Volume 45, Issue 2, Summer 2007
Socrates and Superiority
I propose an alternative interpretation of the Crito. The arguments that are typically taken to be Socrates’ primary arguments against escape are actually supplementary arguments that rely on what I call
the Superiority Thesis, the thesis that the state and its citizens are members of a moral hierarchy where those below are tied by bonds of obligation to those above. I provide evidence that Socrates holds this
thesis, demonstrate how it resolves a number of apparent difficulties, and show why my interpretation is preferable to competing interpretations.