breaking of even a single
law calls into question the authority of law as such.
It’s a very powerful argument that, in a way,
Socrates makes against himself, putting that speech in the
mouth of the laws. But he goes even further than
this. The citizen,
he says, owes his very existence to the laws.
We are what we are because of the power and authority of the
laws, the customs, the traditions,
the culture that has shaped us. The laws, he says,
have begat us and the use of the term “begat” in our
translation is clearly intended to resonate with something you
might say we might think of as something biblical about it.
The citizen is, in a word, created,
begat by the laws themselves, they exercise a kind of
paternal authority over us such that disobedience to any law
constitutes an act of impiety or disrespect of the oldest things
around us. The laws are not only like our
parents, they are like our ancestors, the founding fathers,
as we might say, who are owed respect and piety.
In many ways, the Crito,
in some respect, is the platonic dialogue about
piety. Socrates seems to accept here
entirely the authority of the law;
he does not offer arguments for non compliance as he does in the
Apology, so what happened all of a
sudden to Socrates, the apostle of civil
disobedience, Socrates the apostle of
principled abstention? He accepts entirely,
or the laws force him to accept entirely, the covenant that
every citizen has with the laws that binds them to absolute
obedience. The question is,
why does Socrates exhibit such proud defiance and independence
of the laws in the Apology,
and such total, even kind of mouse-like,
acquiescence to the laws in the Crito?
What happened to him, I mean why does he all of a
sudden become so humble and acquiescent?
What happened to his language about being the gift of the god? Well, that’s something I want
you to think about and maybe I’m sure you’ll want to talk about
in your sections, but let me propose something
like the following to answer or at least to respond to this
paradox, this question. The Apology and the
Crito represent a tension, they represent even a
conflict between two more or less permanent and
irreconcilable moral codes. The one represented by Socrates
regards reason, that is to say,
the sovereign reason of the individual as the highest
possible authority. It is the philosopher’s
reliance on his own reason that frees him from the dangerous
authority of the state and safeguards the individual from
complicity in the injustice and evils that seem to be a
necessary part of political life.
Here is Socrates, the principled abstainer,
but the other moral code is represented by the speech of the
laws where it is the laws of the community,
its oldest and deepest beliefs and institutions,
its constitution, its regime as we would say,
its politea, that are fundamentally
obligatory on the individual and even take priority over the
individual. The one point of view takes the
philosophic life, the examined life,
to be the one most worth living;
the other takes the political life, the life of the citizen
engaged in the business of deliberating,
legislating, making war and peace as the
highest calling for a human being.
These constitute two irreconcilable alternatives,
two different callings, so to speak,
and any attempt, I think, to reconcile or to
synthesize these two can only lead to a deep injustice to
each. Plato seems to believe that
each of us must choose somehow, must choose between one or the
other of these two contenders for the most serious and
worthwhile way of life. Which do we take,
which is the matter of ultimate concern or care for us? Which?
But we cannot have both and I think that distinction to some
degree captures the differences set out when I asked at the
beginning of the class about who believes Socrates is innocent
and should be acquitted and who believes he is guilty and should
be condemned between a philosophical and a political
point of view. And, in a sense,
one could say maybe this is not Plato’s last word,
I mean why does Socrates choose to stay and drink the hemlock?
After all, if he is committed fundamentally to the principles
of his own reason, still why should he care that
much about the laws of the city, why not let Crito help him
escape and go to Crete where he can drink the good wine of Crete
and enjoy his old age? And in fact,
Plato wrote another dialogue, his largest dialogue,
a book called The Laws, where you see a man simply
designated as the Athenian stranger living in Crete and
carrying on a conversation with representatives of that society
and that might be, although he is not identified
as Socrates, it is sometimes thought here is the kind of
speech or discussion Socrates would be having,
had he escaped. But it gets back to the
question, are the reasons Socrates gives Crito for
refusing to escape, the reasons he puts in the
mouth of the laws of the city of Athens, are those Socrates’ true
reasons? Does Socrates believe that
speech that he constructs between himself and the laws or
is it simply a fiction that he creates for the sake of
relieving his friend of the guilt he evidently feels for
being unable to help Socrates? Crito is, of course,
very concerned with what people will think of him if it becomes
known that he has somehow not helped Socrates to escape.
Is that speech for the law, with the laws,
really intended for the benefit of Crito,
rather than an expression of Socrates’ deepest opinions about
the questions of obligation and obedience?
Is he, in that speech, bestowing as it were a kind of
justice to Crito to reconcile him to the laws of the city and
to give him reasons, you might say rational
considerations, for continued obedience to the
law? In many ways that would seem to
make a certain sense of the apparent discrepancy between
these two dialogues. It demonstrates not only
Socrates’ sense of his superiority to the laws of
Athens. In the first speech of the
Apology, he defies the city to put him
to death by expressing indifference to death and then
in the Crito, he very much expresses that
indifference to death by refusing to allow Crito to let
him escape. Socrates seems to remain,
even until the end, very much a kind of law unto
himself while at the same time, again, providing Crito and
others like him an example of rational and dignified obedience
to the law. When we look at the death of
Socrates, do we think of it as a tragedy, as a moral tragedy,
a just man sentenced to death by an unjust law?
I don’t think so. Far from it.
Socrates’ death at the age of 70 was intended by him as an act
of philosophical martyrdom that would allow future philosophy to
be favorably recognized as a source of courage and justice.
In one of his later letters, Plato refers to his depiction
of Socrates, as he says his attempt to render Socrates young
and beautiful, that is he consciously set out
to beautify Socrates, presenting a man,
fearless before death, refusing to participate in any
active injustice while dispensing wisdom and justice to
those who will listen. We don’t know the real
Socrates, all we know of Socrates is what we read in
Plato and Aristophanes and a small number of others who have
sketched various different pictures of him.
But Plato’s Socrates is necessarily poles apart from
Aristophanes’ Socrates depiction of him as a sort of sophist who
makes the weaker argument the stronger.
Plato’s dialogues, the Apology as well as
the Republic and the Crito are in the broadest
sense of the term, an attempt not only to answer
the charge against Aristophanes but also defend the cause of
philosophy as something of value and merit.
Where does that leave us today? What are we to make of all this?
We, who live in a very different kind of world from
that of, you know, fourth-century Athens,
what can we learn from the example of Socrates?
Most of us like most of you earlier, find ourselves
instinctively taking the side of Socrates against the city of
Athens. Those who might defend the city
of Athens against Socrates, those who believe in the value
of civic piety are very few among us.
Perhaps only those of you who might come from a small town in
the south or from certain areas of Brooklyn would understand
something about the supreme value of piety as a way of life.
We, by and large, tend to accept the picture of
Socrates as a victim of injustice.
We overlook, we conveniently overlook a
number of facts about him, his hostility to democracy,
we’ll see that in the Republic but we’ve seen
it already to some degree in the Apology.
His claim that the lives of his fellow citizens are not worth
living and his claim that his way of life has been commanded
by a god that no one else has ever heard or seen.
None of these seem to make any difference to us and yet I think
they should. Given Socrates’ claims,
ask yourself what would a responsible body of citizens
have done, how should they have acted?
One answer might be to extend greater toleration to civil
dissidents like Socrates. Individuals of heterodox belief
but whose own views may stimulate others to question and
think for themselves, all to the good,
Milton, John Locke, people like Voltaire argued
something like this. But is that to do justice to
Socrates? The one thing that Plato does
not argue is that Socrates should simply be tolerated.
To tolerate his teaching would seem to trivialize it in some
sense, to render it harmless. The Athenians at least pay
Socrates the tribute of taking him seriously,
which is exactly why he is on trial.
The Athenians refuse to tolerate Socrates because they
know he is not harmless, that he poses a challenge,
a fundamental challenge to their way of life and all that
they hold to be noble and worthwhile.
Socrates is not harmless because of his own professed
ability to attract followers, a few today,
a few more tomorrow. Who knows?
To tolerate Socrates would be to say to him that we care
little for our way of life and that we are willing to let you
challenge it and impugn it every day.
Is that good, is that right? The trial of Socrates asks us
to think about the limits of toleration, what views,
if any, do we find simply intolerable?
Is a healthy society one that is literally open to every point
of view, freedom of speech is naturally a cherished good,
is it the supreme good? Should it trump all other goods
or does toleration reach a point when it ceases to be toleration
and becomes in fact a kind of soft nihilism that can extend
liberty to everything precisely because it takes nothing very
seriously. And by nihilism,
I mean the view that every preference, however squalid,
base or sordid, must be regarded as the
legitimate equal of every other. Is this really tolerance or is
it rather a form of moral decay that has simply decided to
abandon the search for truth and standards of judgment?
There’s a danger, I think, that endless tolerance
leads to intellectual passivity and the kind of uncritical
acceptance of all points of view.
Well so much for that. What I want to do,
I see we’re running out of time, is if you could think
about it, maybe hold that thought in your
mind once in a while between now and Wednesday and on Wednesday,
we will begin reading what is arguably, some people believe,
the most important book ever written,
Plato’s Republic. See you on Wednesday.

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