Meno complains that the conversation of Socrates has the effect of a torpedo's shock upon him.
The existence of this latent knowledge is further proved by the interrogation of one of Meno's slaves, who, in the skilful hands of Socrates, is made to acknowledge some elementary relations of geometrical figures.
His "son and heir" Polemarchus has the frankness and impetuousness of youth; he is for detaining Socrates by force in the opening scene, and will not "let him off" on the subject of women and children.
He is vain and blustering, refusing to discourse unless he is paid, fond of making an oration, and hoping thereby to escape the inevitable Socrates; but a mere child in argument, and unable to foresee that the next "move" (to use a Platonic expression) will "shut him up." He has reached the stage of framing general notions, and in this respect is in advance of Cephalus and Polemarchus.
The Crito may also be regarded as a sort of appendage to the Apology, in which Socrates, who has defied the judges, is nevertheless represented as scrupulously obedient to the laws.
The Apology or Platonic defence of Socrates is divided into three parts:
Socrates is afraid that Crito is but pressing upon him the opinions of the many: whereas, all his life long he has followed the dictates of reason only and the opinion of the one wise or skilled man.
Socrates proceeds:--Suppose the Laws of Athens to come and remonstrate with him: they will ask 'Why does he seek to overturn them?' and if he replies, they have injured him,' will not the Laws answer, 'Yes, but was that the agreement?
For 'Socrates has sight' is the opposite of 'Socrates is blind' in the sense of the word 'opposite' which applies to possession and privation.
For manifestly, if Socrates exists, one of the two propositions 'Socrates is ill', 'Socrates is not ill', is true, and the other false.
The fact that Socrates
precedes Plato is symbolized in English by the fact that the word "precedes" occurs between the words "Socrates
" and "Plato." But we cannot symbolize the fact that Plato does not precede Socrates
by not putting the word "precedes" between "Plato" and "Socrates
." A negative fact is not sensible, and language, being intended for communication, has to be sensible.
"If I was not as great a philosopher as Socrates
himself," returned Mrs Western, "you would overcome my patience.