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Crito is a dialogue by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. It is a conversation between Socrates and his wealthy friend Crito regarding justice, injustice, and the appropriate response to injustice.... More > Socrates thinks that injustice may not be answered with injustice, and refuses Crito's offer to finance his escape from prison. This dialogue contains an ancient statement of the social contract theory of government.< Less
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Critias, one of Plato's late dialogues, contains the story of the mighty island kingdom Atlantis and its attempt to conquer Athens, which failed due to the ordered society of the Athenians. Critias... More > is the second of a projected trilogy of dialogues, preceded by Timaeus and followed by Hermocrates.< Less
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Cratylus is the name of a dialogue by Plato. Most modern scholars agree that it was written mostly during Plato's so-called middle period. In the dialogue, Socrates is asked by two men, Cratylus and... More > Hermogenes, to tell them whether names are "conventional" or "natural", that is, whether language is a system of arbitrary signs or whether words have an intrinsic relation to the things they signify.< Less
Lesser Hippias: Lying
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Lesser Hippias (or Lying) is thought to be one of Plato's early works. Socrates matches wits with an arrogant polymath who is also a smug literary critic. Hippias believes that Homer can be taken at... More > face value, and that Achilles may be believed when he says he hates liars. Socrates argues that Achilles is a cunning liar who throws people off the scent of his own deceptions, and that cunning liars are actually the "best" liars. Socrates proposes, possibly for the sheer dialectical fun of it, that it is better to do evil voluntarily than involuntarily. His case rests largely on the analogy with athletic skills, such as running and wrestling. He says that a runner or wrestler who deliberately sandbags is better than the one who plods along because he can do no better.< Less
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