Paper topic #1 The decision of The Crito:
In Plato’s dialogue: The Crito, Crito arrives to assist Socrates in escaping from the State Prison so that Socrates can escape his impending death sentence. However, true to his ways Socrates tells Crito, he will only follow Crito’s escape plans if it turns out to be the just thing to do, otherwise Socrates will not follow Crito’s escape plans.
Socrtes’s moral argument goes something like this:
1. One should abide by all our just agreements.
2. Socrates has a just agreement to abide by the legally decided laws of the State
3. Socrates’s verdict (the death penalty) was a legally decided verdict of the laws (The trial followed established due process of the Athenian laws of the time)..
//:Therefore: Socrates is morally bound to accept the legally decided verdict of The State and accept his death penalty
Questions to address:
1Is the above argument logically VALID? Is it LOGICALLY SOUND? What dfferentiates the two concepts of validity and soundness?
1.Do you believe that the just thing to do for Socrates is to accept his death penalty? Why?
2.What arguments might be given to resist this conclusion? Are these counter arguments good ones? **
3. In other words give this argument the triple-A treatment. (articulate, analyze, argue!).
4. Lastly, consider if you would choose to do the same as Socrates? If not, why not?
Length 500 to 1,200 words. Paper is due
Use MS WORD only. No Pdfs, google docs ,etc…!!!
**Here are some objections to consider against Socrates’s decision to stay and face his death penalty:
1. Socrates has argued that one should not heed the opinions of the ignorant many but rather those of the knowledgeable few. However, the jury of 500 (chosen by lot) clearly represents the ignorant many. Why then should Socrates respect the verdict of the jury (since the jury represents the ignorant many)?
2. Socrates has argued that one should obey the state in ways analogous to how one obeys one’s parents. Parents have the right to punish their children; so the State has the right to punish Socrates. However in punishing children, Parents do not have the right to execute their children. Why then should the State have the right to execute Socrates? Does Socrates need another argument here to justify the death penalty?
A Rubric for Evaluating Your Essays
When writing your paper, the following rubric should help you through the process. Make sure to consider these nine questions (The Noble Nine!). The questions will be used as a rubric in evaluating your essays, so before you hand the essay in, please make sure you can answer “yes” to each question.
1. Does the introduction present a clear thesis statement? Does the introduction state the position the author will be arguing and give the reader a clear idea what to expect by describing the scope, focus and intent of the paper?
2. Is the paper logically presented? I.e., is the essay clearly written, well organized and does it offer the reader a logical, easily followed development of ideas?
3. Is the paper grammatically clean? Has the paper been carefully proof-read, corrected and free of mechanical errors (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.)?
4. Does the conclusion recap the progress of the argument? I.e., does the paper have a succinct but comprehensive conclusion that focuses the reader’s attention on the main ideas – I.e., beyond a basic restatement of the thesis?
5. Does the paper provide adequate research and references? I.e., is the research base and use of scholarly resources sufficient to support the task undertaken?
6. Is the argument of the essay clearly delivered? Is the thesis of the paper clear and developed in sufficient depth such that the conclusions drawn seem justified? In other words, is there a clear, persuasive argument being made that reflects both the complexity of the subject and alternative points of view?
7. Is documentation appropriate? Is the documentation appropriate and the style of notes and bibliography correct and complete?
8. Does the paper reflect class work and class readings? I.e., does the paper make primary and effective use of both assigned reading and work done in class?
9. Does the essay reveal a personal voice and clear grasp of the issues? That is, does the analysis of the topic indicate both a clear understanding of the issues/concepts involved and provide a substantive contribution from the student’s own thinking (i.e., the paper was more than re-arranging/reporting ideas gathered from library sources)?