Socrates’ suicide – in conversation

Why did Socrates’ die?

  • Naive answer: Socrates’ was charged to drink hemlock and thus end his own life by the Attic state. It was a crime of the Athenians that took Socrates’ from us. (Michael)

But, what does this tell us about Socrates’ own mindset, Michael? This is an insufficient answer to the question insofar as an answer must appeal to Socrates’ intentional state, if we are to grant that it was a suicide (Antisophie)

  • Trivial answer: It was his choice (Sinistre)
  • Plato’s Crito: Socrates’ wanted to respect the authority of the Athenian state, if Socrates disobeyed the state, what would it say about the legitimacy of the state? Furthermore, what if everyone disobeyed the state? Surely we would be in ruin if there were no judicial without legistimate or real control? If everyone disobeyed the state, we would have no state at all; Socrates’ is not special and above the law, if he really were, then there would be no impartial state, no genuine laws that govern all, because he would be above it. (Sinistre*)

There seems to be something troubling to Michael. Why did Socrates die? Why didn’t he escape to another state and the jurisdiction of the Acropolis? Should we avenge the state, that is, was the state unjust?

These are all difficult questions…for him.



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